Ecuder following the Ridgeway signs
Type of Race:
Trail with way markers and some signs. It is an easy route to follow and did not need the maps I had printed......although a running buddy still managed to get lost (probably due to being busy nattering) and saw him again an hour later!Course:
A point-to-point route through the countryside from Avebury to Streatley (For the history of the walk, click here)Organisation and volunteers:
Described below.....and has a mythical CP that is often dreamed about by runnersWeather:
Cold bitter wind @ 6 degs C going up to @12 degs C - cloudy and sunny at times, rainy sometimes too!Start Time:
07:42 for meStart Location:
Overton Hill, past MarlboroughViews:
Hills, countryside, pigs, more countryside viewsPost Runner Recovery:
Loads of different types of cakes, biscuits, crisps, fruit and teaIf you find navigational marathons difficult - this one is definitely easy navigation. Just follow the way markers that point towards the Ridgeway Byway.
Turn Back Time to 2012
In 2012, the Ridgeway 40 was evaluated by my Oxon 40
buddy, Michael (see http://www.walking100miles.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/ridgeway-walk.html
for his take on the Ridgeway and photos). After having been lost in so many trail events through mis-interpretation of the directions, Mike assured me
"it's almost all on the same path so the navigation required is minimal (which also makes it a bit boring at times), very few hills and almost no mud
Those words...."minimal navigation
".....sounded so enticing, my fingers could not help themselves and sent a quick email to the organisers if they would accept us (Ecuder and me). The response was: "We think you are mad but you can enter. You will need to comply with the rules of the event--especially the checkpoint
Check point times
A quick wander over to the website
revealed generous checkpoint times from CP5 onwards. But surely I should be able to make the earlier CPs easily?
At times we can believe we are superheros, anything is possible and I had to question was that the superhero head that I had on, or the realistic head? I've been told I tend to be in fairy land!!!
Reality check.....little navigation so perhaps little chance of getting lost, nice trail route......what did I have to fear???....
TG response: "Trevor thank you so much for my New Year's present. :-)" and I signed up.
Maps viewed in different ways :-)
Return to 10th May 2013
Being a little paranoid, I printed off the route directions and maps for a bit of reassurance that if I did go wrong I'd have some chance of finding my way back to the path. Too many people have told me I'd never get lost, and I did....even on a marked marathon! (Modesto). Must be getting older.....
....but perhaps not much wiser, as I still ran around the house to prepare my kit and tyre until midnight.
11th May 2013
This year I have changed my attitude towards getting up for an event. Usually I would get up 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour before we were due to leave and drive to the event to get there about 15 minutes before starting. Now-a-days I wake up an hour earlier to prepare my body for the onslaught and at the very least try to get the morning's abolutions done before the event.
Doc Leaves: To sooth the sting from stinging nettles
Unfortunately despite the 5am wake up and leaving at 6am, one's business did not want to arrive (I blame it on the head refusing to wake up) until I had got to the start point, which was pretty exposed and lacked toilets. The start point marshals told me they were sure there would be better coverage up the hill. However the bodily signs were telling me I needed to go now. Despite the mental tiredness, I scanned the area for choices. I headed towards a car and considered that I would be exposed on one side to other event participants signing in. But then I spied a small tree and a kind of plant covering. I headed in......to nettles......it accomplished its assigned task of maintaining my modesty, but I stung my butt.
Someone said there should be some doc leaves near the nettles, however with a cold cutting wind blowing through and time ticking on, decided it would be best to ignore the discomfort and get up the long starting hill that was calling.
07:42 - On the Trail
It was a nobbly trail and Ecuder kept tugging back at me. Perhaps he wasn't in the mood for this either or perhaps my tired head was putting a negative spin. I needed to cast out the demons and comfort us with the knowledge there is a downhill. As runners, walkers and fetchies passed me at the start, I began to feel hot. Alas my hands had reynauds. Still the legs needed to be exposed as running when feeling hot slows me down. Due to numb hands, it took me nearly 10 minutes to undo the button and clasp of my trousers and when it came to the zip......well I ripped it off! (mental note do not use buttons and put a tab on the zip) Oh well will probably not need the trousers again for this time.
Finally I could begin to make some waves going down hill. I could hear a "yahoo" from Ecuder. Ecuder was happy now, we were motoring along and overtaking walkers. To further lift our spirits, Ecuder burst into song: "Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance on me......Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie."
CP1 (@09:15): Was a water/squash stop. I was asked what I was doing. I said I was taking my tyre for a walk as the dog didn't want to come along!
CP2 (@10:00): Was a water/squash and orange stop.
CP3 (@11:30): As above. Tucked into one of the fish finger sandwiches I had prepared earlier on.
