Friday, September 30, 2011

The New Cross Article is Out!

Yes, occasionally we at the R's still venture into the Writing side of the equation...even if the writing is usually about running.

But not this time! Because the new RaceCenter article is about biking! Ha!

Anyhoo, check out the online version of the new issue right over here.

So let's take a little look-see, shall we?

On the cover, we've got Max King. That guy gets around.

Then, ad, ad, ad, ad, ad, and editorial. Don't usually read those...

Some small tartlets about the Stumptown Series, Jinglebell Runs in the NW, how frackin' huge Bloomsday is, Tri stuff and Cross stuff. All interesting. Very quick, very informative, very USA Today.

Then we've got an article about cross country running written by Max King. WHAAAA?? It's not enough that the guy wins every race he's in, now he's trying to take my job too?!? Moving on...

Nutrition stuff...USATF stuff...Chris Bagg Tri stuff...Trail Running stuff...

OK, then our first feature article, about all the past finisher medals from the Portland Marathon. OOOH, look...shiny!

Another shoe guide. I don't know if you find value in these. I usually read them, but how often do you see a shoe in there that you actually wear or want to wear? I don't know, they don't do much for me.

Then, an insightful, professionally-written article on Cyclocross called "Tailgate Party on Wheels." That's good stuff there. That writer needs a raise...or a cookie...or something.

Next, a nice article on cross-country skiing. Too cold - don't care.

Then the race calendar, ad, ad, ad, ad, and the Funny Page.

Hey, nice issue. Check it out online or pick up a copy at your favorite sporting goods supplier.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall: When the Races Fly South...

Well, we're really getting into the new season now. Every week, there are fewer and fewer races on the schedule. Still enough to choose from, but pretty soon, pickings will be slim. But hey, it's the off-season. Time to get into the off-season training mode. Hit the pool. Reacquaint yourself with the treadmill. Find one of those new stationary bikes at Dixon that has a cable TV built right into the bike (but no rack for holding a book or magazine - there's just something wrong with that scenario).

Embrace the leaves, wind and rain. While you can...Winter will be here sooner than you think.

Let's race!


October 21st and 22nd / Fall Sprint Triathlon / Boise, ID (Swim on Friday, Bike and Run on Saturday...Really!)

October 22nd / Columbia River Power Marathon, Half Marathon and 8k / Umatilla, OR

October 22nd / Uberthon PIR Invitational Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

October 22nd / Stumptown Cross Series 8k and 6k / Portland, OR

October 22nd / Regatta Run 5k / Tualatin, OR

October 22nd / Lake Padden Classic Trail Half Marathon / Bellingham, WA

October 22nd / Black Cat 5m / Tacoma, WA

October 22nd / Howl and Scream Scram 10k and 5k / Richland, WA

October 22nd / Beaver Classic Cross Country 8k and 6k / Corvallis, OR

October 23rd / Race for the Cure 5k / Eugene, OR

October 23rd / Dawg Dash 10k and 5k / Seattle, WA

October 23rd / Ft. Steilacoom Trail 50k, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Lakewood, WA

October 23rd / Sellwood 5k / Portland, OR

October 23rd / Run Like Hell Portland Half Marathon, 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

October 23rd / Columbia Gorge Marathon and Half Marathon / Hood River, OR

Thanks to Alderroots for the photo.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Max King Climbs Empire State Building, Swats Other Runners Like Flies

Our own homeboy from Bend, Max King, is just taking no prisoners lately.

His most recent chest-thumper was a twofer:

-First up was the USATF 50k National Trail Championship in Bend. Max took care of that in 3:27:54. Check it here and here.

-Next, Max took on all-comers at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Ogden, Utah...THE NEXT DAY! Check it here and here. That one was a 21k, which Max spiked in 1:17:59.

Awesome. Congrats to Max...sorry, Mr. King...or, just the King, if he prefers.

Thanks to the Deseret News, and Tom Smart, for the great photo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Another Stupid IAAF Rule!

So apparently it's not bad enough that the IAAF is making dumb rules about women running with male pacers, as we discussed a couple of days ago.

