Tuesday, June 17, 2014

LipBuster Challenge

Sometime at least 10 years ago someone was running or mountain biking up or down the trail that runs alongside Elwood Avenue and took a tumble on the rocks resulting in a bloody lip. How else could the LipBuster Trail have been named? This trail, depending on when you start grumbling about the climb, rises from 100 to 140 feet from the bottom to the top. It's a great place for some hill training, and many of my friends regularly include hill repeats as part of their weekly routine.

Since trail runners like a challenge--the more absurd the better--it seemed fitting that the TATUR sorts should host a hill repeat challenge. Born was the LipBuster Challenge: how many repeats can you do in an hour?


Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
84 signed up, and 80 came out and braved the threatening weather to run in one of the three heats. The directions were simple. No course markings necessary save one turnaround sign and one arrow divert the downhillers to an alternate trail to avoid congestion on a narrow stretch of uphill single track.


Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
Three heats, the first of which started at 7:00 am. It started to rain just before the start. Light rain with an occasional heavy downpour. The powdery dusty trail was being watered down, which for a few minutes helped. Then it got sticky. Then slick. Then sloppy.


Picture courtesy of Laurie Biby/Beyond Ordinary Life Photography
Cameron and Brandon set the pace early in the first heat. 


Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
A quarter mile out (up), and then a quarter mile back (down). SO why have an aid station halfway up the hill? Because that's what TATURs do! it was a PARTY!!! 


Picture courtesy of Laurie Biby/Beyond Ordinary Life Photography


Cameron hung on for first place with 10 laps, while Brandon also got in 10 laps but finished third place. These early times did not hold up though.

Picture courtesy of Laurie Biby/Beyond Ordinary Life Photography
Captain Ed Lebowski cheered them on, and coached them as to proper technique on descending a slick downward slope. This from a man who once slipped and landed horizontal in a mud puddle on a leisurely training run.


Picture courtesy of Laurie Biby/Beyond Ordinary Life Photography
The halfway Oasis served Pepsi, orange juice, beer, beer with orange juice, or a suicide mix of all three.

Picture courtesy of Laurie Biby/Beyond Ordinary Life Photography
As the hour wore on, those who were storming the uphills were reduced to trudging.

Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
A misstep could spell, disaster, but the falls were few. No busted lips this day. :-(

Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
As hard as the ascent was, descending was a quad killer.

Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
The competitive heat ran 99% of the repeats with few to no walking breaks. The section after the split in the trail was a treacherous hop and hope. You had to over-stride to hit a good size rock that got slicker as the day wore on. Missing that rock meant planting your foot on a steep slide-slope of mud. Actually, running this seemed safer--to me anyway.

Picture courtesy of Laurie Biby/Beyond Ordinary Life Photography
Once the separated trails merged, you could fly for a bit. Brandon decided to hit it hard his next couple of laps.


Picture courtesy of Laurie Biby/Beyond Ordinary Life Photography
The downside of flying down the hill? Missing Matt Carver's PANCAKES!

Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
Justin Huddleston and Jenny Hudspeth finish their heat.

Picture courtesy of Danielle Huddleston
Happy Father's Day, Nick Huddleston! There were a lot of father son (daughter) teams.

Picture courtesy of Sue Ann Bement
Jason and Blake Bement lit up the 3rd heat. Blake motored up the hill again and again, running nearly ALL the uphills and finishing 6 laps.
Picture courtesy of Mishelle Hancock
Bob and Sidney Caston had a good day.

Picture courtesy of Mishelle Hancock
Team Carpenter--from left to right--Noah, Dad (Bryan), and Ethan all hauled away a huge medal for their efforts.

Picture courtesy of Mishelle Hancock
Grace and Grep Partney ran 5 and three laps respectively. Guess who has the bragging rights at  their house?

Picture courtesy of Sunshine Saldivar
Another little person was seen rummaging around the aid station. We gave him a handful of soggy M&Ms and sent him back up the hill.

Bob Doucette takes a selfie with his left foot
Bob claims he enjoyed a soda after the run. Question--was it a Pepsi--or a Bud Light?


Picture courtesy of Sue Ann Bement


Blake must have seen Bob smooching with his medal. Things like that seem to just catch on!

Brandon Payne was the overall winner, belting out 14 laps. That's 7 miles with 1850 feet of climb. Kayla Gudmundson was first female with 12 repeats, setting the female course record. Full   results can be found here.

A huge thank you goes to Susan Melon Westmoreland and Mishelle Hancock for spending their Sunday morning helping at the signup table, distributing the new TATUR shirts, and working the start/finish aid station. You girls are the best.

Hundreds of great pictures from 
are available for viewing and purchase.

This is a fun event. I heard that from people finished and had that runner's buzz going on. I was glowing for a week after doing it last year. Should we change it to 2 hour heats next year??

1 comment:

  1. Definitely felt like a million bucks after running it. All on board with a two hour challenge. Might change the dynamics a bit; giving the slow but steady types a fighting chance.

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