Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall is in the air!

This evening my brother and I met Dan Bellinger at the Happy Days Lodge to watch Part 4 of the PBS special - "The National Parks: America's Best Idea". So far Jeff and I have watched each 2-hour episode with 2 more remaining. We've definitely enjoyed this documentary so far and have learned a lot about the history of our national parks. After tonight's movie Dan and I went for a 5 mile night trail run. It was the coldest night so far this year with patchy frost forecasted for overnight. High temperatures for next week are still showing mid 60's but autumn has definitely arrived! We can only hope for one more week of Indian summer...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Happy Days to Pine Hollow

This afternoon my brother Jeff and Nick Longworth met me at Happy Days for a 10 mile trail run. It was nice to see Nick make the drive up here since he lives south of Columbus. Once the morning clouds disappeared, the weather turned out to be great - sunny and 70. At the beginning of our run we came across a surprise on the ledges trail. A couple large trees must have fallen recently and were blocking the trail. Looks like the park volunteers will be busy for awhile....

Towards the end of our run Nick must have been really starting to get hungry, so he decided to eat a clump of these red berries that he found next to the trail. Well, it didn't turn out too good for him and after watching him vomit and roll around on the ground for 15 minutes he was able to get back on his feet and finish the run. Now I understand why they make ultra runners sign a waiver before each race...

Friday, September 25, 2009

22 Miles in the Valley

This morning I headed to the Boston Store in the Cuyahoga Valley and met Dan Bellinger for the 2nd Friday in a row. Our plan was to head north on the Buckeye Trail and continue all the way to Brecksville if we felt good enough. The weather was perfect once again and we joked that we should meet every Friday for a run until the weather changes on us. The sun was out today, there was a nice cool breeze, and the temperature was in the upper 60s.

We started the run off easy and gradually picked up the pace. It never seemed like we were going that fast, but when we reached Snowville Rd. I saw that my watch said 1 hour and 15 minutes. I guess the beauty of the day made the run seem pretty easy. It was so enjoyable, in fact, that we made it all the way to Brecksville and had lunch at Heinen's before turning back. Once we arrived back at our cars at the Boston store we had finished with a total of 22 miles and close to 6 hours on our feet. I was very happy to get in a long run with the Oil Creek 50 Miler coming up next month.

CLICK HERE for more photos from today's run

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mike Keller vs. Rob Powell

This past January I did an FA 50K run with my friend Rob Powell in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and we came across a sign at an intersection of the Buckeye Trail and a horse bridal trail. The sign read "Horses on Bridal Trial Only". So... out of nowhere Rob seemed to get excited and gave out a big horse call that was captured on video. Click Here and scroll down to watch the clip.

Fast forward 8 months later.... I'm volunteering at the Covered Bridge aid station during the YUT-C 50K/25K this past weekend and another one of my friends Mike Keller comes through, sees I have a camera, and gives his best imitation of Rob's horsecall....

So, the question is.... Who has the best horse call??

New contestant - Video submitted Friday, Sept. 25th.....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

West Branch 7 Miler

After work I headed over to West Branch State Park to meet Bob and Gavin for a trail run. Since we planned to run on the mountain bike trails, Bob's son Shamus brought his bike to ride ahead of us, which kept us moving at a pretty good pace. It was very humid but we had a couple heavy downpours during the run that kept us fairly cool. We managed to get in just over 7 miles before sunset.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

5th Annual YUT-C 50K & 25K

The 5th Annual YUT-C 50K & 25K took place today in Mill Creek Park (Youngstown, OH). Between both races there were a total of 117 runners that participated. The weather was awesome once again (sunny and 70 for a high), which resulted in new course records for the men's & women's 25K and a new course record for the men's 50K. I volunteered at various points on the course and enjoyed seeing so many familiar faces. Between Bob Combs, Jim Harris, Bill Losey, Joe Novicky, myself, and others, we seem to have this race down to a science now and received many good compliments following the race.

To view photos and results visit -

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's a beautiful day!

This morning around 9 am I met Dan Bellinger at Happy Days for a trail run. My body, despite not having run a lot of miles lately, felt really good and fresh. We finished up with a total of 12.5 miles. The weather was absolutely beautiful (sunny and low 60's at start). It was one of those days where it just couldn't get much better. The sun was warm, the air was cool, and there was a nice breeze. We stopped at different points and enjoyed taking in the beauty around us. I must say that we are very lucky to have the Cuyahoga Valley National Park close by.

Click here to view some other photos I took on the run

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day 10

This afternoon I met my brother at the Boston Store and we ran the Buckeye Trail to Snowville Rd. and back for a tough 10 miles. It took my body awhile to get going after yesterday's run but near the end we were moving good and I think we negative splitted the 2nd half, finishing in 2 hours. We heard a few rumbles of thunder along the way and knew the rain was close, so we turned it into a game to try to finish before the rain came down. We succeeded by reaching our cars just as it was beginning to sprinkle. Afterwards I put on a new shirt given to me recently from friends of our family that live out in Denver, CO. They purchased it at this year's "Bolder Boulder 10K" and it says "Sea Level is for Sissies". That might be true but the humidity on today's run sure wasn't easy!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

West Branch Trail Run

This evening I met Jim Harris at West Branch State Park in Ravenna for a night trail run. We parked at the West Boat Dock (located at the end of W. Cable Line Rd.) and began our run by doing the Buckeye Trail section from Rock Spring Rd. to State Route 14 and back. This is approx. 8 miles roundtrip. The weather tonight, with the exception of the humid air, was almost perfect - low 70s at the start and then gradually cooling air as the run went on.

When we got back to our cars we then ran the mountain bike trails for awhile and included the rocky "expert only" trail. I was curious to explore this area again at night after the strange experience my brother and I had here a few years ago. Click here to read about it. You can also check out this link that was forwarded by one of our running friends this past week. Kind of makes you wonder about the area. Jim and I, however, had no such encounters tonight and finished up with a total of 12 miles in a little over 2 hours. We kept up a good consistent pace tonight and I was very happy with how good my body felt.