Sunday, September 20, 2015

Barkley Fall Classic-To Beat a Kid

Dewayne Satterfield and Laz
6 am, a trumpet sounds. 1 hour till race start. Squat on the ground, jiggle my stomach and command those foul demon turds to come forth. Nothing. Ten hours earlier at the Windrock Offroad Vehicle Park we are surround by Tennessee's finest hillbilly's with 400 four-wheelers and other offroad vehicles. All night long four wheelers come cruising by the tents, one playing gangsta rap. Rob Youngren takes his pillow, wraps around his head securing it with a belt. Dewayne Satterfield ops to sleep outside on the ground for fear of him or Jeff Deaton accidentally ending up in the pole-hole position in Jeff's tent. I lay in the back of my jeep sleeping about as good as Kanye West at a skinhead slumber party.

Through the famous Frozen Head State Park gate we eventually enter the single track trail and begin to walk up the biggest climb I have ever seen. Switchbacks galore. One lady in front causing a train but its ok, we are hiking fine. We reach the top and begin a completely runnable descent, except our train conductor is not very confident going down. Twenty people follow her unable to pass. I get frustrated and holler out, "Lets go up front...This train needs to move." Two people pass, about a 10th to go till the bottom, we are able to pass.

In front of David Thurman and myself is a young couple running. I will leave out some details so you will not figure who he is. Up ahead everyone comes to a stand still trying to traverse a big downed tree. I veer right trying to find an alternate route but fail, and tell him and his girl to go ahead, that I thought I could find a better way. For this blog we will refer to him as "The Kid". After I tell them to go ahead The Kid says to me "Is this your first ultra?" It wasn't a question, It was a statement. David said, "I think that was sarcasm." I replied, "Well if its sarcasm then yeah I get it, I should have just stayed the path. If it is a question, then yes I have run a few."

Me..."Is this your first ultra?" The Kid..."She and I have three buckles each under our belts." Me..."Wow, which ones?" He made some smart comment to which I replied, "Well I didn't know they gave out buckles at Tough Mudders." BOOM! I look at David and said, "Now that is Funny!" He said I did do the Tough Mudder championship, so if you want to talk about my obstacle racing. I asked again, which 100's did you run, just trying to have conversation. The Kid..."You didn't answer my question, Is this your first ultra?" Me..."Well no, I've ran, blah, blah blah,...and about to get my second buckle." He finally tells me what he's ran, and I feel like the conversation is cool at this point. A little while later on David and I start talking about David Riddle. So I ask The Kid, "Do you know David Riddle? He lives where you do." The Kid..."No, has he won anything?" Me..."Yeah, he sets course records everywhere he goes...(The Kid cuts me off) "Well has he one Western States?" Me..."Well he took..." (he cuts me off again.) "Has we won, blah blah blah..." Me..."No, but he..." The Kid..."Well then he hasn't won everything has he!?! Is he Rob Krar? I don't think so. So he hasn't won everything."  I was speechless, didn't really know how to respond cause this guy wasn't being funny, he was being a feminine vaginal cleansing product. I paused for a second fearing if I kept going we were going to end up in a fight...Me..."Well I guess you are right, he sucks." He replies with nothing. I turn and look at David and David just shakes his head. I'm getting madder and madder. Look back at David and put my fist into my hand, he nodded.

A couple of climbs later David and I pass The Kid and his girl. Eventually we make it into aid station 1. We top off our bladders and before exiting The Kid comes in. I walk up to him and say..."If I was single your girlfriend would be moving to Alabama." Well, maybe that part didn't happen but it would have been great if I had the nads to say it.

We push up more climbs and descents. We meet up with Roy Tamez, Malin Timbs, and a few more cool "Adult" runners. We laugh about how Roy's wife has the hots for me and about the time we were on the prison bus at the Thunder Rock training talking about who we would eat in a survival situation. Of course Roy looks Hawaiian, So I said I would eat him first cause he would taste like Hawaiian food. This chic speaks up and says, "Well I'm German." Stupid me says, "I love sausage." The group explodes into laughter. Made it worse by saying bratwurst. Malin speaks up ands says, "I'm Swedish." I thought it best to shut up right then!

Later on David and I meet up with this dude from England. He asks us, "Is an American mile the same as a British mile?" Me..."I think so. Do you guys do miles or Kilometer? English Dude..."Miles." Me..." Well is there 5280 feet in your mile?' English Dude..."I don't know. I don't know how many feet it is." Me..."........................" While this really did happen, this dude was cool and we ran with him for a while till he left us.

Past Aid Station 2 around Deja Vu eventually coming to Testicle Spectacle. We descend at about a 45 minute per mile pace. SERIOUSLY!

Photo by Will Jorgensen
David and I are in complete shock at what is ahead of us. Go down a homemade trail on a powerline cut full of briar's, turn around at some point and come back up the same. It was so steep that for much of it we would have to descend on our butts. We reach the turn around and the volunteers punching our bids state we are halfway. Halfway? One guys watch showed 18 miles, while anouthers show 20 just pass the turn around point. Either way, both add up to more than a 50K. The climb out was nothing like I had ever experienced. I would soon find out it would be the easier than what was coming. On the way up we hear a whistle blowing. I realized that wasn't a good thing. A runner had passed out on the climb. They found him taking a dirt nap for real! As he came to I heard him say, "I was having the best dream ever."

Photo by Will Jorgensen

We reach the top and immediately go down the other side of the powerline cut called something wil the word Meth in it. Another slow descent, direct sunlight, heat radiating, and a 6 foot black snake cuts in front of me. We find our way to the bottom treking toward the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. David and I are spent, dreaming about swimming and an Ice cold Coke. Out of water I begin to get worried. Finally we reach the prison and we see aid. I asked what were the chances of getting an Ice COLD COKE. The guy shook his head no. Another asked me what it would be worth to me. I replied, "I can squeel like a Pig." He opened up a cooler and there it was! I gave thanks to him and the Lord and David and I partook. Didn't even wipe off the top after he drank from it.

