Sunday, April 30, 2006


Top: The certificate/award. Bottom: Steve and I with one of our YMCA head coaches, Lori Duffy, at the 2004 Sentinel Triathlon. This race was one of the greatest that I've ever experienced. Lori inspired and coached me on my first and only Ironman distance triathlon.

This is going to sound like I'm bragging, totally not my intent. I just want to share with ya'll an honor that I received from some volunteer work that I've done for the Presidio YMCA. To be honest it was a little embarrasing to receive the honor, especially when I was congratulated by folks who have given more of their time. However there's no turning it down either. Oh alright I'll take the free dinner and award.

Early 2003, I was injured training for a couple of ultra-marathon races; the American River 50-Miler and the Miwok 100K. Not wanting to just sit around I joined the YMCA's Triathlon program. It was a three month program which culminated in a laid back, non-competitive sprint distance triathlon (short) in the summer. Well at that point I knew how to tread water and I had a mountain bike. Both activities didn't aggravate my injury and besides I already had the stamina of a horse...okay maybe a pony. How hard could it be? Well it was hard enough, learning how to swim properly was the greatest challenge but boy did I love it. There was great camaraderie in our group, we had excellent coaches and I enjoyed the workouts. I even ditched my mountain bike and forked up the money for a proper road bike. It was such a great experience I signed up for the next session, this time the goal was to finish an Olympic distance triathlon in the fall, so called because it's the distance utilized in the olympics: 1.5 Kilometer Swim ( .9 Miles), 40 Kilometer Bike ( 24 Miles), and a 10 Kilometer Run( 6.2 Miles). Loved it, I was hooked.

So naturally when the program restarted in 2004 and they asked me to be a mentor for the Sprint program I was more than willing. Again I continued on to the Olympic program and they moved me up to assistant coach. I said it then and I will say it again now, I didn't know enough to be anyone's assistant coach. However I was willing and a big fan of the program. I loved training with the other athletes and I was able to contribute in the area of running and keep up on the bike.

For 2005 they changed the format for the program which didn't suit me so I focused my attention on the new Run group. Same duties, being a mentor and an assistant coach, some weekends it was also "water stop boy". Another positive experience.

So based on those two years of volunteer work, my friend JoAnne submitted my name for the Volunteer of the Year award for the Presidio Branch. I agreed because I didn't think anything would come out of it. Seriously, where's the folks working with kids. But I did win. I got the news in January and the dinner/celebration was this past Friday. Each North Bay YMCA location had two honoree's, a teen and an adult volunteer. It was a great honor and everyone was so nice and congratulatory. I had to get up on stage with the other honored adult volunteers from the other branches, even got a certificate and everything. Nice.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

EQ Swimwear

That's my baby - the logo not the girl!

That there is US Amateur Triathlete Kathy Winkler from Mill Valley California (woohoo local girl), she was the defending champion for her age group last year (35-39) at Ironman Hawaii. She's pretty awesome and I'm totally stoked to see a logo that I created in action.

EQ is a swim wear company in Oregon. I took on the job as a favor to my good friend Steve. Steve is a marketing consultant who feeds me tons of projects. I would say that 85% of my work if from his firm, so naturally when he asked I was more than willing. It has been a great experience working with EQ. First of all I love how the logo turned out. Second Ellen from EQ is great to work with, before we talk business she always inquires about my training and my upcoming races. A former swimming stand out, she competed in the Olympic trials. Aside from running her company and taking care of her family, she still keeps up with her swimming and teaches swim classes. Most of all I get to produce work for a sport, an industry that I'm involved in. I have no love for swimming but I love triathlon and some of my favorite people are swimmers. The website is next but that's still in progress. Promise to send a link soon as it launches, hopefully in the first week of May...keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


GGC Retreat 06_Hiking
Hiking on the Retreat.

