Tag Archives: Racing

Hope even for Slow, Old, Fat Guys

We are in the downtime of Summer right now. We took our family vacation a few weeks ago and many of Logan’s activities like his Improv Comedy workshop is out for the summer and his ankle sprain is precluding his horseback riding. So Friday night I had a thought. Hey, I should run a race!! Pre-Logan I used to run them at least once a month. Most of them local 5K’s. I have since gravitated to a few big races a year plus I really love trail races.

So I found the only local race was about 30 miles south in the town of Okmulgee. A 5K sponsored by the Muskogee Creek Nation. So early Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed and headed down Highway 75 and found the place.


I got registered and got my bib and t shirt and wandered around a little bit.


They had some nice sculptures including this one of Ernest Childers, a Muscogee Creek Nation Tribe member who won the Congressional Medal of Honor in World War II. Check the link on his name. Quite a story behind this hero.


As it got close to race time everybody migrated over to the starting line. I thought it strange how much space people put between each other. But we bunched up before the gun started. I started in the very back. Psychologically it is better for me to pass people from the start to the finish.

Muskogee Creek Nation 5K Run - Topaz Glow Squiggly LInes I 50pct

Most of the race was out in the countryside and was very nice. The weather sunny and cool and no wind and I ran a pretty even pace only stopping to take the above photo and walking through the two water stops.


At the finish line. The Nation’s tribal court building is earth banked so I walked up almost to the roof of the structure to get this angle. I stuck around until the awards ceremony and found out that I won first place in the Men’s age 60 to 64 category.


I got this nice coffee mug as a prize. Of course I have to tell you that there was only one other person in this category in the race. The way I look at it is that there were thousands more who stayed in bed and didn’t go to the race. This is the only award I have ever won in a sporting category  in 48 years since I won first prize in a free throw shooting contest at a summer camp in Clear Creek, Utah. I have run I guess over two hundred races over the years and have never even come close to placing. So make fun of me if you wish, and I understand if you do, but I’m very happy anyway.

So there is hope out there for old fat slow guys. I’m really proud of my little coffee mug.

TATUR Snake Run on Turkey Mountain

It was a great day for a trail race on Saturday morning. Cool, humid, and very little wind. It was very early spring like.


The sun was trying to burn through the clouds and never did quite make it.

Here is a mini video of the walk from the parking lot to the race start.


I got up to the old parking lot and checked out all the mud.


And checked out the race bling. This is as close as I’ll ever get.


And inspected this bad boy. I think I need one of these to mow my yard. I think it would do a pretty decent job. Anybody want to float me a loan?


The Race Director, Ken, aka Trail Zombie gave the runners some instructions. Follow the pink ribbons, don’t cross the yellow ribbons. Have a good time.

And the Six Hour Runners were off.

And then the Three Hour Runners, including moi. The races are a little different. Most races are a fixed length and whoever has the least time wins. In the Snake Races, the time is constant and whoever runs the longest wins. So there were two loops. A big loop of about 3.7 miles. We run that over and over, and if you don’t think you can finish another big loop before the time is up then there is another half mile loop that you can run over and over until the time is up. It is really very clever. I like it because I can always tell people that I had the same time as the winner.


Even though it was spring there wasn’t much color out on the mountain. The whitebuds blooming was about it.


There was one aid station out on the course that we hit twice each loop because of the way that the route folds in on itself. It was full service though, water, gatorade, baked potatoes rolled in salt, cookies, pickles, bananas, oranges, beer.


Nope, not for me. Actually I think it was a joke. I think. Although if you had an urgent need it may not be much of a joke.


And the course had a beer stop. This was my favorite. I hit it twice each loop. Going and coming. This guy had everything: All sorts of nice craft beers, and shots of various liquors including some home brew. Soft drinks for the kiddies.

I fell twice during the race. About six weeks ago I fell during a night run on the mountain and had a pain that still endures. That was on my left side. I was carrying my camera in left hand today and so I made sure that I fell on my right side. We bloggers know that ribs will heal but cameras won’t. I was telling that story to somebody at the end of the race and she said “You fell twice? You must have been one of those people hitting the beer stop pretty hard.” She had that “I got you look.” She must have been a school principal. The truth hurts sometimes. Now my left and my right sides hurt besides.


