Monday, January 27, 2014

The Running of the Llamas

4 months until Kettle!  I’m jussayin.

Also, check this out: trail running, European style.  It's called a Vertical-k.  That is elevation, not distance.  Pretty intense!

Are you all familiar with The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona Spain?  It is a very old and amazing event that could never be possible in our United States of Litigation.  It’s not really an endurance sport, as it only goes for about 1,000 yards.  But it is pretty extreme.  You’ve got to outrun 16 badass bulls at an average of about 15 mph; that’s a 4-min pace!  Take that Spartan Commando Warrior Dash!  Actually, the most famous version happens in Pamplona, other cities in Spain and Mexico hold similar events.

But I’m here to announce that I’ve discovered that we, here in America, have the next best thing!  I give you, The Running of the Llamas.  I knew of this event for a few years now, and on an early fall day last year I thought I’d take two of my kids to witness the spectacle.  The running happens every year in Hammond, WI, and it is as much fun as you want to make it.  Check it out on YouTube.

Knowing the run started at 1:00 pm, I thought I’d get to the event about 30 minutes early to get a good spot along the road.  I mean, who would go to the Running of the Llamas, right?  Wrong.  The place was packed with people.  At least a thousand.  Really!  Street vendors were selling anything from 4-oz bacon on a stick, to jewelry to Llama wool blankets.  It was quite the unexpected atmosphere.

I tried to get my kids as close to the street as possible, but the best we could do was 2-deep.  Oh well.

Next year I’m going early and staking out a good spot.  And I’m eating bacon for lunch that day.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy 2014

Happy 2014 everyone.  This is a mixing of mostly unrelated topics; I’m not very organized this time of the year.

St. Croix Valley Runners
We’re a group of runners who meet at Brown’s Creek parking lot every Saturday morning at 8:00 am for a gentle 5 mile run.  Rain or snow, hot or cold, someone always shows up.  Except that one time Dave had to run the route by himself.  Don’t expect a super fast pace, we run mainly for the social aspect.  And we’re on Facebook evidently.

5k Race Series
The New Richmond Centre hosts a 5k race series with one race per month October through April.  The cost is $20 for the whole series, so you can’t go wrong.  Plus, 50 or so runners show up, so the turnout isn’t bad either.  I’ve run the November and December races and find this series a great way to keep my fitness throughout the winter.   I wrote about the December race here, and I won the January race!  Yea Old Guys!

Lapham Peak Trail Runners
There is a group of trail runners that get together in the Southern Kettle Moraine called the Lapham Peak Trail Runners.  Great group of people; my sister is a member. I did get the opportunity to run with a few of them on 12/28, on the Funk Road segment of the Ice Age Trail.  The run was on snow-covered trails along the beautiful Oconomowoc River.  Thanks for taking me along guys!

Kettle 100
It is time for me to make another attempt at the 100 mile distance this spring at the Kettle 100.  My last attempt went very well, except for the fact that I did not finish (blog post).  My lessons learned will be put to good use:
  1. Running 100 miles is nuts; I had no clue.  The mental aspect of racing this distance is one for which I was not prepared.  I will be doing a bit of visualization.
  2. Beware the chair at mile 63.  I am doing a U-turn at the start-finish.
  3. Running 100 miles on hill and trail was hard on my whole body.  My core and upper body weakness became very evident later in the race.  I’m starting core work now!
  4. Screw the goal time, just finish my first 100 miler.  Well, I need to set a pace, so I will need a goal time for that, plus know I can do a 20 hr 100-miler.  So maybe I just need to be prepared to throw the schedule out the window and just finish the darned thing.

I am planning on the following races later this year:

I haven’t run Superior before; in fact this should be my first trip north of Duluth.  Should be fun!