Saturday, October 24, 2009

Race Across The Sky Movie Review

I had the privilege of watching the premier of the Race Across the Sky movie last Thursday on the big screen. It was an one night nationwide showing of the epic Mountain Bike race in Leadville, CO last August. It is 100 miles on an out and back course that pitted Lance Armstrong against 6X champion Dave Wiens of Gunnison, CO. Having spent a week in Leadville this past July and raced the Trail Marathon, it was so nice to be able to see some of the old sites and sounds of Leadville. Ken Chlouber puts on all these races since first putting on the Leadville 100 trail race I think in 1983. Since that time it has morphed into more trail races and a MTB race. The MTB race has drawn in Tour De France winner Floyd Landis in 2007 and Lance Armstrong in 2008. When Lance raced here last year he finished second to Dave Wiens. Lance credits the race as the reason why he came back to race the Tour De France this year. I know Lance does not like to lose and this got the competitive juices flowing again.
A hundred miles is a long ride no matter what, but when you throw in the Leadville factor it is huge. Leadville sits at 10,200 elevation and is a challenge to anyone. The altitude did not bother me that much, but climbing uphill was very hard to get enough air. On the downhills I could clock off sub 8 minute miles, but I did a lot of walking on the hills. Those that can keep trucking uphill, my hat is off to you.

The MTB race starts downtown just like all the other races and heads out to the Twin Lakes area and up Columbine Pass which is just above 12,000 feet. It was funny sitting in the theater and hearing everyone ooh and aah when they announced how high it was. The Marathon I did went up Mosquito Pass at 13,100 feet. Everybody was in Parkas and it was cold. The MTB race was no different as it started sleeting on them and it was freezing up the top of the pass. The lead pack of riders was about 7 or 8 people and splintered once they made it to Twin Lakes at the 40 mile mark. Lance at that point took off and never looked back. He shot through the aid station and separated himself from the rest of the field. The most impressive thing was watching Lance pedal all the way up Powerline trail on the way back when everyone else, including Dave Wiens got off and pushed their bikes up the trail. Lance made it back to Turquoise Lake and had a flat about 7 miles from the finish. He made a feeble attempt to put some Co2 into his back tire, but decided to just ride it in. He barely made it in on the flat and finished in a new course record. Dave Wiens managed to hold onto second and break his course record time from last year. From this point it was truly exciting to see the rest of the pack struggle in to beat the 12 hr cutoff. The stories and struggles that people have went through to make the start line and the finish is truly inspiring. My family and I fell in love with Leadville and cannot wait to go back, I am not for sure it will be for the MTB race though.
Overall it was a good documentary and one that I would recommend to anyone. I was a little more excited about it as most of the areas and scenery I had been to and seen in person. From what the website is showing they are having an encore showing on November 12th. I would recommend you go and check it and maybe it will inspire to push your limits of endurance and see that you can do a lot more than you think.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Woolaroc 8K Race Report

On Saturday we headed to around Bartlesville to run the 29th Annual Woolaroc 8K throughout the Woolaroc ranch. This course had the reputation of being very hilly and it did not disappoint. It is about an hour drive from Tulsa, but it is very well worth it. We made a morning of it and had a blast.
Woolaroc was the getaway for Frank Phillips of Phillips 66 and Conoco Phillips fame. The name is a combination of Woods, Lakes, and Rocks, hence Woolaroc. The ranch in its current state is about 3,700 acres and has numerous wildlife that roams free throughout the ranch. One of the docents told us that they used to have Giraffes and Camels, but they could not adapt to the climate. It was quite the site to see.
The race started at 8:30 and we went to the west side of the parking lot and kind of scrunched in between the cones. I ended up being in about the 3rd row, which I do not normally do. I was surprised there was not a lot more fast runners as they offer cash for first, second, and third. Pete Orban was there along with Mark Dolph and several college age runners, but none of the other fast Tulsa runners.
And we are off. We headed out and curved around the lodge. I hit the 1k at 3:38. A little faster than I wanted, but I felt good. We then cross the dam and for almost a K we had a hill. My next split was right at 4:00. After that it was either up or down the entire time. I do not think that there was a flat spot anywhere on the course. I wanted to bag it so bad after 3K, but I kept going. I think I hit the 5K at 20:12, but everything was a blur. I made my way back to the lodge and the last half K is uphill to the finish. I hit the tape at 32:49, which is not where I wanted, but not bad for the course. I finished 19th overall and second in my age group.
Here I am receiving my 2nd place award for my age group. They gave us a cool Woolaroc buffalo bag with a pin for our placement.
Here is Mark Dolph after receiving his award.
This is a beautiful shot looking out over the Osage Hills and yes, they were hilly!
They also had one of the best Museums I had ever been in. I thought it was never going to end. The amount of Western, Indian, and local artifacts was unreal for something local. Frank Phillips was quite the collector.
I am a big Theodore Roosevelt fan and they had the saddle he wore for the Rough Riders reunion on display. Awesome!
Like I said, on the ranch were all kinds of wildlife. This is a Sika Deer. He was not too happy with me as he was very protective of his females.
This is one of his brood. She was not bothered at all by us being around.
Not for sure what this is. They had Zebras on the ranch, but I guess this was a cross between a Zebra and a horse. ?????