Photo by Will Jorgensen
Photo by Will Jorgensen
Through the prison, into solitary confinement, no lights anywhere, to find a dude standing in the dark hole ready to punch my bib. This is where we discovered a real HELL in Tennessee. Rat Jaw. Not only Rat Jaw, but UBER RAT JAW. Supposedly this is a one mile up hill. Before coming I thought it would be no big deal. Dewayne and Rob laughed. As with Testicle Spectacle, much of the climbing you have to use both hands, grasping for briar's to help you get up. 1/4 mile in people are lining the trail taking a break. Dudes with their heads literally  between there legs. Women cussing. Everyone looking for a trail and following whoever seems to know what they are doing. The blind leading the blind. The only thing we know to do is go up and stay in line with the cut. For around an hour to an hour and a half, you are looking directly into someones crack waiting for their brown eye to pop out and wink at you. Our combined body odors mixing in the stale air following us all the way up. IT NEVER ENDS! 

Photo by Will Jorgensen
Until you run this race, you cannot ever understand or appreciate what it takes to make it to the top. Finally we reach the Fire Tower, only to realize we must now climb it to get our bib punched. YOU ARE FREAKIN KIDDING ME! By this point I had already made up in my mind that at Laz's aid station I would drop and hit the road to the .7 mile finish termed the "Marathon" (which was more like 30 miles). I told the lady I wasn't gonna continue. I ate my rice cake PB&J. David Dye comes up and I tell him I am going to drop to the Marathon. He won't let me. Laz overhears and tells me no, that I have plenty of time. I almost start crying, because everyone is talking about how bad the 4 mile climb after the aid station is. David seriously put my pack on me, gets my headlamp and makes me go out for the 9 mile finish.

Chimney tops at the beginning of the race would be bad...but at 30 miles? Roy, Malin and I went back and forth on the climbs. Eventually, we begin to descend and I asked if we had reached the top. Nope, the real climb had not even began. When it did, I found myself for the first time in the race taking breaks. Head between my legs I pondered why I signed up for the Georgia Death Race, and figured I may back out of it. Finally making it to the top for a ridge run. Malin has gotten out of my sight, and I run the best I can, which was probably a 14 minute pace. 

The drop finally begins and I reach my buddy Jeff Deaton's aid station. He tells me I have about 3.3 miles to go and it is all down hill. Something rose up in me. I took off and I ran faster than I have at any point in the race. I was running so fast that I caught and passed others people running. After the interaction with the Punk I had to goals. 1. To beat the sun. 2. To beat The Kid. I may have farted on Malin when I passed her. Passed the cool chic Gina, and several dudes. I catch my friend Dewayne Satterfield and I am in disbelief. When I get to him I ask if he is ok. He stated he had puked a few times, and even laid down for 45 minutes. I told him I was gonna run in and he yelled "No! I don't want you to run with me. You have a chance at beating 12 hours." I hated leaving him. But I ran. Back through Laz's aid station, Laz holds his hand out giving me a high five. I hit the road and give it everything.

Advice to "The Kid"
1. This ain't no tough mudder. We are adults out here to have a good time and enjoy each others company.
2. Yeah I'm nothing special. I am the average Ultrarunner. But if you are going to talk smack make sure I don't beat you by 50 minutes!

Advice to future runners of this race
1. Carry a bladder. 
3. Keep moving forward, you will reach the top.
4. Throw away your skanky smelling shorts! Cause we will smell them all the way up.
5. Don't lay in the grass at the end. I am eat up with chiggers.

Photo by Will Jorgensen

Photo by Will Jorgensen

Photo by Will Jorgensen

Photo by Will Jorgensen

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hotter N Hell-The Snake Eater and Sasquatch Poop

When you are in the upper echelon of the lower half of the middle of the pack runners, it is easy to get cocky about your mad running skills. So signing up to the Hotter N Hell 18 Miler I knew it would be hot and I knew it would be a lot of climb, but it is still only 18 miles. I show up in my Rock/Creek Race Team Kit and I can see all the topless fast runners sizing me up. They see the outfit and automatically think I must be fast, only to realize I'm the mascot. So I play the part, make my boobs jiggle a little and stand like Nacho Libre so they can check out my quads and hammies. 

David Tosch still hasn't gotten a hair cut and is about 2 inches and trip to Sally Beauty supply from looking like Caitlin Jenner's sister. All of a sudden people start running...evidently someone said go. Right out of the gate this "Ginger" starts talking and in the first 50 yards I know he's from Tuscon on a business trip to Biloxi, and drove there from 3:00 that morning, is not used to running in the humidity, ran a couple days in Biloxi to "acclimate", etc... I quickly accelerated and he wishes me luck. On into the trail I here someone talking behind me and it is Terry Tucson. He begins to tell the guys that he took a caffeine pill and apologizes for being a "chatterbox" but whenever he takes one he can't stop talking. He was right. I heard him talking for a few miles.