The latest idiocy is right here: not only was the World Record just broken in the men's marathon using two pacers (you know, the exact same thing that women can't do), but one of the pacers broke the 30k world record during the run...

But doesn't get the world record because he didn't finish the marathon.

Wait. What?

Yeah, he stopped before the end of the marathon, so the 30k record doesn't count. Even though he ran 30k. With a world record time.

Look, either you allow runners to break shorter distance records while running a longer race or you don't. But don't say "sure, it's fine to break a 30k record, but only if you finish the race you're entered in."

The guy ran the 30k! Why isn't it a record?!?

%$%#^^%&&^*$!@#$$ IAAF...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Festival 10k Race Review!

So we roll into the first official Fall run, the appropriately named Fall Festival 10k and 5k, and what's there to greet us? Yeah, wind and rain. It's Fall, baby!

Of course, the first problem with early fall runs is what to wear. You can check the skies heading out the door, but that doesn't mean you'll get that weather during the actual race. And indeed, during the 10k, we had sun, overcast, rain, wind, then finally overcast again.

I played it somewhat conservatively and just wore a light, long-sleeve tech tee and my sunglasses. Good enough!

I believe this is the first time I've run the Fall Festival 10k since I've been in Corvallis and right away I realized that the start times were not well-designed. The 5k runners go first, at 9:10, then the 10k runners go five minutes later, at 9:15. Hmmmm...five minutes is not enough of a gap to get slow runners, and walkers, out of the way. I'm not sure why they don't make it 10 or 15 minutes in between the two starts to at least get the bulk of the 5k runners out of the way, but...oh well.

So off we went at 9:15 and immediately crossed the never-ending 9th street construction. Hey, nothing like a little gravel and dirt road to start off - man, they've been working on that street for months! Let's go!

We quickly moved onto the OSU campus and then across and onto the Campus Way bike path that goes out to the covered bridge. It was about there that the wind really picked up. And the rain. It was ugly for about two minutes and I was struggling against the wind. I thought for a second that my PR try could be in trouble if it didn't let up.

But then, as it's wont to do in the Pac NW in the Fall, the rain went away, we turned around at 53rd to get the wind at our backs and I stopped complaining!

The third mile split was the only one that worried me - my only split over 8:00 on the day - but I hit the mile 4 marker back under my pace, so I relaxed a bit as we came back onto campus. A nice downhill section on 30th all the way down to Reser Stadium and then around and back up the hill in front of Dixon. Crested that little hill and then I knew we were flat or downhill for about the last half mile.

Right about then, some Five Fingers-wearing guy asked me three times over a quarter mile how much farther we had to go - he must have seen the awesome Garmin 110 on my wrist - after the third time, I almost told him to go buy a stinking Garmin for himself, but hey, it's all good. I just don't have a lot of oxygen left for talking when I'm trying to set a PR here!

I knew about there that I was going to have a PR, it was just a matter of how much I could beat it by. I was shooting to beat 50:41 and I brought it in at 48:57, so I'm very pleased with that. Slowly but surely, I'm getting some speed back. Maybe I can go after that old 5k PR next year after all.

But I didn't have nearly as much speed as the first female finisher, one Helen Rarick from Beaverton, who ran an absolutely smoking 35:43, for a 5:45 pace! That was good for fourth overall! Wow, nice run, Helen. Check all the results here.

Here's a view of the Fall Festival Run shirt. Hey, it's not art by the famous Fall Festival poster artist Jen Lommers, but it's not bad.

So that's two PR's in two weeks. Do I have another PR in me for 2011? You bet your sweet bippy! Because in a couple weeks, I have the McDonald Forest 15k, and I far as I know, I've never run a 15k in my life. PR, baby!

See you next week at the Beavers Building Haiti 5k.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Women's World Records Taken Off The Books!

In what surely is one of the most idiotic decisions in the history of sport, the world governing body of Track and Field, the I.A.A.F., has declared all women's running races with men ineligible for records!

And not just henceforth...retroactively!

So the World Record in the Marathon, set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003, of 2:15:25 - World Record for the last eight years, right? Wrong. Not anymore, according to the IAAF. Because that race had men and women running together. Now the World Record is 2:17:42, again by Radcliffe, in 2005. The women started ahead of the men in that one.

