Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Three Buttes, Sore Butts, Tough runners!

the sign says it all
Well, leave it to Sean Meissner to come up with just about the toughest possible run in the city limits of Bend.  He decided to call it the "Three Butte Butt Buster".  The run would entail running all three prominent buttes in Bend:  Overturf, Pilot, and Awbrey.  Not only that but just getting to and from the buttes was going to make it at least a half marathon.  When Sean suggested it to me I said, "Sean, no one is going to come.  Its going to be you and me looking at each others' butts for 13 miles... "
He thoughtfully took a breath and stated eloquently, "if we run it, they will come...".  Okay, he didn't really say that but it sounded pretty funny didn't it?  
The day before the event he called me and said, "I think we're going to have a pretty good turnout!".  "What, like three?", I responded.
But, as usual (unfortunately) he was right and I was shocked to see the cars pulling in early on Sunday morning to go tackle the three buttes.

Ready for battle!

In all, we had 23 people join us on a SPECTACULAR morning and take on the challenge. First we headed west and climbed up ole Overturf Butte. Ah, that was a nice way to get the morning started and we bombed down the hill and back to Fleet Feet for our first aid station. M&M's, some old Halloween candy, and a chance to fill up our water bottles before heading eastside to tackle the formidable Pilot Butte. Everyone was in good spirits as we motored up Pilot Butte. Sean is in great shape right now and took advantage of the situation to blaze up the road and try and sucker us into tiring ourselves out before heading to Awbrey. Only Matt Lieto took the bait.... and paid for it later!

We were treated to some amazing views and actually warm weather up top. We took our time, enjoyed the sights and then headed to Fleet Feet friends' Chris and Darla's house for our second aid station. We fueled up and "pulled up our big kid pants" as we got ready for our biggest climb of the day! Another nice cool down until we hit the base of Awbrey and started panting and pushing up to the top! One more aid station half way up to fill our water bottles (along with some strange cheerleader chants from our employee Christy) and we headed as far as you can go to the top of Awbrey. Only that stinking new fence kept us from the radioactive cell phone towers!
With all the work behind us, we savored the long downhill back to Fleet Feet. Man, it felt good to finish that one off! 13+ miles 1,700 feet of climbing. All I know is that we have some very tough hombres and hombrettes here in Bend. At the finish, we were treated to some sun, the grass in front of the store, doughnuts, chips, and our Official Sponsor: PBR.
All in all an amazing way to start a Sunday. Thanks to everyone for coming out and making sure that I didn't just have to look at Sean's butt or butte all by myself.

Until next time!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Road Trip Racing

A handful of central Oregonians hit the road (or sky) last weekend for a bit of racing in lands far, far away (well, at least for the one that hit the sky).

Kami Semick, featured speaker at our Marathon Night a few weeks ago, hammered out an impressive 2nd place at the World Championship 100k in Tuscania, Italy. She finished in 7:33:58, which translates into a blazing 7:18 per mile for 62.2 miles. That's fast! She also helped the US women to a second place finish in the team race. For her tremendous run, Kami was then named USATF's Athlete of the Week. Congratulations, Kami! We're very proud of you.

Road tripping down to Ashland for the weekend to participate in Rogue Valley Runners' inaugural Lithia Loop Trail Marathon were locals Katie Caba, Jeff Caba, Krissy Moehl, and Sean Meissner. Jeff took the lead about the 1/2 mile mark and never looked back, winning and establishing an impressive course record in a mighty fine time of 2:47:31. Chasing Jeff all day, but coming up short, was Sean, who managed 2nd in 2:53:09. On the girl's side, Katie, the better looking Caba, ran strong over the entire course, posting a solid 2nd place in 3:09:26. Moving down in distance and course technicality, Krissy Moehl proved she's an all-around trail runner, posting a solid 3:24:54 for 7th girl. Krissy was all smiles at the finish with her new marathon p.r.!

Ian and Hal really know how to put on a great event. Lithia is challenging - it has 4,700' of climbing and descending, beautiful, has great volunteers and aid stations, and the post-race meal was delicious. If you're looking for an excuse to road trip to Ashland next November, I highly recommend using the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon as that excuse. You'll come home with sore quads, a great t-shirt, and great memories of a great event!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Marathon Night at Fleet Feet!

On Tuesday night, Fleet Feet was filled with lots of marathoners. Some are aspiring to run their first, many recently finished Portland as their first, while a few were marathon vets. We really just wanted a night to celebrate everyone's marathoning accomplishments and aspirations. 50 people who showed up and the night was a success.

After some mingling and war-story sharing, 2008 Portland Marathon Champion Kami Semick and 2008 Spokane Marathon Champion Sean Meissner gave an informative q&a session to the group. Topics ranged from training and nutrition, to shoe selection and pacing. Of particular interest regarding Kami and Sean is that they both train mainly on trails, yet they are still able to race well at road marathons. This was good for the group to hear, as the majority of central Oregonian runners definitely put lots of time
in on the dirt. One of the highlights, especially for the, uh, more mature runners, was learning that, at 42 years old, Kami continues to improve each year and is still setting p.r.'s.

Thanks to Mark Dejohn for volunteering to give some "active release" massage to our guests and of course to Kami Semick and Sean Meissner for coming down and joining the fun.