The first 3 miles aren't that bad, then around 4-5 we start climbing. To this point it was hot and very humid. I ran most of the inclines and didn't push the flats while sucking down tailwind the whole time. On the ascent to the aid station, there was this dude and chic. We were going back and forth and left the aid station together. Leaving the aid station we start talking about food mistakes and I mention hot wings and how I have a blog called Hotwingrunner. Immediately he told me he reads my blogs and even has it set in his feed. Of course I was smiling...Didn't seem to impress the chic...I'm just assuming she didn't know English or something. I ask him his name and he says... "Greg....Greg Dill." So sometimes things pop in my mind and in a split second I must decide whether to speak or keep silent. Well I spoke. "So Dill huh? Kinda like Dillhole?" Pretty sure the hot chic who didn't know English laughed at that. Told him he was going in the race report. Shortly after that one of the runners Terry Tuscon was talking to caught me and asked me if I was ok...Guess I was breathing hard. He then asked me if I was the guy who wrote race reports...I hugged him. (Thanks Mr. Jemison)
We descend towards Peavine Falls. It is pretty treacherous, therefore there is a rope to help people down. At the bottom, a quick hat dip and we start the suck climb. Its a steep climb with a short descent then another large steep climb to the top. It reminded me of why I only ran one loop last year then quit. However, I am in Pinhoti training and had to purge those thoughts. Up to the top with a long downhill section for approximately 2 miles back to the start/finish area. I feel pretty good, fill up with Tailwind and go back out for a second loop.

As I start the second loop about a .25 mile in there is no one in front or back of me. I feel like I am going the wrong way even though there are flags. I round a corner and all of a sudden SNAKE! In trying to quickly ascertain what kind it is I see a tail, body, head, body, and tail...What the crap? It was a black snake trying to eat what I think was a cottonmouth. I could not believe what I was seeing.  So I blessed the snakes food and took off. Well not really, just shuffled cause I was tired and extremely hot. All of the inclines I ran on the first loop, I was walking on the second. For a few miles I saw no one. Eventually, I see the topless white guy who I heard speaking spanish, wearing a Salomon hydration pack walking. I holler at him to go. He looks back and I say it again.."Go, start running!" So he did. Turns out this was his first race and longest run ever. I caught him and told him just to follow me and do what I do. We'll call him Johnny Mexico, since his name is Johnny and he grew up with missionaries in Mexico. Johnny runs when I run, walks when I walks, then he farts on me! Thats not how this is supposed to work. I'm the only one who does the farting! It's my thing! We make it to Peavine Falls where some kids were playing in it. I know they Pizzed all in it but I didn't care, I wanted to get wet. Told Johnny, it will pay off. Sure enough we began the tough climbs and it was steamy and hot. You know that feeling where you hope a rock falls on you and crushes your leg so that they have to send a helicopter out to get you. It was that kind of heat and climb. 

Johnny and I make it to the top and we begin the descent. Coming towards the finish I see my bro Will Barnwell and he yells his pet name for me. This dude with a mullet pulled back in a pony-tail begins to catch us and Johnny says "Lets Go". Finished with an impressive kick at the end only to discover my overall time 4:yousuck12. It took me 4 hours and 12 minutes to run 18 miles! 

I find out Brandon Mader won, and Megan didn't beat me!

Did you think you could get through one of my reports without a poop story?

So after the race we truck it to Smith Lake in Cullman for a redneck family outing on pontoon boat equivalent of Clark Griswold's station wagon. We lowered some anchors and just sat out in the water enjoying the day. All of a sudden I look on the back about 50 feet away and this chic his hunched down with a float trying to cover herself as she is unleashed a pound of H$LL's furry. Her face is squinched so bad she looked Asian. I knew that look and I knew she was having contractions. All of a sudden she lowers her head on her hand and was in full delivery. She couldn't see me looking cause I had sunglasses on. She was hurting so bad I thought she had started crying. 10 minutes later (no exaggeration) she gets off the bank and back into the water. I knew I shouldn't have, but I looked at the spot she had just left. I am at least 50 feet away. I promise...I saw why she looked like she was in so much pain. It looked like Sasquatch evidence. Whats even funnier is I knew the chic.

All jokes aside...I am so grateful to be able to do these races. I love the friends that I make and the challenges we endure together. Grateful to my God for His amazing creations. My wife had Pig-Tails yesterday that would rival Megan and Pig-Tail Penny's.

Thanks for reading. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Chattanooga Stage Races 2015: Beaver Tail and Tailwind

Trained for ~3 weeks averaging mid 30 mile weeks for this race. That's enough training right?

Woke up early hoping to pinch off some porpoise pellets, but only starred in envy as I watched everyone in the house enter and exit with that look of "Whew! That was a big one." I was jilted. Our worst fears for day one where realized as soon as Randy said go. Heat and 98% humidity produces a breathing rhythm that really sounds like something else is going on if you know what I mean. I won't say who, but Theresa gets tucked in behind me. I'm holding in all my farts cause the way she's breathing, if she inhales one, she would be getting a handicap tag.

The heat and humidity was unrelenting. It was so humid my coin-purse flattened out like a Beaver Tail, or a ping pong paddle. Luckily I had a cable tie with me. One rolling hill after another my pace begins to drop. Everyone is soaking wet. This one chic behind me tells another that her shorts are falling down and her crack was showing. Of course I had to make a couple of jokes. Within the last 3 miles we get a heavy cool rain, but it was too late. I crossed the finish line 22 minute over my previous years Day 1. So discouraged.

Day 2 is always my favorite however, after Day 1's performance I had decided to run the first 5 miles and see if I want to drop the series or not. Miley Cyrus's mom was there and sang a medley Eminem and Taylor Swift songs. Randy said go and I quickly found myself being passed all around. To build up my self esteem I began to make fun of the bald, muscular, tatoo'd dude who was flexing his nips for all the ladies. I looked at the person next to me and said "if I had his shoe size I'd have a hotter wife." Just kiddin. I know my wife far exceeds the pedigree that I should be able to have.
Photo by Gregg Gelmis

Up the rope climb to the trail with the big flat rocks. Well that morning we had a huge rainstorm and the rocks where wet. I heard that shoe slipping sound and turned around to see a dude in the air. BAM! That dude was body slammed. I thought to myself, "that's what you get for wearing Salomon's in wet rocks." Feeling all smug and superior I take my next step and BAM! Same thing happened to me. Walk-run the slow climb on the ridge as every fancy pants in compression from head to toe passes me. I knew if I ran I would be doomed. I rounded the corner for the downhill...I prayed the day before "Lord you are going to have to help me these next two days!" As I started the downhill my race began. I was passing everyone who passed me in the climb and I was feeling great. Back through the start/finish area I was smiling.