Body tight and sluggish, legs feel like lead, stomach full of tasty yet bad for you Camp and Road trip food. That was a hard run. Tired, mentally and physically from a weekend of little sleep, running around, messing around, fooling around...hehe joking on that last part. Another great Retreat, bittersweet but...what's the right word...beautiful? wonderful? fullfiling? in it's own way. Kids were awesome, everything was great.

It wasn't all messing around and eating, I did manage to get some hiking in with a bit of running. I wussed out of paint ball though. After I got home today at 6PM I managed to talk myself out for a 9-mile run, I used the guilt tactic - reminded myself of all the non-nutritious food I indulged in...mmmm Smores!

Pictures and stories to come. As always the good times always seem to go by too quickly.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Big Weekend Ahead

This weekend is our Annual Church Retreat in Sebastopol. An hour and a half north of here. You head like you're heading towards Sonoma/Napa but you end up turning left for the Coast. Beautiful area, lots of hills and trails....hehehe you already know where I am going with this.

Anyway big weekend, like last year I'm responsible for transporting some of our Youth, this year there's six of them. The youngest, 10yr. old, will have to bunk with me because only the high schoolers and the middle schoolers have group lodging. So wish us luck or send us prayers for our safety and a good bonding weekend. Gotta keep the 10 yr. old out of trouble and help police the older kids. Gotta make sure they're not out making out somewhere or breaking stuff. Damn kids:)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Baptism in the Elements

Into the cold!

I don't know of another church that does Baptisms like we do. It's held once a year, always on Easter, always cold and gloomy, always at Ocean Beach on the Pacific coast, always around 6PM after our church service. These last two years the weather has been especially bad, although this year was not as bad as the previous one. Last year's ceremony made this past Sunday look like a picnic. We had a strong wind that drove the rain and sand sideways across the beach. Check out these photos from last year, 2005 Baptism.

But you know as my friend Guy pointed out, it's all the more inspiring when the weather is especially bad because people still come out and it shows the strength and love of the community. We were missing some good folks, Easter plans with family, but a good number braved the weather again.

I go every year because it helps me re-live my own baptism 5 years ago, wow has it been that long. I was baptized as a child in the Catholic church but I choose to redo the ceremony. It wasn't out of disrespect for my Catholic upbringing. I just wanted, this time around, to be a willing, cognizant participant in my own Baptism.

Anyway another great Baptism, no singing or building a fire because of the weather but a lot of fun nevertheless.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Sunny Track
Track in historic Kezar Stadium with my Golden Gate Triathlon Club peeps.

The first no rain, still light out track night that I've experienced! With the days getting longer, the time change and the coming of Spring, it was just a matter of time. I've been waiting to snap a few shots of Tuesday night track to share with you guys and tonight was the night. Lot's of peeps showed up, other groups were there too, everyone was pumped and all was relieved that there was no rain. It was just last week that a handful of us braved cool temperatures and drenching rain. My old YMCA Presidio Tri-Group was out there too, a pleasant surprise. It was nice to see old friends and share my workout with them. What a great night. I personally had an awesome workout, lately my workouts (runs and spin) have been amazing. Am I peaking? Maybe. With my first race three weeks away, now's a good time. I should really say "running event", I have a "runnig event" in three weeks. When I say "race" I sound like I'm a contender for a top three finish and I'm not. I do however have a very real chance of putting up a personal best time on the course this year. Oh and I would very much like to beat Brian Wyatt to the finish, he's gotten faster and he also has it in him to have a personal best at Miwok...but I digress once again.

To be a Winner and a Loser at the Same Time

Ring, Ring, Ring,...

Me: Hello this is Rick.

Kevin: Hi Rick this is Kevin from the YMCA.

Me: Oh Hi!.

Kevin: Hi, I'm calling to congratulate you on being the volunteer of
the year and I wanted to confirm if you are going to be at the event dinner April 28.

Me: I am actually.

Kevin: Excellent. Now can you give me the name of the person
you're bringing to the event.

Me: Errr...well it's just me. Loser!

