Monday, April 28, 2008

No, wait...All Hail Darin Gallagher!

OK, now we're cookin' with grease. Not only was there a Boston Marathon finisher from my podunk hometown of Wapato, but there was also a Boston Marathon finisher from my current podunk residence of Sedro Woolley. Who knew? So Darin Gallagher, of Sedro Woolley (town motto: if you don't have a "Get 'R Done!" bumper sticker, you must be a Commie Obama supporter), actually pounded out a 3:27:36, not half-bad for a recent addition to the Masters Division.

All right, let's get down to business. The May 10-11 weekend is just a GREAT time to try a triathlon or duathlon. There's PLENTY to choose from. Enjoy.

May 10 / YMCA Camel's Back Duathlon / Boise, ID

May 10 / Canby Gator Grinder Sprint Triathlon / Canby, OR

May 10 / CARDV Mother's Day Run 5k / Corvallis, OR

May 10 / McDonald Forest Trail Run 50k and 15k / Corvallis, OR

May 10 / Lake Run / Lake Oswego, OR

May 10 / Newport Off-Road Sprint Triathlon / Newport, OR

May 10 / Mother's Day 5k / Colville, WA

May 10 / Mother's Day Triathlon and Duathlon / Elma, WA

May 10 / North Face Endurance Challange / Bellingham, WA

May 10 / Wondergirl 5k / Longview, WA

May 10 / Tacoma City Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Tacoma, WA

May 10 / Nike 5k For Kids / Seattle, WA

May 10 / Haggen to Haggen 5k / Bellingham, WA - SIGN UP FOR THIS ONE FAST...IT'S FREE! AND IT'S A GREAT RACE!

May 11 / Rerun Run 5k / Eugene, OR

May 11 / Over The Dam Run 5k, 10k and Half Marathon / Coulee Dam, WA

May 11 / Kirkland Half Marathon and 5k / Kirkland, WA

Yeah, the photo is from last year's Ragnar Relay, but I just used it because it's shiny...oooooohhh...shiiiiinnnyyyy.

Go give your Mom a flower and a kiss, you ungrateful mooch.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

All hail James H. Klarich...

No, that isn't James in the photo. I actually have no idea who James H. Klarich is, how old he is, or what he does on a daily basis in this world, but I do know two things about him: he's from my hometown of Wapato, Washington (population of about 3000 hardy souls) and he was one of the finishers of the 2008 Boston Marathon. So to James I say, "You are so the man."

And to honor James, pick one of these fine races right here and get out there and run.

May 3 / SolAire Salmon Run 10k and 5k / Bend, OR

May 3 / Casa of Lane County Champions for Children 8k / Eugene, OR

May 3 / Happy Valley Fun Run 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

May 3 / The Farm Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon / Hillsboro, OR

May 3 / Yellowhawk Fun Run 15k and 2.5 mile / Pendelton, OR

May 3 / Run for the Animals 5k / Vancouver, WA

May 3 / Lynden Holland Days 10k and 5k / Lynden, WA

May 3 / Sequim Run Off 10k and 2 mile / Sequim, WA

May 3 / Apple Blossom 10k, 5k, and 2 mile / Wenatchee, WA

May 4 / Eugene Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k / Eugene, OR

May 4 / Cinco de Mayo 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

May 4 / Bank of Montreal Vancouver Marathon, Half-Marathon and 8k / Vancouver, B.C.

May 4 / Spring Fling 10k Trail Race / Port Gamble, WA

And of course, the Big Daddy Don Garlits Race to End All Races: the biggest race in the Northwest with over 50,000 runners...that's right 50-large, G...
May 4 / Lilac Bloomsday Run 12k / Spokane, WA

Monday, April 21, 2008

Olympic Trials, Boston Marathon, blah, blah...

Well, I had planned to do a sparkling write-up on the Women's Olympic Marathon Trials, held yesterday, since I profiled four of the runners from the Northwest that were in the Trials for an article in RaceCenter Magazine, but frankly, I'm just not feeling the love. Of the four women I profiled, I've got one DNS (Heather Hanscom - who was living in Eugene, had some injuries shortly before the Trials, moved back East for treatment...and apparently didn't run), one DNF (Alysun Deckert - don't know why), and two slightly below-average finishes (Meghan Arbogast, who injured her back 13 days before the Trials race and just wanted to beat three hours - and ran a 2:59:51 - and Marlene Farrell, who ran a pretty good race, but didn't match her time that got her into the trials).'s probably too early to accuse me of causing a Madden NFL-type jinx, but I sure didn't help anyone.

Then there's Lance Armstrong in the Boston Marathon (do we still need to do the last name? Can we just go with Lance at this point? I only know one other Lance, and he's a semi-funny lawyer in Seattle, so there probably wouldn't be much confusion there for me). Anyhoo, I'm not going to say whether Lance cheated his way to seven Tour de France victories or not, but I will say this: anyone that can toss together some half-ass training and pound out a 2:50 marathon on one of the toughest courses around may have just a little bit of natural athletic ability. Nice job, Lance.

Thanks to Ben Millett for the photo.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Don't See the Sun Anymore...

Yes, the world is big...and runners are small. That's what I love about it.

So it's April 16th in the beautiful Pac NW...and they're predicting snow for the weekend. Are you freaking kidding me?!? I still haven't been able to mow my entire backyard because it's just a swamp back there. And unfortunately, I am the most fair-weather runner you know. If it's not sunny and hot, then I'm getting on the treadmill in the temp-controlled confines of the Riverside Athletic Club. My wife thinks it's sad and slightly pathetic that I do so many of my runs on the treadmill, and I don't totally disagree, but for me the only thing worse than a treadmill run is an outdoor run where I'm cold and miserable and end up cutting my route in half so I can come back home and sit in front of the tube. At least I always finish my scheduled runs when I'm on the treadmill.

