Category Archives: Running

2017 Route 66 Half Marathon Report

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I ran the Route 66 Half Marathon this past Sunday even though I wasn’t really ready for it. I ran a longer race previously, the TurkeynTaturs 25K and my right knee ended up being a little tweaky. Kneee tweakiness of any sort is not good for running, especially long distances. Oh well, I paid my money and by gum I was going to run it. Worst case, I would walk it. I had company this year for a good part of the race. From right to left above is Rick, Misti, and Paula. Rick is Logan’s former Den Leader in Cub Scouts. Rick is one of the world’s good guys. On the left is Rick’s wife Paula. I don’t know her as well, but if Rick likes her she is good people. In the middle is Paula’s friend Misti. So I walked with Paula and Misti off and on during the race. It makes a big difference I found, racing with company. Maybe we can do it again.

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The Half Marathon people like me, Paula, and Misti started with the Full Marathon people. I don’t know how many people there were but it was considerable and so we started in “corrals” we were in the last Corral, Corral D. There was about five minutes between corrals so we were blocks back from the start of A and it was twenty minutes before we started. It’s all good though.

And so finally we moved up and the gun went off and then the confetti canons started and so off we went.

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Paula and Misti trotted off and I hadn’t warmed up my knee (mainly because I had 13.1 miles to get warmed up)  so I walked. It felt funny getting passed by everybody but experience told me that I would be passing a few of them back later on.

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We ran by the First Methodist Church and they had their choir out rocking and rolling doing their best to entice us pagan, heathen, runners off the streets and into the pews. I didn’t see any takers. I heard that some of the choir threw off their robes and entered the race endangering their eternal souls.

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Soon, we entered midtown. A beautiful part of Tulsa especially in the Fall. AFter a little while I caught up with Paul and Misti and we walked together for a ways.

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The first set of porta potty’s were only a mile or two in the course and they had a huge line. I thought, seriously people? But sure enough after a while, I was getting a little antsy and was evaluating my options, which are not much in the tony neighborhoods of midtown. Then when we were going through Hogwarts, I mean Cascia Hall prep school, these popped out of nowhere with no lines!!! Boy was I glad to see them.

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And afterward I caught up with Paul and friend again and we walked some more.

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We went by the Philbrook museum who had signs out. “Run like an art thief” is my favorite. I think it would be cool if the race diverted into the Gardens of Philbrook for a little bit.

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And then later on, at a “Bandit” (Non official) aid station, I had my first jello shot in my life. Can’t say that I liked it. I chased it down with a beer.

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And then I was back to evaluating my options again when I saw this Quik Trip on Peoria. I made a little detour off the race course, which I am sure is going to keep me out of the next Olympics but at least it stopped the evaluating.  It was kind of unfair though because the men’s room was empty and there was a line for the womens room. I told them that they just needed to post a guard and take over the mens room also for their own use. They looked at me like I was Judge Roy Moore or something. Oh well, I had seen people doing similar things elsewhere.

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I always love the Lululemon guys and gals. They have a lot of fun with their signs.

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We went down Peoria, and turned the corner on 41st street and went west to Riverside Drive and then north. Well past halfway and headed back downtown so I knew that I was going to finish, tweaky knee and all. I had been trotting and walking but the trotting ended about a mile past the time we got on Riverside. I was really loving the Fall foliage.

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We nosed back into the neighborhoods at some point and I found Rick. He was driving, staying ahead of Paula just to check on her. But while he was waiting he was encouraging everybody and talking with people. I had lost Paula and her friend at Woodward Park.

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Sorry, too tired to take pics the last five miles or so. So I made it to the end, got a couple slices of pizza, got my space blanket, a bottle of water and my two beer ration and then sat on the grass at Guthrie Green and rested.

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The medal they gave out. Very cool, I loved how they put a base on it. I put it on the mantle last night and Heather hasn’t taken it off yet which means she must like it or hasn’t noticed it yet. She does have a good eye for things. Every year I try and put the Dallas Cowboys Star on the top of our Christmas tree and it stays up there for an average of oh say, 15 to 30 seconds.

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Tell you what though, she made us stacked enchiladas for dinner. That is a New Mexican way of doing things, with green chili. Doesn’t get better than that.

