Sunday, April 23, 2006

As I write it is a beautiful, bright spring afternoon. With the exception of yesterday’s heavy rain it has been a beautiful spring week here. I really enjoyed Friday’s trail run thru a wood well into its spring greening. I took yesterday off but did go to a runners’ clinic offered by Springfield Hospital. Tried to get some magic advice that would conquer my late race cramps but unfortunately the docs and techs only had the common sense advice I already knew.

Ran this am when it was still overcast and cool, the drives loop was perfect since eight miles at marathon pace was exactly what I wanted. Crowded day since a crew regatta was taking place on the river. It was fun passing all the kids getting ready to row. Some of the booths smell awfully good.

It was crowded and noisy until I got well onto Martin Luther King Drive. There I encountered a goose family with four tiny goslings. The parents didn’t seem to care how close I was but I didn’t push their tolerance.

Got back to Kelly Drive right on schedule where I momentarily had myself convinced my car had been stolen until I realized I was in the wrong block.

Couple more days of light running then it’s off to Nashville. I’m a little nervous not having flown in so long (not in flying per se but all the getting to the airport, and getting around in an unknown city). I believe this is the earliest start (7AM) I have ever had for any race. I decided my mantra will be:

Depart, oh night!
Set, you stars!
Set, you stars!
At dawn I shall win!
I shall win! I shall win!

Chad Brooks

Monday, April 03, 2006

Run In Run Out

A two race week end – one as runner, one as volunteer.

Saturday I did the Tyler Arboretum 10K.

No shirt in this race – they gave out a pair of bright orange socks
Run IN - Run Out

which match my Ochoco's – so I changed into them immediately. I
noticed a few other runners did the same. Geek fashion - gotta love it.

The last two years this race has been done in wet weather – last year
very wet. After one of the driest March on record it looked like race
day was going to be another wet one. Just before the nine o'clock
start the rain is falling pretty steadily but it is just an April's
Fools joke and the rain quickly ends.

I only have one goal – like last year, I want to run the course
without walking. Now there is no particular virtue in this. Some who
walk the steepest hills will finish much faster than me. But I enjoy
the challenge of changing pace and step to get up those inclines.

The course loops through the Arboretum grounds along trails I know
well from my Friday runs. It is all in woodland without much flat
running, but knowing the course well gives me a slight advantage since
I know what to expect and how long the upticks last. It is pure
pleasure to me and the time races by. No, I am not going very fast
but only a couple of people past me and I past more than a few. I am
having fun with the volunteers and the other runners and of course my
beautiful wood just on the verge of spring time green.

I had expected to break 60 minutes but I come in just under 61 – just
a little too relaxed.

A brand new 5K was run in Havertown,Sunday.

The race brochure describes the race thus: "On Sunday, April 2, 2006, the family and
friends of Kevin Cain will hold the first annual Kevin Cain "Make My
Day 5K" Walk/Run through the streets of Havertown. Kevin would have endorsed everything about the Race, except one detail– placing his name on the Race. Kevin loved raising funds for worthy causes, working with children in countless youth programs, and making a difference in his community. He just hated taking credit for it. On June 22, 2005, Kevin lost his courageous battle with cancer. Despite
being ill for several years, Kevin continued to coach and mentor children. He lived for the day - in the hospital one day and coaching the next day. Kevin was an inspiration to all who knew him. In addition to coaching, Kevin co-founded the Billy Lake Memorial Basketball League in 1992, in memory of his brother-in-law Billy who
died of ALS. Kevin was also the founding director of the Billy Lake ALS Marathon, an annual event to raise funds for ALS research."

For a first time event it had an amazing turn out – there were almost 200 runners and as many walkers. There were lots of kids – a tribute to Kevin the Coach.

I didn't have much to do before the race but once the runners began coming in I posted the tags to the board and once the board was filled I began listing the winners. Now for all these years I have grumbled about how long it takes to get award results but now I saw how difficult it is. I didn't want to miss anyone so I checked and double checked. In addition I had to put up with the runners pressing in to check their results. Yikes – paybacks. My list was actually meant to
be a backup for the electronic results but as it turned out it was my
list that they used. Boy I hope it was right!

Well kudos to the organizers – they did a great job for first time out
of the gate.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tyler Arboretum Finish Line.

Slight uphill to the finish.

Runners all get to take a small plant with them.

Registration is outside the renovated barn used for classes and other functions.