Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 Wildflower Triathlon Results!

They're racing down in Cali.

Check out the results right here.

And for anyone who survived that Long Course Bike Leg - job well done.

Race Report x 2! Pet Day and Sophie's 5k's

A first for the EPIC 2011: two races in one hour!

First up was the OSU Pet Day 5k. I was a little worried at the start line of this one. I had to, no, HAD to, start this one on time, right at 9:00, to have even a little shot of not being horribly late to the Sophie's Run 5k, at 9:30. And why was I worried about the start time? Dogs. Lots and lots of dogs. I'm guessing over 50% of the runners in this one had their dogs with them. And that's a lot of dogs. Which meant some chaos at the registration booth and at the start line.

The race director, a vet med student, quietly announced at 8:55 that we'd start in five minutes. Perfect. Except five minutes came and went and there was still a small line at the registration table. Not perfect. Then at about 9:03, a race official announced we'd start in just a second. Then she said we'd start in five minutes. Damn. Then she said "just kidding" and started a 30 second countdown.

Oh no, you din't, girlfriend! Quit playing with my emotions!

So she yelled "Go!" and we were off, across the OSU campus. It was like a prison break - about 50 dogs at my heels barking like mad! Talk about going out too fast.

Almost got run over by an Oregon State Police car at the first turn - not sure why he needed to get across the road right then, but hey, every man for himself! The crowd thinned pretty fast as most of the dogs realized they'd rather stop and sniff something than actually run for three miles. There were a couple dogs in front of me all the way to the finish - impressive.

So except for that cliff in the middle of the OSU campus where I briefly did a sub-5:00 minute mile, the route was pretty basic and flat. Which is what I needed because I had to just keep on a running after I hit the finish line...

The Garmin showed the route was 3.17, not too happy about that, and I continued to run about another quarter of a mile to get past all the OSU Spring Football game RV's and find my father's truck. He was the transport between the two races, which was absolutely necessary since the parking at the next race is next to absent and you usually have to park a LONG ways away.

So I found my delivery driver and hopped in the truck at about 9:28. Hmmm, two minutes to get across town to the Sophie's Run 5k. Not gonna happen.

We actually made good time across Corvallis to get to Willamette Park, and as predicted, people were parked everywhere. Luckily, my driver dropped me off relatively close to the start and I jumped out and started running again. About 30 seconds later I was at the start line by myself. Off to the left, on the bike trail, was a huge mass of walkers clogging the route and slowly making their way down the course. Oh boy.

So I took off after the crowd and quickly was forced into the deep and very wet grass to try to get around walkers. That was some ankle-breaking turf, but I made it around the main clot o' walkers and started weaving around the back of the packers.

It's a pretty thin trail and we just went out and back and out and back, so there wasn't a whole lot of room anywhere on the route. Lots of dipping and weaving, which at least keeps your attention, but also uses a lot of energy.

Actually, kept close to the same pace here as I did at the Pet Day 5k, except for two steep hills in the second half of the course. As you can see on the pace chart, oof!

Hit the finish line, which was again in the mucky grass - they were just trying to snap my ankles here - and checked the watch. Yep, just under one hour for two 5k's, even with the drive in the middle. Nice. Although the Garmin read 3.02 on this one. Could be because I didn't actually "see" the start line for this one because I was late to the start. Maybe the rest of the group started just back from the road - I don't know. Wasn't there.

I believe that's the only "twofer" I have in the EPIC 2011 schedule.

I'm hoping, anyway...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wildflower is Here!

If you're racing Wildflower this weekend; first, good luck.

Second, kick some.

I know the OSU Tri Club has a large contingent down there - Go Beavs!

I'll post some results this weekend as they come up...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Beautiful, Sunny Saturday...Let's Play Two!

Well, this Saturday, the EPIC 2011 is going to allow me to do something I've never done before: run two races in one day.

First, at 9:00am, I'll take on the OSU Pet Day 5k. Dodge a couple dogs, not kill myself, but at the same time, not take it too slow, because...

At 9:30am, I've got the Sophie's Day 5k. In the running business, we call that a quick turnaround.

If the two races had been an hour apart, I'd be all over it. But 30 minutes? Yowza. And although Corvallis is not a big town, the races are still in different parts of town, so I can't just hop from one to the other.