CP4 (@12:45): Lunch stop: Jam sandwiches, rice pudding and beer was on offer. Skipped the beer and went for the water.
CP5 (@13:45): As CP2
CP6 (@15:00): Runner's heaven stop: Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake - a cake tent in the middle of no where, with all types of cake!!! This is the type of CP that runners dream of on a training run. All were welcomed with "would you like a spot of tea love?" The tea/cake sirens were beckoning, luring all to stay. It was tough to not just sit down and call it a day. However the caffine in the tea hit the brain. I was awake and after 10 minutes of sampling cake and drinking tea, Ecuder nudged me to move back on to them rolling hills.
(Michael there are LOADS of hills in this event!)
CP7 - CP9: We could relax, as the cut off times were far more generous at this point......but whatever tea I had just drunk pushed me on and Ecuder was being unbelieveable awesome. There was now a group of us constantly overtaking each other. When we went up hills, walkers over took us. However come the down hill, we flew by overtaking back "the walkers". The final hill was a long glorious hill down back to Streatley Youth Hostel. Ecuder was gliding and I was running until we hit the final flat part. We were in Streatley with less than a mile to go. This was probably the only navigational part to be weary of. Thankfully there were plenty of walkers heading in the same direction to follow to the finish which welcomed us with cakes, fruit, biscuits, crisps and of course a spot of tea.
Event completed by @ 19:11. Estimated time for completion was 11:45, knocking off 1/2 an hour off my fastest 40 miler. Another PB in the bag for Ecuder!
Thank you to all the "tyred" and "drag" jokes from passing walkers/runners as well as the fabulous volunteers/marshals for being out there in that bitter wind and rain.
Picture by Paul from Ealing Half Marathon
Type of Race: Trail
with mile markers and some signs + marshals to keep you on trackGoody Bag:
Technical t-shirt, a bit of food, stuff.Course: Round
a park so you have park users cheering you on throughout. One 12 mile route and then 2 laps of the park perimeter. Organisation and volunteers: Excellent
with very awesome volunteersCPs:
Every 4 miles with water, bananas, sweets and later gatorade. Weather:
Started cool @ 6 degs C going up to @18 degs C - cloudy and sunny at times.Start Time:
09:30 but I snuck off at 08:10Location:
Richmond Park, Sheen Gate. You will see deers and wildlife on the lakes.Post Runner Recovery:
Snacks+ free massageWebsite: http://www.richmondparkmarathon.co.uk/
The last time TG ran Richmond Park Marathon
was in 2011. TG dragged Landy round the park and up a slope that has been embedded in her head as Hell's Hill! That rogue Landy
has only completed one marathon 'cos he was such a drag! I wonder if he and Red have been conspiring to not do marathons. They have been such a reluctant couple, preferring shorter distances. You can read about their profiles in About Tyres
This time round, the organisation had revised the route and cut out the insufferable Hell's Hill. This was replaced with a short steep hill that was far more preferably.....lovely......that is if a hill can be called "lovely". Yet with all the lovely hills, the speedster Ecuder has entered the Tyre Pulling Hall of Fame
once again with a shiney PB (time to be confirmed). It should be noted he has had a lot of practice from his last two hilly marathons (Forrest Gump Challenge
and Garden Spot Village Marathon
Picture of Ecuder by Paul from Ealing Half Marathon
So what is happening?It was a hard decision for TG to leave
Red in the treads of Landy, however on hindsight, it was the best decision. The speedster Ecuder has put himself in Tyre Pulling history during the last 2 months! We have seen him progress from marathon to marathon. It was thought he would be a hard pull with his initial performance in Modesto
. Apparently he had taken advice from Red, and decided it was best for both the puller (TG) and himself to revise his tactics.Ecuder has learned how to be great a tyre and he is awesome!Thank you to:- The organisation and all the volunteers
for making us feel so welcomed and all their encouragement thru CPs- T
he passerbys for their continued repeated quibs that keep TG entertained such as "you must be tyred"; "you must have lost your car"; "excuse me did you know a tyre is following you"; "wouldn't you find it better if you took the tyre off"; "can I have a ride"- The kids who also kept me entertained with "
Mummy what is that lady doing?" TG's reply was something like....."Keeping in touch with my eccentric self")-
The runners with their encouragements as they overtook me as well as some who said "Now you're making me look bad"; TG's reply "Well you'd better work harder and lap me a second time"- Paul from Ealing Half Marathon for the photos.-
Gaz and Ray - you guys rock!
