Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cougar Sighting

Oh wait, not that kind of cougar. This kind of cougar...

From the Daily Jeffersonian: A local hunter recently made a startling discovery when he captured a picture of a mountain lion on a field camera set out to capture the movements of white-tailed deer near Salt Fork State Park.
“I had the camera out prior to the start of deer season and when I went to look at it, I notice something had ran by (the camera) real fast,” said Cambridge resident Dale Lyons.
“But, I couldn’t see what it was by looking at it on the camera, so I took it home and viewed it on a large-screen television. That’s when I saw what it was ... a mountain lion.”
He said the camera also captured images of coyotes and fox in the area near a pear tree.
Lyons said he showed the picture to local Wildlife Officer Roby Williams, who confirmed it was a mountain lion (also known as a cougar or puma).
“He said it was probably somebody’s pet that got loose,” said Lyons.

I'm still not convinced that this pic isn't somebody's kittycat. Look at the size of the weeds in the picture, then look at the cat.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Salt Fork Run

Best run I have in a long time. Just fabulous. Just great to run through the crunchy leaves.

This is down by the lake, although the lake has now retreated quite a way from this buoy.

I found these interesting. Does Larry and Rose remember this, from 1984? Are they still together?
I wonder if this is a lost art form of graffiti. Do teenagers even wander in the woods with a pen knive in their pocket? Do they know what a pen knife is?

A good run, can you tell? LOL.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Dissing the Slow Marathoner

Ah! The triannual slam on the slow marathoner has resurfaced again. This time it's an article in the New York times: Plodders have a place but is it in a marathon?

Well this has already been discussed, in Slate Magazine, in 2006: How sluggish newbies ruined the marathon.

I've not read through any of the debate about this, although it's got lots of people upset and defending the pokies. I'm really slow. I don't really care.

You paid your entry fee for the marathon. You finish in the time allotted. You are a marathoner. Why on earth are these (I'm assuming) faster marathoner uptight about us pokey butts? If you are that embarrassed by that fat man wearing a Columbus marathon shirt cuz you're faster, then by all means write your 3:15 FINISHING TIME across it. That way, all will be impressed by your fast time and bow down before you.

I bet my friend Tony-and Frank-who just ran sub-three hour marathons at Akron are not bothered by the fact that all three of us can wear an Akron Marathon shirt proudly.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Bucket List

The latest edition of Trail Runner Magazine had a Bucket List Article. I thought it would be interesting to see what I could check off their list.
1. Run the Grand Canyon-have not done this, but would definitely like to do it!
2. Work an Aid Station-been there done that. And if you haven't, you need to. You need to see the runners on the other side of the table. And, as a runner, I think we have a good insight into helping runners coming into an AS.
3. Run the Classic Races-TR mentions Dipsea, JFK, Golden Leaf Half Marathon, Mt Washington Road Race. These wouldn't be the "classic races" for me. I will never run JFK, I don't think the course sounds interesting and the race fee is exorbitant. Classic Races for me would be Massanutten, Hardrock, Highland Sky, and Laurel Highlands.
4. Organize a race. I might like to do this someday. My short term goal is to define a trail on our propoerty here this winter, and have a running party on it.
5. Run shoulder to shoulder with Giants-the article mentions Nikki Kimball, Jurek, Metzler, and Karnazes, among others. Although I've only run one race with one of the people mentioned (Nikki Kimball, she won MMTR in 07 when I attempted it) there has been plenty of cool runners. I've had dinner with Serge Arbona before Umstead, and Jen Shelton helped us set up the AS for Burning River back in 08.
6. Have a fastpacking adventure-yes, this would be fun sometime.
7. Declare your mission-how will you be remembered? Well, I already write a blog about running. Sometime soon, since I've finally gotten the passion back, I will start my trail runnning podcast. I would love to be involved in a local running group for kids, something like Girls on the Run.
8. Pace or crew in an ultra. Ok, been there, done that.Okay, I've never actually paced anyone, but since I am slow as molasses, a runner would be hard up to have me as a pacer!
9. Embrace the minimalist spirit-okay, they are talking about dirtbagging-sleeping in your car before a race, etc. Been there, done that.
10. Be one with nature- well of course, isn't that why we are out there?
11. Do volunteer trail work-heck yeah. You run on the trails you should help maintain them!
12. Hit the gulp..road-well, of course, every run can't be a perfect trail course. Road runs are neccessary evil.
13. Document your adventures-2 or 3 years of blogging now!
14. Travel to race-it's a long term goal of mine to run a marathon in every state (as many runners do). I've been looking at races outside of the states I've already run a marathon or longer in (Nevada, Ohio, West Virginia, Virgina, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana) but haven't put any races on the calendar for 2010 yet.
15. Go international-I have run roads and trails in beautiful Grenada already! I would love to run the Medoc Marathon-I believe 26 wine tastings along the way!
16. Own your backyard-I've run the peaks around here.
17. Host out of towners-hey if some event went on down here, you are all welcome to spend the night. Dennis loves a recent to cook!
18.Take detours-it is always fun to get off the main path (or road) you run to see what's behind Door # 2.
19. Run Machu Picchu-yeah, that would be fun to do!
20. Do an adventure or multi sport race-that would be fun. No events around here even to learn how to do however.
21. Go long. Real long. Heck, 100 miles isn't enough? The article was talking about the long trals-The AT, Pacific Crest. Well, who wouldn't love to? Talk to me in 20 or 30 years when I retire and have the time.
22. Bare it all-hey, I will be a happy camper to get to a weight where I could run in a sports bra and shorts!
23. Do a stage race-something like the Ragnar Relay would be fun to do sometime
24. Declare a cause-I'm not a big fund raiser. I hate begging people for money. So I don't do it.I run purely for myself. Now, I think it's great when race proceeds go to a charitiy, and I don't mind contributing money to other people, but I am entirely uncomfortable asking people for money. So I don't.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oil Creek 100 Race Report

