Friday, March 6, 2009

Richard's Surprise Appearance at Hagg

Ever since Richard talked me in to giving him my bib number so he could run Hagg Lake 50k, I've been a bit lackadaisical on the old blog. To be sure, I happily gave him my number. It was his first ultra and he was stoked for it. I'll let Richard give you his little race report:

"After Sean wore his beautiful Harshburger-original floral skirt the last 2 years at Hagg, I knew he needed to up his game a bit this year. I knew he wasn't up for it. I explained that to Sean, told him how I could definitely be the boost he needed this year at Hagg, then pleaded my case to get his bib. He agreed.

So I showed up at the start ready to go with my signature look: tight red and white striped shorts, an over-sized white tank, an over-sized red tank over the white tank, and my sweet 'fro. Over course, the only shoes I own are white leather jazzercise shoes, so I borrowed a pair of Sean's old-school Montrail Highlanders...great kicks for Hagg's mud. I also thought his nuun visor looked pretty cool, so I threw that on.

Although I had never been to an ultra, I have followed Sean's blog pretty religiously over the past year, so I recognized many of the usual Oregon Trail Series suspects at the start. There was 2008 Series Champ William, Bushwacker, Al and Nancy, Mel, Ben, Tom, Bien, Luvin', Nessski, rd's Stacey and Ronda, John, Krissy, Devon, and the list goes on. Quite a crew for the kick-off to the 2009 Series.

Soon enough, off we went...up the hill, past the drunk skunk, down the hill, and again, past the drunk skunk. On the way down the hill, I threw in a few signature Sweatin' to the Oldies moves for the benefit of those still going up. I think the runners appreciated it.

Unintentionally, and sadly, I fell into a no-man's-land groove for most of the race. I would get through the trail and mud sections (although really not very muddy), then I would race the pavement sections pretty hard to try to catch up to someone...anyone. But to no avail. After running in Sean's normal 4th place for about 10 miles, I moved up into 3rd. And that's where I stayed for the next 16 miles, hopeful of proving to Sean that a rookie can, in fact, podium at Hagg.

Throughout the race, as I passed 50k early starters on my first lap, and 25kers on my second lap, I occasionally stopped for a bit of Sweatin' to the Oldies with a few of my adoring fans. Who knew there were so many closet-Richard Simmons ultrarunner fans? It was awesome, and I finally felt in my element. But each time, eventually I had to get going so I could finish this 50k thing.

My energy level felt pretty good throughout the race, as I fueled on CarboPro, nuun, and gels. Although I still felt pretty good at the last aid station, I opted for Sean's typical 1/2 Coke / 1/2 water for the last section. Coke sure is good in an ultra! Leaving the a.s., I knew I was right on the cusp of breaking 4 hours.

I was running along pretty well, then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, young buck Brendan Trimboli came up on me fast! I asked if he wanted by, and he said not yet. I think he was checking out my designer shorts - they're cool. Then just before the last long road section, he whizzed by me going up a hill and I encouraged him to go strong on the road to get a sub-4. I tried to give chase, but my sails were deflated as he sprinted down the road. Brendan went on to a fine 3:59 and a podium 3rd place finish. I finished in 4:01:19 in Sean's typical 4th place.

Mighty fine day at the not-so-muddy Hagg Lake. And since I ran it with Sean's bib, he got his 99th official ultra finish! Click here for full Hagg Lake results."

Attaboy, Richard, on a mighty fine run in your oh-so-stylish jazzercise outfit. Perhaps you want to take over for Run to the Sun, too?

As you have maybe noticed the past few months from my countdown timer, I'm going to hang out with some Hot Hula Girls in a week. I have been running lots and lots and lots of hills the past couple of months prepping for Run to the Sun up Haleakala on Maui. In February, I ran 38 PBRs (1 mile hill with 500'). I've done my long hills running up to Upper Three Creeks Snowpark outside of Sisters. It's 11 miles and 2,500' vertical from my house. I usually do 2 repeats on the steeper section of that road, for about 17 miles total of uphill running. I've been hitting the track weekly for the past month, too. Mostly mile intervals, with a few 800s for fun. Just in the short time I've been back on the track, I've lowered my average 4 x mile workout from 5:49 a month ago to 5:35 a few days ago. Many of my runs have also, of course, included Sascha. As it's still a bit on the chilly side in central Oregon, she's still pretty good for up to 20ish long as there's enough stinky stuff for her to roll in so she doesn't get bored.

I'm excited for some fun in the sun, up a mountain, on the beach, in the warmth!


William Swint said...

Nice run, Richard/Sean! You should've slowed down and you could've ran with me.

Meghan said...

I don't know what to say, I'm sort of speechless. I guess I'll just say I hope Richard has fun in Hawaii with the MySpace hula girls!

Enjoy youself, Sean, and good luck!

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