Archive for June, 2010

COUNTRY CONCERT CONTEST WINNERS: THE “ROCK ‘N’ ROLL”-IN’ STONES!

admin | June 19, 2010 in Endurance,Music,Running | Comments (4)

“The winner of two tickets to tonight’s Tim McGraw concert is Jane Adams. JANE…ADAMS. Please return to the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego registration table immediately.”

The words echo through the convention hall for a second and third time.  There is so much going on, people hawking their running wares along the winding aisles of booths, running superstars sharing their stories over microphones in the corners of the room, announcement after announcment floating through the air and stumbling over one another.

I understand; it is hard to hear…but I’m getting nervous.

I’ve been at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon expo for almost two hours, and I’ve got to get, well, rolling.  As part of Tim McGraw’s band, the Dancehall Doctors, I have a rehearsal and soundcheck scheduled before the evening show…and my ride to the concert site is standing by.

Come on, Jane.  Hear your name.  We’ve got to…HERE she is!  The marathoner from Riverside, California finally appears, flanked by her daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Larry Stone, to learn she is the winner of two tickets to the Tim McGraw show in San Diego!

WAHOO! Uh-oh.  Ew.  Two tickets.  Three folks.  What a good mom; she passes the tickets on to the other two…and they are ecstatic!  Now they have to figure out what to do about the party they are set to attend that evening for HIS mother; can they do it ALL?

“What time does the show start?” they ask.

The show starts around 7PM; the tickets will be at the will call window for pickup.  I go on to explain that they are also invited to what we call our “pre-show” before the concert – a small acoustic “show before the show” for a select few.  A representative for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons will be there to greet and escort them into this VIP event – IF they would like to attend.

They will be up closer and personal, just a stone’s throw from Mr. McGraw and the band, if they would like to go. (Get it?  A stone’s throw? Heather and Larry STONE? I do kill me sometimes.)  The two of them can hardly contain themselves, and they answer in unison…“Uh…YEAH!”

Can I say it?  Dare I?  I guess I have to. Tonight…I’m ro-ckin’ with the Stones.

Meeting Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi is a real treat. He won the ING New York City Marathon in 2009. I'm running it in 2010; I'm setting the bar lower.

The arrangements are made and I head off through the expo to find my buddy that is driving me back to the gig.  On the way, I stop by to holler at my pal and running writer John “The Penguin” Bingham who is giving a talk about completing the marathon.  He’s become a good friend in recent years, and I never miss a chance to say hello, even if it is for a hurried drive-by of a hug…which THIS time, it is.

I cross paths with a couple of Olympians on the way out as well.  Deena Kastor, I’ve met before in Chicago.  A joy of a young lady, she is an Olympic bronze medalist and holds a number of American records, including the women’s marathon.  I won’t say I know her, but from what I can see from here, she’s a great gal.

I also meet Meb Keflezighi for the first time.  In 2004, Meb surprised everyone when he carried home the silver medal for the marathon at the Olympics, and in 2009 he was the first American to win the ING New York City Marathon in over 27 years.  Really cool to meet him; inspiring dude.

We snap a couple of shots before I’m dragged away by my ride back to the gig.  Right, right.  Today I’m a musician first, a runner second…and we’ve got a concert to do.

The start of the 2010 Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon and Half Marathon.

The Stones make it to the show that Friday night and have a great time.  I give them a call a week later to see how Sunday’s race went.  Larry’s results I have found online, but Heather’s are not there initially due to a computer glitch. I’m told that both had a great run, completing the half marathon in just over two hours, side-by-side.

And what about Jane who actually won the tickets?  While the kids are taking on the half marathon…she runs the FULL 26.2 miles to earn her own marathon medal at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego.

Run, Jane, run.


Win Two Tickets to See Tim McGraw Tonight in San Diego!

admin | June 4, 2010 in Endurance,Music,Running | Comments (1)

I’ve never run the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon. I’ve run other Rock ‘n’ Rolls as coach and runner with Team McGraw: Nashville, San Jose, Philly, Arizona, San Antonio. San Diego has just never worked out.

This year was close, though. I’m rolling through San Diego with the Tim McGraw “Southern Voice” tour tonight, June 4, for one night only. The marathon is…DANG! Sunday, June 6. SO close.

At least I can drop by the marathon expo before the show – check out the runners, feel the excitement, and breath in a little marathon spirit from my runnin’ brothers and sisters. Calm my restlessness just a little. Stifle the sadness of a great race missed.

So I’ll be there from 11:30AM – 12:30PM. Come find me, say hello, and register for the 2011 Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego and you will be automatically entered into a chance to win two tickets courtesy of the Tug McGraw Foundation to see Tim McGraw and the Dancehall Doctors in concert later that night at the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. The award-winning group Lady Antebellum will also perform along with the group Love and Theft.

The winners must be present at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon Expo and will be notified at 12:45PM.

Come showtime, I’ll be behind the keyboards, manning a mike, shod in cowboy boots instead of running shoes for the evening…but running shoes are welcome.

See you at the show…and have a great run!


National Running Day 2010

admin | June 2, 2010 in Endurance,Running | Comments (3)

I’m a runner; it says so on my business card.

Okay, not yet.  But it will when I get new cards made.  Think about it.  You are reading this in my blog titled “Road Dog Runner.”  And June 2 is National Running Day…so you can believe I was feelin’ a lit-tle pressure to deliver on the day.

Something really cool.  NOT gonna happen.  Three days with a busier than normal tour schedule had left me with enough unread email to choke a horse…assuming horses ate email.  I had phone calls to return, new tunes to learn for our upcoming Nashville Rising flood relief concert, and photographs to edit.

I hit the ground running, so to speak, eating breakfast with one hand and typing away on my laptop with the other…and I didn’t stop but for a quick three-miler before tonight’s show.