Out on the lollipop stem powerhiking the climbs and hammering the downhills I proceeded. Big climb up the power line section to the aid station. As I leave the aid station I see this blonde, Curley headed chic checking me out. She was focused on my R/C race shirt and sweatband combo I could tell she was the kinda girl that likes dudes who wore that or prison jumpsuits with an Afro. Turns out it was fellow Rock/Ceeek Race Teamate member Natalie Sims (the wife of the original Upchucker). This is seriously one cool lady. The conversation really helped the time to pass as we made the loop.
Photo by Gregg Gelmis

Back to the river I set out for the last five miles. I knew that I was having a great day and it was confirmed when I crossed the finish line at 8 minute day 2 PR for me.

Photo by Gregg Gelmis
This is the day I usually dread the most, however I was feeling pretty good. Unfortunately I had no clue how hot it would get. I start very conservative trying to follow the plan as the day before. Everything seemed to go well. After coming back up mushroom rock and turning into the bluff run I should have been running consistently however something wasn't right. 3 people tucked in behind me and walked when I walked, ran when I ran. I find that this tends to push me. Sucking out my last drop of Tailwind I longed for the aid station. In and out on my way to the dreaded 2.4 mile section to the big overlook aid station. It was too rough and I feared losing teeth to push too hard. I found myself walking. Not hurt or wanting to quit...just could not get the rhythm.

Up the wood steps to the overlook with an amazing crowd and aid station people awaiting. After some high fives and hugs I head out. Pass the nursing home I holler out to the residents on the front porch and almost have tears in my eyes. I honestly look forward to that part every year. So I mooned them and took off.

Photo by Gregg Gelmis
Down to the "Broken Arms" section I daydream about Fred Doss. I am still feeling ok and figure I will come in around 4 to 4:10 for the day. Through the winding still river I decide to go for a skinny dip as the ladies passing by cat called me. Back on the trail to the climb out to the last aid station. Kris asks me a question that I have never been asked before..."want me to put ice down your shorts?" Yes ma'am I would like that very much. Listen! Don't knock it till you try it. I have a new fetish.

Approx 4 miles to the finish I'm still thinking I should finish around 4hrs. Out from the woods to the finish... 4:44. DEVASTATION! What happened? 41 minutes over last years time. Congrats to my bro WILL BARNWELL for the overall win, and for Sara Woerner for the female overall win.

So why do I do this? Because I can. Because of the friendships forged by poops, farts, falls, cussing, blood, crack shots, snot, and tears. Because Ryan and Jarret are hilarious on the mic. Because Summer is just there. Because Christian gives massages. Because you meet awesome people like, Anthony, Joshua, Corey, Daniel, Jenny, Chantelle, Nick, Jeff, and Theresa. Because Kris will put ice down your shorts. I do it for the friendships. 

Do me a favor. Go out and buy your pics from below. Gregg Gelmis takes amazing shots and I love seeing him out there. WeRunChattanooga

Lastly, I love getting friend requests...If you enjoy my reports, send me a FB friend request.

Thank you Rock/Creek for putting up with me.

Thank you Janice and Alex for loving me.

Thank you Lord for saving me and not letting me die this weekend!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mountain Mist 50K 2015-Chicken Caught in the Barn Door

Photos by Rachel Gelmis
You should be able to figure out how my Mountain Mist 50K race went by the look on my face above.
This will be short and only have one funny thing at the end.

The night before, I had Bill Warner, Yong Kim and Nathan Custer sleeping at my house. Yong wet the bed, discovered Nathan was a chic once, and Bill's new nipple piercings bleed on our guest sheets. I probably shouldn't have told you that, but they all live in TN.

We reach the mountain and it is covered in snow. James Falcon is going to pace me to a Mtn Mist PR of 5:40. James, Benj, Dave, Nathan, Darcy and myself set out together. Darcy is wearing these painted on shorts, and I promise...there was a group of men right "behind" her. Benj had on his Salomon junk revealers and they were saggin in the air biscuit release valve. I had on my RC shorty shorts and well Dave was wearing what the average Hobbit wears. 

The course is muddy pretty much from the initial decent on. James keeps us on a 5:40 finish time pace. We reached Aid station 1 at 1:02, right on pace, and crush down Warpath. We expected Powerline to be like doo-doo mud, but it was more like diarhea, slick and brown, but very runnable. Up K2 we power hiked. Managed the rolling of Goat trail to Aid 2. In and out, on our way around Panther Knob. 

Since Lookout 50, my weekly mileage had been lacking. I figured, my athleticism and uncanny good looks should be enough to carry me through this race. I reach the Red Gate, mile 17 feeling good, and embark on the real start of the race (the last 14). By 17 Benj and Darcy had left us and Dave had dropped back. 

We flew over the rocks of Toll Gate, and hammered the rolling rivers of High Trail. I knew that if I could hammer Bluff Line, I was in store for a great race. I get to Bluff Line and James and I blow through it. At the bottom I felt like I had exerted a little too much. Coming to Railroad Bed Aid station I was feeling tired but knew I had to press through the Orthodontist appointment maker called Railroad Bed. We left Nathan and Donnie Holmes in the dust and on to Alms House. Alms was fairly dry to my surprise so the flat rocks were not an issue.

