Tag Archives: Running

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?

Skywatch Friday – Running to Lafortune Park and Back

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Started when the sun was low which makes for long shadows. Since my knee injury a couple years ago I always walk a half mile before running.

I am being a little ambitious with my running this Fall. I have signed up for the Tulsa Run 15K and the half marathon event of the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon. I’m also thinking about doing the 25K event at a Trail Race on Turkey Mountain.  And of course it is all well and good to sign up for this stuff but at you also have to train for the runs.

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Tulsa is a city of trees and Up with Trees is a great organization that wants us to have even more!!

So most of my training runs have been up and down the River Trails here in Tulsa. I love the River Parks trails but you know, you need a little variety now and then. There is a park a few miles northwest of our house, Lafortune Park. It has an 18 hole golf course, and a 18 hole par three course, lots of picnic areas, tennis courts, a library, a tennis center, a lawn bowling pitch, a high school, with football and baseball fields, and best of all a 3 mile running/walking track that winds its way around all of those other things.

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I ran by the offices of Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. This is a great organization that is devoted exclusively to the babies and their mothers. No time for wedge politics or anything like that. You want to do politics go somewhere else. If you are concerned about babies and mothers, this is your place.

I have run around the park many times, and Heather and I have walked around it a lot, even son Logan and I have done the three miles a bunch of times.

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The closest thing to Fall Color I saw on my trek

Well I wanted to close the loop so to speak by running from the house to the park. From the house I have walked, run, and biked to the Creek Turnpike Trail. And although I have not done it all in one outing, I have walked, run, and biked about 20 miles to the east, and to the west and northwest probably 30 miles or more. So I wanted to extend my connectivity the few miles to Lafortune and get an 11 mile run at the same time. I had already done nine miles last week, so I wanted to do 11 this past weekend.

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I love old signs. This sign has been there a long time even the store is long gone. It’s days are numbered though as there is some construction going on.

So off I went. It was different than running on a running path. First of all I wasn’t wearing headphones. Running on the street with headphones is a prescription for getting run over. I had a good friend who got run over and died while running on a freeway frontage road with headphones on. Second is the camber of the road. The crown. You really have to alternate what side of the road you run on otherwise you will tear up your knees or ITB band.

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I passed a new restaurant going in at a busy intersection. I am a sucker for glass blocks.

But hey, it was all good. A nice brisk, sunny day.

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Saint Francis Hospital.

It about wore me out. I didn’t have any time goals. I just wanted to finish and yes I walked a lot.

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Probably 60% on the streets, roads, and sidewalks, the rest on park trails or vacant fields.

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I know, I know, I should have been in church on Sunday morning but running had me totally in the moment and it all seemed to go by in a flash.

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Next Saturday is the Tulsa Run 15K. It will be my 23rd. it is my favorite race of the year. It will be cold!!! but that is okay. I have the cold weather gear. I know how to dress for the cold weather, the hot weather, and wet weather, and dry weather. It doesn’t matter to me.

Here is the garmin video my very slow run.

Here is the much more fun “relive” version of the run. I like it much better for its 3D aspect plus it makes it appear that I ran the whole way.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

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.

Skywatch Friday – Fall is Falling

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My wife’s cousin’s wife, Cheri Lou took this photo at the ranch in western Oklahoma. I love the rolling hills, grassy rangelands, and the big skies out there. The people are great also.

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Where we live in northeastern Oklahoma is more forest land and a lot wetter. Son Logan and I went on a little jaunt at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center. Lots of wildlife in Oxley. Lots of water also and it is right underneath the main approaches to our local airport and is right next to the police gun range so it can get kind of noisy but I love it.

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There are several sizeable lakes and ponds and it is known as a good birding site. I love birds but I don’t have the patience to put in the work.

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Here you go, any photoblogger worth his salt has the obligatory first red leaf of Autumn. I think this might be my first red leaf ever.

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This gave me a start! Don’t worry, it is a rubber snake placed near a geocache. At least I think it was near a geocache. I looked for it and didn’t find it. I lifted a rock and found me a real snake. Just a tiny little garter snake but I decided, enough is enough.

