Jamie (left) and Trevor
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Once we got back to our cars Bill Losey (another NEO Trail Club member) was waiting for us and we hung around and chatted for awhile. Once again, it was another fun night in the woods and I'm already looking forward to our next adventure!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
As we were pulling into the parking lot I stopped to ask this guy who had just got done fishing if we were allowed to park here after dark. He said yes but cautioned us on running in the dark. He said that there have been reports of a large cat (mountain lion) in the area and that it was on the news. At first I thought he was just joking around but he continued to talk very seriously about this and mentioned that his wife teaches nearby at Woodridge high school. Well, Jeff and I didn't decide to cancel our run but it did make us pay a little more attention to all the sounds we heard in the woods. Once I got home I looked online and found these 2 recent articles -www.ohio.com/news/top_stories/30832499.html
Sunday, October 19, 2008
According to the event website, the primary purpose of this run is to promote cardiovascular fitness in a safe, relaxed and friendly environment. Many individuals will run/walk a distance beyond that they have previously achieved or set a personal goal that is meaningful to them. It is a personal thing and not a competition with other participants. There are no trophies or prize money to be handed out but there is an option to purchase a commemorative plaque that is personalized with your name and accomplishment (miles).
This event was started 28 years ago by some of the founding fathers of the Erie Runners Club to test the endurance of some of the local runners. It still stands today as a personal test of ones endurance, whether it be running or walking or any combination thereof because of the tireless efforts of Rick Ferko and his long time volunteers. Rick’s battle with cancer ended shortly after the 2006 Endurance Run and his family and friends wished to have a lasting memorial that would exemplify his life. Since social work and helping others was such an integral part of Rick’s life, the Rick Ferko Spirit of Social Work Scholarship was established to give an annual monetary award to a social work student who exemplifies Rick’s dedication and enthusiasm. On the run application there is a section to contribute to the scholarship, since it is funded solely on individual contributions.
I've been very excited in the weeks leading up to this run. Not only because it's a new local event for me to try out, but also because it lets me re-visit the town of my alma mater, Penn State Behrend, and hang out with an old college friend who agreed to let me crash at his house the night before and after the run. On Friday I drove to his place in Erie after work. By the time I arrived it was going on 7:00 so we headed over to the Olive Garden for some pasta and then came back to his place with enough time for me to organize my stuff for the morning.
Before I knew it my alarm was going off at 5:30 am and I was on the road around 6:00. Luckily my friend only lives about 10 minutes from the start/finish line which is located at the Rotary Pavilion (about 3 miles into Presque Isle on the lake side). I arrived at the pavilion around 6:15 with enough time to pickup my chip & t-shirt and chat with Kurt Osadchuk for a few minutes. After final preparations at my car I walked over to the start line and talked to Bob and Suzanne Pokorny before listening to some last minute race instructions. Everyone was anxious to get moving since the starting temperature was around 45 degrees. I started off wearing shorts and a long sleeved tech shirt over top of a sleeveless tech tee, then switched to just my sleeveless tee, before puting on a short sleeved tech shirt over top of my sleeveless one when the wind started to pick up. At 6:30 everyone was off and running. It stayed dark until about 7:30 so I ran with Tom Jennings and Kurt O. who both had handheld lights.
(downtown Erie can be seen on the other side of the water)
I also have to mention a couple other runners who amazed me by their efforts. 69 yr. old Richard Sitter, who completed a total of 51 miles (only 6 spots behind me), and 84 yr. old Fran Albaugh, who finished 37 miles. During my last 10-15 miles I was able to have a nice conversation with Richard who had a lot of good advice. He said that during his younger days he would do 70+ miles at this event and it was evident by the way he can still run today.
Surprisingly some of my best miles came between mile 45 and 50. I'm not sure what happened but at times I was running at an 8:30 pace or faster even though my final average pace for these miles does not entirely show this. Maybe I can accredit this to the pacifier that my friend Jim gave me before the run. You can read the story behind the pacifier by reading my previous post. Anyways, I wore it on my right index finger for the entire 2nd half of the run to keep me from whining like a baby. It ended up turning into quite a conversation piece at the start/finish area each time I passed through. One lady said, "Did you lose your blanky?" That made me laugh pretty hard. So, the lesson here is to make sure that you keep that mind over matter attitude during endurance events. If you don't mind then it doesn't matter!