Kevin: Oh okay, excellent. Well we look forward in seeing
you at the dinner.

Me: Thanks.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Jason's Catholic Confirmation

Jason after being confirmed.

So Jason was confirmed as a Catholic this past Saturday. Coming from the Protestant side of the faith he has decided to give Catholicism a chance. I can relate all though my journey was the other way around. Well I can tell you that on our long run this past Sunday it stopped raining before we started and it started raining after we were done. Are we blessed? Probably:) That was a good run filled with talks about food and girls. You know guy stuff...but I digress. So here is the big dude in his confirmation robes. It was a great ceremony filled with singing, scripture reading, a sermon, a couple of baptisms and lots of incense followed afterwards by a private party filled with desserts, good conversation and wine.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Home on a Saturday

So there was a great south bay(Los Altos, towads San Jose) bike ride planned for this morning. Put together by some folks at the Tri-Club who were tired of riding the northern hills (Marin) and like me had very little to no experience riding in the east (Oakland and Contra Costa County). It was good timing because I had just gotten a new wheelset for my bike and so far this year have only gone on one outdoor ride. I even talked Jason into coming. I was up at 6:30AM, you guys who know me know this is a small miracle, and Jason was at my apartment by 7:20, half an hour later I was back in my apartment, on the computer doing work. So what happened?

Well you see I'm not savy mechanically and that goes for my bikes. I mean I could be but never had the experience, tools, time, etc, etc. I'm good at manual, working with your hands kind of stuff but this is one area I have very little experience or knowledge with. Believe me if I had the space I would have a workshop, not just for fixing and maintaining things but also for creating stuff (art). Anyway I spent the better part of my afternoon and evening yesterday working on the bike and setting up the new wheels, and in the end I forgot one major component which made riding the bike next to impossible. Thank God for Jason for his expertise in the matter. You should have seen his face when I told him what I did. I'm such a dumbass! No I won't tell you what I did. If you're not into bikes you won't care and if you were, well you'll just shake your head. I am proof that you can do triathlons, even an Ironman and know very little about your bike. Let me put it this way, my guys at the bike shop know me well.

Anyway so I just worked the morning away. Might as well since I was up and had roughly 8 hours of work to do before Monday. Jason called me an hour later and said he turned back because it was pouring rain. Paraphrasing his words, "I'm a runner now not a biker, I ain't going out in that". Jason used to be the bike director for our club. Anyway J.P. and those guys probably waited the rain out and took their chances. I don't see those guys backing down.

Stephen I hear you man, I'm also sick of running in the rain. I'm going to fix my bike and maybe I'll run if it's not raining.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dim Sum

My very own sketchy looking Dim Sum place.

Went to visit Jason at work today, had to borrow some of his bike tools. His office is on the edge of Chinatown so I decided to stop by the Chinatown Post Office on the way home. An experience that won't happen again any time soon because for some reason even the post office smelled and felt like an open market:) On the way home I passed by my favorite hole in the wall Dim Sum place. I rarely if ever eat Dim Sum but when I get the hankering for it I go here. It's kind of scary looking, it could be cleaner and frankly I don't know how it rates with all the other places because I haven't tried other places. But whatever, I was born in a third world country and I grew up in one of the provinces, believe me I've been in scarier places.

Nevertheless I had to keep walking by. No Siopao (Filipino for Meat Buns), Shu Mai's or other Chinese made snacks for me. I've been bad, bad, bad. Don't make me confess. My mouth can and will always outpace my legs. For those of you who want to workout to control your weight keep in mind that your appetite will increase as well. It's important to develop and maintain good eating habits, especially when you work out.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Work, Work and more Work

Truffle logo for Stephen and Amy. Color is not final.

Work's been a rollercoaster ride lately, really, really, busy, slow, busy, slow, hectic, crazy busy, slow. How it goes when you work for yourself. Hey it's kind of like running trail; grinding hill, another hill, fast breakneck speed downhill, so-so flat, back breaking uphill, scary fast technical downhill. Yeah I know it's exhausting being around me cause all I talk about is running. Believe I'm not like this in person...or am I?