I wish that I had read this sign earlier. Maybe I would do better if I ran faster. I’ll have to check into the math and physics of that concept.


Here is the beer tent again on another stop. Lots of good stuff here. And no I didn’t stagger into the table to get this shot. Well, I didn’t mean to anyway.


And here is Brian Hoover, the force behind Tatur Racing and Chip Timing. I think that I had asked him if I run the race or something.


Brian and Ken started handing out the awards after the Three Hour Race.


No, I didn’t place. I don’t think that any of the people that placed took any pics out on the course or sampled any of the beer. You know beer doesn’t drink itself. I might have won the race if I hadn’t been fulfilling my journalistic duties. Hey you don’t know.


Or maybe I need a cool headband. I think it cuts the wind resistance or something. Or maybe it diverts blood supply to the legs. Something like that I’m sure.


And here is a guy taking a selfie. Sorry, if I see you taking a selfie, I’m going to get a pic of you.

And here is the record of my race. My strategy was to run for a quarter mile and walk for a minute. I did that through the whole race and it worked. Plus I drank lots of water and some Gatorade at the food stops along with the salted baked potato segments. I got pretty sore still which is not surprising because the longest distance I have run in the last several months is only six miles.

I’ll be back next year. This is a fun race.

Official Race Results

Trail Zombie’s blog post of the race.

Here are my reports from the 2011 and 2012 Snake Runs.

Our World – 2015 Post Oak Lodge Challenge Quarter Marathon

Sunday I ran the Quarter Marathon part of the Post Oak Lodge Challenge which is a bunch of races of varying length from 10K to 50K held over two days at the beautiful Post Oak Lodge north of Tulsa. I generally run the 10K on Saturday but this year elected to run the quarter because it doesn’t change the family schedule very much.


Getting close to race time everybody started assembling near the start line. Meanwhile…


I was finishing up my warm-up routine inside the lodge. I’d of been really warmed up but some young whippersnappers, you know people in their 40’s, were taking my spot by the fireplace. Notice my shoes? They are Hokas, specially made for trail running. They are nice but I’m thinking about getting a kickstart campaign going for my next pair. If Heather finds out how much they cost, she might start her own non-financial kickstarter campaign. So far the shoes seem to be working pretty well. They are very cushiony. Yep, cushiony is a word here in Oklahoma. Just so you know.


Off we went down the road and off into the trails. I was hanging back. Wearing my brand new Hokas on a night run on Turkey Mountain several weeks ago I tripped and fell and I think that I might have cracked a rib. I got xrays Friday but haven’t got the results back yet. Most advice that I’ve seen on the web advises against running with a cracked rib. However, most people don’t think that what I do is actually running either. So off I went. Slowly though. Notice how I make going slowly an option for me. It is an option. I can either go slowly or just stand there.


The course was really hilly, up and down, and over around. I ran on the level spots and generally walked on the uphill segments. On the downhill spots I ran if there were not many rocks or roots. I didn’t want to trip and fall and then have to go to the doctor and endure their questioning about who goes running with a cracked rib. Followed by “Do you really run.”


Post Oak Lodge has a zip line course. I was kind of eyeing it to see if I could cut some of the run short. I mean, I doubt the rules actually say that one can’t use the zip line. I decided not to do it. Of course several of my fellow runners didn’t allow me to use it. I wish they would just mind their own business.


This being Oklahoma we passed oil wells. These might be for sale. At $40 a barrel they should be cheaper than they would have been last summer. You ready? I can probably hook you up.


Off we go up another hill. Except that this is Holmes Peak. The highest point in Tulsa County. Salud!


Are you up for another view of downtown Tulsa? Despite what you think Oklahoma doesn’t tilt to the left. It tilts at almost a 45 degree angle to the right. I over corrected. If you are wondering what in tarnation I am talking about then you are not familiar with Oklahoma.


Here is a little more balanced view.


Here is my favorite part of the race. Ken Childress (aka “Trail Zombie” ) manning an aid stop. I think that TZ, as he is known, has introduced hundreds, if not thousands, of people to trail running in northeast Oklahoma. He is a great guy. Check out his blog here.