Thanks to the organizers of the race. I cannot think of a thing to do to make it better. The race is perfect, the route, the water stops, the runner expo and the smooth process to pick up the race packets. The finish, with ample water, food, and other refreshments, the entertainment, the web site, the fast results. It is all great. Thank you also to the army of volunteers that made it work. The many neighborhood bandit stops and other bandit stops especially the Runners World stop on Peoria. The police and sheriff’s departments that kept the course clear. And everybody else involved. Great job.

And thank you to my fellow runners who made the race fun and all the residents of the neighborhoods who were stranded for the better part of a Sunday and endured it with good humor and cheered the runners on.

it was great, I’ll be back.

TurkeyNTaturs 25K Trail Run on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain

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I love how everybody mills around before a race.

Turkey n Taturs on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain has to be one of the oldest trail races in the area and the most handy being right in Tulsa. It was my first trail race in 2009. I was not very familear with that style of racing nor Turkey Mountain and I was bewildered by how you run a race on narrow trails and was totally lost on the mountain. If it were not for the great marking I would not know where they heck I was or where to go. It was my first trail race and I have run it several times over the years. It has lengths of 50 kilometers, 25K, and 10K. 10K to the hard core crowd is barely a fun run. Somehow I felt the need to try the 25K even though I had not trained for it. My plan was to walk the rocks and uphills and trot the flats and downhills and not worry about my time. I knew that it could take me a long time.

So I got to the back of the crowd of the race. One thing I love about trail races is that there are not that many people in them and everybody is very nice, no pushing and shoving. It is a very friendly crowd and very accepting of newcomers. They asked how many people were in the first trail race and a bunch of people raised their hand. So the fun goes off and off I go!!  I love how the women turn around and give me a look after the gun went off.

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I went running with the rest of them, and then it was like. Wait, the plan, the plan. So I stopped and started walking and let everybody go on ahead. And I strolled along. I hadn’t warmed up or anything and I wanted to walk a half mile before running so that is what I did.

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Lake Logan at the West Side Y. A little muddy but beautiful.

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So after a half mile I started trotting and walking at regular intervals, especially walking the rocky areas. I fell on my knee about two years ago and still feel the aftereffects of that so I tiptoe when I am around the rocks.

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I made it up to the upper parking lot and stopped for a little refreshment at the aid station there. Trail Races have top notch aid stations. Lots of water and gatorade, salty snacks, sweet snacks, cookies, sandwiches. They also pretty much had a full bar. If I was just doing the 10K I might have had a beer or a shot, but not for 25K (which is over 15 miles). I drank a ton of water the gatorade. Had some of the baked potatoes rolled in salt, pretzels, and some other snacks. I also carried a hydration pack with 1.5 liters of water that I sipped on periodically every so often. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that dehydration is a bummer and it can happen even in cold weather.

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My race started at 7 am. The 10K started at 7:30 am and I started getting passed by the 10K guys before I got too far. Those guys were flying.

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After a while it got to be a regular processing. Life is humbling being a slow plodder.

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But other than getting passed I ran by myself. I was really enjoying the Fall colors.

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And it was kind of funny. The mountain is not closed during the race and all the trails are open and so there lots of other people out and about. I ran into my old boss and his wife. We stopped and chatted for a while. And then he said, “We are not slowing you down are we?” Well actually I am pretty slow all by myself and don’t need any help but we parted. I ran into a family who looked pretty tired with some small ones in tow. They asked me if they were headed to the parking lot. I said no they weren’t, they needed to turn around and go the other way. They asked how far, and you should have seen the look on their faces when I told them that it was about a mile and a half. We talked a little bit more as the Dad couldn’t believe that he was going north when he thought he was going south and I thought he was going to plow on ahead going the wrong way.  I think I got him convinced to turn around but they were still standing there when I left. You know how guys are, right?

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I think that I had been on all the trails the race used before except for this one.You can see the markings  and it is the faintest trail I have ever seen. It was all good.