We get to Waterline, and I am grateful to have an excuse to walk. Up to this point I had been sucking down Skratch the whole way, along with my E-Gels. So fruity flavors were starting to get to me. Every year I cramp at the top of Waterline, so I was hoping the Skratch would make the difference. Waterline sucked! However, I never got a cramp. So the Skratch worked. We reached the Aid Station at Burrit and I could barely talk. Megan got me some water and all I could do was nod at James' wife. I wanted to puke SO BAD. James handed me a potato covered in salt. 

We set out for Arrowhead, the trail I hate the most. A Rolling rocky suckfest from the pits of hell.  My battery was dead. People began to pass me, 5,6, 10, I lost count. I was able to hop down the mudpits of Natural Well fairly good. We sat in the pool at the bottom which seemed to breathe some life into me.

Through slush mile I am barely trucking. I am so sick of anything with sugar in it that I cannot drink out of my bottles. Every sip would make me gag and almost puke. James handed me his water and we began up Rest Shelter. I literally almost passed out several times. I would close my eyes and see my world spinning. 

I wanted to lie down at Kathy's bench but James wouldn't let me. I wanted a boulder to fall on me so I could get a med-flight out. 2.5 miles to go and I wanted to quit. We reach the top and I down some water and crackers. WHOA! thats what I was missing. I needed real food in my body. We began a run walk routine. At points I was able to get a decent pace going. James was gracious enough to give me some walk breaks. Through the finish line...Better than last year, but not a PR. I was so disappointed. I had already planned on bailing out of Cheaha in February. 

It seemed like all my friends had great races except for me. I was happy for them but I felt embarrassed by my performance. I soon took comfort in knowing Jerry Abbott sucked even worse. No offense Jerry.

Congrats to Daniel Hamilton, Martin Schneekloth, Benj Lance, and Darcy Dubuc on their outstanding performance.

Now the funny part of the race: So I bought one of those cool towels that you can wrap around yourself and get naked an no one see your giblets. Pulled the shorts off, and didn't think I needed any underwear, and slipped on my pants. So the runway wasn't clear. I closed the barn door on the chicken head. I screamed while the doberman was latched onto the Boloney Pony. Carefully, pulled down the zipper revealing that I had not been visited by the spirit of Lorena Bobbit.

Thank you Lord for helping. Thank you Rock/Creek for letting me on your team. Thank you HTC for having great races. Thank you Janice for fixing my boo-boo.

I love you guys


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Lookout Mountain 50-You Gotta Pretty Mouth

How to prepare for Lookout Mountain 50 miler: Cut down on weekly miles...Run a marathon at a 10:40 pace the weekend before...Have complete expectations that everything will go according to plan.

6 am, cold, volunteers checking people in, Missy answering stupid questions, tent-of heat, 1/4 mile line at the porto's, Randy holding his mic, Michael Scott man-hugging, Rick scared, Chia-Chi lost, Keith wondering what state he is in, getting stuck in the tent with a group from Nashvillians and that one chic asking me if I pooped yet...Having no clue who she was.

The race starts with Chia-Chi, Rick, Jerry and myself about middle of the pack. Somehow the conversation gets on marriage and I state that if Janice every passes, i'm gonna get me a 20 year old. I look at the chic next to me and ask her how old she was...."I'm 41". A few minutes later she says..."but I could lie and say I'm 20...." SOOOOOOO glad Janice wasn't around.

We drop to the single track which runs along the side of the cliff. Dude goes down and hits hard. For some reason I spoke the first thing that came to my mind, "Hey man did you pick your mangina back up?" Mistake #2...he was hurt. Had a hole in his face with blood coming out. A mile or so later I was too close to the edge of the cliff and the ground gave way and I fell off. Thank God there was a thatch of bramble, briars, and sticks that caught me and kept me from have Med-Flight come in. Rick and Jerry are grabbing for me as I feel myself about to fall through. Legs cut up, adrenaline pumping we continue on. I didn't talk about anyones mangina anymore.

Dropping down the mountain under the Incline Railway we eventually make it to Cravens house. Rick and I are climbing with a couple other guys and we come up on this Scrotum, I could tell by looking at him he was a Scrotum...and I addressed him as such. I turned to look at Rick's reaction and didn't think he was gonna back me up in the event of a fight. The funny thing is the guy was proud to be a Scrotum. Evidently there were other Scrotums on the course. How do I know? They had the same Scrotum shirt on....South Carolina Runners Of Trails and Ultra Marathons
So we catch that chic who was all over me in the beginning playing "Angry Turds" just off the trail. Why is it when you catch people pooing they feel the need to apologize? Oh yeah...and go behind a tree! Nobody needs to see your back to crack moss.

I finish the climb and trot back to the start finish. I come through the arch and Randy calls my name over the microphone and pandemonium takes place. Men and women screaming, sports bra's flying, Asian's with camera's, Little people sprinting next to me...I felt like Nathan Holland. 

Talking to my Huntsville peeps, Randy and Jobie...stretch a little and begin the back half (28 miles). 

I was feeling pretty good, had to re-adjust my posture to manage the groin muscle pains. I found that if you lean forward a little, bend your knees slightly, the strain goes down. 

I make it to the Lula Lake Aid station and was welcomed by Michael Scott hollering at me, Jarret Kinder winks at me, Ryan Meuleman's is drinking a Zima (do they still make those), Sam Hamm looks dazed and Missy E is stuffing me with Hammer Gels. 

So I start stretching and something weird happens. Jarret and Sam are sitting next to each other watching me with my legs spread stretching. Jarret says, "you have a pretty mouth", and Sam starts making pig squealing noises. Can someone explain to me what was going on? 

I begin the rope climb and after my stretching experience thought I should continue the trend and showed a little leg to the photographer at the top of the climb. No joke, I rolled my shorts up and he took about 20 pics. 
Finding out Hot Daniel was no longer Hot.

