Reflection by Garret

I went to high school with Ben. In the years since then, I liked to joke that Ben and I were doing all the same things in life, just in a different order--I've also hiked the AT (Ben was part of my inspiration), spent 2 years living abroad, earned a PhD in economics, and I run ultras. I ran in Washington with Ben at his first 100-miler last year, and I was looking forward to running another 100 with him in September in Utah. Ben was an amazing athlete; I was amazed at his ability to persevere through the pain.

More importantly, I'll never forget Ben's relentlessly positive attitude. In high school he was so stoked about his custom-modified Zoom Loco shoe/sandals, and when I visited him in San Diego recently, he was equally excited about trying to find time to show me the local Mt. Soledad, and was ecstatic to take me running in Torrey Pines, show me all the surfboards, wet-suits, and kayaks in storage at the house, show me his photos from the Grand Canyon, and to run through a google doc he had created with a list of the most beautiful mountains in the world to see if I had any input. Liora and I had a good time teasing him about the fact that no matter how many pancakes she made, he would never actually be full.

I'm including a photo of Ben and I before the Badger Mountain Challenge in Washington, and another in a state park near Napa that me, Ben, and our friend Ramsey from high school visited.

I'll miss him dearly. I hope it gives you some small comfort that Ben made me and many others around him better people.