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Saturday I had some time so I went looking for some urban caches in Tulsa. Found one near the Saba Grotto. I think it has some relation to the Masons. There were a few instagram pics with Saba Grotto. it looks like a big man cave. They have a pretty active facebook page and they seem to have all sorts of benefits and events. Who would have thought? Stuff like that intrigues me. People don’t seem to join clubs any longer. They belong to “affinity groups” where they do people who have similar interests but is a lot looser. Anyway, one reason I love geocaching is that I find new places and learn new things.

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Another cache I found was on a freeway interchange. Talk about hiding something in plain sight. Lots of cars whizzing by while I figured out where the cache was.

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I am still training for the Tulsa Run 15K the last weekend of this month. Last week I ran 9 miles after work and I actually felt pretty good. Cooler weather and a hydration vest works wonders. I had already signed up for the race and went ahead and signed up for the Route 66 Half Marathon in November. This weekend I am running 11 miles on Sunday morning. At least that is my plan. Check back later. Plans change.

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A side benefit is running is the opportunity to take photographs. A great deal of my running (and a great deal of my photos) are along the Arkansas River. Tulsa really is a beautiful town. Of course I love the gritty west side of Tulsa where all the industry and refineries are.

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In the Fall the skies get a lot more interesting. This is a sunset photo looking east with my back to the sun.

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I’ll finish up with a selfie with a combuster at a waste treatment plant on the river. I was halfway on my nine mile run and I was really happy with how good I felt. Cooler weather, a hydration vest, and Metallica on the earbuds works wonders. That is about as big a smile as you will ever get out of me.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

2017 Tulsa Zoo Run 10K Race – Our World Tuesday

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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.

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

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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.!!

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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!

Skywatch Friday

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Its late September and that means that I am spending a lot of time every week on the River Parks trails along the Arkansas River training for the Tulsa Run 15K that occurs in late October. This is the perfect time to run where we still have daylight savings time and the weather is beginning to cool. Last night I ran eight miles and it went splendidly.  I have decided that I am going to sign up for the Route 66 Half Marathon which runs in November.

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And the skies are a lot more colorful this time of year. I took this in the street in front of my home.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

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

Escape from Turkey Mountain 5 Mile Race 2017

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Eight Miles on Turkey Mountain

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During the daylight savings time part of the year I run on Turkey Mountain at least once a week. I hadn’t been on the mountain for two weeks for various reasons so Wednesday night I was ready. I was very fortunate the weather was cool, in the high 80;s and it felt great. I wanted to do seven miles.

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There is a powerline right of way that runs north/south the length of the park and the trail is called powerline also. I used to hate it because I loved the feeling of getting lost in the trees on the other trails but I have come to love powerline. It is up and down and very challenging.

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At a crossroads on the northwest side of the mountain is this dryer. It has been there a long time. There is an unofficial trail on the northwest side called the “Pink Trail” it is so convoluted that I have never been to follow it. I am wondering how this appliance ended up here. It is a long ways from the nearest road.

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Turkey Mountain is roughly two miles long and a mile wide so if you want to do a lot of miles and not loop on yourself constantly you have to plan your route. I did a three miles loop on the east side of the park and about a two mile loop on the west side and then hopped over to east side again to get on another trail. I dropped down to yet another trail via this narrow, steep drop between the rocks. The thing is when I first started exploring Turkey Mountain years ago I tried all the trails and then as time went by I narrowed down to a lot smaller set. It is kind of fun to go rediscover old trails. Also you don’t have crazy bicyclists running you down on trails like this.

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There is something about a trail in the woods that I cannot resist.

So I was looking for seven but got eight due to some miscalculation and finished right at dark. Suited me fine. I am looking forward to my 23rd Tulsa Run 15K in October and i would like to run another half marathon in November. So I need to start ramping up my miles. It is not all training though. My running is a form of meditation for me. I get totally lost and live only in the present. In the woods the only thing I worry about is falling on my face and snakes.

What do you do to get away from it all.