Gotta do what you gotta do...and the R's has gotta run the EPIC.

Look for the race review x 2 on Sunday. Should be interesting.

Let's race!


May 14th / Spartan Race 5k / North Vancouver, BC

May 14th / YMCA Famous Idaho Potato Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Boise, ID

May 14th / McDonald Forest 50k / Corvallis, OR

May 14th / CASA Champions for Children 8k and 3.5 mile / Eugene, OR

May 14th / Lebanon Sprint Triathlon / Lebanon, OR

May 14th / Up the Crooked River Olympic and Sprint Duathlon / Prineville, OR

May 14th / Hands and Voices 10k and 5k / St. Paul, OR

May 14th / UW Bothell 5k / Bothell, WA

May 14th / Ash Kicker 5k / Castle Rock, WA

May 14th / Airport Levee Run 3.5m / Chehalis, WA

May 14th / Vasque Cougar Mountain Trail Running Series 5m / Issaquah, WA

May 14th / Have a Heart 10k / Mt. Vernon, WA

May 14th / Sage Rat Half Marathon and 12k / Sunnyside, WA

May 14th / Windermere Marathon and Half Marathon / Post Falls, ID

May 14th / USATF Trail Championships Community 15k, 10k and 5k / Spokane, WA

May 14th / Run for the Hill of It 8m / Lewiston, ID

May 14th / Bay View Women's 10k / Mt. Vernon, WA

May 14th / Human Race 10k and 5k / Bellingham, WA

May 14th / Bridge the Gap 10k and 5k / Medford, OR

May 14th / K103 Doggie Dash 3k / Portland, OR

May 14th / Larison Hill Climb Trail Run 4.5m / Oakridge, OR

May 14th / Stop Child Trafficking 5k / Salem, OR

May 14th / Bridge Run 8k and 5k / Grants Pass, OR

May 15th / Haulin' Axe 5k / Bellingham, WA

May 15th / Havoc at the Hideout Trail 10k / North Plains, OR

May 15th / Beat the Bridge 8k / Seattle, WA

May 15th / Capital City Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5m / Olympia, WA

May 15th / Tualatin River 10m / Tualatin, OR

May 15th / Bark in the Park 5k / Eugene, OR

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Running Hills Like a Vegetarian!

No, I'm not a vegetarian.

But, as you may remember, I'm almost to a full year as a pescatarian (yeah, that's fish, but no beef, chicken, pork, lamb, bunny, etc...) and so far, I'm pretty happy with it.

So yesterday, the big plan was to head to Bald Hill and work on my hill running in preparation for the Mac 50.

But first, nourishment!

So the R's family unit headed to First Burger in Albany. Never been there, but always wanted to try it. Unfortunately, they don't have a fish burger on the menu. I'll always take a fish burger over a veggie burger, every single time. But it was not to be.

OK, fine, so I went for the veggie burger. The Hottie Burger to be exact. And wow, that is the best veggie burger I've ever had in my entire life. Clearly homemade. Clearly fresh. Not clear exactly what was in it...rice, barley, other stuff...but it was SO good.

So then came the test.


Yeah, three times around. Ouch.

But not bad, except for my quads being a bit sore from the downhills.

Maybe I need to get a First Burger, veggie style, for the Mac 50! I wonder if they deliver...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Race T-Shirt Review - Corvallis Half Marathon

Hey, it's the first tech shirt of the year!

The Corvallis Half Marathon brings out a high-quality Sporthill tech running shirt. Nice gray color - I like that. Gray goes with just about anything. The design? Meh. It's not too exciting, that's for sure. I like the Roman numerals - that's cool. The orange color of the design is good, but hopefully they'll jazz up the logo just a bit next year. As this was the inaugural running of the Corvallis Half, word was most things were done, necessarily, on the cheap. Since they sold out this year, with 1800 runners, perhaps they'll use a little money to get a nice shirt design next year.

The shirt itself is sized a bit small. Now, if you're cut like the R' was I going with that? Anyway, if you're in great shape, it's fine. If you're a barely-sub-two-hour half marathon runner like, well like me, then it's cut a little small. Too bad.