The Snake Run is a TZ event on Turkey Mountain next week. It is a little different in that everybody runs the same times as everybody else (either a three hour race or a six hour time) the winner runs the most distance. It is fun. I don’t know if I can make it or not. I ran it in 2011 and 2012. It’s about time I do it again. I really don’t know if I can run three hours truthfully.


Hey, I’ll cut to the chase. I finished the race (upright, with dignity) and got my meal. The thought that struck was that this is an Okie Methodist Seder Dinner. After running six and a half miles I was not really hungry anyway, but I ate it anyway. I did have a couple malted beverages also. In addition to the one TZ gave me out on the course. I’ll do a lot for a beer. Notice the banana? Son Logan does not like bananas. In fact he won’t tolerate them in the house. He doesn’t like the texture, nor does he like how they change color. He is the banana nazi as we call him. I was in banana heaven today, both aid stations had bananas as well as the lunch served at the end.


And my brand new Hokas. A little muddy, not too bad. Its got some fast zip shoe laces that come in really handy when I’m trying to take them off before I track mud into the house. Tracking mud into the house is a bad bad thing. Take my word for it.

And here is my route map generated in partnership with Garmin and my watch. Complete with heart rates and all that good stuff. So even though I don’t really run, I did get my heart rate up. Plus I didn’t fall although I did stumble once. Garmin is working on an upgrade to show beer consumption also.

So chalk up another good Post Oak Lodge Challenge. I’ve been running this event for some time and it is great to see it grow and develop every year.

Here are my posts for the event for 2014, 2013,  2011, and 2010.

So, come up to Oklahoma and run this race with me next year!

Linking with Our World Tuesday

2014 Tulsa Run 15K Race Report

This past Saturday I ran my 21st Tulsa Run 15K in a row. I’m kind of proud of that but I’m also thinking, “What did I get myself into?” Where do I go from here. This year’s race was special also. I’ll tell you about that in a little bit. So, I ‘ll get into the race day.


There is always some joker who thinks that the whole race course situation doesn’t apply to them.


What was special this year was that my sister, Ellen, was in the 5K race of the Tulsa Run. We didn’t make arrangements to meet before the race. I was wandering around but didn’t see here beforehand. She hasn’t been running very long but she is running and racing a lot.


And then the gun went off and off the police motorcycles went.


Followed by the skinny fast people. As you can tell it was unseasonably warm. We runners are never happy with the weather, it is always too hot or too warm on race day.


Anyway there they went, I didn’t see  Ellen,  Am I a lousy brother or what? Please don’t answer.


There she is headed hard for the finish. Sorry for the blurry pic but she was moving fast.


And here she is! Luckily for her, we don’t look anything alike. Tell you what though, what was going through our parent’s head? Ellen and Alan, you don’t think that caused some confusion later on? As little kids though we were called Susie and Buddy. Why? I never did figure that out. I remember before first grade Mom told me that my name was Alan not Buddy. Talk about disorienting, especially when you have a teacher in the 50th year or so of a teaching career that started before Arizona was a State? I still haven’t recovered. Poor me! You can tell I’m a runner. Runners and Harley Davidson motorcycle riders specialize in self pity. Along with Democrats. Is there anything more pitiful than a Democrat nowdays? Well Republicans, Republicans are more pitiful than Democrats.


And then my race was close to getting started. Lots of people milling around beforehand. About 4500 finished the race.


Orpha’s was open and ready for business. Sometimes there are guys passed out on the sidewalk outside at lunch. I guess it was too early for that. It was also too early for me. I’ve never been in the place. Don’t plan to go either. For those of you who think that the wild west is over, there was gun fight between the Tulsa Police and bank robber in front of Orphas back in the early 90’s. The robber lived in one of the apartments above the bar.


Runner fashion is always interesting. Like the compression socks thing. What is up with that?  I do love that one of these ladies is not into sock symmetry. I’ve worn mismatched socks to work occasionally. Usually nobody notices but why do each sock have to be the same? If you figure out let me know because I don’t know the answer to that.


