Tuesday, November 30, 2010

recapping the last year – 1 of 2, otherwise known as the rest of 2009

OK, when I mentioned in my last post that I was going to retire from ultras, I was just being facetious. I didn't mean it. I meant to come back the following year and get back into it. But somehow it must've been a self-fulfilling prophecy. More than a year after that post, I have not run any ultras, but that's not to say I've exactly been laying around.

So to dust this blog off once again is a recap of last year's adventures and races which I'll break into two posts.

2009 San Juan Capistrano 10K Trail Run
October 3, 2009

Ah, yes! It feels great to hold the trophy for 2nd place overall.
Next time, I'm going for 1st place.

Since Mt. Dis, I've been on and off running so I haven't been in the best shape. When I saw this race, I thought that this would be a great way to get back into racing again. I've never run a 10K before – road or trail – so I was pretty excited about doing this run.

The race is sponsored by the City of San Juan Capistrano and the local Rotary Club. The R.D. for the event was the infamous Baz Hawley who's been around the local trail running community since around the time when Orange County actually had oranges. Because this was a family event in the 'burbs and the mayor of SJC was present, as well as a ranger whose name isn't Virgil, Baz struggled in choosing his words carefully rather than spontaneously spouting off his normally colorful language. And he behaved long enough to keep his hands to himself; the young ladies were safe for now. It was a hoot to see him there, especially under those conditions. A few familiar faces were also present – my favorite Czech runner, David C., Charlie, and rocket scientist Doug aka iDad also ran the race.

The hills proved to be challenging for me, but the nice wide fire roads were a lot of fun to run on. I finished the race in 1:04:07 (45th out of 90). It certainly wasn't the best time, but that didn't stop me from stealing David's 2nd place trophy when he wasn't looking and posing with it for a photo op. David, you gotta keep a closer eye on your hardware next time.
How I schemed to get my hands on that trophy.

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim
October 17-20, 2009

Somewhere along the Kaibab Trail.

Croc Lady Lo of the SoCal Trail Headz organized a trip for several runners to meet up at the Grand Canyon to do a Rim to Rim run. The idea is to start from the South Rim, descend more than 5,000 feet down to the Grand Canyon then come back up to the South Rim again. If you were hardy enough, or crazy enough, or both, you do the Double Crossing where you head up to the North Rim instead, before turning back around to descend back down to cross the Colorado River again before climbing out of that big hole up to the South Rim. I'd say it's about a gazillion feet of climbing and an equal number of miles. Ok, it's really about 45 miles and somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10,000 feet of elevation gain.

But because I'm a lazy bum, I opted for the short route. Doug and I started from Mather Campground which was a few miles from the top of the Kaibab Trail. Running down was a blast. We passed several hikers, but we also stopped a few times to enjoy the beauty of the canyon and take some pictures. To get from the rim down to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon took us about 2.5 hours. Doug and I each enjoyed a cold Tecate at the Ranch where we saw Sue, Greg, and Jon.

After a nice lunch and relaxing for like forever, we headed our way back up, this time taking the Bright Angel Trail. Sue, Greg and Jon sped up the trail, while Doug and I opted for a more relaxed pace. It took us about 5 hours to get back up to the South Rim. All in all, Doug's measurements came back with a 23 mile day and about 4600' of climbing. As a long distance runner, the Rim to Rim has to rank up there as one of those must do's – truly epic!

Click here for more Grand Canyon photos and Doug's recap of the day.

Superheroes Run
October 31, 2009

Jeff S., aka the amazing hip, put out a call for superheroes (the non-commercial kind) to come out and protect the dangerous streets of Corona del Mar and Newport Beach from would be evil doers. Three crime fighters reported for duty – the amazing hip, sooper aqua dump and e-rod (yours truly) on Halloween morning. They were joined by Shannon Shenanigans, who was with her hubby and their little daughter, Andrea, and Michelle Mayhem to document this most prodigious event.

We ran along PCH where we encountered an alien life form (ALF) much to the entertainment of drivers, cyclists and Starbucks customers. We continued our patrol of this crime-ridden neighborhood on Newport Center Drive up to Fashion Island, a place where humor and Halloween apparently don't exist. We were determined to change that, but alas! Even three superheroes don't stand a chance against the man – the FI mall cops. We were told there's no Halloween at the mall and that flying (er, running on walls) was not allowed – so off with the masks (which compromised our true identities) and harsh instructions to leave by walking like mere mortals.

Fortunately, our partners in this world saving enterprise, this time joined by Molly Mischief and daughter, Payton, were there to record the whole thing.

Enjoy the video and Jeff's recap of the event.

The recap for 2010 is coming soon...