May. 8th, 2013

bricks_and_bones: (martinis!)
Yup, the announcement recently went up on the race site. Last year’s registration was a debacle, I will admit. The marathon sold out in UNDER AN HOUR. (What is this, the Boston Marathon?!) The online registration site somehow oversold the race and a lot of people were left frustrated and upset. I think the lottery is in place this year in the hopes of avoiding those problems and making the registration process fairer. I have to say though it has my stomach in knots: the idea that I WON’T make the lottery. I have been planning on entering the 50-mile race for months now and I think I might be crushed if I don’t get in.

Stone Cat has easily become one of the most popular trail races around, and there is good reason for that. Stone Cat is AWESOME. It is a race put on by the GAC, a club that has years and years of trail experience all over the world. They were running trails before the sport ever became as close to as popular as it is now. The support on the course is outstanding, the course is beautiful and eminently runnable, the race is well-organized, and there is an old-school trail race atmosphere. (Read: you don’t feel like you’re at a testosterone-powered frat house hazing, which is the feel I get from a lot of these “mud runs,” trail “challenges,” and other faddish events that seem to have gained popularity in recent years.) This is just serious runners running; experienced and non-experienced alike. It’s an EXCELLENT first-timer trail marathon, too! Trail running is a different sport from road running, period, and those with road experience shouldn’t assume that translates to trail at all. So anyone with an interest in hitting trails WOULD be excited about Stone Cat.

My plan at this point is to keep training and make sure I get my name into that lottery. After that, it will be trying not to think about it too much until the entrants are announced.
bricks_and_bones: (skull)
I ran the Traprock 50K ultramarathon back on April 13th, just days before the horrendous bombings that occurred at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Traprock was treacherous, difficult, and mountainously steep in places, with amazing people running it and manning the aid stations. I made a friend, Gayle, who ran with me almost every step of the way. I count it a victory! Friends of mine didn't finish. One, Ed, left after the second loop of the course, his entire abdomen and chest dripping with blood. The rocks on this trail were SHARP; the "traprock" for which the race is named. You didn't want to fall on them yet they were everywhere trying to trip you up.

Some photos:

Posing at the entrance to the park:



More race photos under the cut )


Traprock was not for the faint of heart. What I took away from it was valuable experience and a new friendship. It was easily the most technical and difficult run I have done, ever, and I think that makes me a stronger, wiser runner. And I walked away from it NOT covered with blood! Win!

As for the Boston Marathon, I think I cried for about 3 days. It felt completely surreal. Typically I would have been down at the finish line with the girls, waiting for Dan to come across. We would not have been in that direct area, but we would have been within a block or two of the explosion. (Dan did not run this year because he had foot surgery in December. He will actually start running again this week. He gave his number to his friend Wayne, who was not allowed to finish because by that point they had closed the finish line due to the explosions, but he made it out okay.) I have friends who work for running shoe companies who were literally RIGHT THERE, and two of the people who lost limbs are the cousins of my friend Diane. We pray for them. Their lives are forever changed. The running community around Boston is surprisingly small, at least relationship-wise if not numbers-wise. Everyone knows someone, or knows someone who is related to or friends with someone who was affected.

Strangely I do not feel "angry" at the perpetrators, just confused and pity and sadness. How did they get so extreme? Why was there that much hate? I only hope that there will be some answers for everyone in upcoming months from the surviving bomber and perhaps from the widow of the dead bomber. I'm not sure how this will affect the marathon NEXT year, but it will be something to pay attention to and might in fact influence my decision about whether to take the kids in to view the race or not. We shall see.

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