Tag Archives: Racing

2017 Tulsa Zoo Run 10K Race – Our World Tuesday

20171007-083704-40

Nice healthy double chin there!!

Saturday I ventured to Tulsa’s beautiful Mohawk Park to run in the Tulsa Zoo Run 10K. They also had a fun run and a 5K going on. I am increasing my mileage right now getting ready for the Tulsa Run 15K at the end of the month and I have my sights set on the Route 66 Half Marathon coming up in November.

20171007-083231-39

The Zoo run benefits the Tulsa Zoo and has a bunch of sponsors.

20171007-080730-36

It was kind of rainy and cloudy Saturday morning and the sun broke through just before the race started so we didn’t have to start in the rain. Mohawk is nice because it there are no hills so it easy to run hard.

We took off, I started as always toward the back and it took me about 30 seconds or so to get to the start line. The race kind of kicked my butt a little bit. I ran the whole way and I was under a lot of stress. The Kilometers seemed all kinds of spread out but I got into a rhythm after a while. Don’t get me wrong, I was ready for the race to end when it did.!!

20171007-123906-51

This is a good race. The course was well marked and there was enough room for everybody. The first two loops just had one water stop and they had run out of water by the time I came around the second loop but they had two or three more water stops on the last couple miles to the finish line, so no complaint there.

At the finish they had medals. I don’t give a flip about medals but lots of people expect them, and they had them. They had lots of water and they had a plethora of food options from many of the sponsors. So that was good. No beer, but they had good coffee, which is a good tradeoff. They had lots and lots of stuff for the kids like facepainting and games. And of course you finish in the zoo so you get that for free!! I don’t know about you but I love zoos and Tulsa’s is great.

Plus the tshirts are nice and they had plenty of them. The only thing was the race timing. They published no results at the venue. They just said to check online. Well it has been over 24 hours and all I know is what my time was (and I knew that when I pushed the button on my watch when I finished.) No age group information or anything else. So I don’t know if that is due to what the Zoo wanted or the limitations of the timing company but this is totally unacceptable. This is the first race I have ever been to  where they didn’t at least print out the results and tape them up.  Sorry if I am stepping on toes, but that is the way I see it. So with no race results, there was no awards ceremony so I didn’t find out who the old guys were that buzzed past me nor the young kids who lapped me during the loops. Not having an awards ceremony is a gap.

So, race experience, course, preparation, water, food, tshirt, and fun? Check, check, check, check, check, check, check!! Timing, half a check. It is a great race, and I’ll be back. Hopefully they will square way the timing issues. If not, I’ll still be back!

A race like this doesn’t get done without a lot of work by a lot of people. Thank you to the Zoo and their staff, the many sponsors, the army of volunteers who helped with parking, the water stops, all the food, and managing the course, the Tulsa Police Department, and anybody else associated with the race, including my fellow participants who made it fun.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday!

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.

20170923-072407-2

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

20170923-072533-5

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.

20170923-072742-8

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.

20170923-072935-9

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.

20170923-073014-11

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.

20170923-081333-13

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.

20170923-085358-15

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.

20170924-084227-6

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

Escape from Turkey Mountain 5 Mile Race 2017

DSCN8882

This morning was my return to the “Escape from Turkey Mountain 5 Mile” race. Two years ago I ran it and injured my knee when I fell on a rock and caused me to miss about two or three months of running while I rehabbed with physical therapy and exercise. Last year I waited to too long to register and they filled up so this year I was ready!! There were a lot of people there and I went to the back for the start.

DSCN8884

And off we went, see all those people ahead of me? They all pretty much stayed ahead of me.

DSCN8885

See all the folks behind me? I think almost all of them finished ahead of me. Strange how that works.

DSCN8886

Up “the Staircase” from the lower yellow trail to the upper yellow. I have been on the staircase before, I just didn’t know that it had a name. Almost every physical feature on Turkey Mountain has a name, usually several names. My favorite trail is “I want my mommy.” Run it sometime, you will be crying for your mommy.

20170904-093724-15

I am rocking my new running shirt. I love it! Most expensive shirt, of any kind, that I own.

So anyway I finished without falling on anything. I stumbled and almost tripped a few times and slid a few times but managed to stay on my feet. My time was about 1 hr 30 minutes and the distance was about 5.22 miles. So my official time was only about 5 minutes faster than my last run with the knee problem two years ago but the course was a quarter mile longer than then. I am about 20 minutes off the pace I was three years ago. That happens when you are fat, old, and slow.

20170904-153903-1

So, how was the race? Let me see, great course, check. Nice run shirt, check. Medal, check, Food, they had hamburgers, turned out quickly, check. Beer, check, Marshall’s craft beer, so double check. I’ll be back!!

Thank you to Fleet Feet Tulsa, and the many volunteers who make these races go. Thank you to my fellow runners for adding to the atmosphere.

No thanks to the mountain biker who almost crashed into me from behind while we were both going downhill and yelling at me “$%^$&(*&&*   %^&*&^”. The convention and etiquette is that people who are participating in sanctioned events in a place, have priority over other people. It is not a rule or a law or anything, it is what people do. I would never interfere with a bicycle racer for example, I would most probably stay off the trails they were using. I had never had a bicyclist intrude like that into a trail race before. 99.99% of trail users are very considerate of others using the tracks.

Falling on a rock

This is my knee from two years ago. Lots better today. And I still have those socks!!

aa

Firecracker 5K on the 4th in Downtown Tulsa

DSCN8703

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

DSCN8701

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.