I almost felt like I’d missed our runners’ day of days.

As I reflect back on the day, though, I realize that my first phone call was to my father – my first runnin’ buddy.  My emails varied from Team McGraw runners looking for coaching advice to newbies looking to join our program in pursuit of their first marathon.  I got Facebooked by a friend that had faded away for many years…only to resurface with a pair of running shoes, a personal trainer’s credentials, and a couple of running friends in tow.

I touched base with two pals with whom I’ll grab an easy “let’s catch up” run tomorrow morning on my way through their state, and I made plans to visit my friends with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathons the following day in yet another.

And my “jammed in” three-miler was a shared event including five of my band buddies and “the man in the hat”…though he wasn’t “cowboy-ed up” for today’s run.  I hear those boots are hell to run in, anyway.

I guess National Running Day received its due recognition after all.  My family, my friends, my music all felt a little nudge today by virtue of running.  I got my three miles in, shared it with friends, and touched a few others that have left lasting imprints. in part, with their running shoes.

A good day…and it’s done.  Of course, I had to blog about something on National Running day, so I sit here now in the front of the bus, typing away, as one of the boys grabs the remote to find a movie worth watching…

Marathon Man starring Dustin Hoffman. Turn it up, please…


Dancehall Doctor Jeff McMahon Lives Large

admin | June 1, 2010 in Endurance,Music,NYC Marathon 2010,Running | Comments (3)

Lorilee Craker, a writer for the Grand Rapids Press and author of numerous books including Through the Storm by Lynne Spears (mother of superstar Britney Spears), tracked me down for an interview as our tour buses rolled through Michigan a few months back.  Her article below was originally published by the Grand Rapids Press on February 25, 2010.

In working through the interview, Lorilee kept commenting on the flurry of varied activities bearing my fingerprints; I was  “living large,” she said.  I’ve never really thought in those terms, and my days typically feel more full than frantic, but if I look back at the past three months, I guess I do cover a lot ground.

Since our stop in Grand Rapids, the “Southern Voice” tour has hit 24 additional cities.  My snowboard and I have left our marks in Wisconsin, Nevada, and Whistler, Canada.  I have logged more than a few miles with some of my Team McGraw runners in Florida, Michigan, California and Texas…and the 2010 New York City Marathon remains on the horizon.

The wheels keep rolling, and I keep runnin’.

Thanks, Lorilee, for taking the time to share our new music, support our work with both Team McGraw and the Tug McGraw Foundation, and offer a glimpse into my somewhat restless world…and I’ll see you next time we roll through your backyard.

For more on Lorilee, visit her website at www.lorileecraker.com.

McMahon (right) and his bandmate/fiddler Dean Brown of Tim McGraw's band, the Dancehall Doctors. (Photo by Kyle Dreier | www.dreier.com)

GRAND RAPIDS (Feb. 25, 2010) — As keyboard player for the Dancehall Doctors, Jeff McMahon’s been touring for almost 17 years with his buddy Tim McGraw, but when he’s not tickling the ivories onstage, McMahon is sure to be up to something equally exhilarating.

Whether it’s goose hunting in Manitoba, deep sea fishing in Florida, running from rim to rim of the Grand Canyon or serving as director of Team McGraw, a charity that raises funds for brain cancer research and services, McMahon wants to do it all.

“I couldn’t tell you who’s on American Idol, but dadgummit, I’m going to experience some things,” he said from a tour stop on McGraw’s “Southern Voice” tour, which stops Saturday in Grand Rapids.

The 45-year-old McMahon is chronicling his existence-affirming odyssey on his new blog, roaddogrunner.com. He blogs about marathons (he’s completed the New York City Marathon several times), his work for the Tug McGraw Foundation, and lots and lots of “road stories.”

After nearly two decades with McGraw, the two are close friends and his bandmates in the Dancehall Doctors are like brothers. Since 2002, when McGraw kicked the Nashville norm by making a record — Tim McGraw and The Dancehall Doctors — with his touring band (as opposed to session musicians), he Doctors have been in the mix, recording the songs they play live. That includes the hits “Live Like You’re Dying” released in 2004 and 2007′s “Let it Go.”

The title track on 2009′s “Southern Voice,” a No. 1 hit, transcends North and South, McMahon insists. “The song is simple, not in the sense of being uneducated, but the core of it: that at the end of the day, the same things are important to people — honesty, decency, hard work and courage.”

“You’re immersed in a working culture, where you wake up first thing in the morning to go to work to provide for your loved ones,” he said. “Whether you farm or build cars, hard work is hard work.”

McMahon, who is single, has worked hard for a cause he’s fervent about: The Tug McGraw Foundation. Named for Tim McGraw’s late father, Tug, who died of brain cancer in 2004, the foundation was established in 2003 to enhance the quality of life for children and adults with brain tumors

The Texas native also leads Team McGraw, an outgrowth of the foundation that encourages people affected by brain debilitating conditions — such as survivors and their friends and family, or loved ones of those who have died — to run or walk a race of any length and raise funds for the cause.

“Whether you walk a local 5K or join us at a marathon, we’ll put together a training program for you that’ll get you from the sofa to the finish line,” he said.

For McGraw, McMahon, and the rest of The Dancehall Doctors, the “finish line” of their 70-plus city tour is a long way away, but that’s just fine with the piano man. He promises fans a rowdy good time at each “Southern Voice” tour stop.

“This is the first huge tour we’ve done without Faith (Hill, McGraw’s superstar wife, who last toured with him in 2007),” he said. (Correction: this is the largest tour we’ve done SINCE touring with Faith in 2007.) “They shared things with the audience that were very different than what Tim and the boys are going to share, let’s put it that way. Both are good, but very different.”