The back? Lots of ads again. A little better look than the last few shirts we've reviewed, but nothing spectacular.

The medal? Well, it's a medal. Again, it's pretty plain. No color. Square. Again, it's average.

Overall? Solid, but with lots of room to improve for next year.

Grade: B

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Fear is Your Friend!

There's nothing like signing up for a race that's beyond what you've ever done. Say, a 50k trail run. Oh, I don't know, like this one right here.

Yeah, you could say I'm a touch nervous as the date gets closer and closer. I haven't done a lot of trail running and I've never done anything longer than a marathon. So...I'm two for two!

But sometimes that scared feeling is a good thing. It's good to test yourself. It's good to try new things. It's good to push.

You can't do 5k's every weekend.

(...says the wimpy little 5k runner, still brave while looking three weeks away at the 50k...)

Let's race!


May 7th / Salmon Run 10k and 5k / Bend, OR

May 7th / CARDV Mother's Day Run 5k / Corvallis, OR

May 7th / Run for the Animals 5k / Vancouver, WA

May 7th / Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon and 8k / Snoqualmie, WA

May 7th / ORRC Hagg Lake Runs 10.4m and 10k / Forest Grove, OR

May 7th / Haggen to Haggen 5k / Bellingham, WA

May 7th / Apple Blossom 10k and 5k / Wenatchee, WA

May 7th / East Oregonian Butte Challenge 10k and 5k / Hermiston, OR

May 7th / Free Them 5k / Seattle, WA

May 7th / Lake Run 12k and 5k / Lake Oswego, OR

May 7th / Tough as Nails Trail Runs 15k and 5k / Medford, OR

May 7th / Carson to Stevenson Ridge Run 15k Trail Run / Carson, WA

May 7th / Loyalty Days 2m / Newport, OR

May 7th / The Walk Home 5k / Richland, WA

May 7th / Inspiring Hope 10k and 5k / Mukilteo, WA

May 7th / Cheadle Lake 5k / Lebanon, OR

May 7th / Silverton Hospital Fun Run 5k / Silverton, OR

May 7th / Mother's Day Marathon, Half Marathon, 10m, 10k and 5k AND Sprint Triathlon / Elma, WA

May 7th / Mud Mountain Melee Trail Run 8k / Enumclaw, WA

May 7th / Over the Dam Run Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Grand Coulee, WA

May 7th / Fiasco in Pasco Duathlon / Pasco, WA

May 8th / Racin' for Mason 5k / Albany, OR

May 8th / Run Mama Run! 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

May 8th / Kirkland Half Marathon and 5k / Kirkland, WA

May 8th / Rerun Run 5k / Eugene, OR

May 8th / Cinco de Mayo Half Marathon 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

May 8th / Heroes Half Marathon and 10k / Everett, WA

May 8th / Hippie Chick Half Marathon and Quarter Marathon / St. Paul, OR

May 8th / Run Like a Mother 5k / Portland, OR

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Best Running Song for April!

If you've just been biding your time until Freddie Mercury was reincarnated, your wait is now officially over! And oddly enough...he reappeared in Cincinnati, Ohio of all places.

Foxy Shazam and the reincarnation himself, Eric Sean Nally, bring us this month's best running song: Unstoppable!

Here we've got the music and the lyrics working together to send your next training run right over the top into the heart-rate-red-zone area! First, the music is a huge blast of late-70's sounding rock and funk that totally would be at home coming from Queen. And the lyrics? Come on, like your run wouldn't benefit from a little "We are unstoppable. We can't be defeated!"

Yeah, you're going to be picking up the pace with this one.

