Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's The Name of the Game

This is really cool and pretty darn good.

Monday, August 24, 2009

TATUR Tulsa Mud Run Race Report

Saturday night was the second annual TATUR Mud Run held at Chandler Park. The run consists of 2 one mile loops that take you through mud slides, mud pits, tires, hills, and even road work. I had no idea what to expect, other than it was to be fun. I had won the TATUR Estimator and won a free comp entry for a 5 man team into this years race and put together a team from the Tulsa Running Club board, consisting of Marisa Dial, Mark Dolph, Daryl Stilson, Wes Hollander, and myself. We had every intention of winning the top prize, but still have some fun. I was the only trail runner in the group and it was interesting seeing my teammates in their white racing flats. I was in an old pair of Asic Trabuco trail shoes. After running in my New Balance 790's for so long, these felt like lead weight.
We started on the road in three waves. We were in the first wave, so we got the initial experience of the mud. The gun went off and so did everyone else. This girl took off past me like a shot and I struggled to keep up. I have not had any speed in my legs since the Leadville Marathon, so it felt like my legs were like lead weight. Mark and Daryl took off and I stayed on Wes's heels. After going through mud, tires, and then some hay bales, I passed the girl and headed back towards the start.
Once we get off the road we had to maneuver through several obstacles and this was one of them, the mud slide. The first time I went down it I didn't have much speed and basically stopped before hitting the mud hole. I slowed once in the mud hole, but was able to run through it. The second time I was spinning out of control and could not turn straight for anything.
The Tulsa Area Triathletes, which I am a member, sponsored another obstacle, the tire, mud, swim lake or whatever you want to call it. I love the sign.
This is what it looks like from the other side. If you were really good you could dive through the tires and do a face plant in the water. I was not that good. After I was through and watched the pit, I actually heard Reynaldo Gomez get booed by the crowd for not getting dirty enough. Tough crowd.
This is the backside of me in the blue after getting through the pit. At this point I was hurting so bad, I just wanted to finish. With the hills, obstacles, and mud soaked shoes, I was spent. I felt like I felt like I was running in reverse. I spent all I had on this course.
Daryl and Mark finishing up. They finished over a minute ahead of me. Mark and Daryl are both really fast road runners.
Here I am finishing up and never so glad to be done. I was right behind Wes and for some reason his bottom part of his tag came off in the mud, so they could not take it. He offered to give them his entire bib, but they declined. Marisa finished up about a minute behind me. I spent the rest of the time watching the other runners as the awards was done after all three heats were finished . It was funny to see people running dressed in three piece suits to a guy in a thong. Good thing it was on the outside of his shorts. After everything was done, it was time for the awards. We waited as a team and they announced the winners and we were not on the list. We knew this could not be right so we asked about it. I guess since Wes did not have his tag, they did not give him a time and I guess disqualified us? I am not for sure how that works and I am still confused on the age group awards. I was first in my age group, but did not get an award, I guess because I was on a five man team, but the people on the two man teams did place in the age groups? I have no idea how this works, but it does not really matter, the bottom line is that the race was for the Tulsa Burn Camp for Kids, so kids who get burned from fires can go to summer camp. Sounds like a great cause to me. Some people got a little excited about us not getting our award, but that is what happens when you mix alcohol, egos, and personal things into the mix. I was really proud of myself as I just laughed about it and went home in a good mood.
Yesterday after church, I went for a run on Riverside and when I came home, some oompa loompas had delivered our first place prizes for the 5 man team to my home. I guess they had worked hard all night long at the Wonka factory to make sure that we rightly got our awards. That Willy Wonka is a good guy after all, so buy some of his candy!
This is the before picture.
And after. Julie said I looked the cleanest of the three.

