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!

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