Anyway back on the subject, work's been a rollercoaster. Maybe it's time to work for a firm again....maybe... I love my freedom. I like walking around in the clothes I slept in and taking hot showers at lunch. I love the flexibility of my schedule even though it sometimes requires me to work weekends. I love that I can turn work away, I love my work but it is no longer priority one in my life - used to be but not anymore. I remember those days...hopefully never again.

So this is one of my new logos. Color is not final yet. You know I should share more of my work here. Maybe just the ones I'm excited about.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gloriously Miserable Together

Weather at track was the same as it was all day, a bit of wind and lots of rain. It was miserable but fun in that we were there together. As they say "Misery Loves Company". We also inspired each other I think, we were impressed in each other's commitment to show up despite the weather. I for one was thankful for the company. So as much as I complained I also loved it. With the rain beating down our heads, the wind blowing at us and the puddles keeping our shoes soaked, it was a glorious wonderfully miserable experience.

Love Mondays

Side Story: When I was kid my family made fun of my legs. They said the reason I was dark and had muscular legs was because I was really a child of a primitive tribe of mountain folk. People who spent their days collecting firewood and living off the land. I was basically adopted, they took pity on me and wanted to give me a chance for a better life. Well that was all good and nice of you folks but now I would like to take this chance to thank my real parents. Thank you for your genetic gift and in honor of it I will endeavour to run mountains the rest of my life:)

So anyway, Mondays are my days off from working out. By the time Monday's come around I'm usually ready for some R&R, some comfort food and usually some grocery shopping. Yesterday was no different. My legs were especially stiff since I followed up my breakthrough workout on Saturday with another 6 miles of running on Sunday. I can't help it, I love running with the Sunday trail running group and these runs are usually followed by a great lunch. No Run, No Lunch. But yeah, calves, thighs, back, all stiff but a good pain...know what I mean...nothing's hurt.

I was especially lazy though, had to work Sunday afternoon all the way to 5AM Monday morning, deadlines, deadlines. I got a couple of rush projects on Friday afternoon. So I was pretty lethargic for most of the day yesterday, once I met the deadlines my body just let it all go. After a quick nap I rushed out at 7:30PM to do my weekly grocery shopping but instead of walking the 30 minutes there I caught the bus. I don't own a car so everything is public transportation or cabs counts as public transport? Anyway feeling guilty I walked back and complained all the way home about the hills and the weight of my backpack, "Good God another hill, don't these ever stop?!". Clearly the athlete in me couldn't be bothered. Jason thought this amusing, "shouldn't you have done this the other way? I mean, you want to walk there then catch the bus back with your heavy groceries". Yes Jason that makes perfect sense, had I been thinking properly I would have done just that. Got home, ate and crashed before 11PM, a couple of hours before my usual bedtime.

Anyway the rain is back and if it doesn't stop (it's been constant all morning and afternoon) it will be a cold wet night at track tonight. Time to lace up the shoes again. I must be well rested cause I don't care it's wet outside.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Ewww...Where Have You Been???

Marin Headlands, as seen from the San Francisco side of the bay.

Rick: "Who's the nice girl in the white t-shirt?, wait a minute
I know that face...."

Shannon: Hey Rick!

Rick: Hey how you doing?

Shannon: Where have you been, some crazy workout again?
(looks concerned)

Rick: errr... not crazy (rubbing salt off face, a futile attempt), just a 6-hour run.

Shannon: Six what? Where?(rolls eyes)

Rick: Marin Headlands.

Shannon: How do you feel?(looking a bit squeamish/disgusted
and yet concerned)

Rick: I feel amazing! I just did 3 hours at a good pace then 2.5
at a hard, LT pace.

Shannon: Really (disbelief), you ran hard and fast for 2.5 hours
and what's wrong with your arm?