This is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin!

Here's what Mary Wittenberg of the IAAF says of their reasoning: "The IAAF wanted to show that women can stand on their own two feet, that they don't need guys to help them get to world records."

Wait. What?

So if a woman runs a faster time with a man "pacing" her, that means she didn't actually run it? Isn't she still running on her own two feet? I mean, this isn't biking, where you can draft off of someone for miles.

And where does that leave men? Don't men use "pacers," official or not, in pretty much every race? Why is it ok for men but not for women?

The most unbelievable thing about this whole crazy rule change is that it would take the American marathon record away from Deena Kastor, and give it back to...gulp...Joan Benoit Samuelson...from her 1984 Olympic race!

Read the whole New York Times article right here. Please. Maybe you can make some sense of it.

I sure can't.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

EPIC 2011 Turns Six!

As in, six straight weeks of racing.

Yes, I'll be running the Mighty Oaks Acorn 5k this weekend to notch six races in six straight weeks. And it will be the second time in 2011 that I've run races in six straight weeks!

Then one weekend off...and on the weekend of the 30th, I've got two races in one day!

But then, sadly, the EPIC train will just about be ready to pull into the station. After October 30th, it looks like there's just one more race in Corvallis in 2011 - the OAC Turkey Trot - unless there a late addition.

EPIC's like I barely got to know you! I'll miss you! No matter how long it takes, I will find you!

OK, got a little carried away there...

Let's race!


October 12th / Uberthons Heron Lake 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

October 15th / Uberthons Mt. Tabor Park 10k and 5k / Portland, OR

October 15th / Blue Lake Runs 15k and 5k / Troutdale, OR

October 15th / Sekani Trail Run 10k and 5k / Spokane, WA

October 15th / Lewis - Clark Half Marathon and 5k / Clarkston, WA

October 15th / Maryhill Loops 4m / Maryhill, WA

October 15th / Chelan Chase 5k / Chelan, WA

October 15th / Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon and Half Marathon / Leavenworth, WA

October 15th / Harvest Maze Gallop and Graze 10k and 5k / Salem, OR

October 15th / Defiance 50k, 25k and 15k / Tacoma, WA

October 16th / Mighty Oaks Acorn Run 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 16th / Poulsbo Marathon and Half Marathon / Poulsbo, WA

October 16th / Beat the Burn 5k / West Seattle, WA

October 16th / Walla Walla Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Walla Walla, WA

October 16th / Girlfriends Half Marathon / Vancouver, WA

October 16th / Race for a Soldier Half Marathon / Gig Harbor, WA

October 16th / West Linn Wild 10m and 5m / West Linn, OR

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Best Running Song for September!

You don't usually get much from two-person bands - just not enough firepower - but here's the exception to the rule.

Matt and Kim just bring the keyboards and the drums, that's all, and somehow make amazing music from it. This song, Daylight, is perky, peppy, fast, bouncy, choppy, and fantastic to slap into the iPod for running. This one can bring you back after a brutal uphill, and trust me, I've had a few uphills lately!

Here's a nice live version. And a wacky version with De La Soul providing guest vocals.


Past Best Running Songs:
August: Collie Buddz / "Holiday"
July: Pretenders / "Tattooed Love Boys"
June: The Wombats / "Moving to New York"
May: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros / "40 Day Dream"
April: Foxy Shazam / "Unstoppable"
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"

Monday, September 19, 2011

HUGE Marathon Weekend in the Northwest!

We've got the big boys this weekend:

Portland, Boise, Victoria, and Spokane all have Marathons, and all on Sunday. So strap on the kicks and go!

Let's race!