Once I reached mile 50 I decided to focus on just getting the next 5 miles done and then I'd have the final 5 mile countdown to my goal. Sometime before this the volunteers switched the race clock to show a countdown rather than how much time had passed. At first I didn't really like this but then realized it was necessary to help everyone figure out how many miles you could fit in with the time remaining. With 5 miles to go I only needed to keep like a 13 or 14 minute/mile pace to finish with 60 miles, but at this point I was walking each mile completely. Thankfully I'm a pretty good power walker and had Suzanne P. and this other guy with me to share in the suffering. The running I did during mile 59 gave me an 11:22 mile and left me with plenty of leeway at the end, but not enough time for what I thought I needed in order to finish another mile before time ran out. After 12 hours of going around in loops, I was very happy to finish my 60 mile goal in 11:49:06. You can view my splits by clicking here or check out the complete results by clicking here.
Finally, I'd like to give a HUGE thanks to Mike, Dave, the timing guy, and all the other volunteers who gave up 12 hours of their day to help make this run a success! It's events like these that make our sport so much fun! I'm already looking forward to next year's event.
Me holding up the N.E. Ohio Trail Club pacifier at the finish
Thursday, October 16, 2008
My main reasons for trying out this event are: #1- It's something different and a good personal challenge, #2- The entry fee is cheap ($5) and you get chip timing, #3- It's for a charitable cause, and #4- I get to visit my old college stomping grounds. The only downside of this run is that it's not on trails. The weather is shaping up to be nice though - sunny and 55. However, it could feel colder next to the lake, especially if it's windy.
Another neat thing about this run is I'll get to enjoy my own personal aid station when I pass my car after each mile. You can see some of the items I've already thrown together in the picture above, which include Clif Shot Bloks, Hammer Gel, peanut butter crackers, M&M's, Pringles, salt tablets, Advil, and skin lubricant. I'm also planning on bringing some water, Gatorade, and sandwiches.
My secret weapon though will be a pacifier given to me a few weeks ago by my friend Jim Harris. Bob found it while on a trail run with Jim and he gave it to him to carry during the Grindstone 100. If for whatever reason Jim started to whine or complain during the race he was supposed to take it out and suck on it like a baby. According to Jim the pacifier never saw the light of day. So now, it will be my duty on Saturday to carry the torch and continue racking up more "pacifier miles" for the N.E. Ohio Trail Club.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
This sign reads "Jonathan Hale Homestead: Land purchased in 1810. Present house built about 1825 and maintained by the Western Reserve Historical Society as a museum in memory of the Western Reserve pioneers."
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Fog rising over Kendall Lake
Surprising Courtney on the Ledges Trail
Jeff ran the last mile a little too fast I think
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wine can be purchased inside the room with the large glass doors
More outside seating with an under construction tasting room in the background
The sun sets over Lake Milton
Sunday, October 5, 2008
When I arrived at Kendall Lake I noticed there weren't any cars in the parking lot. I thought this was strange since the details for today's run said to meet at the Kendall Shelter, which is located next to Kendall Lake. So, I decided to drive back up Truxell Rd. and check out the Octogon Shelter and the Ledges Shelter. As I pulled into the parking lot near the Ledges Shelter I noticed runners getting ready so I knew I was now in the right place. After everyone introduced themselves and chatted for awhile, we were off and running.
Heading to Kendall Hills (notice the frost)
Is Kathleen laughing at Roy getting tired?
Once you reach the top of the "Sound of Music" hill, you then turn left and head through "Little Meadow". At this point it was beginning to turn into a really nice fall day with the sunshine providing beautiful rays of light. Everyone agreed that it doesn't get much better than this.
After crossing Quick Rd. we hopped onto some bridal trails that I haven't run on much. These trails then led us over to the dreaded Towpath where we did about 4-5 miles. Even though it's better than roads, I don't enjoy running on this hard, flat surface much. This is a nice section of the Towpath however, with some scenic views.
Lots of turtles as we neared the Boston Store (I counted at least 10)
After stopping at the Boston Store we then got onto the Buckeye Trail and ran it to Pine Lane. From Pine Lane we only had another 6 miles to our cars. We ran some trails that went past the Brandywine Golf Course, over to Kendall Lake, and then back to the ledges area.
Just before we reached our cars we passed a group of people with a cat walking next to them. Tanya asked if it belonged to them and they said no. I guess someone must have dumped it off in the woods. So she picked up the cat (now known as "Scissors") and carried it with her to take home. When we got back to our cars Scissors decided to run underneath Tanya's car, jump up into the engine, and get stuck. That was pretty funny. Luckily Mark saved the day and rescued it before an auto mechanic was needed.Overall, it was a great fall day spent with a great group of people. I was happy to complete the entire loop and increase my mileage base, but I'm not sure how another 26 mile loop would've felt. Roy's race (which has a 12 hour cutoff) at the end of the month should be a pretty tough challenge for those participating... but a lot of fun!