Sunday, February 10, 2013

oh, hey

Obviously not much has happened on here in the past year. I figured it would be good form to check in and let the world know that I have not, in fact, died. I have, however, been a little short on time. So here's a little recap of what I have been doing (or not doing, in some cases).

I don't think I've posted at all since I changed jobs. That was late July last year. That sums up what I HAVE been doing for most of the past year: working. I'm finally in a performance-based environment, so that coupled with wanting to make a good first impression has kept me pretty busy.

What did I NOT do much of in 2012? Training and racing are the two things that come to mind first. I managed a 5k and a bike race over the second half of the year. That's it. Also a good reason for not much showing up on here.

My hope is to make 2013 a rebuilding year. I started things out a little better this year - got a half marathon in already. I'm planning on an Olympic tri in May, my second 70.3 in June, and I've already registered for my first ever fall marathon. Hopefully there will be a number of other smaller races mixed in as well. The biggest news is that I also plan on heading back down to Phoenix in November to sign up for IMAZ 2014.

I don't plan on setting many PRs this year (or even trying too hard to do so). What I really want to see a steady incline in my endurance and power this year, while staying injury free. The goal is to position myself for a strong and exciting 2014.

I haven't really decided how much effort I plan on putting into this blog. If I get bored and feel like it, I may come up with something new. I may just continue to let it decay. Guess we'll wait and see! Hope everyone else out there in bloglandia is doing well. I'm still trying to keep up with your posts, so keep on pumping them out!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Race Review: 2012 Run for Life

The What: The Run for Life is a long-standing race, celebrating it’s 17th year in 2012. In addition to the flagship 10-mile race/relay, there is a 2-mile race/walk and a separate kids race the day before. The event serves as the state's 10-mile championship race, so it tends to be fairly competitive, although registration numbers and fast finish times have diminished in recent years.

The Where: The event starts and ends on the Washburn University campus, in the heart of Topeka, KS. The course winds through various SW Topeka residential neighborhoods before entering the paved Shunga nature trail. After several miles along the Shunga Creek, runners head back North to the WU campus, where they finish with a lap around the football field track.

The When: The 10-mile and 2-mile races took place on Saturday, April 7th at 8am. The kids run took place Friday evening. Multiple early packet pickup options were available, as well as race day pickup. I did an early pickup at Gary Gribbles and it was smooth and easy.

The Rest: The post-race spread wasn't too bad. There was Gatorade at the finish and additional refreshments inside the gym, where the awards ceremony was held. These included cold pizza, cookies, bagels, chips, coffee, etc.

The weather was sketchy. Generally, it's a tricky time of year to race in Kansas. You never know what the weather is going to be like. The temperature ended up being decent, but there was a steady, soaking rain during the middle part of the race. And the thunderstorms that let up right before the start most definitely scared some people away.

My one big gripe about the race was the timing/awards. The awards weren't bad - handmade pottery for overall winners and custom glasses for AG winners. But there was a problem with the timing computer, which led to a delayed and disastrous awards ceremony. They did their best to come up with a results list, but they didn't even get the top finishers right. Apparently they got everything all sorted out after everyone left because the final results posted online are correct.

The Pics: 

The start!

We even had some Hooter's girrr...uhhh...wait.

Finishing in the football stadium. Soaking wet.

AG awards

Finisher's medal

The Results:
  10-Mile (126 finishers)
    Top 5 Male                              
  1. Keith Matiskella - 57:48
  2. Benjamin Foreman - 59:28
  3. Denny Gayton - 1:01:15
  4. Mark Allen - 1:02:53
  5. Juvenal Espinoza - 1:04:18
    Top 5 Female
  1. Cindy Cameron - 1:07:40
  2. Ashley Shores - 1:12:57
  3. Daniel Mousley - 1:14:30
  4. Candice Baldwin - 1:15:19
  5. Karen Hyde - 1:16:51
  2-Mile (79 finishers)
    Top 5 Male
  1. Paul Byrne - 11:09
  2. Kaleb Jones - 15:03
  3. Bo Jones - 15:12
  4. Thomas Bell - 15:29
  5. Ted Fay - 16:49
    Top 5 Female
  1. Addi Jones - 15:01
  2. Morgan Jones - 15:36
  3. Tracy Jones - 15:36
  4. Melissa Brown - 15:48
  5. Rebecca Schwab - 16:42
Final Thoughts: This was my first Run for Life. I've seen the race markings along the oft-traveled Shunga trail for years now, but it typically coincides with my Spring marathon, so I've never had the chance to do it. But with no other races on the schedule this year, I finally got my opportunity. Overall I did enjoy the race quite a bit. The course covered some very familiar stomping grounds and was pretty flat and fast. I was a little disappointed with the turnout, but at least there weren't any overcrowding issues.

The race was well-organized, with well-marked and monitored turns, and there were well-stocked aid stations every couple of miles.The only real downers were the rain (which you can't control) and the results debacle. It was a pretty great deal for around $30. They provided finisher medals for the 10-miler and long-sleeve (cotton) t-shirts for all pre-registered participants. It's hard to beat that these days.

So I give the race a thumbs-up. Given the opportunity, I'll do it again. It seems like one of those great local gems and I hope more people turn out to support it in the future.