Saturday, September 25, 2010

fall out from storm moves "trail-mix" 6 hour run off the trails :(

it's official, the trail-mix 6 hour run has been moved off the debris strewn trails and onto the park roads. below is the text from the email we received earlier this week that explained the circumstances of the new course layout. in keeping with his characteristic great humor, richie has decided to rename the event the "trail mix-up" 6 hour run :D

I was away for a few days, and was watching the morning news. I couldn't believe my ears that there was a tornado in Forest Hills on Thursday. A TORNADO IN FOREST HILLS!!! My first impression that it had to be some other Forest Hills like in Wichita. But I then realize one does not usually speak of hills and Kansas in the same sentence. I listened some more and to my dismay it was Queens. I had a sick feeling in my gut that Forest Park would be part of the carnage,

You may recall two years ago that there was a violent storm at the conclusion of the Unisphere 50. That storm lasted for 5 hours and did havoc in Forest Park. Several dozen trees fell and some of that devastation has still not been cleared. I could imagine what a tornado would do. I called our first president of BUS, Ben Grundstein. He runs three days a week in the Forest Park woods. I felt I would get a more reliable report from Ben than Fox News, and Ben is also not affiliated with the Tea Party or Central Perk.

After my conversation with Ben, my fears were confirmed. The Park took a major hit. I was not aware that I traded my New Balances for a pair of red pumps and my new best friend is now Toto. I also learned later that a few other BUS "haunts" like Crocheron, Cunningham and Juniper Valley Parks had suffered major damage. I had to come back a day early from my brief journey to see for myself.

I first walked the bridle path loop. In less than a half mile, there were already 3 massive trees fallen across the path. I didn't even bother with the trail loop. I could notice from a distance that several sections have become wooden blockades. I knew that some kind of revision would need to be made.

Fortunately, the road and footpath sections were spared, except in a couple of areas. I laid out a paved "lollipop" loop about 2.6 to 2.7-mile in distance to be the existing race loop. The new route will be rolling and could be considered challenging after 3 or 4 hours. Entrants will be transferred to a shorten 1.3-mile loop in the final hour.

Naturally, I have to made new arrangements with the various bureaucracies about the new changes. But I don't foresee a problem. The current road and footpath conditions are filled with debris like leaves and twigs. Fortunately for us, there will be a 5K a week later in Forest Park for the benefit of the Forest Park Trust and that could mean a cleanup project in the near future could be put into motion.

I will admit that I am disappointed that the original Trail Mix cannot be held. I was very fond of the nature of the event and even its name, though Minnesotans may claimed I plagiarize it from them. But like the theater, the Broadway Ultra Society show still must go on, and the plan is that there still will be a 6-hour event in Forest Park on Sunday, September 26. But there will be a new name. It was created by ultra standout and ultra historian, Nick Marshall. The new name is now the Trail Mix-up. I am giving out a cool cap designed by David Luljak to early entrants. Hurry to get in your race application. The entry fee is still only $20.

No comments: