Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Night Crawlers @ Lubell Park

As promised, the Tuesday Night Crawlers tried out some new trailz tonight. Lubell Park in west Tulsa was the place--a park so obscure that even people who live a mile away don't even know about it.But now there are there are around ten people in the world who know, thanks in part to the six friends who joined me this evening for some trail romping.
Stormy, Wes, Arena, Simone, Cassy, and Susan (who took this picture) ran around four miles through the woods and across the fields. This is a compact area, and you can get just about every off-road terrain to trod on. Flats, hills, soft dirt trailz, rocks, grassy fields, fallen trees, ticks, and chiggers.

A solid mile of the trailz are wide, soft, and curbed by landscape timbers. This is trail running 101.

Wider jeep roads across the end of the hill make for a faster pace, and the view of southwest Tulsa is impressive.

I did mention fallen trees. Of course, this did not slow us down.

Heading back north toward where we parked, we entered a wetland area, maintained either by the nearby school, or a boy scout troop. We lingered here while Cassy's dog swam and drank in the water, and Stormy played on the playground equipment.
We finished our run with a run through the neighborhood to tack on a few more hills. This was a fun night--a short run, but those are good too.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Post Oak Trail Run Day Two

Day two at Post Oak is done.Today's races included a marathon, half marathon, and a quarter marathon. Last year, these races were mostly pavement. This year, they were about 60% trail, and 40% pavement. I could deal with a ratio like that! But my job again today was manning an aid station.

Trail running superstars Stormy and Edward were back with me, along with Brynna, and Susan. Christi jumped in after she ran her quarter.

We set up shop just as the sun came up, but probably could have slept in an hour later since we were at mile 9.5 on the course. But we cranked the 70s disco music up, and the party atmosphere was going full blast from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The early start full marathoners started at 7:00, the regular start time was 8:00, and the half and quarter started after that. The early starters typically are a little slower, and the first of them hit our aid station about the same time the faster runners caught them. To tighten things up even more, the quarter marathoners only ran about 3 miles before they hit us. All runners went past us onto the road for 1.5 miles, and then came back through. We had about a two hour window where we had throngs of runners coming from both directions. It was an aerobic workout getting cups into the hands of runners who sped through like they were chased by mad dogs. I guess we accomodated them though. If I have any complaints at all, it was all the cars coming through crowds of runners at our aid station. Maybe something can be rerouted next year.

Today, we had pancakes, sausage, breakfast tacos, cheese quesadillas, and grilled cheese sandwiches. This is besides the long rows of the standard trail race aid station fare. One normal staple at trail races is boiled potatoes rolled in sea salt. Problem is, a few of our potatoes were practically uncooked. I love me some boiled potatoes especially when it is getting a little hot. But hard cold, raw, and crunchy will not work. So, master-chef Brynna cut them up, and sauteed them on the griddle. WOW!! They were amazing! Notice the lemon behind the potatoes. The dark spots are cloves. We were told to put them put by the food and that they repel flies. I was skeptical, but they WORKED!! We did not use them yesterday (we should have), and although yesterday it was about 6-8 degrees cooler, the flies were moving in on the food later in the day. Today, with the lemons, we hardly had a fly at all--just one big pesky horse fly.

After all the half and quarter marathoners were done, all that was left was the full doing their second lap. I had a bit of breathing room, and was able to take a few pictures. Ken Saveth, Wilma Harris, and John Parris are on their way at about mile 12.

After our aid stop, the half and quarter had the Hill From Hell--a .75 mile climb that ascends around 400 feet that stikes fear in many a runner. The full marathoners veered off about a third of the way up, and continued on a different loop, but got their serving of the Hill From Hell to finish their race.

I love trail racing, because you see all kinds of people. Where else could you see the tattooed hairy bald man without a shirt? Priceless.

The day wore on. Notice Susan and Brynna slaving away. They worked non-stop for a solid nine hours today. Not that the others did not as well, but all of the yummy cooked food came from them.

My Tuesday Night Crawler buddy Wes cam to hang out with us after his half finish. Wes did the 25K yesterday, and between the two days, got a little sun.

Same story for Channing, another Tuesday Night Crawler. Channing wore a hat, and sweat enough salt to fill a shaker.

Wes and I decided to get some bonus miles in. (Bonus for him--I had not ran all weekend.) I wanted to check on Ken Saveth, so we ran the course backwards until we came to him. I am guessing we got about 5 miles in, and I really enjoyed the trailz. They are in much better condition than they were the first two years at this race. Br brought Ken into the Disco aid station, and left him to do his out-and-back before his final .7 mile climb. As the runners behind them made their way through, we gradually packed things up, leaving all the tents, tables, and some of all the essentials until the final runner made it through. Then, like teamwork, we had it all packed away in a flash, still in the party mood. Again, I cannot thank my help--Stormy Phillips, Edward Snow, Susal Westmoreland, Brynna Schelbar, and Christi Davis. We also had a couple of ladies who came to help, and in the madness of things, and my neglect, I failed to get their names, so my thanks to them may seem generic and not sincere, but I truly am thankful for the non-stop help in handing out water and Gatorade, and filling hundreds of cups.

Finally, some footage of the Wild and Crazy Guys. Some of this is from yesterday, but some is new. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Post Oak Day One

Day One of the Post Oak Challenge is done. Today, the 50K, 25K, and 10K runners got their job done--and what a spectacular day they had. It was a bit nippy, as the Zombie and the Snowman aid station (renamed the Disco Aid station, but known to race officials as Aid Station Number 1 --I kind of like THAT name!!) carefully marked off all the coming and going trailz into and out of the aid station. There were 5 possible trailz from which one could leave our spot--not counting the road) and set up the regular aid station fare.Meanwhile, wave after wave of runners were let loose on the beautiful trailz in the Osage Hills. First, the 50K early starters, which gave us a trial run on how things were marked. It seemed like we did good. (above picture sneakily borrowed from Channing Wendt from his Facebook page.) (And now, I'll have to buy him a beer.)

We waited. The runners were to come across this field, fuel up, and return to another trail head and come back to us again.

Laying in wait were TWO WILD AND CRAZY GUYS!!!! Stormy and Edward were sleezed out in 70s garb--and pulled it off a little TOO convincingly.

Edward and Stormy would go out to meet the runners--acting like carhops at a Sonic hustling for tips.

Some of the runners would stop to chat for a while.

Some would breeze right on through.

I jumped in on the 70s theme--maybe the early 70s--as a dead-head hippie. Heidi, who was awesome as an aid station babe, fits the part of a hippie chick with a side of biker babe.

But what made our aid station ROCK, was the smell of BACON!!!!! Stormy wanted to have BACON for the runners, and we made bacon egg and cheese tacos. They were all consumed, but most runners were enthralled by the aroma more than anything. Bacon and disco--what a combination!!! And the 50K and 25K came through our aid station once, twice, and a third time!! I hear the whole camp was ablaze with the talk of BACON!!

Jeff and Amelia come through flanked by a couple of swinging Czechs.

Mr Ten Star notches another finish on his belt. Betcha he nabs another tomorrow!! Lyle recently achieved TEN STARS in Marathon Maniacs.

Eventually, after the 50K waves, the 25K wave, and the 10K wave came through--we got a bit of down time. Our other super volunteers Derek and Susan relax--but just for a short while. It got busy again.

KS of Know No Boundaries stops to chat for a bit while on his way to a double finish. 50K today, a marathon tomorrow.

This was a fun day for me--and for everyone!!For the runners, it was a day of pushing the limits and winning the bling!! (Thanks to Susan Westmoreland for the picture above and the one below.)

And for me, it was a day of being with friends.

Finally--a clip from DANCING WITH THE STARS!!!

It would seem that the Snowman is a bit camera shy!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mohawk at the Oxley

We ran at Mohawk last night--we, being the Tuesday Night Crawlers. There are really 3 off-road possibilities at Mohawk--Lake Yahola, the North Trailz, and the Oxley trailz, which is where we ran.And a good crowd--mostly the usuals showed up far an evening scamper. New--was Josh pictured on the right.

These are nice flat soft, non/technical trailz which wind around to and fro--like you might imagine a hungry coyote might. There are few rocks, and few roots, but there ARE a few stumps to trip you up, as was evidenced by the video below.

I could not have filmed it better.

Some of the trailz are chat--but not a lot.

There are actually quite a few wooden bridges--gotta get across the swamp somehow.

Alligators on the right??

Loose your footing, you better err to the left.

I swear I heard one gator say to his buddy something about that runner being bite-size.

The shadows lengthen, and the day resigns. It's just another day in the swamp.

This was our last run here for a while--not that it is not an awesome place to run, but there are more trailz to be ran elsewhere. We'll be back here though, I am sure.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jimmy DeJarnette

After the City Counsel meeting, it seems that the councilman for the area, the Mayor of Tulsa, and River Parks are all in agreement that this "amusement park" NOT be located on Turkey Mountain.Jimmy De Jarnette, the out-of-state real estate developer, has a vision that his brainchild be located on our hallowed grounds. "If I build it, they will come." Never mind that our playground and trees will be bulldozed, and 80+ acres paved. Dude--don't have the audacity to say 99% of the trails will be undisturbed. You're taking 1%? 1/4 mile maybe? Really? I don't believe that's possible. It's stupid to even say that. Having the eyesore and noise within sight of what is an escape into the wild is as bad as paving the hill.
No, we are not amused. Evidence of that was shown at the city counsel meeting, and I am sure there will be a continual opposition from users of the park, as well as from area residents--and I am one.When I want to see overpriced rides and carnies, I'll go to the state fair. Haven't been in years.

Monday, February 20, 2012

TOTs at Pumpkin Holler

Sunday the TOTs took to the road. (OMG!!! PAVEMENT?!?!?!?) No, we made a road trip to run faraway trailz.To the Pumpkin Holler area. We met at Turkey Mountain, and carpooled to Eagle Bluff, starting place for the Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd. After an unscheduled pee detour, we pointed the TATUR train to the top of the Nickel Preserve.

This location is where the Waffle Aid Station was for the Hunnerd Milers. We lined up for a group pic. Brian was videoing--playing with a newish camera. (Jealous!!)

I stood at the gate and gave directions--no one was paying much attention. But the route was easy--run down the hill about 3.5 miles to the next gate, then turn around and come back. Some planned to run one way and catch a ride back--a downhill point-to-point. Some were not turning back, but going on and joining the actual Pumpkin Holler course, crossing Bathtub Rocks (site of a new aid station next year) and passing the new Shoreline Aid Station, before hitting the Pumpkin Flat Road (Yes, it's named Pumpkin FLAT) and running back UP to the cars. I was the sag wagon.

Kathy turns and asks if I'm sure I don't wanna come along. I did, but I had promised to be the driver.

The downhill out was steep in places, but mostly gradual. The group made good time.

I drove the 9.2 miles to the green gate where they would come out. I parked and then ran out to meet them, thinking I'd get at least a mile and a half out and then run back.

But I made it only a half mile before the speedsters came blazing by.

The last 1/4 mile was on a grass road. Good barefoot running???

LOOK!! It's Brian RUNNING!!!

Brian, Ru, and Laurie caught a ride back. We chatted with the overachievers going the big loop as we passed, and stopped very briefly to look at the Shoreline Aid Station location before heading back to the start point.

Laurie, Ru, and I decided to run out to meet our friends running back. I again thought I'd get at least a mile in before reaching the group. But after barely a half mile, here they came. Edward was taking the hill easy, and I kept going til I met him, and we headed UP.

The last bit of climb was right at 300 feet in .3 of a mile.

But we made it. Not much harder than a stair climber, but much prettier. We had such an awesome day for some trail miles.