Rick: Yes and it's poison oak from last week
(feeling subconscious, stop looking at me - I'm hideous)

Shannon: So how was it? (keeping her distance)

Rick: Great, great (noticed for the first time how smelly he really is)

Shannon: Don't you have problems with your legs,
your body breaking down.

Rick: Sometimes, not today though. (grinning)

Shannon: You know I don't run anymore...problems with
both hamstrings.

Rick: Huh..well...errr.(speechless)

Shannon: You know you're obsessed with this thing?

Rick: Yeah sure but I don't spend as much time in the bars and clubs
anymore. Just a re-appropriation of time.

Shannon: Yeah, yeah (rolls eyes once more), whatever gets you high.

More small talk...blah, blah, blah, church, blah, blah, mountain biking, blah, blah, blah...

Rick: Well okay I gotta go, I want to hit that shower as soon as possible.
(liar... there's still the stretches, ice bath, and washing down with dishwashing soap to wash out the poison oak)

Shannon: Well okay see you around. You scare me you know that.

Rick: I thought you were already scared?

Shannon: No you've taken it to another level.

Rick: Yeah okay, be like that. (shuffles the three blocks home, muscles stiff from stopping)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Flowers in the Field

Despite the rain my body knows it's Spring. The past couple of days I've noticed so many beautiful women. Is it really that simple? Does the change to the spring season really bring this about? Don't get me wrong, as a 30 something, single hetero guy I notice women all the time, it's just that they seem to be everywhere now. It's like running on a trail then looking up to see yourself surrounded in a field of flowers. Well maybe it's just because there has been a break in the weather the last couple of days, the first time in awhile that I've seen people sans their umbrellas, hats, hoods and coats...that's probably it.

But speaking of actual flowers, there will be much to see once the rain stops. I'm looking forward to the Miwok 100k the first week of May. If we get some sun before then, which we probably will, those hills will be covered with fresh new vegetation and flowers. While I'm not one to put flowers in my apartment I can appreciate running through a hillside covered with them. Last year at Miwok I caught up to a female runner who would stop every once in a while to pick a flower which she would then put behind her ear, she had to do this many times because eventually the motion of running would jar it loose. If we get sun before May, if race day is a sunny day, it will be a fine time "to smell the roses" while running my heart out...let's just hope my legs can keep up:)

That said the rain is back again and I will leave you all with this image, courtesy of my good friend J.P. Sulpizio. So true, so appropriate yet so funny. It's the real thing too, no photoshop tricks.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

AR50 The Report Finally...

Check links on left for AR50 images

What a blast! Most of the race experience without actually running the race. I was however a little jealous after seeing all the happy contented faces at the finish, I know how that feels.

Posted a link to the photos on the last, last entry but here it is again.

Alarm clock(s) go off at 2:15AM, snoozed them all until 2:35AM. Got up feeling very tired, "why the hell am I doing this? how did I get roped into this?". A long hot shower later I'm back to almost normal. Went through my checklist and I was out the door. It felt like race day but not my race. was cold outside but like clockwork there was Olga at the appointed time, soon we were at Jason's and we were on the Bay Bridge headed South by 3:30AM. On the way down it starts to rain, so not good. It was gloomy and depressing. We get to Sacramento by 5AM, following the race guidelines, we stop off at a Gas Station for our potty break and an opportunity to get some coffee. I love coffee and at 5AM, it's manna from Heaven. Start looked bleak. People were checking in and going back to their cars or going to the bathroom, no one was really hanging out. Still drizzling and still cold. Rain finally stops before the start, and the 477 runners out of 550 that signed up start the race promptly at 6AM. By then it was light and the mood a bit more jovial. Jason and I stayed until the runners looped back under the bridge where they started, taking pictures and drinking our coffee. Olga passes by finally and we take off for the next aid station.

