Kirk injects illegal steroids only in his right leg. Hope he doesn't get caught...
Hannah was diggin the helmets
My second foray into the mud was yesterday. Last year, Team Library Dork teammate Turi & I managed to pull out a surprise win in the 4.8 mile obstacle relay course. I had a new partner this year, as Turi is nursing a sprained vjayjay (just kidding buddy!). Seriously, though. I did have a new partner, as Turi has done less running this year and was a little apprehensive about sportin' the old speedo for 2.4 miles. What? I forgot to tell you? Our uniforms this year consisted of a black bikini brief and a blue under armour type shirt. Mine was emblazoned with a yellow "C" for Captain Banana Hammock, and new partner Kirk Ferris had a bunch of grapes across his chest as the Grape Smuggler!
I'd given him as much info about the 2009 edition as I could, but it's not exactly the same from year to year, so we met up at 1 & ran the course as part of a 5k warm-up. It looked like the Reno High football guys were back, but hidden behind a tree before you got to the mudpit, and there was a "maze" after the pit where the football players were last year, although we suspected there would be a more sinister element to that obstacle once the race started. Hay bale hurdles. Check. No crab walk this time, and instead of the balloons at the end, it was a quick round of hopscotch, through the foam pit (which turned out to be a wall of bubbles) and on to the finish.
After the warm-up, we got our barely covered heinies to the start, and at 2:00 were off. I ran the first leg again, and again was a little surprised how many people took off really fast. Most had slowed by the first turn, though, save for a couple. The field had grown to nearly a thousand this year (456 teams), so the people walking and running the opposite direction on the return trip were as much of an obstacle as anything on the course. Three minutes in, I got blasted with a firehouse (on low) and some super soakers by "cops" wearing fake 'staches and shorts that would make Daisy Duke blush. Another minute or so to the park...over the hurdles and onto the little loop where the football players lurked. I was in the lead again, so three of em tried to gang up on me as I was passing through alone, however...after trading blows with the first one (which is surprisingly tiring after a 5 minute mile) I had a Barry Sanders flashback, faked, sidestepped, and accelerated past the others, who very obviously did not expect me to have another gear or two. Well that was satisfying, but starting to tire again. Poo!
As I made another turn onto the grass and approached the pit, I saw Tim, who so mercilessly pounded me the last mile of last week's 10k, gave him a wave, and tried my darndest to long jump into the mud. In my defense, real long jumpers going 25 feet or more don't have to do a 6 minute run-up before their jump like I did. Nevertheless, my twelve footer ain't puttin' the fear in anyone anytime soon. Made for a good splash, though. And my shoes even stayed on this time. On back through the "maze" which was a series of roadblocks that served more as a very brief rest as opposed to a real maze. Gotta like that! Back to the road, running against the grain, feeling a little better, and a little faster than last year, which was good, cause the mummy (that's right...mummy) wasn't really that far behind. After another soak and a quick game of 'scotch, Kirk came running towards me. Pleasant surprise there as last year we had to run all the way back to the start before the second guy goes, but that did cut each leg by 60 yards or so.
Kirk took off without the soap baton that I'd lost when I re-entered the atmosphere in the mud, and took off fast. I jogged in through the foam pit and finish, and worked my way through the crowd to get back out on the course to see Kirk down the homestretch. It was about 20 degrees cooler than last year, which was nice for running, but not for washing of in the river. Luckily for me, between the thin mud and the water/soap hazards, I was almost clean, and didn't have loads of mud in bad places like last year. I got back to the entrance to Idelwild before I saw Kirk flying around the corner and on to the Booth St. bridge, still in the lead. I flipped around and ran him nearly to the finish, before breaking off. Our official time for 4.6-4.7 miles was 24:21, which comes out to about 5:12-5:17 per mile! Whoa...I had NO sense of pace when I was running, but was hoping for something resembling a good 5k pace between obstacles. Needless to say I'm ecstacic we ran (at worst) well under 5:20's including the slow-downs. My expectations (and self imposed pressure) for a good 5k time continues to grow each week.
The mummies finished about 80 seconds back, way ahead of 3rd. I wouldn't know 'til later that one of em was Jeff Huxhold (who at his peak is noticeably faster than either of us). I hope his basketball continues to go well. One less guy kicking my butt on a weekly basis. I still have to figure out how to get Tim that ex-lax, though. We did a couple more miles to cool-down, then hung out at the park, listening to music and putting the legs in the freezing cold Truckee. After enjoying a buffalo burger and a couple tasty Sierra Nevada brews (who replaced Budweiser as a sponsor of the festival) they held the awards on the ampitheater stage like last year. Unfortuntely, with a micro replacing Bud as a sponsor, the Bud girls were absent from the ceremony. Shoot! The price to pay for better beer, I suppose.
It had been advertised that first place would get season passes to Mt Rose, but there should've been an * bigger than the one next to Barry Bonds "records" next to that one. The pass I brought home is good from December to March...except for Saturdays...and Sundays...and all Friday/Monday holidays...and a two week stretch in December/January. In other words, it's a great pass for those who don't have a job! I'd just been thinking what a good idea it was to have a prize that really doesn't cost any hard money, but it's close to useless. Don't get me wrong, most runners, as well as myself, are not in it for the bounty, but I can't help but be disappointed. Last year were such pleasant surprises in May, with swag from a multitude of sponsors, and this year's will end up being a rather worthless peice of paper. Between that and the Silver Legacy who cut about 75% of their prizes for the climb two weeks ago, & that was quite a letdown just based on last year. They did, however, improve upon the rapper-style medallions from last year. I know...how could they, right?! Well, the above pics of the hand painted trojan helmets (how's that for a trophy) should prove my point there!
Today Kirk did not rest, as he was running the 5k at Mom's on the Run, over by Reno High. I started my morning at the gym, did a slighlty abbreviated leg workout, and headed to the race on foot. Nice morning for a run. There were at least a couple thousand, and some familiar faces from the previous day, now in pink instead of costume. I didn't get official results, but Kirk ran a good pace...16:50 for 5k (first time under 17?) and I ran with running/drinking buddy Dave to a 27:40. After another little cooldown, I got to run back uphill to my car at the gym, but all in all, it gave me 79 miles for the week to go along with 122 sets of weights (my goal avg for the year is 60+/100+). Over 70 for another week and my highest total (I beleive) since 2008! I like that the races are going fairly well during the high mileage weeks. I'll try and hold the 70+ a week through June, and see what happens when Dilbert/Stryder/no-name is born.
Next up is another shot a 15:...at the Avenue of the Vines 5k on Sunday. Should be fun...
~~PS: I'm impressed/surprised that the RGJ actually printed our team name. Seeing Captain Banana Hammock & the Grape Smuggler in the Mother's Day paper was quite entertaining!