And then the race was off. The Tulsa Run always has lots of bands on the route. I love these guys, and the two little girls.

I wasn’t really trained for this race so I was running and walking at intervals early. Plus it was warm. Notice I’m a true runner, I have loads of excuses why I didn’t win. I should join the Tea Party!!


The new course is a lot hillier than the old course. Lots of people complained about that. I don’t get that. I mean we all run the same course right! So what difference does it make. There is nothing more boring than an out and back race on the same flat street. At least in my opinion.


We turned south and headed down Peoria. I liked this part of the course because you could see the guys and gals running back and every once in a while say Go Steve!!  But you know, only if their name is Steve. Otherwise, I call them their name.


Go Steve!!


What really fascinates me about races is the mess we runners make at the water stops. I mean cmon guys!! What would your mothers think?


Toward the end these guys put in an unofficial beer stop. I never miss beer stops. In fact I grabbed two cups. I could have used Orpha’s at this point. Later on the River Parks guys had a beer stop. Good job guys putting the beer stops toward the end of the race. Notice the girl with the white tutu? What an outfit. My favorite part is the little ribbons on her socks. Its the details that make the difference. Kind of reminds me of a Van Halen song. But I’ll spare you. Really, you’ll thank me for not explaining it to you. Really.. And that kind of reminds me a ZZ Top song but I’m not explaining that either.


Where did this hill come from? You ever hear about Pop Up Stores that go in temporarily? Well this was a pop up hill.  I don’t ever remember seeing it before? Of course I’ve never run it before either. I’m proud to say that the last half of the race I walked up all the hills.

Anyway that was it for pictures. I was plum tired. At the end of the race they had a half a banana for us, which was fine. The bagels though, the volunteers were pinching off bite size pieces and handing them to us as we went by. At least they had water. The beer was not that great either. One guy attending the Coors Light truck and the line was way long. My dear sister Ellen waited two long hours for me to finish. Is she great or what. I wanted a beer but not bad enough to take my sister into Orpha’s. I went home and had a cup of coffee. Heather, my great wife had a couple of Snickers bars for me. Heather is awesome.

So, I liked the course. It was tough and I loved it. The difficulty that I had with it was due to my lack of training. But, there were not quite enough water stops on the race and the post race amenities for the runners were not great. More water, more food, and get your act together ont he beer. And hey, the Expo and the packet pickup was nice.  Lets work on it guys!! I’m coming back next year for my 22nd year in a row. Hopefully Ellen will be back also.

Here is a readout from my GPS watch on the race. You can tell I was taking lots of walking breaks especially on uphills. Everything is on there, even my heart rate. Go ahead and laugh you fast runners.

Many thanks to the army of volunteers, the bands, the many police who helped patrol the course, the residents who were inconvenienced by the race going by their neighborhoods and everybody else associated with the race.


2014 Lederhosen Lauf Three Mile Run at Tulsa’s Oktoberfest

Tulsa’s Oktoberfest is going on this week. I found out Thursday morning that they were having a three mile run, the Lederhosen Lauf Run that night from the Oktoberfest site including a “Non-official” beer stop along with a one liter stein and a free beer afterward. So I had to go sign up is what I think.


And of course my I brought my special “Fraulein Cam” along.


The Fraulein Cam can take other shots as well.

#octoberfest #ferriswheel #sunset #igersok #igerstulsa #myoklahoma

I took this Ferrris Wheel pic  with my phone, not my special Fraulein Cam.


So how come some Frauleins have white socks and others have black. Figuring out things like that can lock my brain up for days.


And your typical shots of people milling around before the race. And it turns out that there are more Frauleins to the right. How come I never see them at any other races? And then we were off right at 7 pm.


Here is the Unofficial Beer Stop at about mile 2.25 or so. No beer for you said the beer nazi’s if you didn’t have a white wrist band. I’m not sure it was enforced. I’m a rule follower so you can bet that I had my white wrist band.


And we had a little unofficial music to go with our unofficial beer at the unofficial beer stop.


