I know, I know...BLOG SLACKER am I! There just hasn't been much to talk about or should I say, not much I wanted to blog about. There's always stuff to talk about...right? This past week has actually been a pretty good week all-in-all. In my running world, it's been a week just to chill out and run when I want to and sleep in when I want to. I only ran 4 days this week and logged 42 miles...29 of those in the past 2 days. Yesterday, I met Bob "Gombu" Combs and Jim "Slim" Harris for a tour of the West Branch State Park version of the Buckeye Trail and some mountain bike trails. Today, I'm kicking myself. These trails are <15min from my house and I didn't know about the majority of them...especially the Buckeye Trail. I had no idea. I'm definitely going to start going out there more and perhaps, some Summit County folks might join me in my neck of the woods. I really see potential for a trail event out there some day.
Today, I wanted to change of scenery so I posted a run that covered the YUT-C (Youngstown Ultra Trail Classic) 50K course that I ran last year and will again in 3 weeks. It's in Mill Creek Park which is located in Youngstown. Most think of Youngstown and can't put "trails" and "Youngstown" in the same sentence. Believe me...I was surprised, too. Truth be told...it's a gorgeous place to run and a race that those who have done it, swear by it. It follows a figure-8 pattern and goes around 3 different lakes and multiple waterfalls. You are always within sight of water. On race day, you won't go more than 4 miles before you hit another fully-stocked aid station, either. Great volunteers, great swag, great course, and a dirt cheap entry fee for a 50K. If you haven't considered it and you have the weekend free, please consider it. The link for it can be found at the right under my "Upcoming Events." Anyway, myself and a few others did the 25K portion of the course today and loved it. Afterwards, I sat besides Lake Glacier and soaked my feet in the ice cold water just above the waterfall. That was cool to feel my body cool down from the bottom up as the water cooled me down. Gorgeous view from that seat, too.
Speaking of upcoming events, it's never too early to plan for events after 2009 comes to an end. I'm the type of person (Type A, actually...surprised, I'm sure!) that has to have goals set and always something to be striving for. This fall is certainly filled up with the YUT-C 50K in 3 weeks, Akron Marathon in 4 weeks, the Oil Creek 100 Miler in 6 weeks, and then the Bobcat Trail Marathon in November. However, what about 2010? Assuming I hold an Oil Creek 100 buckle in my hand in just over 6 weeks from now, I thought that the next logical (go ahead...chuckle!) step was to up the anty a bit. One race has the reputation of being the hardest 100 miler east of the Mississippi...that being the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 (MMT 100) in Virginia. It's a race rich in history, has an awesome volunteer base, and one on most ultra-runners' "to do" lists. It takes place in May 2010. To get in, you must be selected via lottery...a different kind of lottery. Registration takes place during the first week of December then on a selected day just after that, the closing price on the Dow Jones (stock market) decides who is selected. Essentially, all runners have a number and the Dow Jones decides where the starting point is on the list to decide who gets in. Others go on the waiting list. The requirement to register is completion of a 100 mile race which I have done this year...twice so far. MMT has a reputation of being extremely rocky and actually has a tag line "Massanutten ROCKS!" It also has a 36 hour time limit vs. the 'normal' 30 hour time limit...a clear indicator of difficulty. I swore I wouldn't ever do this race primarily because of that very thing but like other "I'm never doing that" decisions I've made over the past 2 years, things change. Oh yea, I've been meaning to share an actual picture of the Oil Creek 100 finisher's buckle. No, this is not my hand but is the race director's hand...holding the the buckle. Thanks, Tom! Now THAT is a buckle!
It was also the week for the Randolph Fair in Portage County before all the kids head back to school next week. We spent Friday (free for me for Veterans day!) at the fair, saw lots of lots of animals, and had my traditional "fair" fries, sausage sandwich and extremely yummy funnel cake. It was soooo good...way better than the one I had at the Ohio State Fair a month ago. The Randolph Fair still stands as the best fair I've ever been to. It never changes. The same vendors are in the same spots for years on end and it has an incredible amount of involvement from local 4-H clubs, unlike so many other fairs in the area. It really is amazing to see what the youth are involved in.
This next week will be the first week back to school for my kids and capped off at week's end with the last really big group run on the Blue Line of the Akron Marathon. Traditionally, this is by far the biggest group run of the year. We'll cover 20 miles of the 26.2 mile course. Start time is at 6:30am and all the details can be found here. Speaking of the Akron Marathon, I'll be working in the Vertical Runner booth at the Expo all day on Friday before the race along with Mizuno. Stop by and say "Hi!"
Can you believe that September and the fall are almost here?! 2009 has simply flown by...
Happy Trails, everyone!