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When I got to the lower parking lot I ran into these ladies. The Wonder Women were operating an aid station. They had all sorts of goodies including my new favorites peanut butter and pickel wraps. I ate a bunch of those along with water, gatorade, salted potatoes, a few pickles, pretzels, and fritos and a few cookies. (And you wonder why don’t lose weight with all my running.) They were great hostesses and great sports and a lot of fun. I was at about 10 miles into the run by then and I didn’t take too many other photos.

I left the lower parking lot to get on the Red Trail which goes even lower than the lower trail and then it is uphill quite a ways to the upper parking lot and I walked pretty much the rest of the race.

When I got to the upper parking lot aid station, I lingered while resting and one of the people there said “I feel like I need to do something for you, but I don’t know what.” So I said I was okay and just needed to rest a little bit more. I made sure to hydrate and get some calories in and then I took off, if walking away means taking off. My calves hurt, my feet hurt, and I was tired.  I did perk up and run the last couple hundred yards at the finish. I mean you have to finish strong and make it look like you have been running the whole way. It me about five and half hours or more to finish and I am proud as can be about it.

I am not a big fan of doing races you are not ready for but I think my plan for the 25K worked pretty well. I dreaded  the red trail up to the upper parking lot and it turned out to be worse than I thought it would be but I didn’t stop. I did make baby steps though up the steeper parts.

Here is my relive video of the first 12 miles or so of the run. My gps enabled watch ran out of juice before I finished so the video is incomplete but you can see how intensively the trails were used for the 25K. The 50K was two laps of the 25K. Those guys and gals are my heroes. I couldn’t imagine doing what I did twice.

The run was sponsored by Runners World Tulsa and the Race Directors did a great job. Great well marked course, lots of aid stations, nice t shirt and medal, food, and liquids. Check, check, check, check, and check. But did everybody have fun!! Yes!!

Thanks to Runners World for sponsoring the event, and the co-directors Kathy Hoover and Bryan Drummond, Brian Hoover and Tatur for timing the event, and the army of volunteers who set up the aid stations, cooked the food, and did lots of lugging and packing and for the participants who make it fun. They all got up well before light on a Sunday morning. And a huge thanks for the Wonder Women!!

Ten Things I Have Learned about the Tulsa Run 15K – 2017 edition

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Saturday I ran my 23rd Tulsa Run 15K. I am a “way back of the pack runner” but I think I have learned a few things over the years about preparing for and running the race that I thought I would share especially for new runners.

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This guy is my hero. He carried the flag for the whole 15 kilometers.

First off is preparation. Fifteen kilometers is a long way, over nine miles, and the terrain is hilly. So unless you genetically gifted you are not going to have fun time without preparation. You need to run. You need to do a weekly or biweekly long run where you start with some miles you can handle and gradually increase and you need to start training months in advance. I am not going to presume to provide a training schedule but you need to gradually increase your mileage at least once a week along with shorter runs. Don’t forget strength training. Running really makes your hamstrings strong but doesn’t do squat for you quads so you end up with all sorts of imbalances. Running and resistance training complement each other.

If you are kind of unsure about the matter, two of the three leading running stores in Tulsa, Runners World and Fleet Feet Tulsa have formal training programs you can sign up for. I have known lots of people who have tried them and they all found them worthwhile. If you are more of a going alone type, like me, there are lots of books on training for runs

These stores, along with Tulsa Runner, can outfit you with proper shoes. They can check how you run to determine what kind of shoe you should use. And they should have something that fits your budget. There is nothing more miserable than running in shoes not meant for running, or that are worn out.

This year, I just didn’t get on track with the preparation. I ran some really long training runs but didn’t complement it with shorter runs and speed work and my results reflect that. For me, to make headway in training, I need to run at least three times a week.

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My coworker, motivational speaker, and big names in running, Michael Hairston sharing tips on running, and leading stretching at the “Blessing of the Shoes.”

Second, enjoy some of the pre-race activities. I always enjoy the Race Expo where you get your race packets and shirt. I always see people I know, check out the booths. I have have found some bargains in gloves, hats, and other running gear. This year I attended the “Blessing of the Shoes” put on by Boston Avenue Methodist Church downtown a couple days before the race. No signup or cost. Just show up and visit a little, get a prayer and blessing for the pastor and then we went on a two mile jaunt to downtown and back and they had some snacks for us. It was nice.