Past Best Running Songs:
March: Pharrell / "Fun Fun Fun"
February: Puff Daddy / "Come With Me"
January: We Are Scientists / "The Great Escape"
December: Cee Lo Green / "F**k You"
November: Tokyo Police Club / "Breakneck Speed"
October: Two Door Cinema Club / "Something Good Can Work"
September: Stone Temple Pilots / "Cinnamon"
August: Louis XIV / "Guilt by Association"
July: Devo / "Fresh"
June: Saliva / "Your Disease"
May: Metric / "Gold Guns Girls"
April: OK Go / "This Too Shall Pass"
March: The Hours / "Ali In The Jungle"
February: Los Fabulosos Cadillacs / "El Matador"
January: White Rabbits / "Percussion Gun"
December: Deftones / "Knife Prty"
November: The Kooks / "Always Where I Need To Be"
October: At the Drive In / "One Armed Scissor"
September: Silversun Pickups / "Lazy Eye"
August: Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros / "Johnny Appleseed"
July: Deathray / "I Wanna Lose Control (Uh Oh)"
June: Raconteurs / "Salute Your Solution"
May: Tea Party / "Save Me"
April: Bloc Party / "Like Eating Glass"
Ever: The English Beat / "I Confess"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Race T-Shirt Review - Beaver Freezer!

Let's check out this year's shirt from the Beaver Freezer Triathlon.

Well, it's black. That's about 2/3 of the way to an "A" grade right there. I mean, black t-shirts bring back awesome memories of concerts you went to in high school, right? AC/DC, Van Halen, Living Colour, Fishbone, Nirvana - you only got the shirt in one color: black. Good then. Still good now.

Unfortunately, it's another 50-50 shirt. I'm not getting the love for polyester. I'd take 100% cotton every single time. And it's a true t-shirt, not a tech racing shirt. The last time I raced the Freezer, in 2009, they gave you a tech shirt. I miss those days. Those were good days.

The design is cool. Pretty simple, but effective. Orange on black. Shows the year of the race, which is a big plus in my eyes. The design on the sleeve is just...odd. "Oregon State Triathlon" big and bold - OK, I get that. Then they've got the beaver on the bike logo, which is cool - that's fine. Then they've got "12 mile bike" and well, yeah... Sure, it was a 12 mile bike, but the race was a tri. Why are they saying 12 mile bike and not mentioning the swim or the run? Very odd...not horrible...just odd.

The back? Ads. Lots of ads.

So overall? Well, it was close, but just not quite there. Still, it's wearable, even when not working out.

Grade: B

Friday, April 15, 2011

Pet Day 5k vs. Sophie's Run

If you look carefully at the race schedule below, you might notice a small problem. Well, not a problem so much for you maybe, but for someone trying to tackle the EPIC 2011? Yeah, it's a problem.

See, at 9:00am on April 30th in Corvallis, we have the OSU Pet Day 5k. At 9:30 am on April 30th in Corvallis, we have Sophie's Run 5k.

That, my friends, is a problem.

But if you think I'm not going to give it a shot, then you don't know the R's. Oh, I'm going to give it a shot!

Let's Race...two in one, two in one hour!


April 30th / Weiser River Trail 50k / Council, ID

April 30th / OSU Pet Day Fun Run 5k / Corvallis, OR

April 30th / Sophie's Run 5k / Corvallis, OR

April 30th / Canby Fun Run 5k / Canby, OR

April 30th / Capitol Peak Ultras 50m and 55k / Olympia, WA

April 30th / Shorebird Festival 10k and 5k / Hoquiam, WA

April 30th / WOU Sprint+ Triathlon / Monmouth, OR

April 30th / Eagle Run 5k / Oak Harbor, WA

April 30th / Canyon Arts Festival 5k / Mill City, OR

April 30th / Sean's Run from Autism 2011 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

April 30th / Jog 4 Dogs 5k / Salem, OR

April 30th / Eugene Marathon 5k / Eugene, OR

April 30th / Riddle Scholarship 5k / Riddle, OR

May 1st / Tacoma City Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k / Tacoma, WA

May 1st / Lilac Bloomsday Run 12k / Spokane, WA

May 1st / Race for Grace 5k / Seattle, WA

May 1st / See Spot Run 5k / Yakima, WA

May 1st / Fight for Air 5k / Seattle, WA

May 1st / Mount Rainier Olympic and Sprint Duathlon / Enumclaw, WA

May 1st / Forest 5k / Port Gamble, WA

May 1st / Top Pot Doughnut Dash 5k / Seattle, WA

May 1st / Run for the Cheetah 8k and 5k / Portland, OR

May 1st / Vancouver Marathon, Half Marathon, and 8k / Vancouver, BC

May 1st / Eugene Marathon Marathon and Half Marathon / Eugene, OR

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fastest 5k Runners In OSU History!

