Inaugural Backyard Blaze 5K Trail Run at the Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA

Early Saturday morning I headed out to the northwest side of Turkey Mountain in Tulsa for two things. First to check out the grand opening of the reconstructed YMCA, formerly known as the “West Side Y” and now known as the Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA and to run in the first ever “Backyard Blaze 5K Trail Race” sponsored by the Y.


The old Y was like an old school summer camp. It had the basics but you could tell they were on a shoe string budget. They did a lot with what they had. The new Y is amazing. They have a Lodge (above) with lounges, meeting rooms, a ball room, and administrative offices.


They have some brand new playgrounds.


I noticed that the playgrounds had QR codes so that dumb kids who didn’t know how to on them could figure it out with their smart phones.

They had a full day of activities scheduled for the grand opening. I thought about doing the yoga in addition to the race but I didn’t bring my mat and I didn’t want to get their brand new mats dirty with my sweat and trail dust. Besides I was hungry.

And of course all this takes money. Here’s the donor wall. Tulsa is fortunate to have a bunch of well heeled oil and gas people who are willing to put up the bucks when it comes time for community investments. And this is just a few years after the Gathering Place sucked up 465 million dollars from the local community for its construction.

My former employer had a sign all their own. I am proud that they have always been willing to contribute heavily to community investments.

Lake Logan is unchanged except for a new fishing dock.

In all my years of hiking and running Turkey Mountain I have never seen wild turkeys. Saturday was my chance. They were clear across the lake moving. I hope that you can see them in the video. All I had was my cell phone so I couldn’t magnify it much. Now I’ll have to quit calling people liars who say they have seen them. I’m not apologizing though. These turkeys look like new residents to me. How can I tell you ask? It is rude of you to ask is what I say. I’m training to be a politician.


Enough for all that. Mitch Drummond called everybody to order gave us the instructions which for trail races is pretty simple. Don’t get lost and if you do, good luck to you. And off we went. Or rather, off they went. I’m slow.


I haven’t been running for quite some time but still I trotted the smooth downhills from time to time and walked the rocks and the uphills. I hate falling!!


Most of the trail was on the pipeline trail. You can see why. You can also see that with all the rain, the vegetation was thick. I had forgot to spray myself with deet so I was hoping the ticks and triggers would leave me alone.


At times we were running through a little narrow channel in the woods.


And then we ran back to the Y via the pipeline trail. And no, I am not leading the race. Everybody else, most everybody anyway, had pulled away from me.


One last shot showing Lake Logan and the finish line across the way.

I finished vertically and so I was happy with my first in person race since the pandemic started. (I did a couple virtual runs which are not nearly so fun but crucial fund raisers for some outfits.) It made me realize how much I had missed running through the woods, races, and trail races especially.

Here’s a video of the route. It had some major squiggles on trails but it was all easy to follow on the ground. Part of the race when down a trail that I helped build a couple months ago and that was cool.

I give an A+ to the new Y and to the organizers of the race. The course, the timing folks, the course markings, the shirt and the wooden medal giveaway were all top rate. There was no beer but really, this is a YMCA sponsored event so nobody was expecting any. I’ll be back for their next event.

I am linking this with Our World Tuesday. Come check it out.

4 thoughts on “Inaugural Backyard Blaze 5K Trail Run at the Herman and Kate Kaiser YMCA

  1. Vicki

    Looks like a great place to spend some time!

    Congrats of doing the race and finishing. I’ve always believed that it doesn’t really matter if you win or not, it matters if you finish.

    “I’m training to be a politician.” LOL!

  2. Barb

    I like the colorful shirt. Hope you evaded the ticks. The Gathering Place is spectacular. Please don’t train to be a politician. I see Logan has a lake named for him.

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