Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Breakin'

Very rarely do 5 straight days off present themselves without taking any vacation but this is one of them this year. I don't remember this ever happening before, either. "Thank you, Mr. President, for closing my government office. Much appreciated. Would New Year's Eve be too much to ask?" To get the maximum benefit out of this time, I certainly had to hit up some trails, plus a variety of other trail-running and group running adventures. On Wednesday, I spread the word about a trail run at West Branch State Park. I really think that those who live west of me in Summit County and those who live north towards Cleveland think West Branch/Portage County is in another world. It seems no one ever wants to come on over. Seriously, it's no further to drive than it is for me to drive to the CVNP like I've been doing for 5 years. The West Branch trails often are running very near the lake and also include about 5-6 miles of the Buckeye Trail...yep, blue blazes in Portage County! Anyway, thanks to Dave for making the incredibly 'long' trek from West Akron and to Slim and Gombu yet again. Always nice to get some 100-milers together for a small trail run. We're all doing MMT, too. We saw many, MANY deer and even a set of very distinct turkey tracks...and even heard a gobble, gobble on the way back but couldn't locate the bird. It was a great 10 miles at sunrise on snowy, crunchy, lakeside trails.

Today, tradition dictated that I join others in Hudson at Vertical Runner for the annual run around Hudson and Hudson Springs Park for about 6+ miles, some treats at the store afterwards, and a generous raffle afterwards, courtesy of Vince at VR. 65 others braved 15F temps and had a great run. Some eyes were rolling, but I the camera yet again. Here are the pics. The pic here is my favorite, courtesy of Tracy. She tried to avoid my camera lens, but I got her!

The day after Christmas will be the 3rd installment of a mammoth group run that will visit the 3 main waterfalls of the CVNP and conclude with lunch at the Winking Lizard in Peninsula where we'll hand out the awards for the winners in the 2009 Western Reserve Trail Running race series and also the awards to those who ran in at least 5 events. I picked up the awards today and yea, they are nice! I think those who rose to the top and captured victory will be very happy this Saturday. The participation awards are pretty cool, too. All in all, a great time will be had by all this coming Saturday.

A few posts ago, I was talking about 2010. I'm pretty torn about my 2nd 100-miler. Yes, I want to get out west and into the mountains to do one of those. Yes, I want greater and greater challenges. Yes, I want to support local races, too. If I pick, for example, the Bear 100, there is no way I can run the Oil Creek 100 in 2010. I'm not so sure I like that. I really want to return to that event and run it again and just be apart of a second-to-none kind of weekend in northwest Pennsylvania. It will most likely happen on Columbus Day weekend, too, which works good in my schedule. I just don't's not a matter of cost, either...both are about the same price except the airfare and lodging to go out west. At Oil Creek, it's an easy 2hr drive and an air mattress on the gym floor. (no sleeping bag next year...that was not an enjoyable experience!) In the meantime, the FA 50K that I am planning for the last weekend in February on the Oil Creek course is still a go. It looks like a good size group will be meeting me out there.

I hope you all will have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow and get to spend the time with family, friends, and whomever else you are close to. For me, I thought it would be a good day to wash the car since it'll be in the mid-40s and snow will be gone. "You are not washing your car on Christmas!" the Lead Santa said. OK, OK....can I run?

Happy Trails, everyone and MERRY CHRISTMAS!


Kron said...

Have a great Christmas Nick. May you continue to be blessed.

If my car troubles get fixed I may see you Saturday

mushmouph said...

greetings nick,

are you still thinking/planning a FA50 in feb?

If you are looking for a close 100 I can vouch for the Virgil Crest 100 (former IT100). It has been a great race both years.

drop a line if you have questions.


Nick Billock said...

Hope to see you, Chris!

"mushmouph"...yea, the last Saturday in February...FA 50K on the Oil Creek course in Titusville, PA

I'll check out Virgil Crest...thanks!