All in all it was a lot of fun and a great way to spend a Saturday evening. It benefited a great charity and it was nice to see some old friends. I am sure it will be a landmark annual event. It is time now to train hard for Turkey & TATUR's 50K in less than 3 weeks. Results for the Mud Run can be found here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Leadville 100

Tomorrow is the big dance with the Leadville 100 trail race. After the Leadville 100 Mountain bike race last weekend with Lance Armstrong setting a course record and de-throning 6X champion Dave Wiens, it is time for the last event in the Leadville outdoor adventure series.
2X returning Leadville 100 champion, Tony Krupicka, in my mind and others is the odds on favorite and has made it well known that he is gunning for Matt Carpenter's previous course record. He will have his hands full as newcomer Tim Parr is in the field and some say he can take home the numero uno slot. Tim is fresh off a win last weekend at the Pikes Peak Ascent with a commanding performance, but did I mention that it was last weekend. I think that running a hard Ascent the weekend before the 100 is going to be his downfall. Leadville is the real deal and it will take all that you can give it.

Duncan Callahan is the returning Champion and is expected to be a contender, but I do not think he is anywhere in the league of Tony or Tim. Duncan is a great runner and should be top 5, but I think it he will be more around the 17 or 18 hour range and Tony is shooting for sub 16.

Most notably in this field is good friend and ultrarunner, Randy Ellis. Randy started doing the Leadville 100 in 1984 and has I think challenged the course 5 different times. He is a seasoned, wily veteran, who if anyone can come from low elevation and complete the race, it is Randy. He will not be up front with Tony and Tim, but he will get back to the start somewhere around 28 hours.

Also, hats off to those who competed in the Pikes Peak festival last weekend. Several local people participated and Matt Carpenter won the Marathon again uncontested. It was even reported that he looked bored as he did not have much competition. Still, it a great accomplishment for anyone to complete either one of the events. I think I may have it on the radar for next year. Probably, just the Ascent for starters.

Get outside, get some sun, and enjoy the great outdoors.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tulsa United Way Trailblazer 5K Race Report

Friday night was the United Way Trailblazer 5K. The course starts at 6th & Peoria at Centennial Park and heads into downtown for a very challenging course. I ran the race last year and did not do well as I was suffering from a bad case of plantar fasciitis. I forgot how hilly the course was and suffered for it. I signed up for the race because the bank where I work is part of the big fundraising drive the United Way has during this month. I do not know why I keep signing up for these 5K's, but I do. Once I finish I always say I am not going to do another one. This one was no exception.

To even do the race I had to leave work, run the race, and then go back to work. So I ended up rushing around to get home and then downtown. All 3 kids were also running, Will & Wyatt in the 5K and Shannon in the mile fun run. Because of all the rushing around, we forgot the camera, so no pictures.

The temperature was pretty warm, the humidity was not bad, but it is still Oklahoma in August. I ran the one mile fun run with my daughter at 7 pm and then did some accelerations to stay loose and hopefully engage some fast twitch muscle fibers. It looked like the usual suspects were there, Mark Dolph, Tom Lam, Clay Mayes, etc. Our race started at 7:30 pm and immediately goes uphill. Once I got going in the race, I remembered how hilly it was. After the first hill it levels off and then goes uphill again. We then make a right, then a left, then a right, and then a 180 around a cone. Not the best race for a PR. We then do an out and back on Boulder which is a series of rolling hills and then another 180 followed by a right hand turn and then back to finish. I felt OK during the beginning, but I did not have the normal speed I have had earlier in the year. My speed legs have not been there since Leadville. I think it took more out of me than I thought.

Once again there was no split callers and the only mark in the road I saw was at 4K. It is not that it could have made me run any faster, but gives me a good indication on how hard I am hammering it. By the time I got to 4K, I just wanted to get it over with. I did manage a 4:04 last K, but I do not know how my other splits were. I managed a 20:16, nothing stellar, but pretty darn good for this course. Will was just under 30 and Wyatt was just over 30. The most impressive thing was that my former boss and co-worker came out and walked the whole thing and finished around 57 minutes. I really hope this sparked a new interest in her and she will come back for more.