While making the slow climb up the ridge I see Shaggy (aka, Nathan Holland) in first smoking the trails. I make it down the mtn to the tornado trails and eventually see and get hugs from Dewayne, Daniel, Yong, and David. I like to hug. 

I finally make it to the 34/38 mile aid station. I really needed to see my wife. I was beginning to struggle. I knew the 4.5 mile loop coming would feel like a 10 mile loop. My wife nourished me with Ginger-ale and Skratch. Got a little tongue kiss and went by the pavilion where I saw this glorious cookie. I sat my butt down and cherished avery bite. I could tell Robin and others were saying something too me but all I could hear was my teeth grinding that baked cookie-o-joy. I love you Liz, whoever you are. 

The 4.5 mile looped sucked as bad as I remember. Back to the jeep, Janice stroked my chest hair while I drank a coke and had another cookie. Ok, time for a funny story. On the way down the road Jobie hollers at me asking if I remember that story about the guy pooping at a race... The guy is right in front of me. Here is what happened. This guys goes to a's dark, and he decides to go poop in the woods. He rests between two trees and launches a hefty pile. Eventually the race starts and they hit the trail-head. People start jumping a swerving left and right. HE POOPED RIGHT ON THE TRAIL! Thats not the funniest part. It was a loop course!

Back into the woods, through the tornado section, up the mountain and I begin the ridge descent. I do my best to open up and run as hard as possible to gain time. On the way down to the rope I hit a stump and within 45 seconds feel my index toe swelling. I make it back to the Lula Lake Aid station for more comedy. If you didn't have fun at that aid station then you suck. 

I was gauging my progress this year based on when I had to pull out my headlamp. I was shooting for a 10:30 to 10:45 finish. Calculating when I left mile 38, I figured I was on tap for a 10:47. I cross the foot bridge with daylight  and begin the last ~6-7 miles to the finish. I am assuming I didn't have to pull out my lamp until about 30-45 minutes later than two years ago... I was thrilled thinking I was gonna PR big time. 

Chia-Chi and me
Turning on my headlamp, I realized that my depth perception was off. Afraid to run because it was getting hard to see the obstacles, and the darker it got, the worse it was. My run became nothing more than a Shar Hendrick Shuffle. I kept my head down and pushed forward the best I could, however, I knew I wasn't going very fast. I come through the finish line and look at the clock... 11:24. Only 5 minutes faster than two years ago. Sooooo disappointed. However, Monica Manning made me a cheeseburger and added extra love. 

Lesson learned...Never make fun of the way Brooke McClanahan looked after Pinhoti and expect to beat her.

Lesson 2 learned...It's awkward when you wife asks you to show Joo Kim (Yong's wife) a picture of Hot Daniel with his shirt off, and then tell Joo he is more buff now.

If you don't run trails, here is why you should...You will meet the most amazing people and become a part of a club like no other. I am often a little depressed after a big race and the experiences shared. Right now I am in too much pain to be depressed. 

Thank you Rock/Creek for allowing me the honor to be a part of your team. Thank you Randy and Kris for creating races that give me memories for a lifetime, not to mention the birthday gift. Lastly, if you aren't friends with Sid Hood, and Nathan Holland, you should be.

The Long's and the Kim's

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chatt-Stage Races 2014- Brownie Scratchin

DAY 1:

Photo by WeRunHuntsville

While Raccoon Mtn is a great place to run, it is the least favorite day of the 3-day stage race. This year for an even greater reason. Within the first 100' everyone is sloppy wet, so much so that people had air bubble trapped in the back of their shorts...even those chic's in the skin tight shorty shorts. The first few miles are uneventful except for the fact that everyone's breathing sounded like a dirty movie being heard on XM radio. It was equivalent to running at elevation without the bathing in a cesspool feel. I tried to run as steady as possible knowing that Day 2 and 3 would be the toughest. I was ok until....
Well if you have ever read any of my race reports you know what happened around mile 7.

So I peel off the trail and lay some twizzlers and lose 5 minutes of precious race time. I hit the trail and begin to press hard knowing I have a lot of time to make up on a shorter course. As we move further around the mountain some sections greet us with a light breeze, however, for the most part we were breathing water saturated oxygen. 

The one thing I like about this course is knowing that my watch will show around 2 miles shorter than the advertised distance. Right at the end, before the paved road I see people walking (who obviously don't know the finish is around 1/4 mile. I pass 4 people and one of tri-short chics in a sports bra. Still I was 13 minutes over my previous years time.

Coolest part of the race was Randy Whorton racing me to the finish. Well this is the point where I would move on to day 2 and 3...I need to tell you about 3 people. 
Randy Whorton- WeRunHuntsville

-FANCY PANTS: You ever seen "that guy" that comes to a race in a colorful tri outfit with a posse and does  the Runner's World photo shoot stretches? Well you shoulda met fancy. Actually, he turned out to be pretty cool so i'm gonna go easy on him.

-BUTT-BRA DUDE: Remember how I said everyone was soaking wet. This one dude's shorts were so wet and tight that his meat curtains looked like they were filled with jelly-fish in a sports butt-bra.

-THE MOONER: So I'm at the finish and there is this dude in something like jogging pants... You know how when you stick your hands down the back of your pants to scratch? Well he had both butt-cheeks showing. Then all of a sudden, two fingers on each hand breached the canyon walls and began to scratch his brownie dispenser. I PROMISE THIS HAPPENED! I only waited around long enough to see if he would sniff his fingers or not...

DAY 2:

Janice and I
After day 1 I almost decided to drop out of the race. My calf is still injured from Thunder Rock 100, my joints were aching and I just wanted to sleep. So glad I didn't. My plan was to just run easy to make it to day 3...However, that plan went out the window as soon as we heard "Go!" The goal at Lula Lake is to start quick enough to get to the single track and rope climb without being caught in the stanky train. I see Randy at the top of the rope climb and I yell..."Randy, I love you!", he replies..."In a physical way?", some guy down the path yells back..."This is Lookout Mtn, not Brokeback Mtn!" Priceless sir.

