Sunday, August 10, 2014

Warrior Princess Angel Run story

Last Saturday (and yes, I have been a little slow in getting my race report in--sorry) was the 5th running of the Warrior Princess Angel Run. This run is put in for a host of reasons.
1. It is a tribute to Lillian Grace Whitten, who is Michael and Chrissy Whitten's first daughter. Their website sums it up well, so I quote:
The Warrior Princess Foundation was founded by Michael and Chrissy Whitten after their precious daughter, Lilian Grace, earned her wings Thursday, August 5, 2010. She was born with T18, Edward’s Syndrome on Sunday, April 25, 2010, and fought a daily battle for 103 days. Her parents realized the need and desire to help other families going through this similar journey due to the large costs and grueling daily battles this syndrome creates on a daily basis.

2. Proceeds from the race benefit their foundation which helps build an awareness and helps with the needs of parents with children with to T18/T13 Edward's Syndrome.

3. Besides being a memorial to Lillian Grace and fundraiser to this to this cause, it is a great and fun trail run in an amazing park that most runners in the Tulsa area do not know exists.

4. Chrissy and I always look forward to hanging out for a day or two marking the race course and being silly. We've been good friends for years, but hardly get to see each other since we are both so stinking busy all the time.
Picture by Rafael Santiago
Chrissy made a few announcements, and hey--you had better be listening! The race was not a set distance--it was a timed race--how far can you run in 103 minutes. The actual course was an out-and-back that had a couple of loops within. Imagine a figure 8--with a squiggly out-and-back on the top and bottom end. Confusing? Well--you just needed to follow the person in front of you, and hope the leaders did not blow through an intersection without seeing the signs.

Picture by Rafael Santiago
The race started at 8:30, and the finishing gun was scheduled to fire at 10:13. Most of the crowd was more than ready to tear up some trail.

Picture by Rafael Santiago
We put up about 60 signs along the way--marking the course forwards and backwards. Putting wire signs into rock is tricky. I ran the course before race started, and none of the signs or pink ribbons had been disturbed since we placed them the day before. What a blessing!

Some of the route was runnable, but their were definitely some technical areas. My goal was to shuffle it all--and walk when I had to. I ran 7 laps last year, but this year, I had no goals other than to have fun and visit with friends. I ran one lap with Jason Bement for a while, and chatted it up with Bryan Carpenter for a bit before he left me in the dust. My second lap, I ran with Jenni Hawkins, and I think I have her re-hooked on trailz. My third lap, I ran with Terri Broomhall. Silly girl went the whole way in flip flops. 

Picture by Rafael Santiago
A few pics along the way--Sue Ann Bement extends her streak of running EVERY race in the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series.

Chandler Park is a gem. The tall bluffs and tight hallways between them are mystifying to say the least. 

Picture by Rafael Santiago
This is a popular place for rock climbing, rappelling, and boulder hopping. (More on boulder hopping later.)

Terri picks her way thorough the rocks. 
Picture by Rafael Santiago 

Jason Bement cruises on his way back to the start/finish.

Just up this narrow rock stairway and we can see the Start/Finish checkpoint. 

But before we hit the starting table where they recorded your lap, there was one obstacle--a little boulder hopping across the LEAP of FAITH. Much like the LEAP O'DOOM at Lake McMurtry, one had to muster all the courage they had and pray that their jump would be enough to successfully reach the other side.

Actually--this is not quite as wide as the LEAP O'DOOM.

But it IS deeper. To verify this, I tossed a rope over the side, and then measured it. The measure told the tale--this crevice was just over 7 feet deeper than the chasm at Lake McMurtry.

Terri is green with fear with the idea of crossing.

Lap after lap--it was fun til the end. Katie Kramer seemed to just float over the rocks. She lapped me so many times I lost count.

I did 4 laps, and might have had time for a 5th lap if I ran a bit faster, but I called it a day. 

Picture by Rafael Santiago
According to the finishing times--it must have been a battle at the end, with Katie and Cameron Plate finishing right together.

Picture by Rafael Santiago
Cameron had a slight lead and took first place overall. It may get to be a common thing for Cameron and his brother Brandon winning our trail races. They make it look easy. Brandon also ran the 1.03 mile race (which started AFTER the big run), won it, and then started the 103 minute run late--and still finished 9 laps. In my way of thinking, Brandon would have been very near the lead had he not done the 1.03 mile run first.

This is a super cool trail race. My advice--go out to Chandler Park and just explore. And give this race a try next year.

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