Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vermont Rise Up Runners

Carey, Lange, and Kate, aka "The Beetches" as they call themselves, celebrating post-run of the Vermont 50Mile Trail Run.
The Rise Up Runners, Vermont Crew: Robin, Michael, Katherine, Rob (Jellybean), Michael, and Carita pose for a post event smile.

It was an awesome time in Vermont for the Rise Up Runners crew. Katherine and the two Michaels formed the RUR relay team. We completed the hilly course in just under 9 hours. More to follow. Sorry about my foul camera lens. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Team Players

Most of the 2008 crew of the 1901 log canoe, Island Lark holding various perpetual trophies at the Miles River Yacht Club on September 14th. This is the Lark's first time to win High Point in at least 90 years, if ever.

As the sailing season comes to a close the running season seems to be just cranking up. Two weekends ago saw a successful log canoe season culminate in Island Lark winning the Wilson High Point trophy for the season. With over 20 races counted it came down to a close tie with our toughest competition, the Island Blossom. But, even though we were to be in the throws of heavy sailing competition, that Sunday I dragged myself out of bed at 4:30 and went for a 16 mile training run before the culminating races on the Miles River.

I am training ffor one leg of a 50 mile mountain trail race on September 28th in New England. The Vermont 50 Mile Trail Race caught my eye last spring as a good event that Mike Valliant and I could do. Since neither of us was interested in running another 50 miler solo this year, all we had to do was find another runner and enter as a relay team. Katherine Binder came to the rescue as (1) a woman who would put us in the co-ed relay team category, (2) a professional who has a incredible wealth of knowledge about the body, running form, and health, and (3) someone (along with her husband Rob) whom I had met only a few times, but whom I simply connected with on such topics as sailing, running, and health. So, before I knew it, we had a relay team; at least digitally.

Then news came last weekend that the distances for the relay have changed. I now am running an 18 mile portion; 2 more miles than trained for. I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, and hopefully, it won't, but I truly did only train for 16. Now, I have to add 2 more miles plus the inclines. One of the ways to compensate for no hills to train on around the Bay Hundred is to do speed work. So, for the past 4 weeks I've been meeting team mate, Katherine, at the St. Michaels track for a series of 800 repeats. This past Thursday we were treated to an appearance by Pierre Bernasse, a running friend from last year. Pierre ran the Baltimore Marathon last October with Mike Valliant, Jim Richardson, and myself. This year Pierre is training for the NCT (Northern Central Trail) Marathon in November.
Rise Up Runners (standing) Derek, Pierre, Dominic, Joel, (kneeling) Katherine, Wood Frog, and Tuckerman posing for the geese on the "Dam" at Tuckahoe on Sunday, September 21st. Photo by Charlie Bandura.

This past Sunday we had a bumper crop of Rise Up Runners gather for a 10 mile Tuckahoe loop. It was a gorgeously cool morning as the 7 of us started shuffling up the Tuckahoe Valley Trail. The runners included Michael Valliant, Derek Hills, Dominic Szwaja, Joel Shilliday, Pierre, Katherine, and myself. Everyone got to run their own pace at times. We'd always gather/condense at the trail changes, and everyone got to spend a little time with each person. At the end of our run we gathered at the dam where we seduced a wildlife photographer into taking our group photo. Charlie Bandura took, what might be, the most complimentary Rise Up Runner photo to date.

It was a kick running with everyone. So, in summary, I have spent the past two weekends with two different groups of people doing really cool stuff. Next weekend in Vermont will be the same, with yet, another group; Mike and Robin Valliant, Rob and Katherine, and Carita and me. I feel blessed to have opportunity to get to know friends whether on a log canoe, on the trail, or during a race/vacation weekend. It's these occasions that stitch a little more into the fabric of our lives. Next report will be from the Vermont 50 Trail Race. Cheers!