Saturday, April 28, 2018
This morning was the 40th running of the Sybil Ludington 50K! In the previous 39 editions the course had consisted of one big loop - essentially honoring Sybil Ludington's ride to warn the colonists - the "British were coming!" Sybil was the female Paul Revere.
Today was the introduction of double loop course - two 25k loops, and the inclusion of a separate 25k race! Logistically it was an easier layout - especially with the opportunity to use a drop bag (which I did to switch into a dry shirt) at the start/finish. Also a new addition was the relocation of the start/finish to the Veteran's Memorial Park (from the traditional VFW Hall).
As for my race, it was my 8th Sybil finish! This race has a special place in my heart because it was my very first ultra - way back in 2006! At 5:29:44 it was one of my slowest Sybil finishes (if not the slowest - need to check that). But I had a blast. To put road ultras in context - even with over 2000 feet of elevation gain - I still finished a solid 2 hours faster than the 50K I ran at the NJ Ultra Festival 2 weeks ago (tough technical trails and lots of elevation gain)!
At the finish we received a great wine glass! But the most interesting thing I took home was the Canadian $2 coin I found on the course (around mile 13.5 or so)! I love finding things while running - but this coin was a first (and when I picked it up mistakenly thought it was a EURO, not getting to look at it closely until I stopped to switch into a dry shirt)!
Here are the official results from Taconic Road Runners.
Thursday, April 26, 2018
It's that time of year again - pick a poem to carry in your pocket for the day! This year I've gone back to Kerouac (who is not primarily known for his works of poetry)!
Here is the 10th Chorus of "Brooklyn Bridge Blues" -
Chorus # 10
And that's all I can
recall of Brooklyn Bridge,
tonight, John A Roebling
and Washington Roebling
built it, and it hath cables
and it does one good to cross it everyday----
See my eerie wiseness?
Good night, innocent children
of this mortal Sangsara
world, you have to keep
your mind empty & tranquil
and pure or the whole
Eternal Light escapes you
-----Without the Eternal Light
you're only a yakking fool
of rooms, beds, graves
and monuments----with it,
you are like the Silent
Mountains of Snow
and more than
Check out this link for the entire Poem!
Sunday, April 22, 2018
My fifth Leatherman's Loop is in the books! What a great day to run - sunshine and warmth! Which is saying a lot in a season where winter doesn't want to give up the ghost and welcome spring! In fact, up until last night the race director had posted that the final water crossing (aka the "splashdown") would be bypassed because of the condition). Luckily the water level and current dropped enough to restore the iconic water crossing to the course (with the added bit of runner safety - a guide rope)!
As for the actual race - I thought the mud was much more challenging than the 2 water crossings. Maybe it was my imagination, but mud was the word today. I don't think it effected my race given that my finish time was only 1 second slower than last year :D
Already looking forward to the 2019th edition!
Here are the official results from Leatherman's Loop.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Happy World Ham Day!
New for this year - from my end of the radio spectrum - is a brand new call sign - NI4A (from my previous KC2RVY). I had wanted a vanity call for years, but since my license was up for renewal last year I finally did the paperwork.
Here is the official statement from the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) on its 93rd anniversary:
Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris. Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide. Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum. From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio. Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with more than 3,000,000 licensed operators! World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide
So to all my ham friends out there - get on the air today!
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Be careful what you wish for - and be prepared for the consequences! I had been praying for the end of winter and return of sun and warmth... little did I expect it would arrive all at once - yesterday, in time for the NJ Ultra Festival! Despite all the miles of training (in 30 and 40 degree temperatures), it wasn't preparation for running in an ultra (or any shorter distance, for that matter) in 80+ degrees!
The heat took its toll in spades. Not only did I drop down from the 50 Miler to the 50K, but my time for the 50k (roughly 7:32) was perhaps my slowest 50k performance - ever! What I had hoped would be a solid 50 miler turning into a very tough 50k training run. It would have been a much different day (goes without saying, obviously) had we run 50/60 degrees - but 70/80 was not fun :(
I'll write up a race report later this week. Still, despite the heat (it was still 75 degrees when I finished up at 5:00!), I really did enjoy the day out on the trails. The double loop course (2.4 miles around the lake and 2.6 miles through the woods) was challenging - and filled with some spectacular views and "obstacles" - including a rope crossing!
Here are the official results from NJ Trail Series.
Sunday, April 8, 2018
It was sunny - on the positive side - for the Van Cortland Track Club's Urban Environmental Challenge 10K this morning. Unfortunately, temperature-wise it was still Winter, with a pretty stiff wind chill tossed in for good measure! But, that detail aside, there was a great turnout for this awesome trail race!
The course is a double loop that splits the back hills into 2 trails (the "high" road on the first, the "low" road on the second). The second loop, in contrast to the first loop, had a lot of debris and fallen trees/branches on the trail. I had a 55 minute target in mind at the start. I didn't think there was too much speed in my legs going in - and looked as it a final trail tune-up going into next week's NJ Ultra Fest.
Somehow I managed to run a 52:58 (squeaking in just under 53 minutes)! That's my second fastest finish at this race (just a minute+ over my 2015 finish of 51:49)! It was a solid 2+ minutes better than last year's finish of 55:17). As a bonus it was good enough for 2nd place in my age group (which in turn was an improvement over last year's 3rd place AG)!
Here are the official results from VCTC.
Sunday, April 1, 2018
It's hard to believe April (and/or Spring) has arrived with a forecast for snow tomorrow morning (seriously) on the horizon! Be that as it may, Happy Easter - which is today (as I write this)!
As for races, this month is mostly about trails - with the Urban Environmental Challenge 10K kicking things off next weekend. I love this event - and the Van Cortlandt Track Club really makes it fun (with carrot cake AG awards as well). This year it conflicts with the second TGNY 100 training run, which is also tough to pass up. Since I've already registered for the 10K... looks like the conflict has been resolved :D
The following week is a return to 50 miles! I haven't done a stand alone 50 mile race in a while, so really looking forward to this one! It's a multiple loop set-up, with runners covering various distances up to 100 miles. I had originally thought about entering the 100 miler, but think it's too early in the season for that distance :O
After recovering from the NJ trails, the following weekend I'll head up to Wards Pound Ridge for the Leatherman's Loop! That's easily in my top 5 favorite trail races (only Escarpment and NipMuck ahead of it) :D
Finally, the month ends with the Sybil Ludington 50K, a joint Taconic RR and Broadway Ultra Society event (in fact, race #2 in the 2018 B.U.S. Grand Prix). This will be year one of the redesigned course - now a double 25K loop, instead of the original one loop configuration. Hopefully the reconfigured course will eliminate a few of the hills ;D
Here's how it looks so far:
4/8 - VCTC Urban Environmental Challenge 10K
4/14 - NJ Ultra Festival 50 Miler
4/22 - Leatherman's Loop 10K
4/28 - Sybil Ludington 50K
As always, if you're at any of them - say hello!