October 8th / Missoula All Women's 5k / Missoula, MT

October 8th / Albany Two Rivers Run 5k / Albany, OR

October 8th / Stagecoach Run 10k and 5k / Jacksonville, OR

October 8th / Domestic Violence Awareness 10k and 5k / Salem, OR

October 8th / Run Wild 8k and 5k / Eatonville, WA

October 8th / Panther Pride 5k / Portland, OR

October 8th / Columbus Day Marathon, Half Marathon, 10m, 10k, 5k, Sprint Tri and Du / Portland, OR

October 8th / Wright Trail Run 5k / Puyallup, WA

October 8th / Mt. Spokane 50k and 25k / Spokane, WA

October 8th / Dash for Disabilities 10k and 5k / University Place, WA

October 9th / Portland Marathon, Half Marathon / Portland, OR

October 9th / City of Trees Marathon and Half Marathon / Boise, ID

October 9th / Last Chance Sprint Triathlon and Duathlon / Albany, OR

October 9th / MBT Sprint Duathlon / Bellingham, WA

October 9th / Free Flight Run 10k and 5k / Newport, OR

October 9th / Spokane Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k / Spokane, WA

October 9th / The Great Pumpkin Run 10k and 5k / Corvallis, OR

October 9th / Victoria Marathon, Half Marathon and 8k / Victoria, BC

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Good Samaritan Challenge Race Review!

And PR, baby!

OK, so stop number 19 on the EPIC 2011 quest for greatness, or at least, goodness! The Good Samaritan Challenge 12k and 5k. I've been trying hard to man-up and take the longer distance whenever possible, which meant I'd be running the 12k for this one.

And for the first time in four years, the race started with no rain in the recent past or future. So under dry skies, about 30 or 40 of us lined up in Sunset Park and toed the start line. The course had a slightly different start than when I last ran it two years ago. This year, we ran what has to be the oddest starting quarter mile I've ever done in a race. From the paved path in Sunset Park that heads out to the softball fields, we ran out toward the parking lot, took a quick right after about 100 yards, turned another sharp right after about 30 more seconds, moved past the playground and waiting 5k'ers, and circled back onto the path that we just left minutes before.

Yes, the first two minutes of the race was the herd running in a small circle! Odd.

But then we were out and on the course that I remember from 2009.

This race is tough in that there are so few runners, it's difficult to find someone, anyone, to run with, especially if you're looking for someone with a similar pace. By mile two, I had passed a couple of people that went out too fast and fell behind a woman about 15 seconds in front of me. I would eventually pass her, but that's it. I wouldn't get by anyone else, and no one passed me. It's just that kind of race.

So after the 6H Trail Half Marathon from last week, you could hardly call this one hilly, but it does have some ups and downs and one short, but very steep, hill in Philomath.

I knew that if I could slog up that hill without stopping to walk, I'd have a good chance to PR. Since I had one previous 12k finish in my entire life, that's not saying much, but at 44, you take any PR you can get. I caught the woman in front of me just before the top of the hill and tried to put a little quick distance between us going down the other side - there's nothing worse than getting re-passed just after making a good pass.

It's nice coming out of Philomath on this course because then we get on the bike path that goes right by my house, which I've run, literally, hundreds of times, and I know exactly what's coming the rest of the way.

I could see from my splits that I was going to be close to pulling it off in under an hour, but I just didn't quite make it. Still, I hit the finish line in 1:01:17, over six minutes faster than I ran the same race two years ago. So that's a PR I'm very proud of. Plus, I got the first place blue ribbon in my age group. Of course, I may well have been the only one in my age group, but hardware is hardware. You never turn it down!

Next week, the EPIC train rolls on at the Corvallis Fall Festival 10k and 5k. I'm running the 10k there and I'll be looking for my second PR in as many weeks! I need to bring it in under 50:41, so if you see me out there, cheer me on!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Dark Chocolate is a Better Workout than Running!

Or not.

Lots of articles out the past day or two about how dark chocolate can "boost muscle growth" and lead to "improved fitness."

Guess what? You can't believe everything you read on the internet, kids!

Good article from NHS here about what the Dark Chocolate Study really found.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Age Graded Pace Calculator!

I know, I know, you young pups out there are all like, "what's the old guy talking about now? Is this math class or something?"

Sure, funny guy, now GET OFF MY LAWN!

OK, back to the calculator. Once you're a crusty old runner like me, you have to start focusing on times that aren't quite so far back in the rear view mirror. I mean, do I really expect to run a 5k as fast as I did 20 years ago? It would be fantastic, but I'm not sure it's going to happen.