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Lots of people wear costumes to run the race. This is from previous year. Enjoy and appreciate your fellow runners. The Tulsa Run is a very happy race.

Third, run the race like you trained for it. If you went on a long slow lazy training runs with lots of walking breaks then that is how your race should go. if you trained hard properly then you will be ready to rock and roll. I tell you what, speed training works. Years ago I was running the run in about 1:35 or so and one summer I participated in speed training sponsored by Runner World and wow. It is was brutal in the summer heat running laps on a track in the summer time but I ran the Tulsa Run in about 1 hour and 22 minutes, a good 15 minutes off my previous time.

Life intervened in the form of a baby after that and so formal speed training went by the wayside and so did my times.  Still once a week running shorter distances at a harder pace pays off. But don’t forget to have fun.

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These guys are there every year singing away. (Photo from a previous year)

Fourth, enjoy the experience. There are always bands along the race route. That makes it fun. People hold up funny signs. I never run the race with ear phones. I go along with the sun and wind in my face, listening the funny clop, clop, clop, of everybody’s shoes, the banter from my fellow runners, and watching the bystanders cheering us on. I am totally lost in the moment and it always seems like the race ends after fifteen minutes.

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I love it. (Another photo from a previous year)

Fifth, don’t worry about making a mess. This is one time in your life where adults are allowed to throw down their cups. It will get cleaned up, don’t you worry about it. This is also the time to be thankful for the army of volunteers who will be cleaning up the mess, after they handed you the water. They also work the expo, and are all up and down the course, and were involved in the race planning. Without volunteers there is no race. So throw your cup down respectfully.

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I always love the finish in downtown. This year we had this big flag. You can see we were running into a pretty stiff breeze and it is uphill. Run Forest Run is what I say.

Sixth, finish strong. If you are tired and beat by the end of race. Take an extra long walking break before you get within sight of the finish and run across the finish line like you won the thing. A little tip, if there are young people ahead of you, don’t pass them, let them go ahead and finish ahead of you. Congratulate them after the line. Tell them something like, “Great race, I just couldn’t keep up with you.”

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This year, my friend Libby gave me her candy bar! She is so sweet.

Seventh, get your Swag. This year we there were gigantic race medals,  McAllisters provided free box lunches to the finishers, Reasors Grocery Stores handed out full size candy bars, Budweiser was handing out free beer, there is also water and bananas. Get it all!! While you are at it be thankful for the sponsors of the race who provided that stuff and financial backing for the endeavor. The entrance fees are a lot but the race doesn’t happen without the sponsors backing everything.

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Eight, get your results. Find out how fast you ran it, check on your friends. Feel a little smug about the people you finished ahead of in the race. Be amazed at how fast the real young and really old can run. The results are fun. And think about the people that timed the race. Sure they get paid for it but they do an amazing job keeping track and reporting the results for thousands of people and then putting out the numbers online.

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Great post race meal. This is the Turkey Pot Pie at Bricktown Brewery. It wa s wonderful!!

Nine, celebrate properly. You will be depleted so eat well, have a couple beers if that is your thing. Celebrate your accomplishment. Post pics on facebook and instagram. Check and see how your friends did. Speaking of instagram, are we not Instagram friends yet?? Check out @yogiab and lets get connected. On twitter I am @alanbbates.

Ten – get your tech on. If you have a GPS enabled watch then you can get all sorts of free screens and videos showing your run. If you just have a smart phone, get the Strava app for free, and do the same thing with your phone. I love all that stuff.

So these are the ten things I have to offer. The unspoken 11th and 12th items would be to sign up for more races and get to know your local running community.

What about you? What would you say to newer runners looking to enter a major race for the first time?

The Lederhosen Lauf 3 Mile Race at Tulsa’s Oktoberfest

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Last week was Tulsa’s Oktoberfest. It is quite the party. It has grown considerably for the years and is a lot of fun.

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On Thursday night they have the “Lederhosen Lauf,” a three mile run from the festival out along the Arkansas River trails and back to the festival.  I am always looking for a deal and it is a deal. For your entry fee, you get the race and a t shirt, sure, but you also get admission to the festival, a 16 ounce mug, a free fill of the beer of your choice for that mug, and a nice tee shirt. So sign me up.

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The pre-race festivities included our mayor G.T. Bynum on the right. On the left is the lovely and talented Leslie who works for the company that sponsors the festival and is also a fellow Zumba exercise instructor with my wife Heather. Anyways, after the talk, off we went.

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This is the halfway point, they had beer for us there. I don’t know what kind it was but it was good.

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And then we finished so I took my stein and had it filled with Paulaner Oktoberfest Wiesn. it is my new favorite beer. I am usually not much for lagers but this one is great. It may be my favorite beer ever.

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I also had a Spaten Optimator. I drank this back in the bad old days when Tulsa was a wasteland for beer. It was good but a little sweet.

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I got me some schnitzel and sides for dinner.

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And listened to a band playing decent rock and roll covers. I am not much for German music so I stay away from the big main tents.

The race was great. Well organized, nice well marked course, beer on the course, beer after the race, fun before, during, and after the race. So check, check, double or triple check, check and check. Plus

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They posted the results on paper (I was fourth out of six in my age group) and on the internet. Immediately and right away.

A big thank you to the sponsors, the race director, the army of volunteers, and my fellow participants, and the brewers!! I love this race.

As you can tell, I am pretty slow!! But I was out there.

Tulsa’s 2017 Corndog Challenge 5K Race – Our World Tuesday

Friday night, on a whim, I decided to run the Corndog Challenge 5K at the Tulsa Fairgrounds. How could I resist, you HAD to drink a mimosa, eat an apple dumpling, and a chicken and waffle during the race. I mean it was MANDATORY!!! How could I resist? For those that could resist that had the Corndog Classic 5K run at the same time on the same course, and at the same cost.

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So I ventured out to the Fairgrounds early to pick up my packet and all that.

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I noticed that TATUR Racing was timing the race. Now there are lots of good timing outfits out there, but TATUR is the best as far as I am concerned. Brian Hoover and his crew always do a great job and go above and beyond in order to make sure that the races are great. They not only time races they produce events also.

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Waiting for the race to start I checked out the Golden Driller. Tulsa has the Driller and the gigantic praying hands (some say healing hands) at Oral Roberts University. Maybe somebody should have a Praying Hands 5K? The ORU campus is big enough and hilly enough that there could be an interesting course.

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I looked at the bounce houses they had set up and wondered what the heck. Boys on left, girls on right? Any boy went to the prince house is smart. That is where all the girls are going to be. You have to think outside the box is my motto.

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And of course being a corndog race they had a corndog stand. I love the visuals of fair food but don’t like the food. Except of course corndogs. I have one per year. This year I am having two, one at this race, and one at the fair.

So anyways they got everybody together at the start line and gave the instructions and we sang the national anthem. Nobody took a knee, and then the gun sounded and off we went.

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As advertised we looped around the fairgrounds and at some point we had the apple dumpling served to us, and then the mimosa’s (above photo) and finally the mini version of chicken and waffle. I could handle all of it but it was kind of hot and humid and I was huffing and puffing and I had to work at getting the chicken and waffle down, but I did it. It was toward the end and the course along with the heat and humidity had pretty much kicked my butt.

And I finished, vertically, with dignity. I finished fourth out of six in my age group.

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I gulped down some water, and then drank more water, and then drank the complimentary adult malted beverage, and then ate a corn dog. It was kind of rich so I only ate about two thirds of it.

I was kind of doubtful that they could put a 5K race at the fairgrounds but what do I know!! They did it, and it was fun and challenging.

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And a nice t shirt. It wasn’t this wrinkled when they gave it to me. I forgot to take a picture of it yesterday so today I dug it out of the laundry and took a photo of it. Full disclosure is my middle name!! Me and Donald Trump Junior are alike that way.

So I give the race 5 stars out of five. Great course, great timing, fun, entertainment, well organized, lots of volunteers, food, beverages, and a shirt. Check, check, check, check, check, check, and check. I think everybody had a great time. Plus did I tell you that we all got a free ticket to the State Fair that is happening later this month. Yep, we did.