I can't even imagine getting gored by this. Those bullfighters are nuts.

It looks like Wyatt is not too impressed with his playing.
Belle Starr. If you look close, you can see that Belle has a bit of a bladder control problem.

This kind of sums it up, Thank God for such a beautiful day with the family. The results of the race can be found here.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Quick Catch Up

I have been really busy lately and have not been able to blog much, so here is a quick recap. Last Saturday I did the Inaugural River Rush 5K to benefit the River Parks Authority. I forgot the camera and did not get any pictures, so just stare at the logo.
The run started at 31st & Riverside and headed north to Houston and turned back on the River Parks trail. The weather was a little crisp, but great for a race. I started in my usual spot up front and settled into a nice pace with the second lead group. I was leading the second group, but I was unsure of my pace, I have got to get a Garmin. I missed the 1K marker and finally hit the 2K mark in 7:35. Not too much further we turned on the trail and headed home. I could look back and see that Malcolm McCollum was closing in on me. The group I was with was pacing me pretty good and I did not feel bad. I hit 3K at 11:32 and 4K at 15:28. Somewhere in the next K Malcolm came flying past me and I could not match it. He finished at 19:13 and I hit the tape at 19:23. 13th Overall and second in my age group. I got beat by some guy from Britain. Oh the shame to be beat by a guy with bad teeth. The results can be found here.
Also over the weekend some good friends headed north to the Heartland 100 miler in Cassoday, KS. Cassoday is home to the Prairie Chicken capital of the world and nothing much else. We have been there several times when we lived in Kansas. Kathy Hoover did her pacing duties to help someone finish their first 100 miler. The Energizer Bunny, Randy Ellis, who just keeps going and going completed another 50 miler. This is after he did the Leadville 100 in August. He is such a great inspiration. Trail Zombie had a good run at it, but had to give up the ghost for the day. That happens, but we live to fight another day. Sounds like they also had the best crew possible from Tulsa. Results are here.

The bid daddy of Triathlons, The Ironman Championship took place in Kona last Saturday. Craig Alexander and Chrissie Wellington repeated as Men's and Women's champion. Chrissie pretty much controlled the entire race, but Craig was 9 minutes down to Chris Lieto off the bike. Craig is such a great runner that he caught Chris with about 4 miles to go and won again. Such a stud! Several people from OK completed the race and Coach Rob had a couple of athletes from Tulsa Iron in the race. They both finished strong and I am proud to be a part of the team.

Sammy Wanjiru went after the Marathon record in Chicago on Sunday, but failed to beat Haille's world record, but set a course record by 1 second. He went through the half in 1:02. I wish I could run that fast. He is the reigning Olympic Marathon champion and will be a force to reckon with for some time to come.

Tomorrow is the Woolaroc 8k outside of Bartlesville, OK. This was a ranch set up by the Phillips oil family and is supposed to be a great spot to visit. We get in free with the run and it ought to be a great way to spend the morning. The course is supposed to be really hilly, but it should be good training for the Tulsa Run in 2 weeks. I have been doing a race every weekend in preparation for it. I really want to get under 1 hour for the Tulsa Run, but I am not for sure if I can do it with all the hills, but I am going to give my all. I will get a full race report this weekend and hopefully remember to bring the camera.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Army is on the Move

I cannot believe it is actually going to happen. The KISS Army is invading the BOK Center. My life is now complete. You can check it out here.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tulsa Zoo Run Race Report: Updated

Saturday was the 40th annual Zoo Run at Mohawk Park. This is the second oldest run in the state of Oklahoma and draws out a large crowd. They have an one mile fun run, 5K, and 10K, all of which end up inside the Zoo and you can check out the Zoo for free. This is always a hit with the kids and is not a bad day for the family. I have done the race a few times, but have never done well here. I really wanted to place well in my age group and get an award. I signed up for the 10K and signed Wyatt up for the 5K. The night before the race, Will and Wyatt were playing football and Wyatt came up with a bummed knee, but the race must go on.
On Saturday morning, Wyatt came into our bedroom walking like he had been injured in battle, so Will got told at 6:30 in the morning, you will be Wyatt and run the 5K today. Nothing like waking up to realize you need to run a race without any training. Oh well, he is young. I kind of look like I have a Mohawk in this picture. Perfect for the race!
The 5K started at 8:45, but the 10K started at 9. All the family had to be in the Zoo by 9 am or they would have to pay, so we only got pictures of the 5K start. Here is Will in line, I think he is winking at me.