Once on top of the ridge, Tony Scott and myself alternated walking and running the steady climb to conserve as much as possible. As soon as we turned to drop off we dropped the hammer and took advantaged of the controlled fall. All of a sudden I started feeling great and decided to go for it. Through the single track and back across the bridge to my adoring fans (the lil kid picking his nose and handing out cups) and across the road to lay a big kiss on Roy Tamez's hot wife! Pretty sure she slipped me the tongue. 

Daniel Lucas- WeRunHuntsville
The trails on this section are simply wonderful. Taking a E-Gel every 45 minutes I felt the energy and stayed steady, yet pushing on the down sections. I make the big climb to the 2nd aid station and Michael Scott yells at me and tells me that Christy Scott (not his wife) is just in front of me. He also stated that she said something to the effect that my vag was hurting and I needed to man up. Does that sound like Christy? Anyway, Fancy Pants catches me and I'm like "BULL CRAP" so I press even harder. I am passing dingleberry's left and right and make it to the lush single track and Fancy Pants passes me. I repay him by singing "Here's you're one chance Fancy don't let me down", made famous by Reba McEntire.

Just before we come out of the woods and down to the start/finish area I clip my toe on a root and realize I jacked it up. Across the road and another smooch from Roy's wife, I see my Angel off to the side, I feel great, and I cross the bridge to complete the last 4 miles. 10 steps run, 10 steps walk up the big hill. To the top and a hard run down the mountain, through the finish line with a 6 minute PR from the previous year.

Ok you ready for another Character?

-THE HANDLER: So we are standing at the start awaiting go, when I see one of the shirtless wonders in some Eric Charette style shorts fondling his acorn...I don't mean a lil scratch or a drive-by repositioning. I mean direct contact marble rolling for like 30 seconds. 

DAY 3:

I get to Signal Mtn fearing what is to come. The most rugged trails of the race. Unfortunately for me, people recognized me from the previous days...not for my blog or my good looks, rather, I was a little gassy and I had gotten to the point where I didn't care anymore. Man or Woman, Little people or Asian, I was letting them fly. I did apologize before each one though. I begin to descend Mushroom Rock, across the bridge and back up. Everyone seems tired, yet in a pretty good mood. I am feeling unusually good at this stage and just go with it. Down to Suck Creek and turn and head back up. I love this section because on the way down you see your fast friends and on the way up you see your friends you are spanking. After breaching Mushroom Rock we veer right along the ridge. 

Sinith Suong- WeRunHuntsville
Unlike the previous days I catch Christy early and we run together for a while. We hit the aid station at the lookout point and quickly head back out. This is the longest 2.4 miles in the history of 2.4 miles. Beautiful single, rocky, rhythm busting single track all the way to the stair case from HELL! While in this section Fred Doss and I make up a parody song called "Broken Arms" (Open Arms) We climb to the top and friggin awesome Sarah Woerner greets me. Christy and I fight over the orange popsicle and we head up the road. I steal some little girls lemonade and let her brother hose me off before I pass the nursing home to which I give a shout out to the residents. I think one of them shot me a bird...not real sure. Can they do that?

Like the day before, I feel great at this point and begin to press hard on the trails. Then I hit my toe again and am pretty confident the toenail is somewhere in my sock. Yet I press on cause Fred is hot on my hairy-cakes. Through the stale river section I finally make it to the last aid station. 3 hours and 30 minutes have elapsed and I have 3.6 miles to the finish. I gave it everything I had to break 4 hrs. At one point on the down sloping sections my watch showed a 5:45 pace. I ran as hard as I could but came in at 4:03 which was still an 11 minute PR from the previous year.

I posted on my Facebook that after events like this, I get a little sad when I reach home. I absolutely love the community and the new friends that I make.

So after some hand showers with the hose pipe, we head to Shuford's BBQ on Signal Mtn Road. Friggine great BBQ. These 3 people walk in and one of the guys looks at me and says..."I know you, are you Cary? You were the guy fartin all over the trails."

Thank you Wild Trails and Rock/Creek for putting on amazing races and allowing me to be on your team.

Eric Lofland
Joel Meridith- WeRunHuntsville
Nathan Holland- WeRunHuntsville

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thunder Rock 100 Miler-Hail Yeah and the White Tail

PROLOGUE (Not really sure what that is)

How come none of you hundred mile rednecks ever told me about the salty crack. You could have saved me some major anal irritation. And whats the deal with not being able to taste food the next day? Anyway, I started the trip off wrong by forgetting my toothbrush. See the results later.


The race begins at the Ocoee Whitewater Center directly on the foot bridge crossing the river. Immediately after crossing the bridge we begin ascending. Walking the inclines and gingerly running the flats and downhills. Within a couple of miles I cannot see Benj or Shar anymore and find myself running with a couple of guys I did not know. This dude talked more than Rebecca Reynolds and Suzanne Erickson. So I hear him say..."When this is over, I'm gonna take my wife to get her nails done, get some food, and find an Asian chic to rub my butt". Whats funny is we are Facebook friends now. I wonder if he has heard my Hong Kong Massage story?
Benj Lance


We begin our descent to the Thunder Rock campground which crosses the Ocoee and the road taking you to the trail. As soon as I hit the pavement a huge hailstorm hits. It was Hailmuhgeddon. Crew and aid station people were running in all directions for cover. Randy just stood in the road, smiled and shook his head. 