Thank you to the organizers who put on the race, the volunteers who worked like dogs behind the scenes to make sure everything was perfect, and the army of volunteers who showed up the day of the race to hand out the food and drink, and water on the course and cheer everybody on, and kudos to the runners who showed up. The proceeds from the race are going to the Tulsa Area United Way and Food for Kids. Also, thank you to the sponsors of the race. A lot of work by a lot of people go into these races and I appreciate them all.

I’ll be back again next year!!

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Firecracker 5K on the 4th in Downtown Tulsa

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Well its the Fourth of July and I ran in the annual Firecracker 5K put on by Fleet Feet Tulsa.

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I am not sure how many people ran but it is a pretty big race. Despite the early morning rains there were lots of people there.

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The Hurts Donuts Emergency Truck was there. I didn’t see them handing out free samples and you know I watch the food closely. Just before the race start while we were bunched up it started raining. Not too bad, just enough to make it interesting and thoughts of plugging and abandoning and going home briefly fluttered through my mind but they went away. So off we went winding through the northern part of downtown and into the Brady District and back.

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This was on the back downtown. I am guessing about 1.7 miles into the race.

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And then across the tracks and the long half mile home stretch to the finish line.

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Everybody had a great time. Kudos to Fleet Feet, the Race Director, the army of volunteers who showed up a dark thirty to get everything set up, the Tulsa Police Department who kept control of the course, and the sponsors who provided the food and drink. Everything went together well and it was a great experience.  There is a huge amount of work that goes into making sure that a race goes smoothly and I appreciate it.

The race course was straight with right angle turns and a long climb up to Cains Ballroom. It was challenging and fun. The food and drink were great. The shirt and medal were much appreciated. They had a live band, lots of port potty’s  and room to move around. I’ll be back at this race if I am in town next year.

Later today we are going to grill some chicken at home and then make our way to Veteran’s Park  for some fireworks!! How about you?

Bixby “Corn to Run” 5K and a Rant about Race Shirts

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Saturday morning I ventured to the Tulsa suburb of Bixby to run in their “Corn to Run” 5K.

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Bixby is home to some of the highest price residential real estate in Oklahoma but it still has a small town feel especially the old downtown area.

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There are still thriving businesses downtown of all kinds. Restaurants, dance studios, and such.

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I have no idea why the town thinks they need this thing.

The 5K is part of Bixby’s “Green Corn Festival.” The town is known for its truck farms that produce all sorts of produce including corn. More and more of the farms have sold out to real estate developers and so the acreage devoted to farming continues to decline.

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The festival has a carnival with rides, carnival food, and lots of food trucks besides.

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I love this gigantic wall clock on the municipal building

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The typical milling about before a race. And then we were off.

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I only stopped to take this one photo. I love this house. We wound around to the east side of town and then down south and then back up. There was not much traffic control, it was not really needed, not many people were out and about and those that were had the good sense and courtesy to not bother the runners. The course was well marked, especially for me since almost all the runners were ahead of me for some reason.

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And the finish line!! The guy on the PA made if fun for everybody and held off the awards ceremony until the everybody made it in.

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Including the police department, who finished last.

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I ended up getting second in the 60 to 70 year old category.  There were three of us in case you were wondering. The little dog tag is something that they gave everybody who finished.

Satisfaction

The race was well organized. Lots of helpful volunteers, the water at the end was cold, they had snacks, ample portapotty’s, the course was well marked and free of problems. The race started on time and they started the awards promptly and moved through them quickly. The race director and the people helping him did a great job. This should have been a totally satisfying race but it wasn’t quite for me and I’m going to tell you why.

They only had shirts for people who had registered by June 16. None for anybody else. The only thing said on the registration process was that shirts were not guaranteed for those who registered after that date. Okay fair enough, I should have known, right? Well maybe. I have run in over 150 races since I started running them twenty three years ago. Most of them I enter just a few days before the event and many the morning of the event. This is the first race where I didn’t get a shirt. Sometimes I had to take a different size shirt. Several times the race director had extra shirts made up and I got them a month after the event. Here they made no attempt to do any of that. They should have said “Guaranteed no shirt” after the 16th. Many races have an option for no shirt at a discounted entry.

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Logan and a run shirt.

