Monday, September 13, 2010

More dragging than flying for me

Mrs Notthat, The Boy, Weird Haired Mom, Irbua (not her real name), and I all got up at 4:30 or so to drive to Antioch for Brazen's latest race, the Drag-n-Fly. This was a normal Brazen race with absurd hills, amazing views, It's-It bars, and a marriage proposal. (Seriously: a guy borrowed the finish line microphone and proposed to his girlfriend at the end of the race. She accepted. No word on who was actually faster though.)

The Boy and I did the Half Marathon, Mrs Notthat did the 10K, while WHM and Irbua volunteered at a couple of aid stations.

Mrs Notthat started her day by putting moleskin on a couple of her trouble spots. At 5:15 we hit the road for the hills near Antioch in the Contra Loma Park and Black Diamond Mines.

We arrived at about 6:30. It was actually a bit cool at this time. Irbua then headed out to her aid station (she and the two others had to walk a bit over a mile, often uphill, to the location where the station's stuff had been deposited the day before). WHM ended up getting to ride up to her aid station, where she monitored the course and made sure the runners went the right direction.

The Boy and I getting ready for our start, putting on our game faces.

Also at the race was Luap (not his real name either) who took advantage of the early hiker's start. (He is wearing a Team Tom shirt in honor of Tom Kaisersatt, a ridiculously inspiring ultra runner who started San Jose Fit and passed away earlier this week. Thinking of Tom helped both of us when we started dragging.)

Finally The Boy and I were off. There was a mild hill not far from the start. At first we kidded ourselves that this was the hill that Mr Brazen said would make us curse his mother. Careful viewers, however, will note the sun-splashed hill off to the right with tiny little dots that are the faster runners WAY out ahead of us. That was the hill that his mother was apparently responsible for.

But before we headed up the hill, we went through the first aid station where Irbua and the others were very busy keeping everyone hydrated and tackling anyone that tried to turn around after seeing the hill.

Eventually we made it up and over the hill to the base of the lollipop - the Half course was roughly like a lollipop with the stick being the out-and-back at the start and finish and a nice loop at the top. WHM's job was to make sure the runners went the correct way around the lollipop and didn't accidentally take a second lap around it.

The lollipop loop was the best part of the trail by far. It had lots of fun single-track, some of which was pretty challenging.

The Black Diamond Mine area was part of the loop. It had started getting very warm by this time, so when we went past the mines, the cold air pouring out of them felt really good.

About this time, The Boy took off and I didn't see him again until the finish line. (I would stop at the aid stations and they would say "He's just ahead of you - you can catch him!" which was very nice of them to say, but I wasn't catching anyone. The heat was wearing me down. Well, maybe the hills too. In any case The Boy ended up finishing ten minutes ahead of me.)

Shortly after I crossed the finish line, WHM showed up and this picture was taken. Irbua was still out at her aid station - not only did she have to walk out to it, but since it was the first station it was also the last station - they had to wait for the last runner and so were the last one to close up shop.

After I rested a bit, I headed back out on the trail to find Luap. Instead, I found Irbua and the other two from the first/last aid station walking back.

I kept going and a bit further up was Luap. He had been going strong, but the heat got to him a bit and he had a rough finish. The cool thing is that he did finish, and was actually pretty strong at the end. (And no, I'm not going to say something about how funny it was that the aid station workers, carrying heavy bags of stuff, beat him to the finish line. I am much nicer than that.)

The shirts were pretty good for this event. If you look at the pink one's lower-right corner, you can see a dragonfly's head; the gray shirt's back shows the dragonfly's butt. Also, you can see Mrs Notthat third place age group medal for her 10K.

If you look at the medal, you can see a runner lumbering up the hill, thrusting arms in triumph at the top, and then flying down the other side. These Brazen people are certainly clever.

And that's about it. It was a great event, but very challenging. I didn't do nearly as good as I had hoped but was thrilled with how well The Boy did for only his second event, especially on such a tough course.

The only disappointment was missing out on the marriage proposal (which Mrs Notthat did not miss, while wearing her winner's medal).

Which just means I have to get a lot faster so that I won't miss out on future proposals.

That's it - move along...


Lorna said...

Another wonderful write up Allen. You, Paul, Diane and company are quite the inspiration for all. Thank you.

Mrs. Notthat said...

Hey Allen, another way not to miss out on proposals is to only do 10k's.

DAK said...

So am I the only one wondering about the revered fitness guru running his last race and then, you know...does this give no one pause? OF COURSE NOT!

homey said...

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. In this case, I did survive, it definitely was a wakeup call for next month ;)

Anonymous said...

I decided to run this at the last minute, as a kind of training run for upcoming SV in October.

I have to say it was the toughest 13 miles I have ever run. The heat plus all the hills made it very challenging -- at least for me.

Despite it all, I'm glad I did it.