Olga's system is solid. 4 handheld bottles with pockets for energy gels. Two goes with her and two stays with us to fill with water and Carbo Pro drink. At the designated aid stations she gives us her empties we furnish her with new ones along with energy gel. Also in the car is a bag of additional supplies, extra insoles and an extra pair of shoes that she can access at the aid stations. Everything went smoothly for the most part except when we forgot to communicate to her that we would get breakfast and thus miss her at one aid station. There was also the coffee incident. She requested some coffee at mile 27.5 and we forgot. I should have remembered, I'm the coffee drinker and Jason isn't. Luckily there was caffeine in the form of coffee flavored caffeinated gels, ain't the same thing but it was available. I started pacing Olga at this aid station. The weather continued to hold up, no rain but still cool.

By about mile 30 or so we enter some real trails and Olga started to pick up her pace, imperceptibly at first but she got faster and faster. The trails energized her. Feet started to dance around rocks, puddles, mud and roots. She was quick and nimble on the downhills, smooth and strong on the flats and uphills; hop, skip, shift, skip, pivot, jump, shift.... We were passing people and I was counting; 10, 11, 12, 13....another woman, 14, 15.... One woman we passed picked up her pace and started following us, after a couple of miles of this Olga takes a bathroom break and let's her pass. She explained that by trying to stay ahead of the pursuing runner she was running her race, her pace and not her own, better to let her go on her way and not let her draw energy from us. So back to the game plan, to her pace and her game. Mile 37 or so she complains of butt pain...I see...well...huh...what do you do when your runner complains of butt pain? Since I wasn' t going to massage it for her I just laughed and waited until we got moving again. Call me insensitive, no butt massages not even cute butts:) More mud and standing water, some of this mud smelled nasty too, like it was mixed in with manure or something....mmmmm....manure. We were careful where it got really thick, it already sucked out her shoe once and it was a pain to get it back on again. May favorite part, about a 100 yards before the Rattlesnake Aid Station, mile 40, there was a section of trail that was just flooded. There was no way around the water, left or right, you just wade in the ankle deep water and curse silently. Fun, heck ya! At this point it doesn't really matter. There were sections of the course where I sank in ankle deep mud. I would purposely run through water just to wash off the mud. At the aid station I handed off to Jason. Frankly I didn't want to stop. The 12.5 miles that I traveled with Olga seemed like 20 but I loved it. My endurance engine was online, hot and ready and now I had to stop. At the aid station Jason was waiting with fresh new bottles for Olga and car keys for me.

I felt super and I was muddier than hell. Chatted a bit with some of the folks at the aid station and promptly drove back to the finish. Did I wash off the mud? heck no, it's manly being dirty. However I gave some folks the wrong impression that I was a racer, a racer who came in fast and dirty and is now hanging out at the finish line. I felt a little bad about that. Ran into a friend, Mark Tanaka, this dude was fast when I met him about 3 years ago. But back then he always had the wrong equipment and he kept getting lost on the races. Now he's even faster now that he's got the whole equipment, nutrition thing figured out and he doesn't get lost anymore. He finished AR50 in 7:17, definitely not in my league but oh so humble and friendly, like most ultra-runners. I also introduced myself to race director Greg Soderlund, also the rd for Western States 100. After some soup and more talking I headed down the course to meet Olga and Jason. After about 2 miles I see them, thank God, I thought I would have to keep going downhill to the aid station. You see AR50 has a nasty finish, the last 3 miles or so is uphill and on a concrete road....mmm...(everyone say it with me)....concrete! Just what a sore body and aching legs need. Ran back up with them to the finish. It was slow going at times because someone would crack a joke and we'd laugh and be reduced to walking again. At the final turn to the finish the volunteer informs Olga she's in the top 10. Fifty yards from the finish Olga walks so she can compose herself then breaks out into a nice run within sight of the finish line. Her final time is 8:58:28, 10th woman overall and 4th in her age group. Oh and she does succeed in catching, passing and dropping that woman racer who was chasing us earlier. Hehehe, I've had that happen to me before; hunted down a runner, pass and dropped them, only to have them catch me before the finish. If you're competitive it ain't a pleasant feeling. If you're me you get pissed for a second then you go about enjoying your day, but I digress...