But there is a way to compare the times you're running, at any age, to the times you ran, say, way back when.

It's called a Age Graded Pace Calculator. Here's one at Runner's World. Here's one from the Heartbreak Hill Striders. Here's one from Marathon Guide.

It doesn't really matter which one you use - they all do the same thing. Namely, they handicap running times by age and gender. So you can compare yourself to that college kid that just sprinted by you or just compare yourself to yourself...when you were younger.

It's a fun tool. The Runner's World version also shows what kind of time you need to be World-Class, National-Class, Regional-Class and Local-Class. Personally, I'm hovering at Local Class in most distances - need to pick it up a bit.

Hopefully, these will be some use for you. Let's face it, we ain't getting any younger!

I love that photo of the old school Puma...that damn thing runs on a Commodore 64! That's what I'm talkin' about!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Forgetting a Bad Race

Sometimes it's better not to remember.

For instance, this weekend is the Good Samaritan Challenge 12k. I ran this race once before, back in 2009, and vaguely remembered it as "sort of hilly, but not too bad." Yeah, I should have stopped there. Instead, I thought, "Hmmm...," yes, I actually thought "Hmmmm..." Then I went back and checked if I had written a post on the R's about the race. And indeed I had.

And lo, it seems the race was much more hillier than I thought. Much, much more hillierer.

Here, read it for yourself...

So, the Good Samaritan Challenge 12k. Well, that's what I ran...there was also a 5k.

Let's see what the brochure has to say: "The 5k and 12k courses start and finish on 45th Street between Sunset and Starker Arts Park. The 5k course is mostly flat with one short but steep hill challenge about half way. The 12k covers the same route as the 5k for approximately two miles, before continuing on toward Philomath where the 12k participants will be challenged by Neabeack Hill."

Now I've been around, and I realize most race directors would tell you that a race up Mt. Hood would be "short, but steep" and a race up Mt. Everest would be "challenging," so I felt prepared for what was ahead of me at the start line.

Still, about 3/4 through the race, I realized, "Wow, this mother is challenging!"

But back to the start...

A brave and hardy 20 or so people lined up for the start of the 12k in Starker Arts Park. That's what happens to a small race when there's a driving rain coming down an hour before the start time - you don't get many day of race registrations. The weather at the start was nice though; overcast and cool, but not raining. Better yet, Starker Arts Park is about two minutes from the apartment - I walked over to the start line!

Since there was a very small crowd of runners and a 5k that started right after the 12k, I knew that everyone in the 12k would be a "real" runner and I'd be finishing toward the back of the pack. No problem there. I really just wanted to have a good, strong race as I barrel toward the Cowtown Half-Marathon that I'm not nearly prepared for...if I ran anything under a 1:15, I would be happy enough. Slow but steady was the order of the day.

And we're off!

I immediately drifted to the back of a very short line of runners as we headed off down Country Club Drive. There were maybe one or two runners behind me and a few in front of me that were only going slightly faster than me, so I settled in to my pace and waited for the first mile marker, so I could adjust if needed.

The clouds were making it pretty humid, but the lack of sun was actually nice and the first mile-marker came up fast: 8:30. Hmmm, not bad, but I was looking more for nines. I wasn't sure I could hang with 8:30 on a "challenging" course. I throttled back just a touch and came to the first hill. Ah, this must be the "short, but steep" guy here. I hit it pretty good and the top came up fast. That wasn't so bad. I was feeling good about that first uphill - I was right over that baby.

I came around the next corner and realized why I felt so good...there was the "short, but steep" hill still coming up! Yep, that's why you should always run the course beforehand. Ah well...

Oof, that one was "steep," and I'll reserve judgement on the "short" until I see the rest of the hills on the course. After we split from the 5k course at mile two, we hit a nice, long flat stretch as we headed into Philomath. Unfortunately, it didn't last long. Yowza, where did these hills come from!?! I thought these Philomath people liked the flat country so their cows could wander around without getting tired.

