Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 2013 Club National XC Championship

1st lap of 5. Ken Goglas to my left, me wearing camo head band in honor of Andrew Capizzi. Dense racing over rough ground! Photo by Michael Scott
I write to inspire and amuse.  When you race with poor tactics, it is hard to talk about it. But I have to be honest, we have to look at the ugly truth. I started way too hard in this race. I told myself "Run 50-80m hard and then settle in". Given that the first turn was a straight line and about 350-400m out, around a tree into a 90. The starting line was not that wide for 400+ runners; I figured this made sense. Instead, I probably kept rolling for more like 150-200m into the steep incline and went into oxygen debt and ran like shit for all but the last mile. Arguably I ran well in the last 1000m, but was pained to see a clump of about 20 runners that were just a bit too far ahead for me to catch. It's a hard thing traveling to an important race and flat out blowing it.  I should know better, I'm 32yrs old, I've been racing for 18yrs.  But shit, I'm human too, right?

The upside is, a handful of my teammates had a pretty good race, and good for them! Two Men and One Woman inside the top 100 finishers (Chris Johnson, Ken Goglas and Cheyenne Ogletree). From where I battled within the race, I saw Matt Eder, Joe Zeoli, and Will Appman all run well. Joe kept a steady pace throughout, picking off the fast starters (like me). Matt battled with Will and I in the last 600m and ultimately laid down the hammer to outrun us both. And Matt, Will and I all passed 2-3 men each in the last 200m I believe. Also, all 18 men and 12 women, and 2 coahes, and Bill Zeoli(Joe's Dad), had a good time in the town of Bend, and just being around all of the other runners. I'd never been to Oregon, so it was a dream to go for a Championship race. Honestly, I never dreamed I would have a chance to race in Oregon on a team in a race like this. We really had a lot of fun!
About 50m from the finish, and yes, I beat #1752, his beard was no match for mine. Photo compliments of Michael Scott.
This was the toughest XC course that I have ever run. It was designed with intentional contour and challenges that resembled a cyclocross or motocross course.  It was a lot of fun being in a race where you can hear the ground rumbling under 800+ spiked shoes.  3600ft over sea level and a tilted, twisted, hilly, muddy course were tough. I got my assed kicked. 280th of 410, my time was 36:20. Next yr yr.

And now one more photo, because this is what teammates do:
About 2seconds before this, Paul went down, but Josh and Matt helped him up quickly. Ted is on the far right. In a crazy race like this, it's good to have some teammates nearby. That's XC! Compliments of Michael Scott

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Going to Portland: Coffee, Beer, and Trail Running

Photo by Richard Jensen
Photo by Richard Jensen
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. We've all heard, "Portland has great coffee shops, breweries, and restaurants".  I'm looking forward to checking out a few of those. I like me some coffee, I'll even say I like a variety of coffees.  But in looking at the greenery they've got just on the edges of this city, I'm more excited for that.  Looks like some very good running to me. I'll take some photos of my own, and will be sure to post em' up here when I get back.  Looks like that end of season "break" is going to have to wait a couple more days.