But rain, snow or shine, there's a bunch of races both this weekend and next:

April 26 / Leadman Sprint Tri (Downhill ski leg instead of swim) / Kellogg, ID

April 26 / Miles for Memories 5k / Bellingham, WA

April 26 / Western Oregon University Sprint Triathlon / Monmouth, OR

April 26 / Tom Wales Community Run 5k / Seattle, WA

April 26 / Sean's Run from Autism 5k and 10k / Portland, OR

April 26 / Eagle Run 10k, 5k, and 1 mile Kid's Dash / Oak Harbor, WA

April 26 / Capitol Peak Ultras - 50 mile and 55k / Olympia, WA

April 26 / Hawk Run 5k / Redmond, WA

April 27 / Olivia Medici Memorial 10k and 5k / Beaverton, OR

April 27 / Leadership Dash 5k / Eugene, OR

April 27 / Mt. Rainier Duathlon - Long and Short Courses / Enumclaw, WA

April 27 / Seattle Public Schools Boardwalk 5k / Seattle, WA

April 27 / See Spot Run 5k / Yakima, WA

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I See the Sun!

It almost made it up to 70 degrees yesterday...sweet Moses, smell the roses! Spring may actually have finally made it to the Pacific Northwest. Could this be the weekend that my bike smells the sweet non-garage air? Could be, could be... And of course, with the sun comes plenty of sweet racing opportunities. There's even a rare early-evening race in Idaho next weekend. Personally, I love the late in the day races. I'm not much of a morning person and it just seems my body is more loose (loosened up? looser? Hmmm?) and ready to run in the early evening. But they're not easy to find - off the top of my head only one other early evening race comes to mind: the Fremont 5k in June, which is also run at 7pm.

Hey, if you can't find a race next weekend, you're not really trying.

April 18 / Twilight 5k / Lewiston, ID

April 19 / Deer Leap Half Marathon Trail Run / Glide, OR

April 19 / 28th Annual Toe Jam Hill Half Marathon and 5k / Bainbridge Island, WA

April 19 / Liz Duncan Memorial Run 10k, 5k, and 1 mile / Richland, WA

April 19 / Run For Relief - Burma 5k / Bellingham, WA

April 20 / Albany Sprint Triathlon / Albany, OR

April 20 / Bridge to Bridge to Brews 10k and 8k / Portland, OR

April 20 / Earth Day 5k / Bellingham, WA

April 20 / Spokane River Run 50k, 25k, 10k and 5k / Spokane, WA

April 20 / Wenatchee Marathon / Wenatchee, WA

April 20 / Vancouver Sun Run 10k / Vancouver, BC

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dude, They're Givin' It Away...

No, there's not much around for free these days, but there has been one race that's been free for about as long as I can remember: The Haggen to Haggen 5k in Bellingham. Sure, you have to have a Haggen Card to make it free, but what grocery store doesn't make you have a card these days. And you only need to look at the sponsors of the race to know that there's always great chow at the finish (awesome fruit and cookie selection, plus yogurt, sports drinks, bagels, sports bars, chips, and the proverbial "more!")

But even with the free entry and awesome grub, the greatest thing about the Haggen to Haggen is the course. It's a 5k PR waiting to happen. After a couple of brief ups and downs right in the first half mile, the next mile or so is all on a slight downhill, just enough to propel your legs along without being so steep that it makes you run faster than you want to. Then the rest of the course to the finish is flat. It's just a fast, fast, course. So get to the start line early (it's a bit narrow at the beginning) and set a new personal mark.

Oh, and just so you know that I know...that's me in the picture sporting my 1994! t-shirt from the Haggen to Haggen (although I've always wondered why they put a guy on the shirt that looks like he's race-walking, at best). I think I've only missed one year since then. Don't miss this race - it's a good one.

Monday, April 7, 2008

New Ink, New Races, and New Injuries...

I know, I know, I missed last weekends' races completely. And I apologize. You see, it was Spring Break for my son, so we packed into the Kia and headed down to Oregon for a little vacation. I know, you're thinking, "And..." plus "Kia? Did you make it out of Washington?" Well, I did actually have the ol' MacBook, but trying to blog in between the Burgerville with free WiFi and the Fred Meyer Deli with free WiFi was just too tough for me.! I somehow mangled my knee (I think it was from jumping into the pool at the downtown Portland Hilton...I thought it was deeper than that), and was unable to run, actually barely able to walk, which always puts me in a fine mood to talk about running.

But hey, it's better now, thanks for asking. I'm going to give it a couple more days, then start running again, so all is well.

Yes, that new RaceCenter there has not a little new ink, but a lot of new ink! I've got two new articles in the April issue of RaceCenter: Performance Testing for Athletes and Reaching for the Rings (a preview of the Women's Olympic Marathon Trials). When I first saw the cover, I was a bit worried. I saw a female runner on the cover with the name "Farrell" on her nametag, but it was the wrong "Ferrell"! You see, I wrote about Marlene Farrell of Leavenworth, in the Olympic Trials article, and that was NOT her. I couldn't believe it, because Brook Gardner, the editor of RaceCenter, just doesn't make mistakes (which I appreciate GREATLY, by the way). So anyhoo, after browsing through the magazine, I realized that the runner on the cover is Catherine Farrell, of Eugene, who is in the Olympic Trials in the 5k, not the marathon. That's what I get for doubting Brook.

Finally, races!

April 12 / Pear Blossom Run 10k and 5k / Medford, OR

April 12 / Hills for Humanity 5k / Portland, OR

April 12 / Trout Lake 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon / Trout Lake, WA

April 13 / Whidbey Island Marathon and Half Marathon / Whidbey Island, WA