Good article over at the Gazette-Times about Hayley Oveson and Laura Carlyle, now the two fastest 5000 meter runners in the history of Oregon State University.

On March 25th, first Oveson, then Carlyle, broke an OSU record dating from 1985! Of course, OSU didn't have a team for a number of years, but still...Carlyle ran a 16:19, so it's not like she's unworthy of holding the record. That's a nice run!

Thanks to Andy Cripe from the Gazette Times for the photo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Corvallis Half Marathon Race Review!

The Corvallis Half. Wait, the Inaugural Corvallis Half. This race has me psyched for an odd reason. Check it:

-It's in my hometown.
-It's in April, when I'm never on vacation.
-It's the first-ever running - INAUGURAL.
-It has the look of a race that will be around for a while.

So what's that add up to? Yeah, it's got the potential to be a "Streak" race. You know, an "I've done this race every single year they've run it, 17 years in a row." Something like that! How often do you get to be on the front end of a race like that? Not very often.

But with the Corvallis Half, I'm in!

So the race...well, I like the start line. I can actually see the starting line, across from Gill Coliseum, from my office in Poling Hall. And since there was a chilly wind on the morning of the race, I just hung out in my office, listening to Pandora, until about 15 minutes before race time. Nice!

After a little milling about and a little pep from the OSU pep band, we took off! I had no idea what my fitness was going to be like for a Half, so I tried to settle in quickly. I found a small group from the HOTV Running group that looked to be running at about my pace and I tucked right in behind them.

The first two miles or so of the race was very funny. They had us doing switchbacks across campus like we were heading up a mountain pass. First, we headed down Washington. I saw a friend from the morning bus cheering on the side of the road - "Hi Linda." Then a block over and headed back onto campus on Jefferson. "Hi Linda." Then one more block over and back across campus for the third time on Campus Way. "Hi Linda." No excuse for family members not to get a photo of the runners there!

Then out past the OSU barns ("I love the smell of manure in the morning!") and across the covered bridge, across 53rd and finally onto the Midge Cramer path heading toward Bald Hill. We were about at the 4 mile mark here and I felt pretty good. I actually was thinking right about here that maybe I could pull off a decent time. Grabbed a cup of water and took my first GU here: chocolate mint flavor. Yum.

Followed the Midge Cramer path for about three miles, thinking, "I just ran this path for the Make a Change Run two weeks ago." I hit the water stop at the parking lot on the other end of the Midge Cramer and the wife is there taking photos. I'm stopped and walking to drink some water (I just can't drink water while running - I can't) and the wife is yelling at me to run:

"How can I take a picture of you running when you're walking?!" she says.
"I've got to take a drink," I say.
"RUN!" she says.
"Leave me alone!" I say.
"RUN!" she says.

Yes, we were a great source of amusement for the runners around me. Thanks for taking some photos, sweetie!

Anyhoo, back on the course and heading uphill toward Martin Luther King Jr. Park, thinking "I just ran this path for the Make a Change Run two weeks ago and then biked this path for the Beaver Freezer Triathlon one week ago." Thankfully, the wind was behind us a bit, as this was the section with the biggest incline. I got behind a woman doing a decent pace and just hung on all the way up the hill.

At about mile nine, we took a little jaunt off Walnut and through the neighborhood around the Timberhill Athletic Club. This was a change since I previewed the course a few weeks back and it had one short, steep hill, but overall not too bad.

We turned onto 25th, then moved to 27th for the long haul back to campus. The wind was against us here, but we had a very slight downhill and I was smelling the barn, so my pace actually kept very even.

Back onto campus at about mile 12, and just had to do a little zigging and zagging to get into Reser Stadium, which I had to admit was pretty cool. We ran right down the ramp into the stadium, ran right onto the football field turf and hit the finish wire at the 50 yard line. Personally, I thought they should have made us run to the end zone, but whatever. They did have the camera on people going across the finish line and were showing it up on the big video board by the scoreboard, so that was pretty sweet.

I hit the tape at 1:56:01 and felt very good about it. I was beat, but had kept a nice, even pace the entire way. A better finishing time than I had at the Cowtown Half in Sacramento two years ago, and I swear I was in better shape then. So that's all good.