Coming up to the top of the first part of a very long hill, I looked over to my right and checked out my plot if I couldn't make it to the top. Nice spot for a cemetery - nothing like pondering your morality while you're struggling up a steep hill. Then we hit a few switchbacks on our way up a very steep road through a nice neighborhood of Philomath. Made it to the summit and the mile five marker and water station, where a volunteer told me "you're almost there!" Yeah, well unfortunately, I know my metric system and five miles sure isn't almost there for a 12k.

Nice view of the church steeple as we came back down from the highlands into Philomath and then suddenly we were on the paved running trail that goes between Corvallis and Philomath. Hey, this is the trail I run all the time - it goes right by our apartment. Suddenly in familiar territory and knowing exactly that we had two small hills left, then a nice flat stretch to the finish, I nuzzled behind the only two runners in my view. After getting over the the hills, I gave a slight (very slight) burst and moved in front of the two and tried to remember how to close to the finish.

I somehow stayed ahead of them and hit the line at 1:07:51 for a 9:05 pace.

Hey, that's about what I was looking for and I felt pretty good the whole way through, even though I could have used a Sherpa at the four-mile marker...

At least it's something to build on as I head to Sacramento for what looks to be an extremely flat Half.

Oh yeah, I took 2nd place in my age-group...but for all I know there may have only been two of us.

OK, I know you're thinking, "that doesn't look cloudy and overcast to me - that looks like Phoenix!" Hey, I didn't stop during the run to take photos! Those were taken the day after - not a cloud in the sky.

So now I haven't forgotten how hilly the race was. Now I remember.

I should have left well enough alone.

See you at the race!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kapowza! EPIC 2011 Rolls On!

Our first slow week in a long, long time.

But the EPIC 2011 train shows no sign of slowing down! I just found another race that I hadn't seen advertised before - the Great Pumpkin Run, to be exact - and added it to the list.

And we're now up to 27 races! Woot...or...Yikes! Depending if you're you or me... So now we've got more than a race every other week of 2011. Kapowza!

Oh well, let's race!


October 1st / Bend Marathon and Half Marathon / Bend, OR

October 1st / Oktoberfest Brewskidaddle 5k / Vancouver, BC

October 1st / Run for the Hills Half Marathon and 5k / Fruitland, ID

October 1st / Soroptimist Run for the Cause 5k / Albany, OR

October 1st / Forest Park Marathon and Half Marathon / Portland, OR

October 1st / Echo Valley 50m, 50k, Half Marathon and 10k / Chelan, WA

October 1st / 5K-9 Fun Run 5k / Everett, WA

October 1st / Rock the Beach 10k and 5k / Cannon Beach, OR

October 2nd / Set the Pace 10k and 5k / Kirkland, WA

October 2nd / Dirty 2nd Half Half Marathon / Bend, OR

Heart Health Home Classic Half Race Review

Yes, a second Corvallis Half Marathon! And to think, last year, there were none.

So the Habitat for Humanity Heart Heath Home Half Marathon (the 6H for short) was held on Saturday, a day that was predicted to be one of the warmest of the year in Corvallis. And indeed, even waiting around the start line at 7:30am, it was plenty warm. No doubt, it was going to be a hot one.

We hit the start line at Crescent Valley High School at 8:00am sharp, with the 10k and 5k following us, at 8:30 and 9:00, respectively. Around 80 runners lined up for the 6H and zip pow, we were off! We went right around the school, up Jackson Creek Road, and were in McDonald Forest in no time.

And although we started climbing immediately once we were into the Forest, at least we were mostly in the shade and out of the blazing sun. This one did have some nice, stiff climbs. About 1946 feet worth of nice, stiff climbs, according to my trusty Garmin. But what goes up, must come down, yes?

And the down was well worth the wait. Somehow, after running a good part of the race in and around other runners, but never really staying together with anyone at the same pace, I found myself in a group of five runners coming down the hill! And we were motoring pretty good. I was smelling the barn for sure, with my last few mile splits coming in at 8:35, 8:15, 8:07, and 8:21. Man, I love running trails when you're going down.