The 5K is off and running. Scott Ostrem is in the red on the left at the start. After their start, it was time to eat a GU and warm up. I ran past Darryl Stillson, Mark Dolph, and a few others I know. I was feeling really good and had way too much energy when I woke up. I had not had any fast legs since the Leadville Marathon, but realized that I had been putting so much time in on the bike, it was zapping my speed. I just did some one hour fitness trainer bike rides and my legs came back. Coach, you were right.

At 9 AM, we were off. I held back a little and felt really good at the start and did not go after the leaders. Race conditions were almost perfect and I could not have asked for more. I went through the 1K at 3:43, still pretty fast but still felt like I was not pushing it too hard. Second K was 7:37, slowed a little. Somewhere about the 3K mark, a posse of some fast guys came through and I tried to hold onto them for as long as possible. I hit the 5K mark in 19:34 and still was not pushing that hard. 6K was in 23:34. In between 7 and 8K I started to fade. I hit 8K at 31:47. I had only been doing some intervals for a week and needed some longer tempo runs. In between 8 and 9K you have a hill on the back side access road for the Zoo. I hit 9K at 36:11. My dreams of sub 40 were fading. Somewhere around here, I know I got passed by some guys in my age group. I tried to pick it up on the last K, but it has a lot of turns and could not do much. I hit the tape at 40:15. Good time, but I though for sure I was going to go sub 40. I paced myself pretty well on the course, but I think I held back a little too much.

Will ended up running the 5K in 27:25, a new PR for him. I am very proud of him. I just wish he would run more.

We waited around for the results enjoying the food and fellowship, when the big bomb hit. Ladies and Gentlemen, the timing is messed up and there will be no awards. This was a first. I do not get all bent out of shape about these things, but others do. I have done enough Ultras to not get impatient about the results. Road runners are a different breed. If you do not get the results up 2 seconds after they finish, they are ticked off. They said they had problems with a new timing system and would get the results up by Monday morning. As I am typing this, they are still not up. I am just curious is to see if I placed and those guys that passed me are in my age group.

So, no results, time to hit the Zoo.
Wyatt and Shannon on the Lion statue. I think this is illegal in 4 states.
Picture of a family member, obviously not from my side.
Don't ask.
Nice kitty. Female Snow Leopard.
The face on this Ostrich, kind of looks like some of my co-workers.
A Kite. No not the kind your Grandma bought you. They are part of the Hawk family and are native to this part of OK.
Bard Owl.
I am always impressed with the Rhinos. I try to imagine what it is like to be in the jungle and run across one of these. This would definitely be a shorts changing experience.
Asian Elephant. Smaller ears and not as big as the African cousins. They only weigh about a 1,000 lbs.
Nothing finishes the day like taking the train home. The Zoo was neat, good run, and a great day to be out with the family. Once the results are posted, I will update the blog. Unless of course I didn't place. LOL.

Results are finally up. They can be found here. 3rd in Age group. Not bad.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Finally Found It!

I used to think that I was going to have to spend a couple of grand on a good set of Zipp wheels to help my tri bike performance, until , I found this.
This is the bomb! The possibilities are endless! No more having to worry about having enough to eat or drink on the bike, I can load up what ever I need, 2 liters of soda, loaf of bread, peanut butter, bagels, I could go on for ever. I will never have to worry about having enough spare tubes, CO2, or even getting double flats. As long as the bike course goes by a Walmart, I'm good!. I was thinking that I may even put a little generator in the cart and hook up a TV and DVD player. Satellite is a possibility, which would be great if the race is televised, so I can see where I am compared to the leaders. Holidays will also be a blast. I can hang Christmas lights, Halloween scary stuff, and even on the Fourth of July, I can be setting off fireworks while doing the race. The really great thing about this is, who needs a babysitter anymore? Slap the kids in the cart and off we go. They can hand me all the drinks and make me sandwiches on the go. And maybe if I get tired, I will let the kids pedal and I will sit in the cart. Got save myself for the run! Do you think this is covered in the USAT rulebook?