Sunday, August 29, 2010

Roots, Rock, Trail Series - Port Gamble Half Marathon

The Port Gamble Half Marathon was the final event for those looking to collect points in Poulsbo Running's Roots, Rock Trail Series. There were about 100 people running this fantastic event through the trails that run between Port Gamble and Poulsbo, WA. After the event was a post race barbecue, beverages, and an awards ceremony. Finally, as is usually the case, the Poulsbo Running Store gave away a ton of gear in their customary raffle. All in all, the race series has an excellent vibe with a relaxed attitude. All race proceeds go to local cross-country teams and the North Kitsap Trails Association.

I enjoyed most of the race, especially the last 7 miles or so. The first half was a bit painful, as I was having some stomach distress. The last 6 were great. Lots of downhill running, which I happen to love to do. The best part of the series for me is the fact that it gets the old competitive juices flowing. With about 5 miles to go, I caught another guy that I recognized in the 40-49 year old age group and I was assuming he and I would be duking it out for third place honors. I was correct...we chatted for awhile and with about a mile to go I decided to pick up the pace for about 200 yards to see if he would come with me. I realized after about 201 yards that this may have been a mistake as I was starting to feel concrete filling my legs. Thankfully I had just enough to continue for a strong finish and a placing in my age group.

This brings me to my next this blog entry is turning into a veritable, rambling mess. Sometimes in road races, trail races, and other racing events I settle into a pace and may even start having a brief chat with someone. This has happened to me in my last several races. Each time, in my mind, there comes a point where you can keep talking or start racing. Is it rude to stop talking and surge? I know I never feel bad if someone takes off, sometimes I am actually relieved if I am having trouble talking and staying up with the person at the same time. However, I know that everyone joins events for different reasons. Some are content with running, relaxing, and enjoying the surroundings, without really thinking about racing. I tend to vacillate between racing or relaxing. I need to make the transition to racing AND relaxing. It shouldn't be "either" or "or", it should be the genius of "and"! Anyhow, enough rambling. I will just go with the notion that people are really out there just doing there own thing for the most part and that is okay with me! Can you tell I have had one too many cups of coffee this morning...okay off for a long run!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Red Mountain Run

View of the Yakima River from the top of Red Mountain

My wife and I were visiting some friends in the Yakima Valley a few weeks ago and we took the opportunity to run up to the top of Red Mountain while we were there. Red Mountain is somewhat of a misnomer, as when I think of a mountain I think of something with a bit more elevation. Red Mountain ranges anywhere from 500 to 1500 feet. Nonetheless, it was a tough climb with spectacular views.

We ran up the mountain twice in two days. I also walked to the top with my son, Sloan and our new dog, Dose Wallips. Dose sprinted up to the top while turning around periodically with a silly look on her face. She seemed to be telling us to hurry up, but we were going as fast as we could.

We have done many cool things this summer, but spending that 60 minutes or so with my son was certainly a highlight. Sometimes it is the simplest things that can have the biggest impact. Looking forward to many more hikes and runs with Michelle and our kids. I hope they continue to see the wonders in nature as I do each and every day.
Something tells me Dose likes to run.
Dose after trying to dig up a beetle with her snout.
Sloan trying to stay up with Dose up the trail.

The sun setting on our way down.

My son and our dog contemplating the jaunt back down the mountain.

Looking forward to many more trail runs and hikes together.

Dose ready for a long nap after the mountain run.

Brooks ID Program

Okay, I will admit it, I am a Brooks fanatic. I have owned 4 pair of the GTS series (click here for a photo history of the GTS) and 3 pair of the Brooks Cascadia Trail Running shoes (favorite pair being the bumble bee yellow and black). I love their light and airy race singlets as well as their shorts. As long as they are making the Cascadia, I will buy the latest version. I buy shoes and clothing from other companies, but I generally go back to Brooks. For this reason, I am considering applying for the Brooks ID program.

The following was taken from the Brooks ID web site:

Brooks I.D. Program

Brooks I.D. stands for Inspire Daily. These two simple words guide the principles of the program. Brooks I.D. is made up of over 800 members who are active in their running communities and share a passion for the Brooks brand. They are runners who are winners in their own right: Winning their age divisions, accomplishing their personal goals, pushing their own limits, and, by extension, encouraging others to do the same. They are coaches, mentors, and leaders.

I.D. Member Benefits

All Brooks I.D. athletes enjoy 40% off purchases made at and are invited to connect with other members at Brooks-sponsored events nationwide. Members who exert an unusual level of influence in the running community also receive a complimentary product package. All I.D. members also receive a monthly newsletter highlighting new products and I.D. member achievements.

What We Look for

Brooks I.D. athletes members use their athletic talent to help carry out the Brooks mission: To inspire people to run and be active. We look for athletes who have a passion for Brooks, race and train in Brooks' shoes and apparel, and enthusiastically evangelize the brand.

(this is where my commentary kicks in...)

While it is tempting to apply, it is still nice to have the freedom to wear other brands. However, my track record shows that I go back to Brooks anyways! So I may go for it. If so, and if I am accepted, I will share something out to the blogosphere.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

New York City Marathon - Team for Kids

Only 91 more days until my wife Michelle, and I line up for the New York City Marathon. If that can't get me motivated to get my long runs in, I don't know what can! I am also trying to raise money for Team for Kids. Team for Kids is an awesome charity. Team for Kids is a team of adult runners who raise funds for critical services provided by New York Road Runners Youth Programs. These programs combat childhood obesity and empower youth development via running and character-building programs in low-income schools and community centers throughout New York City, around the country, and in South Africa.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to this charity, please click the link below:

Team for Kids Donation

Your giving helps New York Road Runners Youth Programs to:

Serve over 85,000 children in more than 400 U.S. schools and community centers with FREE programs.

Reach children of all fitness levels - with a heightened focus on reaching out-of-shape and overweight kids with little or no athletic experience.

Help overweight or obese children make lifestyle changes today to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that lead to health-care costs in excess of $100 billion annually.
Thanks for considering!