Overall, not a bad day. I got outside, got some exercise, and spent some time with friends and family. After all, that is what it all about. Results can be found here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Action Packed Weekend!

Tomorrow is the Leadville 100 MTB race pitting 6X Gunnison, CO resident Dave Wiens against a fresh off a podium finish in the Tour De France, Lance Armstrong. Lance finished second to Wiens last year and that sparked Lance's return to competitive cycling. Lance will be stronger than ever this year, but Wiens is a wily veteran. Trek is sending a group of riders to push the pace for Lance, so I am not for sure if this is fair or not, but hey it is all about Lance. I like Lance, but he is a little full of himself.

This weekend is also the Pikes Peak race with the Ascent tomorrow and the Marathon on Sunday. A lot of mountain running studs are in the Ascent, but former local stud, Tommy Manning, is in the race and I think will surprise some people. He is fresh off a 7th place finish at the Mt. Washington Road Race and I think will place top 10, which is pretty impressive.

In the Marathon, Matt Carpenter is the favorite, but he will have his hands full this year with the return of Ricardo Meija. Meija is a former 5X winner and will give Matt a literal run for his money. This also marks the return of Arlene Pieper. Arlene the was the first woman to run a Marathon in US history, sorry to Katherine Switzer, but Arlene was way ahead of you. They located her and her daughter and they made arrangements for her to be there for her 50th anniversary of her completing the marathon.

Not to out done, I will be running the United Way Trailblazer 5K tonight. This does not seem to match up in magnitude compared to what I just reported. I would much rather be in Colorado. Anyway, my legs have been feeling good and I should have a great run. It looks like they may have changed the course this year and added some more hills, so times may be slower. I fully expect to be below 20 and put in a good showing for the bank. The kids are also running the race, so it will be a family affair.

Whatever you have going on this weekend, check out the results online, then get off the couch and get outside and enjoy life!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Movie Review: Bicycle Dreams

I had the privilege of going back to the downtown Circle Cinema and watching Bicycle Dreams which was part of the Tulsa United Film Festival. The festival was created by a local film producer who is from Tulsa , but now resides in LA. The festival is shown in places like London, San Francisco, New York, and amazingly Tulsa. This is a venue for lesser known film makers to show their creative works to an audience that they would not normally get to. These films usually do not make it to the bigger chains and they bank on word of mouth and the Internet for promotion. The film that I had the chance to see was Bicycle Dreams, a documentary about the annual Race Across America bicycle race. Considered to be the toughest sporting event in the world, it made for an epic tale of a race.
The route changes, but above is the 2008 route. The film we were watching took them from San Diego to Atlantic City, somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000+ miles. The participants go on very little sleep and average over 300+ miles per day. This is a race you cannot do without a support crew and lots of planning. The estimated costs of doing the race costs is somewhere between 30 and 40,000 dollars. It is a monumental undertaking.
Those who take on the task usually do not end up finishing. The completion rate is somewhere around 40%. They go on very little sleep and have to endure heat, cold, hills, pain, mental fatigue, and other little nuances that go with extreme sports. This is not a race for the faint of heart and it is amazing what they have to endure. The race we watched, they were in 107 degree heat in Utah and then had to endure the Rockie Mountains. Most competitors try to make it about 48 hours before they take about an hour nap and then they are back on the bike. Truly incredible. I know what what my back side feels like after being in the saddle for a few hours, let alone a few days.
Above is the 2008 champion and several time champion Jure Robic. He is from Slovenia and he is an animal. He won the race we watched by completing it in a little over 8 days with a total of 8 hours of sleep. He is a former bicycle racer who is still in the military and juggles work, family life, and training. What is costs him to compete is almost equal what his annual salary is, so when he does this, it is an enormous undertaking to do. He is a beast on the bike and does not look back and usually rides the whole race by himself as almost no one can keep up.

