Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Half and Half Marathon

Sunday was my last race for the year-- the Half and Half Marathon. My running has been a far cry from year's past due to much unwanted off-time due to my gimpy knee and my workload quadrupling. Life just gets in the way I suppose. But this race was a joyous and fitting punctuation to a so-so year or trail running for me. 

Kathy Hoover and Derk and Barbara Pinkerton--the RunnersWorld Tulsa Trio--put on this third year event on my home course--the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness. This race incorporates all of the easier trailz and they are strung together using sometimes slightly technical connector trailz. Yes, they are HILLS--it wouldn't be called Turkey Mountain if if were a pancake, now would it?

This race has a uniqueness to it in that there is a road half marathon and a trail half marathon going on simultaneously. One can choose either, of do both for a full marathon. I suppose someone could also say they ran two halves, although most would rather lay claim to a full in my way of thinking.

I was pleased that the line for the dirt running far outnumbered the road running. I think people are getting smarter. How can ANYONE say the pavement was more fun than the trailz???

RD Kathy Hoover goes over announcements. I was not listening.

I meandered to the back of the pack--sizing up my competition. Here was a couple I bet I could outrun. Johnna and Wilma hammed it up for the camera.

The gun sounded, and the trail runners went west toward LipBuster and the roadies followed some pavement--heading across the river I think.

Brian Hoover and I were running together. It is a rare thing that Brian runs a race, and we've possibly never actually ran a race together. Brian posted the following on his Facebook page.
"I am ashamed and amazed to say that I have a friend who I have never ran with in a race. He was one of my very first "running" friends when I took up the sport back in 2005. He has helped me tremendously in getting the Tatur club up and running and keeping it going. We have traveled to over 50 races together and have seen a lot of amazing things together. Yet for a variety of reasons, we have never run a race together. That will change on Sunday Dec. 14th as Ken TZ Childress and I will run the trail half of RunnersWorld Tulsa's Half and Half Marathon together. I look forward to it my friend. Maze Runner and UKahnDuet."
Brian and I met by chatting on Runner's World's (the magazine)  public forum. Back in 2005, I went by the handle of Mazerunner, and had posted a long menu of races distances I had on my schedule.  A chap named Ukahnduet rattled off the names and locations of my races, and I figured out we had probably knew each other from races we'd both ran. We've been friends ever since.

Any race at Turkey Mountain that starts in the main parking lot starts out with some climbing. This race really only had two tough climbs.

I was trying something new. I used KT tape on my knee, and I must say it helped a LOT. I had no knee pain or discomfort during the race. I actually forgot I even had a knee problem. Now, two days later, I still have no knee pain or discomfort. Not saying it's well, but it seems like the run with the tape actually helped the overall condition of my meniscus.

We were near the back of the pack. We started slow, and stopped a couple of times to fix caution tape that had been moved.

There was no hope of us catching this guy. Justin Franklin scorched the course, winning the half trail.

Katie Ochoa was blazing too, but paced herself perfectly to with even splits enroute to a marathon win.

Brandon had his A-game, and finished 4th overall in the marathon. Brandon took a little easier and cruised on in for a 5 hour 26.2.

Two more fast chicks we could not catch. Jana and Theresa never cut us any slack. We tried, but just could not run them down.

Team Bement rolls along. Jason and Sue Ann have ran EVERY race in the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series.

Our quest to catch Wilma and Johnna fell short as well. Jeremy tucked in with them, and finished a marathon (his first) to go along with his recent Pumpkin Holler 50K finish.

Johnna smiles for a passing race picture. Scott Smaligo was stationed at the figure 8 intersection directing traffic. Scott took all of the pictures of the runners in action seen here .

Arnold was on a quest for bonus miles. He ran the course once before the race to check course markings, and then started late, but caught and passed Brian and I.

And my stab at being political, a tree hugger, and a Turkey Mountain advocate. Should the Simon Outlet Mall be plopped down on the western part of Turkey Mountain, part of the Half and Half will have to go right through the mall. The above is an artist's rendition of the mall, and my rendition of the race course.

Ukahnduet (pronounced YOU CAN DO IT!) kept plodding along and managed to pass a few runners to keep us out of last place--not that there's anything wrong with being last.

I even stretched it out for the last 50 feet or so to give the appearance of actually running. I finished in 3:51:58, and we were almost 30 minutes quicker on our return trip than we were going out. I attribute to not stopping on the way back to fix caution tape, not lollygagging as much at aid stations, and there are more downhills on the way back. CLICK HERE for full results.

Brian has a 30-some-odd day running streak, and always posts a sweatie selfie after his runs. I got in the picture on this one. His post:
"Sweatie Selfie #33 - weight loss 34 lbs. Ran the in RunnersWorld Tulsa's Half and Half Marathon. Ken Childress and I ran the trail half. We had a blast as we took it really slow so we could check and fix the trail markings as we went. 13.1 great dirt miles in the books. Felt good to run instead of being stuck doing the chip timing."

Now on to future things.I have been likened to Santa Clause more than a few times lately. Surely it's JUST the beard, right? My belly does not shake like a bowl full of jelly.  I am not jolly. The beard may be going soon. Maybe after Christmas.

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