Of course, I had the map, the elevation and the pace all on my Garmin, ready to add to the blog post so you could see what the hell I'm blathering about, and somehow I lost the whole thing when I tried to transfer it from my watch to my computer. Sigh...

The eats afterward were so-so, but I know they were operating on a shoestring this year. We'll judge that next year.

Of course, the race was sold out - 1800 strong - but the course never felt crowded. A couple inclines, but overall a very fair course.

I've got to say, "It's a winner!"

Yet Another Reason to Wear Real Shoes...

Notice that Sean Penn, looking pretty fit at age 50, is wearing some old-school Nike non-minimalist running shoes, while Scarlett Johansson and her tummy, at age 26, is wearing...sigh...the oh-so-trendy Five Fingers.

Go ahead and try to argue with the facts, but the photo really says it all...put on some real shoes already.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Corvallis Half Marathon Results!

They're up! Check them out right here!

I finished in 1:56:05. That's 28th out of 62 in my division and 364 out of 1498 overall.

I'll take it!

Much more about the race coming soon in the exclusive R's Race Review.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Make a Change Trail 10k T-Shirt Review

Well, if you've read my race report on the Make a Change Trail 10k that wasn't, then you know just how un-trail-like it really was. So it's unfortunate that the race t-shirt for the Make a Change trumpets the "Trail" part right there on the front! Ah well...

So let's review:

-the color: gray is always welcome as far as I'm concerned. It goes with everything. It shows up the sweat nicely when you're working out. It's looks like a run shirt should look!

-the design: well, the orange and black is nice. The runners are sort of generic, but fine. The "change?" Well, that's not really the kind of change I was thinking of, but... And even as a play on words, it's sort of odd. I mean, it's money, and we're donating money to a cause? I guess?

-the material: dude, this thing is 50-50. That's just wrong! I mean, cotton is king, right?

-the neck: holy crap! This shirt has the smallest neck ever put on a shirt. I think they accidently sewed a small neck onto my XL shirt. I can't even breathe in this thing. As soon as I was done taking photos of it, I cut the neck open so I could actually wear it!

-the back: same as every other race shirt I've seen lately. Sort of boring, but whatever.

So just looking at the shirt, I'd probably grade it fairly high, but the material and the weird neck bring it down a bit.

Overall: C

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to Hydrate for a 50k Trail Run?

Trying to decide how I want to hydrate for the McDonald Forest 50k Trail Run coming up in May. I've never had to carry my own water in a race before, but I think I'll need it in this one.

I don't think I want to carry water bottles. I hate the feeling of carrying something. I like to have my hands free. And I think it would tire me out to boot.

So that leaves a Camelback type or a "bottle-belt" around the waist. I'm leaning toward the Fuel Belt type around the waist, but if you're an experienced trailer, please let me know what you think!

Let's Race!


April 23rd / Falcon 15k Relay and 5k Run / Hillsboro, OR

April 23rd / Running for Risa Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k / Gaston, OR

April 23rd / Monument Peak 15k Trail Run / Gates, OR

April 23rd / Earth Day Run 10k and 5k / Tigard, OR

April 23rd / Squak Mountain 50k, Half Marathon and 12k Trail Runs / Issaquah, WA

April 23rd / Gateway 5k / Poulsbo, WA

April 23rd / Cougar Community 5k / Vancouver, WA

April 23rd / Spring into Summer 5k / Richland, WA

April 23rd / Fun with the Fuzz 5k / Bellingham, WA

April 23rd / SJ Beat the Egg 5k / Seattle, WA

April 23rd / Run the Ridge 10k and 5k / Lebanon, OR

April 23rd / Wine Country 5k / Lorane, OR

April 23rd / Run to STOP Sex Trafficking 10k / McMinnville, OR

April 23rd / Rolling Hills 10k and 5k / Heppner, OR

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Move Toward Hope 5k Trying to Sneak By!

This is the problem with trying to run every single race in Corvallis in 2011: you get these tiny "sort of" races that have little or no publicity nor advertising and sneak right by you if you let them! (that was a really long sentence!)

