Speaking of the inauguration, some of you may have heard of Mike Murphy. He is an artist who has garnered the attention of the Obama transition team and has been invited to the inauguration and the ball by President-Elect Obama. Mike is not your conventional type of artist but instead uses things like nails, light, high tension wire, etc. His work is truly one-of-a-kind and simply phenomenal. He's posted all of his work at http://www.mmike.com/ and regardless of which side of the aisle you find yourself on, you can not help but appreciate what he has done. Oh yea, he's my cousin...I just thought I'd throw that in there. Here is my favorite piece of work that he has done. Light and nails and nothing else. I just can't imagine the precision needed to accomplish this.Anyway, that's enough Obama-speak for today (some of you need to close your mouth from it dropping open when you saw Obama on my blog!). This morning was the annual Vertical Runner Christmas Eve Run in Hudson. Annually, we meet at 8am for a one hour trek around Hudson and get back to the store for some raffle give-aways, hot coffee, hot chocolate, and bagels. I didn't count, but it looked like around 30 in all showed up. Fun times and Santa hats were had by many. Picture gallery here.Another thing I was reminded of: I understand how some people (namely my wife!) have a difficult time NOT spending money in places like Bath and Body Works, Kohl's, Sam's Club, etc. when I hang out at VR. Walls full of gear that really belongs in my closet. The North Face, SmartWool, Brooks/Merrell/Keen shoes....they all need to gather up and ship on over to my closet. One problem...this stuff just isn't free! Eventually, I just need to peel away and escape the near-death (of my credit...and marriage!) experience. However, before escaping, I did grab a couple of deals. I've been wear-testing a new pair of Brooks neutral road shoes...for Brooks. I only have a bit over 100 miles on them and I truly despise them. On my last review, I put down how bad the cushion had disappeared. I honestly believe that my 350 mile Brooks Glycerins feel better than these. Unfortunately, I'm supposed to run in them until mid-February before I ship them back. Hmmmm..... Well in the meantime, VR has had the Brooks Defyance on sale and ONE last pair of Brooks Radius left...both neutral cushion road shoes and two shoes I've had tremendous success with. A call to Marjie at work (for permission, of course!) and they were mine. "Merry Christmas to me! Merry Christmas to me!!!" That should get me through Burning River training, I think. Before I left the store, I got a glimpse of the running shorts you get if you run Lloyd's Fools 50K Trail Run on April 5th....nice job, Lloyd. Great shorts. (I'll take a large, please) Oh yea, those shorts are for the first bunch who register so don't delay.
To officially put the cap on 2008, my Tecumseh Trail Marathon medal showed up this week. Unlike any other marathon, runners had an option to pay an additional $6 for a customized medal which would be shipped after the race. Before you balk at this, understand the race already has a registration fee half of the majority of road marathons out there so I had no problem shelling out the extra $6. I have to say...it's a nice medal. Thin but nicely done and customized.
For Christmas, I'm puttin' the Santa hat on and going for a run around my hometown...just trying to get those weird looks I get so often around here. It won't be at 4:30am like normal. I'm thinking that after Marjie's "gourmet" breakfast, a late morning easy run will be in order. Friday will be a day off (maybe some weights in the basement) and Saturday is the 2nd Annual WaterFalls 30K Trail Run...leaving from Lock 29 at 7:30am.
Happy Trails, everyone and a very Merry Christmas to you all!