I know why they do this and I get it. I have helped with several races and what drives race directors crazy is trying to figure out how many people are going to show up. So if you want to make sure that everybody gets a shirt then you have to kind of guess and hope that you didn’t order too many. The shirts are not free and the value of a shirt an hour after an event is basically zero.

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Logan with his cousin Shiloh and Uncle Irvin at a race in Idaho.

These races can bring in a lot of money but they cost a lot of money also. For everything from chip timing, to renting the tents and tables that you need, course security, course certification. The directors have to recruit volunteers to help them out and make sure they know what to do. So I get it, I really do. And so your costs are fixed and then you get guys like me who register at the last minute, full of expectations.

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Logan and my wife Heather at an event in Tulsa a few years ago.

And so why do I register so late? Why don’t I get on board and register a week and a half in advance? I’ll tell you why! Life, that is why. Just with what is going on I am not sure that I am going to be able to race until a few days before and I don’t want to spend the $30 and not be able to go. Sorry, but our family schedule is like the fog until something breaks free and it is like, okay, I am going to be able to race so then I hit the interwebs looking for something to go to.  I don’t think that I am that much different than other people. Especially those with a family.

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I still have that shirt!

And not only that, I love race shirts. I have a bunch of them and they are one of the reasons I run the races. Many races have a cheaper no shirt option and I have never signed up for that. So, yep it may be childish of me, but there it is.

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I still have that shirt also!

Why am I make such a big deal about this?

Doing my research I am seeing a many races using the “Shirts Not Guranteed” language for registrations after a certain date. So it is more than just this one race.

And so why should Race Directors listen to me?

Satisfaction is why. If you have ever been in a sales or marketing role you will realize that making the sale is not the end of the process. If your customer is not happy with the deal he struck then you did not make a good deal. You see that in a lot of businesses (successful businesses that is) where the after sale is treated very seriously by the customer. You have to make the customer feel good about what he or she has agreed to do. And I think that translates directly to races. I will tell you that the only way I am going to run the “Corn to Run” event next year is I am guaranteed a shirt.

Ideas on what to do?

What do I think race directors do?

  • Charge more after a certain date. Lots of big races do that. The Route 66 Marathon, Tulsa Run,  and others charge more the longer you wait to sign up. I generally wait pretty late on those races also and I understand that it is costing me money and I understand that.
  • Have more shirts made after the race. I know that is expensive also, so charge latecomers like me.
  • Discount the race for people who will not be getting shirts. Why should we pay the same as people who are getting a shirt.
  • Go back to ordering more shirts and hope for the best. Yep, I know this costs more.
  • Or just ignore old farts like me.

So anyway, I hope I didn’t spoil anybody’s time nor am I denigrating the Race Director or others involved in the well run and fun “Corn to Run 5K.” I am offering my comments and I hope that are seen as constructive. I also recognize that things change and as financial pressures on races continue we may see more changes. I recognize that I may be trying to swim upstream on this issue.

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A Runners Wife Finally Figures it Out

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Who is this woman waiting patiently, all by herself?

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Waiting by the this long trail.

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Not him!

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Nope, not this guy either!

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Hah!! This must be him. He is looking good but not making much progress.

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She is finding out that running is a lousy spectator sport. Notice the glazed over look in the eyes. And I bet that baby is getting kind of heavy.

Does your wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, whoever come out to watch you run any more?

Yeah, mine neither, I don’t blame her. she used to!! And then she wised up.

Turkey N Taturs 10K Trail Race on Turkey Mountain

Sunday morning, TATUR (“Tulsa Area Trail and Ultra Runners”) held their “Turkey N Taturs” races,10K, 25K, and 50K all on Turkey Mountain. I ran the 10K which for this crowd is like a fun run.

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The start was cool, sunny, and dry, perfect for running.

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The course was a good mixture of flat and level, hills, rocks, and roots. It had a great rhythm to it. Being Sunday morning there were not too many other people out on the mountain.

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I ran about half the race by myself and the last half with a friend who had about the same pace as I did. Running with somebody makes the race a lot easier. I tend to go faster when I’m with somebody.

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One of the great things about trail races is the aid stations. I had a shot of some sort of liquor at this one. I’m not sure if that was a good idea or not. It kind of stuck with me for a while.