But I found you! The Move Toward Hope 5k! A 4:00pm on a MONDAY (seriously...what the?) race. You don't see too many of those.

So I'm taking a couple of hours off work and running that baby! I mean, it's not epic unless it's EPIC, am I right?

Or am I right?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring for Kids Run T-Shirt Review!

Wow, I'm getting stacked up on the t-shirt reviews here lately. I've got three shirts waiting in the wings and another coming in a few days with the Corvallis Half. Time to get cracking...

So today let's take a look at the Spring for Kids 5k race t-shirt.

Well, it's white. And it's 100% cotton. So we're good there.

Design? Yeah, kinda boring. I mean, I'm all for the "Yay education!" theme of the shirt and the run, but that design is straight out of the 80's. Which, frankly, is when I was getting my education. And let me tell you, that was a long time ago. So a strike there.

The back? Ads. Lots of 'em. Nothing new these days. I think the next two shirts coming up look exactly the same on the back. Which is the problem. Come on, can't we come up with something a little more exciting than 20 company logos lined up side by side? For a good example of a race t-shirt back, check out last year's Shamrock Run Shirt here. Really bad example? Check out the Cowtown from 2009: Yikes!

But it is white.

T-Shirt: B-

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Beaver Freezer Race Review!

Another Beaver Freezer Triathlon is in the books. And it was a good one! This race seems to be attracting more and more talent every year. I'm sure plenty of people like the early Spring date - it's a good warm-up race heading into the season. But it's also a very fast course and the winning times this year show that it's a great race to go fast! Jared Wilson of Tigard took first overall with a 57:19 and either Emily Krieg from Damascus or Sybil Fisher of Portland took the woman's crown. I'm voting it was Sybil (Emily's splits look very odd - I'm thinking there's a timing error on that one). And a special shout-out to Grant Hayball from Grants Pass with a 5:31 swim! That's smoking! Consider he was in the Langton pool - a horrible, old pool to swim fast in, and the timing mat was outside the door of the pool. I'm guessing he actually swam a 5:20 or under. Nice.

Me? Yeah, no 5:20 swim, but let's not get ahead of ourselves...

The weather report heading into the day was not looking promising, but then the race is called the "Freezer" for a reason, so what can you expect? When I woke up Saturday morning however, there was some promise. Half the sky was covered with scary, black clouds and the other half with blue sky. Hmmmm...maybe we could luck out.

As I loaded my bike on the car to head to the race, the rain started coming down. So much for luck.

After I racked my bike and set out my transition crap, the sun did indeed come out. So we had sun, but the temp was right around 40 degrees. No doubt, the early heats had a cold bike ride. There were 10 heats in each pool, Dixon and Langton, starting at 7:00am. Luckily, I was in the next to last heat at 10:15, so I had some time for the sun to come out.

Once I got changed into my swimsuit and got into Langton, I checked out the posted lanes and positions for the swim heats: I was in lane 3 and would be the first man out. Oh boy. That meant the other three guys in my lane would be starting 5, 10, and 15 seconds after me. And that, of course, meant I'd be bound to go out too fast as I definitely don't like to feel that tap on the toe that signals you're getting passed. Everyone in my lane had signed up to swim a 7:15 500y, but you never know what people are actually going to do. We started on time and after the first two laps I knew I was going out too fast as I was gasping for air a bit. At about halfway, I could tell no one was going to catch me and tried to ease up just a bit and catch some air. I didn't do a great job and hit the finish pretty winded.

Now came the fun part. Langton is an OLD pool. Which means it has a small gutter running around the edge, but the deck itself is literally close to 18 inches above the water level. Yeah...tired arms and old guys trying to flop out of the pool like a bunch of half-dead fish. Good times. Check it out in the photos below:

So I hit the timing mat outside the building at 7:12, which meant I probably swam close to 7:00 flat. Yep, too fast. Still, a nice easy jog to the transition area and I wasn't feeling too bad. I hate being cold on the bike, so I took a lot of time putting on socks, shirt, jacket, and gloves (I know, right?) and spent way too long in T1. Ah well...

