Sunday, May 7, 2017

Race Report - 2017 Smokies Challenge Adventure Run 70+ Miles (SCAR)

71 miles of the Appalachian Trail (dotted green line) to traverse the entire Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It all started simple enough. I received a FB message from Jobie Williams in early April: "Hey, any interest in doing SCAR next month or so? Would be great Fat Dog 120 training, but it wouldn't be pretty." "Sure", I relied and the seed was planted. Fast forward three weeks, I was in the midst of the final stages of planning my SCRA attempt. Jobie had to bail due to other commitments, but I had convinced Jerry Abbott to join me, Thankfully, his wife graciously volunteered to shuttle and crew us during our adventure in the Smoky Mountains.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Race Report - 2017 Grand Viduta Stage Races 43M

About halfway through stage 1.
I don't recall why exactly, but it seemed I always had something else on my running schedule ever since the Grand Viduta Stage Races were created a couple of years ago. As a result, I had only ever run one of the Saturday stages a while back. So this year, and as a result of my goal to run races I hadn't done before, I decided to sign up as soon as registration opened for the 2017 Grand Viduta Stage Races.  Early commitment and signup also ensured that I got to benefit from the ridiculously low "early bird" registration fee (so keep that in mind for 2018 as you don't want to miss this event).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Race Report - 2017 Boston Marathon

Huntsville peeps chilling at the athlete's village a couple of hours pre-race.
Well, Boston didn't quite go as planned. In fact, if it weren't THE Boston Marathon, I'd say it was a complete bust. But since this is THE Boston Marathon, just getting qualified to be allowed to toe the starting line is an amazing opportunity and the reward in itself. I always felt the BQ to be more important then the actual participation in the Boston Marathon itself, but after getting my first finish last year, I decided that I would try to push for a performance close to a PR. While I do not like to place blame on factors outside myself, I will say that the second hottest conditions on record in the last ten years certainly didn't help. This was to be my wife's first Boston Marathon and my second. I won't talk about her race as I know she prefer I didn't, but I'll summarize how my race went.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Race Report - 2017 Yamacraw 50K

View of the beautiful Big South Fork Cumberland River, our race location.
Yamcraw 50K, what a cool name for a race. I wondered what that name stood for. I had never been to Kentucky for an ultra before, but this race came highly recommended (thanks Doug Daniel), so I signed up. On Friday, Rick Rawls picked me up at my house and we started our 4 1/2 hour road trip to Stearns, KY near the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Race Report - 2017 Oak Mountain 50K

It's runnable, they said...not much climbing, they said...yeah, right!
I knew I was pushing my luck by toeing the starting line of my third trail marathon and ultra event in as many weeks, but this was just going to be training anyway, so what could go wrong, right? Even though I had been running ultras and may other events for better part of the past 7 years, I had never run the Oak Mountain 50K in Birmingham, Alabama. It was only a 2 hour drive from my house, but other local events always seemed to take priority. Either another event took place on the same day or it was just too close to something I had already done or was about to do. This year was no different. In fact, my good buddy Cary Long (RD for the McKay Hollow Madness 25K in Huntsville, AL) tried until the day before the race to sway me to run his event, instead:-) However, never having run Oak Mountain, I really wanted to get a finish at that race. My goal this year, with a couple of exceptions, is to see new and different races in new and different places. I don't really have any race streaks other than Mountain Mist 50K, so this would be one more race off my list.