As you can see the course wound all over the mountain. The 25K and 50K guys looped over the east side to get their distances in. The 50K was two laps of the 25K route.

And a good time was had by all. Last I checked I finished dead last out of 32 men who had finished by then. But hey, I beat everybody who slept in that day right?

A big thank you to fine folks at  TATUR and the many volunteers that it takes to put on an event like this and to my fellow racers.

2016 Tulsa Run 15K Race Report – A Whole Lotta Walking Going On

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The view of the starting line area from the office. I sit and surf the net and drink coffee until right before the start.

I ran the Tulsa Run 15K Saturday morning. It was my 22nd time to do it. I missed last year because of a knee injury and I walked the 5K race instead.

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The view when I get to the starting line. I’m always amazed how fast the lead runners are.

So I was all pumped and a little nervous. My training was not what it should be. My longest run was only about 7 miles and I didn’t do the interval training that helps so much on longer runs. I knew that I was going to be running and walking. I’ve learned in such a situation to be patient and start walking earlier so that I can run more later in a race.

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There are several bands on the course. These guys have been entertaining the runners for years and I have been sticking my camera in their face and taking their pic every year for years. I hope they don’t mind.

I started a quarter mile back from the starting line and it took almost five minutes to get the line. And then a quarter mile later I decided to take my first walking break of about a minute.

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Turn the corner and people are stretched out ahead for two miles ahead.

So from then to the end of the race my plan was to run four streetlights on level ground, and then walk one. Going downhill, I would just run to the bottom of the hill. On uphills I would run two streetlights and walk one. It worked fairly well. So on average I walked about a third of the route.

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Lots of spectators on Cherry Street. Sitting outside in shorts in late October.

The big news this race was that it was going to be warm, and it was relatively. There was a pretty good breeze though so I never felt over heated. I don’t know if it is global warming or not but this race used to be downright cold at times. Today it was comfortable from start to finish.

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There go some dinosaurs. I think their costumes got very hot.

The race is basically one long meditation for me. I just kind of zone out and feel the sun on face, and the wind, the clop, clop, clop, of thousands of shoes flopping on the pavement and the conversations of dozens of people within earshot.  I can feel my body responding to the stress of it all. The race has had all sorts of different starting and stopping points and routes and I know all the landmarks by heart and I just mentally tick them off as I go by. It all seems like it is over just a few minutes after it starts.

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Runners are so trashy throwing down their cups. I love it although I can hear my mother yelling from heaven to pick that up right now.

I enjoy my fellow runners also. Especially all those who dress up. It is Halloween season after all. Years ago, before 9/11 a delegation of soldiers would from Fort Sill would show up and run in formation, chanting all the way to the end. They used to be a benchmark. When you asked people how they did in the race, many would say “well I finished ahead of the Army” or ” I couldn’t keep up with the Army.” I really miss the Army.

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Ah, 10K is always a milestone to me. I mean that means there is only 5K to go. I can always walk 3 miles. I got it made now.

One thing noticeably missing this election season is the politicians. Well, I’m sick of politicians, how about you? I am so ready to get this season over.

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Oh boy, steep hill climbing from Southwest Boulevard to downtown. Glad that I had some oomph left from walking earlier in the race. I had the energy to run later in the race.

The other thing changing since I started is that I hardly know anybody who runs it. I ran my first Tulsa Run when I was 39 years old and I knew lots of people. That was back before the internet was in wide use and it was fun to get the paper and go through and the results  and circle everybody I knew. Some of whom I didn’t even know ran. Lots of my cohorts dropped out from running and it seems that others now run the longer races. The Route 66 Marathon has supplanted the Tulsa Run as the premier race in town. I like both of them but the Tulsa Run will always be special. My very first race of any kind was the 1994 Tulsa Run.

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An impromptu Zumba routine put on by the LuLulemon ladies. I love them and their signs.

Anyways, I will be running this race any way I can for as long as I can. When I can’t run the 15K, I’ll run the 5K, then the fun run. Then I’ll man a water stop or whatever I can do.

I can’t wait until next year’s race!!

A big thank you to the sponsors, officials, the army of volunteers, the police who provided traffic control, the spectators and anybody else who helped with the race and a huge thank you to my fellow runners.