The short version: I DNF'd at mile 22. Ha! And it was completely okay.

The longer version: Well, first a short synopsis, fairly boring, why I dropped. I was still sick. Not trained at all for this race, just thought I would go see how far I could go. I had no energy at all once about 10 miles into the race. I was just not over the cold. In fact, I was thinking about dropping at mile 15, and figured that would be just too embarassing.
I got to AS #3, where the EMT asked how I was. I said I was sick, have asthma, but otherwise fine. I told them I was dropping at the school, and started up the long climb. And started wheezing. And then said, the hell with this, why am I trying to suffer through another seven miles? I've already DNF'd my 100, I might as well DNF the 50K too. So I walked down the hill, dropped from the race then and there, and then proceeded to have a grand time not being in the race!

Okay, more interesting talk about the race:

This was the inaugural year of the Oil Creek Trail Races. First time Race Director, Tom Jennings, created a course which hosted a 50K, 50 mile, and 100 mile race. He did a superb job with the organization of this race.

The race dinner was great! You were handed a tray with pasta, bread, salad, cake on it. Little girls took your tray away and there were seconds for everyone.
Tom's race meeting went a little long but perfectly understandable. He needed to acknowledge all his volunteers and sponsors. We were done about 830pm with that.

The 100 mile race started promptly at 5am. It was cold and a bit misty. I was soon way at the end of the line. We did a few miles on a bike trail. When I got Garmin to connect, it showed I was running 11 minute miles-holy smokes the rest of the 100's were running sub 10 minutes at the start!

After I made a common 4 mile lost loop (with about 8 or so other 100 milers) we were back on the trail. I was glad I had water with me and had to break out some food. I was pretty winded after these extra miles and not feeling so good out there on the trail.

The course is about a 31K loop. The 50K run it once; the 50 milers run it once (with these little extra out and backs patched on for them) and the 100 milers run it 3 times with a extra little 'special' loop to make their 100 miles.

It's a technical course. Tom's description did it fair justice. And maybe not enough. I was hanging out at the Middle School AS (Race HQ) helping out runners, and the 100 milers were properly dispirited and not too happy about their third loop-this one entirely in the dark.
There is lots of elevation gain and descent. With all the rain, the rocks, downhills, small wooden bridges were slick. There was smallsections to run on; but not many. It was nice, technical trail.

The AS were well manned and had good food at the stations. The AS workers were great!Bear in mind, most of these folks were non-runners who had never heard of an ultra runner before a year ago, yet they were taking care of runners like a seasoned pro team.

Once I returned to the Titusville Middle School, which was AS #4 and Race HQ, I hung out with Moose, another member of NEO Trails to wait for our runners to come through out on their third loop. I would jump up to crew runners who didn't look like they had anyone waiting for them. The word coming back from the 100 mile runners was "tough course" "going to be out there for a long time" "rocky" "brutal". (Every time I reported this back to Tom, the RD, he got a big grin on his face.)

As the night encroached, the temperature kept dropping. It was going to be a cold night on those ridges, and the runners knew it. Many took advantage of changing their wet clothes inside the school. A few succumbed to the warm of the building and never emerged for their third loop!!!

Moose and I saw Jim Harris, Bob Combs, and Nick Billock come through. A bit later both Rich Vribonic and Dan Kuzma, both NEO Trail Members, came in together. Moose and I helped get the two of them food and their stuff, and Moose finally bossed Rich back out to the trail. Rich was his normal happy go lucky self, and I had to walk out with them so Rich could finish telling me a story.

I decided it was finally time for me to crash. I took the sleeping bag into the timing room, which Mike Keller and Gailanne manned from 4pm until 8am! They had volunteered, and were in charge of entering runners time into the computer, and updating the webcast. Unfortuneatley, as the night wore on, and AS workers changed, they were getting more vague information regarding which loop a 100 mile runner was on. So Tom shut down the webcast portion in order to not give out inaccurate information to folks watching from home.

I was able to hang out for awhile in the am to see some folks finish-Slim had already finished, in a sub 23 hour finish! I also got to see Jenny Chow come in to win another 100 mile in 2009!

Tom Jennings and his volunteers did a superb job at hosting not just a 100 event, but also a 50K and a 50 mile at the same time. I believe, and I'm sure others would agree that the Oil Creek 100 lived up to its billing: Unforgiving. Historic. Gnarly. Do you have what it takes?

Oil Creek Photos

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