I finished the race, vertically with dignity. Got my token for my beer and a one liter stein and went to the beer tent. They had an incredible variety of beer there. The token just got me a pint instead of a liter. I was okay with the pint. A liter seemed a bit much and you know I have this thing about cleaning brand new glassware before drinking from it.


There are a bunch of large tents with different bands in each. It is all very cool.


In this tent they were having the most enthusiastic chicken dance session that I’ve ever seen.


Outside the tent, it was pretty much what you see at your local state fair.

I was all instrumented up for the race (after all you wouldn’t take a Ferrari racing with instruments right?) so you can see just painfully slow that I ran the race. It was fun though. Like I said I finished vertically which was my goal.

So, do you have an Oktoberfest where you live? Do you have a Fraulein Cam? I want to hear about it!

Escape From Turkey Mountain Trail Race Report


Early Labor Day morning I ventured over to Turkey Mountain for the Escape From Turkey Mountain trail race. It is five miles long and they claim that it is the oldest trail race in the Tulsa Area. This was the tenth running.


They had everybody begin by walking through the finish line so they know how many people were running and to make sure that they didn’t leave any stragglers on the course.


A little fashion note. A guy wearing an orange shirt with a pink kilt and leggings.


And off we went! I always start at the back and the farther the race went, the backer I went.


The course went this way and that way and up and down and all around. Good thing that they had traffic cops to guide us, prevent any cheating. Not that taking a few short cuts crossed my mind at all.


We looped back to the parking lot where those who were in the two mile fun run peeled off, lucky dogs. The rest of us went right up Lipbuster to the top of Turkey Mountain.


When I got to the top I was pretty much all by myself. I came up on a mother and son team who didn’t want me to pass. Not at all, but I did it anyway and then later came upon somebody else who didn’t want me to pass either and were rude about it. I don’t blame any of them!! They were about to enter Yogi’s Hall of Shame, which are those people younger than me, who are slower than I am!

Alan in Escape fromTurkey Mountain

And here I am toward the finish (photo by Fleet Feet Sports of Tulsa). Notice that I am not one to criticize guys who wear pink kilts but hey, the shirt is by Kohl’s and no, my shorts were not matching.  At the finish, I got my obligatory adult malted beverage. At first they said one per person (grown) but later rescinded that (yeah!) and a hamburger.

Anyways, I finished 94th out of 96 men. So only two guys entered the Yogi Hall of Shame!! Actually, I admire and respect anybody that gets out there and tries it. So that makes me special right!! I would do it over again in a minute. Well maybe the day after tomorrow I’d do it again.

Have you run in a race lately?

Added Content – Video by Fleet Feet Tulsa

Idaho Falls M.A.D. 4.5K Road Race Report


Logan and I spent a long weekend in Idaho Falls, Idaho visiting my Dad. My sister Ellen, and her husband Irv, and their grandson Mr. Beans also showed up. Ellen is quite the runner these days and she convinced us to sign up for a race, the MAD. Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K.  So we rolled out of bed early Saturday morning and made our way over to the starting line.


Mr. Bean’s first experience with a running gel. I’m not sure he liked it.


The race started and took off  through the neighborhoods of south Idaho Falls. I had been wondering if the race was a beer run or not but I got my answer when I saw  these guys doing the traffic control. They are Mormon missionaries. So no beer I thought, but that is alright, these guys above and the other guys and gals on the route did a great job keeping the runners from getting run over. Notice Logan to the right, keeping his head in the run and not getting distracted like his old man.


We made our way over and irrigation canal.


And by a patriotic Christmas tree, or something. I am not sure what it was.


Here is another missionary and that is Irv waving bye. We were not that close to him. He was headed out of the park to the left and we had to head in.


And then this is where we cheated by a half a klick. I could have sworn that the course markings sent us down this route. See the blue shirts ahead of us? They were fellow runners so we were not cheating. See Logan to the right? He still has half a step on the old man.


We made it out of the park and started running a busy street. Time for a shadow selfie. See who’s shadow is longer than mine?


Here comes Irv. He finished the race and came running back to take my camera to get the finishing pic.


And look who finished ahead of his old man.


And the little (not so little) was gloating about it. Wait till the next race kid! By the way, do you have a ride home?

So, have you run a 4.5K race lately?