Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Would the Quarry Turkey be DLF again?

Warning: For those of you with weak stomachs or strong ties to PETA, this post contains a picture of a headless turkey. The management of this blog would like to apologize in advance, however, the management also realizes that if we apologized for every questionable thing that showed up on these posts we would have little time left for thinking up questionable things to put in here. And that would be sad.

Mrs Notthat and I were unable to run the traditional Brazen Thanksgiving Day run at Point Pinole, so running the Quarry Turkey race on Saturday had lost a tiny bit of luster since that meant we wouldn't get the coveted bonus medal given when you run both races.

But there was still plenty of luster to get us up and out to Quarry Lakes. I was still hobbling a bit from the previous weekend, so I signed up for the 10K, while Mrs Notthat was not even vaguely hobbling and signed up for the Half Marathon.

The most fun thing about these two races are the kid's races, where a bunch of kids, vibrating with pent up energy and possibly a tiny bit of sugar, are eager to try to beat the historically inept Brazen Turkey on a short course. Each kid gets a goody bag and a medal (in addition to the bibs). These brave, smiling volunteers, assigned to hand out the medals and goody bags, had no idea what was about to hit them.

I love the mother in blue desperately trying to get out of the way of the crush of stampeding kids. She made it, but not by much.
The kid's race is technically over when they pass back under the arch, but the first set of kids that came through chose to race all the way to the medal volunteers.

There was a brief bit of mayhem while the kids got their medals and posed for pictures. And apparently, once again, the Brazen Turkey failed to beat even a single toddler.

Weird Haired Mom and Mrs Notthat coordinated their outfits for the race. WHM, who was also recovering from last weekend, wisely chose to volunteer instead of running.

I headed about 100 yards out onto the course to take pictures of the Half runners starting out. The Endorphin Dude, who was shooting for a Half PR, was looking his normal, slightly deranged self at that point. Hold that thought.

As promised, the headless turkey. Apparently hydration was an issue and played a part in why the turkey was the DLF  (Dead Last Finisher). Again.

It turned out that my arch-nemesis was also running the 10K. She typically whips me at longer distances, but at shorter ones I have a chance. I passed her at about 1.5 miles in but that might just be because I went out too fast. ("Went out too fast." I crack myself up!)

The first aid station was at about 1.8 miles in. The cool thing was that they had pumpkin pie. Apparently not many runners were grabbing any since they were thrilled I took a piece.

Photo by Brazen volunteer. I'm showing him my pie.
Chris Bliss showing the International Running Signal for "Don't go any further!"
After that aid station you head up to the somewhat boring bit of the course that is an out-and-back. Once you reach the second aid station, about mile 3.4, the 10K runners turn around and head back.

Volunteer Nad, not his real name, making sure nobody missed the turn.
Someone, in an effort to try to make the somewhat boring bit of the course a bit more exciting, went out and rubbed out all the flour markings along that bit of trail. This is actually a fair amount of work to do, and I have to give the person credit for their effort, but I would still not hesitate to cause them great pain for purposely trying to vandalize the race.

(The ribbons were still up, but I don't know if they were a second set that had been added that morning or not.)

At about mile 4.8 I was back at that second aid station, and ready for another piece of pie.

Divad (not his real name) brought his flag today and intended to hike it around the course. Oel (not his real name either) somehow wrestled the flag from Divad and ended up walking it around the course. (Oel is fighting a painful foot thing or else he would have been busy flying around the course. His squeeze, Ainigriv - not her real name - was noble and stayed with him. Until near the end when she realized that for the first time, she would be able to beat him. And she did.)

Before I knew it, I was done. After 50 miles and over 22 hours last weekend, this 10K was a tiny blip.  I was able to run better than I had expected and finished a bit faster than expected, but it was not a PR.

Right after I finished, I went back out a bit to cheer in the other runners. My arch-nemesis was not far behind me, but what counts is that I BEAT HER!

Somebody let a dang hippie on the course. 

One of the touching moments; the green guy is Lenra (not his real name), a ridiculously fast runner. Next to him is his dad. I took this picture - it was so neat to see them together - then dad says "Lenra (not your real name), your shoe's untied." Lenra looked down and dad sprinted for the finish.

And then there was The Endorphin Dude. Remember how perky and fun he looked at the start? That was all gone now - he was in Beast Mode trying to nail that PR. I had never seen him like this before so it was a bit of a shock, but he did it - he got that PR and went back to good old goofy ED after the finish.

But what about Mrs Notthat?

Photo by Brazen volunteer. 
Mrs Notthat was doing fine. Above you see her cruising with Ahtreb (not her real name) up on the boring bit.

I got this picture of her as she dashed along the lake shore before climbing the hill to the finish. She didn't set a PR, but did very well. Oddly, this is not an easy course for either of us since it is so flat and tends to work out better for road runners.

Photo by Ettedanreb. Goofy face by me.
The one surprising thing was that I ended up getting second in my age group. The really astounding thing was that I beat two others - one by a whole eleven seconds.* And yes, I was difficult to live with for a bit.

And that's about it. It was quite cold at the start, and not much warmer by the finish. But it was a lot of fun with a huge turnout. (One change was that the parking fee was included in the race fee, which had the glorious result of no line at the entrance!)

It was great to see so many friends (and a hippie) out on the trails.

But somebody needs to introduce that turkey to a gym, or at least caffeine.

That's it - move along…

* A thing that will likely only amuse me, but the guy I beat by eleven seconds actually finished before me. The difference was that I did my normal back of the pack start, and he was somewhere towards the front, so he crossed the start line nearly 30 seconds before me. So I beat him by chip time, but not gun time. Fortunately chip time is used for awards like this.

PS: You can see more of my pictures here.


Beth said...

Nice job, you two! Looks like a cold, fun morning!

mary ann said...

my fave photo is of your two women dressed alike - very cool indeed