Disqualified from the Rat Race 10K

I ran in the Rat Race 10K trail run with NGM. It was in Wells Mills Park in Waretown, NJ. Getting there was a breeze, just hopped on the Parkway to exit 69. It was nice not having to spend as much time in a car as the last few races I’ve run in.

The weather wasn’t as kind as the car ride over. It was freezing out. I know that March can be quite a fickle month weather wise, but I wasn’t expecting such a cold day when we signed up. Oh well, I was a bit more bundled up and ready to go.

There were probably about 300 or so people there and we all gathered around the start line. The organizer’s son treated us to a Japanese song that he sang for all the recent earthquake and tsunami victims. He was very much into and excited about his performance and it was most amusing and a great start to our race.

The race itself was a really nice trail. I was thrilled to be running in the soft sandy soil of the pine barrens. The past couple of races have been on some mean rocks and have been taking their toll on my old man knees and lower back. The trails were great, with some very cool planks covering some water parts.

I finished with a time of 38:29. This would have been a personal best by a half hour at least and meant that I was an incredibly fast human being. However, 60 or so of us runners had apparently taken a wrong turn on one of the trails and ran more of a 6K than the actual 10K. We were disqualified from the race and the looks of the first group of legit racers when they saw all of us already at the finish line was great.

There was a free lunch afterwards that we drove to. I ate an entire basket of cheesy poofs just because they were there and we left before eating there. We drove to the Ocean Breeze Diner which was nearby and got a yummy lunch.

Even though I ran the wrong way and was disqualified from the race, it was still a really good time. I think I’ll have to go back and run there again, it seemed like a really nice park.

Adventure Sports

RunAmuck NY

Ran in another RunAmuck with NGM yesterday. This one took place all the way up at Sebago Beach (Harriman State Park) in NY. It was an amazing place, massive with some incredible rocks and mountains which I would learn to despise.

My day began with waking up around 5:00 AM then driving an hour over to NGM’s. Ummm, I kinda found myself driving on the Parkway instead of the Expressway for a bit, and had to turn back early on. I guess that’s what waking up that early does to me. Once I met up NGM and company, we began our 2 1/2 hour drive up to NY. So yeah, I spent a good 7+ hours in a car yesterday, not a good feeling.

We managed to get there with no major problems. Up in North Jersey it was very mountainous and quite scenic, very different from the New Jersey I’m used to. Again the RunAmuck was a very well organized event, and that was apparent as we pulled into the park that was packed with so many people.

NGM and I registered quickly, duct taped our shoes to prevent losing them in the water/muck and eagerly awaited the start of our race. There were so many people, even more than the NJ RunAmuck race. Lining up for the race, NGM and I were pitted next to an older fellow we called Jack Lalane. This old guy was ripped, and would go on to easily crush us in this race.

The race began and NGM and I both began with a steady and consistent pace. Only a few meters in and the runners were faced with a brutal incline up a rocky terrain. This early in the race you could sense a lot of the runners lose confidence, and regret signing up for this. This was a true precursor to the most difficult run I’ve ever experienced.

I found the ground to be extremely unique, there were huge rocks almost everywhere. This make footing very difficult and interesting, as well as slick and not too kind to the ankles. I can’t even begin to count how many times I rolled an ankle during the run, as well as a couple of near spills (one literally almost was a spill  as I almost fell into the lake).

The inclines and declines were so very brutal. Several of them required walking attentively to successfully navigate through them. About 1.75 miles in I was completely exhausted from the hostile terrain. I would then slow it down a bit until NGM caught up then, finish this race up with him.

We even had to trek through a lake! The water was up to our armpits at times. This was so great for me, it allowed me to slow and cool down, catching my breath for the upcoming final leg. NGM and I ran out the final leg of the race together and made it through the final mud pit with a respectable finish.

This was by far the most grueling run I’d ever took a part in. Today my ankles are sore with some swelling, and my right shoulder is shot (I have so rotator cuff issues in there and probably got aggravated with the climbs). So I guess I’m getting a bit old, haha. All in all this was an amazing race and a very fun day, we’ll have to do this again.