Finally, we bottomed out and, unfortunately, came back out into the sun for the last mile-plus. I managed to shake three of our little group, but one guy stayed out in front of me and I never caught him. They pulled a late-race, mind-crusher by letting the 5k runners turn off into the high school at the back drive, while sending the Half Marathoners all the way around to the front of the school, about another mile. It's always painful to see the finish, and then have to go on by it.

All in all, a very enjoyable run. It was very, very hot out at the end, but all the racing in McDonald Forest was comfortable enough. Lots of water stops, which made it so I didn't even have to carry a bottle. That was nice.

The shirts? Well, let us not mince words...they're pink. Sure, you could argue shades...but those shirts are pink! Ah well, it's a decent tech shirt; pink or not, I'll wear it.

Check the full results from all three races here. And some nice photos of the event here. Why they took a picture of my butt going through the finish line, I don't know...

And the EPIC 2011 rolls on! Next up: the Good Samaritan Challenge five days!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hood to Coast 2011 Results Finally Up!

Yeah, it took a while, but all the results are finally posted.

Check them out right here at the source.

That is a really tall guy in that photo...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Habitat Half Marathon Elevation!

OK, the 6H Half is coming up fast - this Saturday to be exact - so I hope you've got your hill training in.

Here's the elevation chart if you're a glutton for punishment. At least the second half goes down nicely. The first half will be a haul.

Oh, and by the by, they're predicting almost triple-digit temps for race day. Yikes.

See you on the 10th!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Ah, the Old Homestead...

Yes, that would be Bellingham. We lived in the area for about 10 years and it's a beautiful place. And coming up on September 25th is the Bellingham Bay Marathon and Half Marathon. The Finisher's Medal and Race Shirt are awesome! Sign up for this baby immediately.

Let's race!


September 23rd / The Bear 100m / Fish Haven, ID

September 24th / Priest Lake Trail 50k, Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k / Priest Lake, ID

September 24th / Run for the Roof 5k / Snohomish, WA

September 24th / Black Diamond Half-Iron Triathlon and Duathlon / Enumclaw, WA

September 24th / Flagline Trail Fest 50k / Bend, OR

September 24th / Dash for Southern Sudan 5k / Tacoma, WA

September 24th / Run for Honor 5k / Lincoln City, OR

September 24th / Reed College 5k Odyssey / Portland, OR

September 24th / SEE Kids Run 8k and 5k / Suquamish, WA

September 24th / Epic Grind 10k and 5k / Gaston, OR

September 24th / Lafayette Fire Department Chief's Run 5k / Lafayette, OR

September 24th / Friends of the Poor 5k / Redmond, OR

September 24th / Richard's Run 5k / Bellevue, WA

September 24th / Middle Fork Trail 50k and 20m / North Bend, WA

September 24th / Indian Summer Half Marathon and 5k / Richland, WA

September 24th / Independence Hop and Heritage 5k / Independence, OR

September 24th / Wild Moose Chase 25k, 10k and 5k / Spokane, WA

September 24th / Erik Anderson Community 5k / Spokane Valley, WA

September 24th / Road to Recovery 5k / Eugene, OR

September 24th / St. Luke's Fitness Celebration 5k / Boise, ID

September 24th / Freedom 5k / Bainbridge Island, WA

September 24th / Valleyfest Run for Diabetes 10k and 5k / Spokane Valley, WA

September 25th / Winthrop Marathon and Half Marathon / Winthrop, WA

September 25th / ORRC Best Dam Run 10k / Estacada, OR

September 25th / K-Rod 10k and 5k / Vancouver, WA

September 25th / Puget Sound Classic 10k and 5k / Olympia, WA

September 25th / Wilsonville 10k and 5k / Wilsonville, OR

September 25th / The Rouge Run Half Marathon / Medford, OR

September 25th / Bellingham Bay Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5k / Bellingham, WA

September 25th / Fall Celebration 8k and 5k / Eugene, OR

September 25th / Black Diamond Half Marathon, Olympic Triathlon and Duathlon / Enumclaw, WA

September 25th / Run of Hope 5k / Seattle, WA

September 25th / Fremont Oktoberfest Brew HA-HA 5k / Seattle, WA

September 25th / Corvallis Fall Festival 10k and 5k / Corvallis, OR