DSCN8702

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.

DSCN8705

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

DSCN8706

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

Recently Added-111

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

DSCN8686

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

DSCN8682

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.

DSCN8687

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

DSCN8688

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.

DSCN8689

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

DSCN8692

I love this gigantic wall clock on the municipal building

DSCN8693

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

DSCN8694

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.

DSCN8695

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.

DSCN8696

Including the police department, who finished last.

20170624-102545-2

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.

IMG_1067

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.

DSCN2215

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.

024

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.

IMG_6775

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.

20100912_28

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.

aa

Our World Tuesday – Post Oak Challenge Quarter Marathon

The Post Oak Challenge is a series of races of various lengths over three days. Lots of people “Double” or “Triple” meaning that they run two or three of the races. That is awesome, and I am not at the level of awesomeness. This year I ran the Quarter Marathon on Sunday morning.  The races are held at Post Oak Lodge north of Tulsa. It is a really nice, well run place, and they are great hosts for the race.

DSCN7740

Don’t know why but the first thing I did after getting out my car is to check out the resorts one golf hole.

DSCN7745

And then go over to the pond and take a few pics. The Lodge is located in the Osage Hills and I think the area is beautiful.

DSCN7747

And then I waddled over to the starting line and go to see the Half Marathon start. The thing I like about trail races is its lower stress level. Everybody is pretty relaxed and there is no pushing and shoving at the start.

IMAG1850

And then I walked into the nearby lodge and planted myself in a chair in front of the fireplace. It was cold outside. I wasn’t going to warm up. I figured I will have six and half miles to get warmed up.

DSCN7748

And here we are at the start, and off we went.

DSCN7763

Every year the route is different. There are lots of trails to pick from. This year we looped in close to the lodge for a few miles before heading out.

DSCN7761

My fellow runners come in all shapes, sizes, species.

DSCN7760

The route alternated twisty turny, rocky intervals with long straight stretches.

DSCN7771

We went up “Holmes Peak” the highest point in Tulsa County. My friends in Colorado and other mountainous areas are probably much amused by our “peak.” They can laugh all they want. That peak kicked my butt.

DSCN7773

After my butt kicking, I got a pretty good view. That is downtown Tulsa way over yonder, home of high rises that don’t look so high from here.

DSCN7776

I get passed a lot in races. Men, women, children,  they all blaze right past me.

DSCN7769

I always enjoy running by the zip line towers.

DSCN7777

I like “tree tunnels” like this.

DSCN7750

There were lots of rocks on this course. I am wary of rocks cuz I don’t like falling. I stumbled a few times on this race but didn’t fall.

My camera’s battery gave out so that is it.

IMAG1851

After the race I made it back to the lodge. Got my two designated beers all at once along with some fritos and a brat. I chatted a little with my friend Rick who was Logan’s Cub Scout Den Leader way back when and is still one of the nicest guys you would ever care to meet.

And then home.

Our World Tuesday

And here is my run, complete with all sorts of metrics.

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.

DSCN7151

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

DSCN7158

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.

DSCN7159

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.

DSCN7165

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

DSCN7087

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.

DSCN7090

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.

DSCN7092

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.

DSCN7093

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.

DSCN7095

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.

DSCN7098

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.

DSCN7099

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.

DSCN7100

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.

DSCN7104

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.

DSCN7105

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.

Labor Day Weekend

_DSC0925

Well I didn’t get any labor done this weekend. The yard needs mowed, the bills need paid, and a few other things need attending but we took it easy. We spent a lot of time at Nana’s house with relatives both in town and out of town. We all got a little sunburned but we had a good time. It’s great to reconnect with people and see what is happening with them. Plus I get to take lots of photos and use my bag of special effects on them if they irritate me.

_DSC0301

Me and the kid went on a little hike in the north Woods section of Oxley Nature Center. A beautiful area and I have only seen two other people on those trails in all the years I’ve been hiking them.

DSCN6633

The view from the back of the pack

Monday morning I ran a fairly small 5K put on a by a local church, the Run to the Son 5K. A great event that I loved more because I finished 3rd in my age group and got a medal (out of six if you must know).

DSCN6635

It was a Baptist Church that put it on and I violated my oath to never run in anything but beer runs. I’ve amended the rule to include great pancakes instead of beer. Flexibility is my middle name.

aa

Skywatch Friday – July 4th Edition!

IMAG1162

The 240th edition of the Fourth of July is over (241 actually because you have to count the original one right) and we celebrated in fine style in Tulsa by gum Oklahoma. I got up early in the morning and went downtown and ran in the Firecracker 5K. The above is a feature of my phone called “Crop me in.” I love it even though it looks strange. Anyways, I ran it, hard, didn’t place but had a good time including three craft beers. I’m old, crafty, and sneaky so I know how to cut in the beer line without anybody noticing. I have to be that way because I run so blessed slow that I get to the beer line late. Just think of it as a way of handicapping.

IMAG1164

Tell you what, I don’t know how many houses are on our street, maybe forty or fifty over several blocks, but there were only three showing the flag. Less and less every year. Can’t get much less than three.

IMG_1646

Later that day, in the evening we made our way downtown to see fireworks. The city always does a good job with them. It always seems like a hassle but in the end it is worth it.

IMG_1682

Everybody went Ooooh

IMG_1730

And Ahhhh

So anyways, I’m an infrequent and irregular blogger these days. Busy, busy, busy, so I’m doing my Skywatch Friday post early this week. I hope that is okay with everybody.

Take care

I am linking with Skywatch Friday