RunAmuck NJ

NGM and I ran in the RunAmuck NJ 5k race today, it was so awesome! He sent me a link to the site a few weeks ago, and I knew that we had to enter. We tried recruiting several others to join us on this quest, but it came down to he and I entering it as a 2 person team.

I drove over to his house in Bellmawr and didn’t get lost! This is a rather amazing feat considering my complete lack of direction as of late (I used to never ever get lost). I arrived at his place around 8:35, pretty early for a Saturday but this would be no ordinary Saturday indeed.

I got a quick tour of his fine home, then we departed on our way to Washington Crossing in Titusville. We arrived and registered for the big race, the walk from the car to to registration was a decent trek in itself.

We duct taped our shoes to our ankles so that they wouldn’t come off in the deeper mud we’d be encountering. It did actually help as there was some very deep thick mud, especially towards the end of the course, however removing the duct tape wasn’t the finest of experiences. The tape was determined to take much ankle hair and a decent amount of skin along with it’s removal. Why I removed it slowly will truly boggle the finest psychiatrists.

The course was amazing and very challenging. I knew a quarter mile in that it was going to be a rough race for me. Just didn’t feel my best, but knew this was something that we’d surely have to finish and finish well. Oh, there were some really cool dogs watching the race too.

The downpour the night before only made the course that much slippery. I nearly fell hard twice in the early going, but luckily there were some large trees nearby that I was able to Tarzan and and keep myself from falling. The course had some great obstacles throughout. Many obstacles to clear and hurdle over, balance beams, a web to weave through (which I shot through in just a few seconds somehow, so proud), and a rather large wall to scale.

The first two miles weren’t too bad, but by the last one I was just beaten down. I really had to simply will myself to the end down the stretch, my body was shot. I really hadn’t done much recently, and the terrain and obstacles really took their toll. I got the the final mud crawl but was held up because teams had to finish together. The pause was actually very much welcome, and NGM showed up in no time and me leaped into the mud and crawled our way to the finish.

I feel sorry for the poor girl to my right as NGM and I went full speed at the end and I can only imagine how much mud I must’ve sent her way. If by any chance you’re ready this, so very sorry. We had a respectable finish, and considering that neither of us had one of our finer days, were very pleased with our outcome.

If I hadn’t seen photos, I wouldn’t of believe just how covered in mud we were by the end of the race. It was in my mouth, ears, my eyes, everywhere. So much fun.

On the way home they took me to some massive Diner and I ate a ridiculously large sandwich. Apparently the waitress told them that nobody ever eats the entire sandwich. I was so proud to hear of this, another challenge conquered.

Amazing time, and I do believe we will  be entering the RunAmuck NY in June too.


St. Pat’s 31st Annual Run

Woke up nice and early on a day off to participate in my first ever run this morning. It was the St. Pat’s 31st Annual Run, in Atlantic City.  Mr. Yuk-Yuk and I both entered and began training towards our first 5k race a few weeks ago. 

We got there nice and early, expecting to see not too many runners due to the very cold conditions. I thought it was packed, but it’s my first run so I have no idea how many people usually show up for these things. We located the registration tent and paid our $25 entry fee. In exchange I got a cool t-shirt and one of those number things to wear to identify me.  I eagerly safety pinned the number 1379 to my sweatshirt. Have to admit is was kinda cool putting the number on.

Then we kinda just had to kill 45 minutes or so of time before the official start of the race. Majority of the wait was made up of filling up on water and peeing non-stop (I dehydrate when I get nervous for some reason) to pass the time. People watching also made for quite an exciting time. 

Then as time approached we all gathered around the starting line. Again, there were a ton of people. Made it nice and toasty. Then after a live singing of the national anthem, we were off. Mr. Yuk-Yuk made a smart move to pass many people by going off the street. I wouldn’t catch up to him until half a mile in. I managed to separate from him after a mile, and by the second mile had a sizable lead on him. 

The last mile wasn’t so kind to me. The early morning and lack of hydration was taking it’s toll at this point. Also, lot’s of credit had to go to Mr. Yuk-Yuk for the late push he gave at the end of the race which led to him beating me by several seconds. Well done Mr. Yuk-Yuk, well done.

We both managed to finish under 29 minutes, which we were both very proud of. Just two weeks ago our times were around 36 minutes. So the practice had paid off. We’re anxiously awaiting the official postings online.