The director of the film was at the festival and announced that we had a special audience member in attendance. Dr. Breedlove's wife in the theater, Dr. Breedlove was one of the competitors in the movie. She was from Des Moines, IA and happened to be in town and saw that it was playing and came out. We were about half way through the movie when they showed a portion of the film when the competitors were passing through Colorado and they showed something had happened to Dr. Breedlove as he suddenly has slumped over his handle bars and when into oncoming traffic and was killed instantly. We had no idea that this was going to happen. I felt so bad for her having to re-live this tragic moment, but the RAAM person on the clip said that Dr. Breedlove knew the risks involved and was very experienced, he had completed it several times before, and he went out doing what he loved. The film said they did an autopsy and did not find any sign of heart attack or stroke, so it made you wonder what actually happened with the driver of the other car. They said no charges have been filed against the driver. Truly a sad deal.

At the end of the movie, via Skype, we were able to chat with the director on the screen and ask questions, try that at the next Hollywood production! This was a great film about the monumental tasks that we as endurance people sometimes take to find about who we are. These events are all voluntary and people often ask why, and truly it is hard to explain, but it is something inside that makes you want to challenge yourself mentally to find out who you really are. You can't really put into words to an outsider, but to those of us on the inside, words do not even have to be spoken. A nod of a head, or a wink of an eye, speaks volumes.

I would give this move *** stars and it would be a great addition to any film library. Who knows, maybe this will inspire the next Lance Armstrong or someone to just get off the couch and be a player in the world and not a spectator. The movie can be purchased at

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Movie Review: Food, Inc.

I had the pleasure of going to see Food, Inc. at the Circle Cinema downtown. The Circle Cinema is a historic and neat theater that has been renovated to show some avaunt gard type movies and ones that you will not see in the normal theaters. The screen is smaller and the seating only holds 104 people. It is very cozy, personal, and gives you a feel that you are in someones home theater area. A welcome change from the business and marketing of the big chains.
I have heard of the movie and did not think that it would ever come to the likes of Tulsa. I even checked the listings while we were in Colorado and could not find it. I was really glad that I was able to take off from work to see the premiere. It was sold out along with the second showing.

The movie covers a lot of the aspects of the food industry and how it has changed the food supply and what we eat. This was very much at home for me as I used be a Plant Manager for a major food company in a hog kill facility and have experienced a lot of the scenes first hand. When you work in this environment, it becomes a job a lot like anything else. You just try to get the job done and provide for your family. Having been out of it for about 5 years and looking back at it, has been a real eye opener. When I worked in the industry I did not exercise like I do now and my eating habits were not very healthy. So, knowing what I know now and looking back, it is very scary. The food industry is not about your health and it is all about the almighty dollar. The food industry does not care about you for what effects their food may have on you, but they are more interested on how they can make their product taste good and get you coming back for more. Money has overruled our conscience.

The movie goes inside the food industry and covers companies like McDonald's and Tyson and how they rule the market and put the demands on producers. It is really scary how much influence these companies have. The movie also goes down to the lower level and looks and how even the crop producers are ruled and influenced by the manufacturers. How we have got in this mess, we will never fully comprehend.

It tells about tragic stories about how a family lost a 2 year child simply by eating a e-coli ridden hamburger and how they are trying to change the food industry regulations by working with Congress. Unfortunately, they have not had much success as the companies wield lots of money and lawyers. They question how the product even got out with testing in place, but I can tell you how as I lived it. The product is produced and goes right on a truck and out the door, but the test results take usually three days to come back and if a positive is found, they scramble like crazy to recall it and get it back. Unfortunately, some of it may have already been consumed.

The movie was not an anti-meat eating movie, but did show a sustainable, natural farmer who raised his own livestock and sold it to the public, hormone and antibiotic free. This way of living can be done, but it must be done local, it cannot meet the demands of the American stomach, but it has got to start somewhere.

I give this movie 4**** and it one that I recommend that everyone goes and sees as it affects every single person on the planet. It will wake you up and hopefully get you to think about what you consume on a daily basis and how it affects your health. I say we each do what we can and try to change the industry forever, otherwise, well, I think you know the result.

Please, check it out!