We go back to the car so Olga can change into less smelly, less dirty clothes and then we head back to the finish line. Regrettably I had to wash off my precious mud, it was time. Jason runs into some friends, this dude has friends all over the place. We mingle with some folks. I run into more friends, take some pictures, eat more food. I forgot to pack and extra pair of shoes so I walked around barefooted. I lived in Honolulu for 10 years, walking barefoot ain't no big thing, although my feet are not as tough as they used to be. I just hated the feeling of wet shoes. After half an hour we take off, ended up in a Denny's and grubbed. The ride home was long, I nodded off for a part of it. The sight of San Francisco from the Bay Bridge was breathtaking, I leave so I can come back. I love this city!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Poison Oak!!!

Both legs and both arms but much worse on the right side. I must have side swiped a bush of it avoiding puddles and mud. Nice. Got a couple of products to help with the healing but it will take a couple more days I think. It's a good thing it's still cool out cause I've been wearing pants and long sleeve shirts.

I use a product called Oral Ivy, it's a safe homeopathic remedy for both prevention and treatment. Last year I used it and didn't get a single case of poison oak. I started taking it a week before the Miwok 100k and continued taking it through the summer. This year I planned on following the same schedule so I wasn't prepared for the poison oak in AR50. When I ran it a couple of years ago I was fine, probably because I ran in the middle of the trails. This year we were all dodging and weaving the mud and puddles, undoubtedly brushing up against the poison oak growing on the side of the trails. By the time Miwok comes around (May 6) my body should be better prepared against this nasty crap. Meanwhile I've got to heal.

Monday, April 03, 2006

AR50 Photos

Olga on the bike path.Click here for more pics.

Didn't take as many photos as I wanted, definetly none while I was running but the ones I did take turned out decent. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

AR50 Quick Report

Jason relaxing, nice warm and comfortable while waiting
for Olga at the mile 19 aid station...

More details and photos to come but here's a brief rundown.

The Quickie
Left San Francisco on time, on the Bay Bridge by 3:30AM. I get a couple of hours of sleep, Jason doesn't even bother. Got to the start right at 5AM. Rain, Cold and Darkness - Depressing; I think to myself "Thank God you're not running this". No runners hanging out at the start, people are either lined up for the bathroom or getting ready in their cars. Rain stops before the start and 477 grateful runners, out of about 550 who were signed up, start the race promptly at 6AM. Crewing goes like clockwork except for missing her at one aid station (forgot to tell her we were going to get breakfast)...oh and there was the coffee incident at mile 27.5. Anywho, things generally went well and so did Olga's race. Started pacing her at Beal's Point aid station at mile 27.5. By mile 30 we leave the bike path and fire roads and into some real trails. These were the muddiest, wettest, nastiest trails I've been on and it wasn't even raining. Weather continued to improve but trails continue to deteriorate. Olga picks up the pace and continues to pass people. Real trail energizes her. Handed off to Jason at mile 40. I meet back with them at mile 48 and would run back with them to the finish. Olga got in under 9 hours with a 8:58:28 and was the 10th woman overall and 4th in her age group. We get some food, mingle, socialize and wash up. Late lunch at Denny's on the way out of Sacramento. More joking around and being mean to each other on the way home. Olga glowing from a day of hard running. Back in SF by 7PM. Showered, ate some more, watched horrible asian action flick, passed out by midnight.

It was super fun running on those trails. I would pick this weather over the one I had when I ran this same race two years ago, then it was hot and dusty. Love the ultra-running community, glad to see friends and enjoyed Olga's and Jason's company.

Before I go check this out. Jason and I get rave reviews for our crewing and pacing duties from our star runner herself. Read her quick pre-report here.