Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Kansas City Area Trail Runners...Onward toward world domination!

Some of the Kansas City Area Trail Runners picked a couple of tough 50-milers to run in, last weekend. The pieces are finally falling into place regarding our "10-year plan" for "total world domination."

A whole whole pot-load of them went up to do the Minnesota Voyageur 50-Miler. Toe-ing the line on Saturday morning in Carlton, Minnesota were Kyle Amos, Caleb Chatfield, Matt Decker, Phil Sheridan, Paul Schoenlaub, and Stuart Johnson.

This out-and-back course has a brutal section called "Powerlines" that photos and descriptions can't give any justice to. It is a hilly enough course without this ominous section. Well, the Kansas and Missouri contingent decided to go up and kick some Minne-butt, and they did it with ruthless precision. (Ruth was injured and couldn't race). Both KUS and SLUGs ultrarunners' groups were represented well.

Caleb Chatfield, in his first Trail Fifty-miler (ever), won the whole bunch of bananas outright! His time was 7-hrs, 38-minutes and change. Paul had a great run with a 8:30 or so. Phil Sheridan put in a 8:54. Kyle took 15th overall with a 9:08. Matt and Stuart finished in around 10 and 11 hours, respectively. Kyle and Caleb, not content to sit on their laurels (in Minnesota), decided to drive back directly after the race. After all, it's only a 10-hour drive! See newspaper article.

Last weekend, two more of us Trail Nerds decided to do a decently-hilly 50-miler in the Pacific NW: Patrick P. and yours truly. We both flew out separately and showed up on race day to run in the Douglas Fir and Hemlock forests of Oregon. Namely, we decided to run in the PCT 50/50 "Scott McQueeney Memorial" Trail Race near Mount Hood, Oregon. Wow, there were mountains out there! (And we got to run over more than a few). I had a good 50-mile race with a finish time of 10-hours, 30-minutes and change, and Patrick cruised-in with a 10:39, after taking a wrong turn. We dun goood!

The race had some dusty parts to it, and the dust affected my asthma somewhat. The views on the trail were spectacular; I'll have to take a camera on the run, next time. I reached the 25-mile turnaround point (at Timberline Lodge) in 5:10:00. During the race, I had one rough 1-hour segment of time, but other than that I felt okay. I really love technical trail, and this race was part groomed trail and part single-track technical trail, with NO ROAD running!

One fun adventure during the run:
Just 4 miles from the finish, I was held up by a herd of cows and a large bull. They had swam across a small body of water to get onto the trail. The cows moved off-trail by me yelling at them, but the bull stood his ground. A runner caught up to me and asked me, "what if the bull charges?" I said, "I'm not worried, because I know I can outrun you!" He didn't find it amusing. I picked up a large stick and started thwacking it on the ground. It broke with a loud snap and the bull snorted, then took off up the mountain (and off of the trail) with his herd of cows and calves in tow. I wasn't too upset for the delay. It only took about 3 minutes off of my finish time and it was comic relief, so what the heck?

My son and wife flew out with me. We also got to visit with my Nephew who lives in Portland, and is my son's age. The three of us Boyz went to the Oregon Brewer's Festival and had a good time. The hard part was going to the festival on Thursday and Sunday, with a 50-mile race on Saturday. I let my liver recover on Friday, at least. It didn't seem to affect me and my race at all, but my Sunday "sampling" was negligible. I guess that after a 50-miler, I'm a lightweight when it comes to alcohol.

I go to Portland often, so I know the area very well. I won't go into more detail; just let it be known that we had a real blast out there!

While some of us were running 50-milers, Good Ben and Shane ended up winning another adventure race out at Smithville Lake! They are way ahead of every other team in the series points standings.


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