After passing Thunder Rock we climb and enter a beautiful trail system, and are hit with yet another hail storm. As we reached the top there was so much hail that it looked liked snow on the ground. Finally the sun comes out, the plants are green and wet, and we are just relishing the day. The Rock Creek Sweetheart herself, Kimber Keplinger, caught me and we ran together for a couple of miles. Eventually Kimber sees a beaver and goes off trail to pet it. I press on and come up on a white tail deer.....oh no wait...I mean a white girl pulling her pants up. This gal was a cutie till she started talking. 

Kimber Keplinger
I catch my bro the "White Wiper" (see Upchuck Race Report), Mr. Jeff Deaton, who ALWAYS BEATS ME. Believe it or not (really don't care if you do), but the course runs 50' in front of the cabin we had rented for the weekend. Awesome feeling knowing I had a place to poop in a judge free environment if needed to peel off.

Bridge to Cabin-Course on Right

As Jeff and I round the Hiawassee Outfitters towards the Reliance aid station, it looked like we were entering a hippie camp. Yet, it was still a beautiful scene with the river on the right and occupy wall street people on the left. I was concerned about my friend Benj, and told his crew that no matter how far back he was to tell him that I was just ahead. 

After crossing the bridge over the Hiawassee is when the trail running got hard. While it was amazing running next to the river, the trail was difficult with rhythm busting sections. I decide to lay in the river for a while to refresh my legs. As I began to run I was very refreshed. At one point before we reached the flat pavement section I was running the nice dirt track when something that looked like a black condom caught my eye. I looked a little too long and caught the only root on that section of trail. Face plant. 


Darkness began to fall as I reached Coker Falls. I made it to the top where my crew was stationed. My crew was so amazing (Martin Schneekloth, Jerry Abbott, and Scott Bell). They quickly fed me, changed my socks and shoes, and Martin made me put on my arm sleeves. As I leave the darkness hits, and I am in my hoka's for the long road section. Normally I am really afraid of the dark, however, I was ok, even though I was in banjo country by myself with a salty butt.


I completely missed the turn to the Manning Cabin aid station. As I crested the hill I saw headlights and said told them they were off course....It was Blaine Beining, and the joke was on me. I was distraught and contemplated what I should do. To avoid a DQ I went back and made it to the aid station and all my anxiety went away when I saw Fred Doss and that cheese pizza.


I finally make it to mile 50 where my first safety runner, Jerry, joins me for 15 miles. I downed a Red Bull and cheese kaysudilla heading out for my last 50. Beautiful clear sky and bright moon. 


Somewhere after Bullet Creek I began to crash. My speech slowed and volume lowered. I began to have that tingly feeling. All of a sudden I heard what sounded like something stepping on a stick. Immediately, I began to think a bobcat was tracking me. I would turn around real quick to shine my light on him. After about 3 times I told Jerry to walk next to me cause I was afraid the bobcat was gonna get me. In reality, I was hoping the bobcat would choose him.

A guy and a girl are closing in on us and eventually they catch us and I hear their voice say my name in a concerned tone. It was Benj and his safety runner Megan. They were shocked to see me in the state I was in. As a fellow runner, Benj knows me better than most runners. He knew I was not right. What he did next brings tears to my eyes even now. And if any of you say its gay I'll punch you in the throat. He said, "let's hold hands..." So I stuck my hand out. It was good cause there was someone else the bobcat could get.


Me and Jeff Deaton
I barely make it to Star Mountain...It seemed like I was coming off anesthesia. Martin give me a caffeine pill and a Red Bull to wash it down. Well evidently I wasn't chewing like a German and he yells at me to start chewing. Scott Bell picks me up and we head out for the ridgeline. Within a few minutes I was a new person and began to run with purpose. We catch my friends James Suh and Jeff Deaton. Jeff's IT band flared up causing him to pull out.  


My goal all along was to reach the second Iron Gap by sunrise. We made it there at 6:11 (eastern). Chewed another caffeine pill and headed for the Hiawassee 8.5 miles away. Earlier on around mile 25, the top of my calf where it goes in the knee pit was hurting pretty bad. By this point it hurt to walk, but was ok running. While running down to the Hiawasee all I could think about was getting in the water to refresh my legs. As we hit the boat ramp I got in the water thinking I was doing good. What I did was actually lock up my whole body. I felt like the wooden pinochio running to actual crossing. 


I finally make it across the river in waist deep freezing water and begin to cross the road to the aid station. Scott tell me to watch out for the car. This car kept getting closer and all of a sudden the lady yells out my name. It was Randy and Kris Whorton. She sticks her had out the window and tells me to take a bite of her bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. I took a bite and she said I looked great, and then stated "We love you"....I broke me. Reached the stank potty to change and it took me about 15 minutes to change out of my wet clothes into something warm.


In the midst of all the pain, Martin takes over as safety runner and force feeds me eggs, and potatoes. We climb fairly
well up the 2200' climb which began around mile 83. Reaching the top is the point where runners are able to make up so much time due to the long road downhills. Unfortunately, I could not. 


We reach the lake to be greeted by a Rabbit and Mouse...All I'm saying is if they would have jumped out at me in the dark....


Pouring, freezing rain. Then the nice friendly double track is diverted back to single track with climbing around every turn. Martin did his best to get me to run, however, my knee was hurting more than ever. It was so bad that I farted and Martin said that it dried his mouth out, and I didn't even laugh. All I could think about was getting to the finish and huggin my wife. If fact for about 30 miles I was singing Vince Gill's "I get weak in the knees". 


I crossed the line at 26:16. Hugged my wife and son. I hadn't brushed my teeth in 3 days and took a pic of them.

Janice shuttles me to Raft 1 where I am greeted by the most amazing people. I absolutely love trail runners. I am so grateful for Rock/Creek and Wild Trails for the kindness they show me and everyone else.

Congrats to all my friends who had an amazing day.

Thank you Kris for taking care of me the way you did. We love you guys!

Finally to my crew. You made the difference. I owe you all.
Daniel Lucas