Out on the bike, yes my Mountain Bike (OLD SCHOOL SHOUT-OUT!), and felt pretty good. I was quickly on the tail end of my heat (only one other guy in my swim heat on a mt. bike), but I knew I had a 15 minute head start over the last heat in the pool, so I figured I could at least stay ahead of some people. Famous last words...

Didn't feel too bad on the bike. There was a slight wind going out, but not much. The bike course is fairly flat, which I HUGELY appreciate. No big hills, just a few rollers. A little bit past the first turnaround (there are two spokes on the bike course), I saw the first tri bike from the heat behind me coming up fast. Oh boy. Got passed by a few from the heat behind me and I passed a few stragglers from the heat in front of me. Overall, about five minutes slower on the bike than I was two years ago when I still had my Softride tribike, so nothing horrible.

Out on the run and felt like I was at about 1/8 of a tank and heading fast toward "E". I told myself to just keep plugging and whatever time came would be good enough. I felt a little better on the second of the three mile laps we would do, so I headed around for my last lap. All of the sudden, our sunny skies darkened and rain, then HAIL, came pouring down from the heavens. Yikes! Coming around to the MU the last time, the hail was right in my face - ouch.

Chugged slowly across the line with a 1:25:09. Pretty much exactly the same as my time at the Freezer two years ago, except for the five minutes added to the bike time, which I'm blaming completely on my mt. bike (hey, why not?). I'm happy with it.

Once again, great organization, great eats, great lockers, warm showers and towels in Dixon after. Not many races with those amenities. Very cool.

Next week, the EPIC 2011 tour rolls on with the Corvallis Half Marathon! Hope you're already signed up 'cause it's sold out!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sleeping In and Saving the Environment!

I don't know that I've ever seen a week with this many races in my entire life. Wow. Get out there and find a race!

It also reminds me of something I was very much appreciating lately, with three races in three weeks during my EPIC 2011 push.

Very simply - it's nice to race at home.

Sure, it's great fun to take a vacation or a weekend trip to some far away race, but there sure is something to be said for racing in your own hometown. Sleeping in your own bed. Not having to wake up at 4:00 in the morning to drive somewhere and be at the start line on time. Use little or absolutely no gas to get to the race - so far this year, I've done three races and all have started within two miles of my house.

Give yourself and the environment a break and race your next event at home.

Let's race!


April 15th and 16th / Snake River Sprint Triathlon / Lewiston, ID (Swim on Friday, Bike/Run on Saturday...For the second straight week in Idaho?!?)

April 16th / Discover Spring 10k and 5k / McMinnville, OR

April 16th / Goat Mountain Gallop Half Marathon / Molalla, OR

April 16th / Community Fun Run 5k / Spokane, WA

April 16th / Up the Creek Trail Run 10k and 5k / Sweet Home, OR

April 16th / Race for the Tulips 5k / Woodburn, OR

April 16th / Bunny Hop 5k / Lynden, WA

April 16th / Liz Duncan Memorial 10k and 5k / Richland, WA

April 16th / Moses Lake Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Moses Lake, WA

April 16th / Wenatchee Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Wenatchee, WA

April 16th / Trout Lake Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Trout Lake, WA

April 16th / Young Life Five for Kids 5k / Vancouver, WA

April 16th and 17th / Lumberjack Endurance Runs 100 mile, 100k, and 50 mile / Port Gamble, WA

April 17th / Ice Breaker Road Race 5 mile and 3 mile / Great Falls, MT

April 17th / Albany Sprint Triathlon / Albany, OR

April 17th / Light of Hope 10k and 5k / Bend, OR

April 17th / Bridge to Brews 10k and 8k / Portland, OR

April 17th / Bellevue Run 10k and 5k / Bellevue, WA

April 17th / Bainbridge Island Half Marathon and 5k / Bainbridge Island, WA

April 17th / WWU Earth Day 5k / Bellingham, WA

April 17th / Clubsport 10k and 5k / Tualatin, OR

April 17th / Bridgeway Run for Autism 8k and 5k / Eugene, OR

April 17th / Komen Race for the Cure 5k / Spokane, WA

April 17th / Spokane River Run 50k, 25k, 10k and 5k / Spokane, WA

April 17th / Easter Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 mile, 10k, 5k, Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon / Elma, WA

April 17th / Race for Juvenile Diabetes Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Kelso, WA