Yesterday my buddy Mike Rives and his nasty little sidekick Meego put on a little bingo game out in the woods up by Skiatook near their house. Meego Bingo they called it.
About 40 trail running friends showed up to play. Each received a race number and a bingo card and even got to blot TWO spaces as a gratuitous head start. But there was a catch: You had to run a little loop in the woods to get another bingo number. The loop: 1.75 miles. No biggie, right? But in that mile, you had a 175' hill to climb. Total elevation was 250' per loop, according to my Suunto. Strava disagreed and said it was 300' per loop. Gotta love that Strava app!!
The whole crowd had big goofy grins on their mugs before the start of the contest. Mikes place was just cool. We had a nice big start/finish area with four tents, music blaring, and all the aid station goodies including some brisket, taco fixings, water/Gatorade, and more beer than you could shake a stick at.
Friends came from far and wide. The Trospers made the trip from the OKC area. RJ Chiles and his kid sister Abby drove up from Coalgate, and I heard there were some Kansas folks here too.
Chrissy, the TATUR Comeback Kid, was raring to go. This girl just does all the races these days.
Mike went over all the course directions, explaining that we could not get lost--but if we did....
Personally, I doubt that anyone could get lost here. The course was well marked, and at every possible intersection, there was a Meego sign pointing the way. So at exactly 8:22 am, Mike sent us off into Bingo-Land.
Mike has a maze of trailz on his property, but he created a loop that seemed to skirt the outer perimeter of his land. Some of the trailz appeared to have been recently cut, or at least they had been recently raked. By the end of the day, they were tromped down well.
Here is the beginning of the first climb. This hill was runnable, and I actually did run all of it on my third loop.
After climbing for about half a mile, we were treated to a section of flat trail along the ridge, then a steep descent followed by an equally steep climb. From there, it was a gradual downhill all the way to the finish line. This pond was a welcome stretch--flat smooth trail with no rocks or roots to trip you up. This was a good place to stretch it out, which I did on most laps.
Another landmark on the course. I'm guessing a family of coyotes has a goose dinner a couple of nights ago. This was what remained. There were other theories, though. It was suggested that the goose thought it was about to be attacked, and plucked the feathers out of his wings and tails so he could run faster to escape. Some thought it might have been hit by an airplane, or UFO. It also could have been where Meego caught the goose and plucked the feathers of orneriness because...well, he IS Meego.
|Picture by Eva McCarthy|
I asked a few people who passed me on the first loop (if they passed me on the first loop, that meant they were on their second loop and were going over twice as fast as I was--but I purposely walked the first loop) if the got a number. To my slight surprise, they all had. When I got to the bingo card table, lo and behold, I too got a number and my card blotted. It was after my 3rd or 4th loop that I realized that for each runner, they kept pulling bingo balls until you got a blotch, Otherwise, it might be days or even weeks before you bingoed.
|Picture by Eva McCarthy|
After a few loops, I started grazing at the aid station. First, it was a few pretzels. Then a couple of peanut M&Ms. Then I had a bite-size piece of chocolate cake. Then a cupcake (one or both of these were rum-infused.) Then William aka Dirty Sanchez offered a shot of Piehole--a great sipping liquor that tastes like a spirited pecan pie. At one point I walked out with a margarita. another time, a street taco and a half a can of beer. there really was no need for a hydration pack or water bottle with a full-service aid station every 1.75 miles.
Justin Franklin was lapping me on every lap. I think he ended up with 15 laps, and he cut out way before I did. He surely went beyond marathon distance, and he did bingo, but it was a hard-earned one.
RJ Chiles was the first to bingo. Then, he got a second bingo card and bingoed again, this time with only SIX blots on the card. Talk about luck. RJ took home the Top Dawg award.
|Picture by Mark Plate|
The Plate family went home with three bingos--one each. Brandon got his bingo in 12 laps. Cameron took 15 laps to get his. It was funny seeing heir frustration, but neither of them was going home until the job was done, and truly they could have run 30 laps if need be. It was debated during and after the race as to HOW MANY laps could you run and not have a bingo. Considering you got two free blots to start the game, you could run up to 17 laps without bingoing.
|Picture by Carrie Rives|
Thank you so much, Mike and family, for having this fun event at your place. Kye Rives--the Meego plaques were amazing! I love mine!!! Kudos to Brian Hoover for loaning the sound system and Brian's personal porta-potty. Thanks to Dirty Sanches for bringing the meat, serving meat shots, and keeping the festivity level high. Thanks to RunnersWorld for supplying trophies and shirts. Very cool!! A big salute to volunteers Alicia Bell, Summer Chiles, Michelle Bates and whoever else I missed.
I think Mike and Meego will make this an annual event. He had better watch out--he might have 200 folks next year wanting in on it.