I learned a number of things from running 4 marathons in 2 weeks with a tyre:
1. Thought I would get slower and my legs would feel heavy and rigid. Instead and my body soon adjusted to running lots.
, my legs were tired. Thankfully they were sorted out with a free massage. After Crazy 8
, I actually felt okay and could run slowly after. After Forrest Gump Challenge
, my legs/body felt incredibly great! I could have probably fit in another couple of marathons after. With a small one week gap and doing nothing, my legs after the Garden Spot Village
marathon went back to nearly feeling like after the Crazy 8. It is no wonder my body craved to run during the week I deliberately took off as a break.
2. I believe a once a week spin session helped me strengthen the complimentary muscles which in turn does improve my running!
3. If you are okay with much lower crowd support, smaller US marathons look after the runner far better than the larger marathons. It is like working with a small company who is much more personalised, with an attention to detail, rather than the larger corporations. This year, so far, Modesto
and Garden Spot Village
have provided first class treatment to their runners from the Expo to the run to after the run. Their "pasta dinners" are definitely worth going to. (Forrest Gump and Crazy 8 did not have pasta dinners). The Garden Spot Village had a yummy vegetarian offering of broccoli, baby sweetcorn, tofu and bamboo shoots.
Look forward to the future to see how Garden Spot Village and Modesto improve on their sustainability programs.
Thank you to all the organisers and volunteers for their hospitality and ecnouragement, and to everyone (including runners) for the acceptance of my madness.
Run on, be happy, throw trash only when at the aid stations and live in peace :-)
Next marathon will be a return to a local marathon that started up 2 years ago: Richmond Park marathon
Some of the resident volunteers
Type of Race:
Road with signs for every turn + mile markers. Goody Bag:
A tote bag containing hydro pouch, technical t-shirt, a bit of food, nipple plasters, deep heat gel, and something for the end of the event.Course:
Partially closed roads from Garden Spot Village out into the country and backOrganisation and volunteers:
Extremely well organised event with enthusiastic volunteers.CPs:
Every 2 miles with.....well just think what your grandmother would have stocked up in the cupboards if you were to visit her. The tables were ladden with water, gatorade, bananas, oranges, savoury snacks, biscuits, gels, energy sweets, bars. Weather:
Started cold (@ 3 degs C/30s degs F) going up to @ 12 degs C/57 degs F plus sunStart Time:
Garden Spot Village, New Holland and there are lots of helpers carrying "Do you need help?" signs.Finish:
Garden Spot Village Post Runner Recovery:
Lots of food (everyone commented it was the best they had ever experienced)
+ free massage + hot tub + showers After:
Take the family/yourselves around Lancaster and experience life back to how we might be forced to partly live.Website: http://www.gardenspotvillagemarathon.org/
Real stuff is placed on this plaque!
I was warned about the hills, repeatedly
Participant during expo: "You're going to drag that? (tyre) Have you been on the course?! There are some big mean hills"
TG: "Just had some practice in Missouri. Should be fun"
Participant: "And then there are road apples"TG: "Road Apples?" - I prodded something that was shown to meParticipant: "Wouldn't touch that if I were you"
TG: "Feels kinda soft......"
The course was hilly as promised and the big hill was long but being cold, a good hill was just what was needed for the soul. Runner's trash in the form of an emptied gel packet began to appear from mile 3 onwards and for whatever reason I felt complelled to pick it up. A couple of gals from Girls on the Run
helped me pick up runner's trash along route so that I wouldn't have to keep stopping to put it in my box. Was disappointed they the gals weren't with me for the whole marathon (they completed the half marathon). Some of the half marathoners thought they would give me their trash until I told them it was a $5 charge for me to carry their trash. They looked shocked at me so I pointed them to leaving their trash at an aid station that was only a 100 metres or so down the road. One gentleman picked up a household's newspaper to give to me as trash. Not sure if he was serious!!!
Box with trash in it
After the half marathon route, there was not as much runner's trash. Full marathoners appeared to have given more consideration. I picked up less on the rest of the full marathon only route compared to the half marathon route compared to where the full and half marathoners ran together. There were a couple of accidentally dropped items (unused gels, hydro pouches, clothing items) but on the whole full marathoners appeared to be more considerate of the countryside, leaving trash either at mile markers or at aid stations. Hope to see the half marathoners remember the "Leave no trace" ideology that NParks have established......and if you did drop trash along the route, you owe me $5. You can donate that to the Garden Spot Village Benevolent Funds by clicking here
. I had to donate $5 to the fund due to box being very naughty and redistributing the contents back onto the road!
Only some of the roads were closed but drivers were considerate when driving past on the open roads. This is one event I wouldn't have wanted completely closed roads. It was great to be running alongside horse drawn carriages, and they gave the runners a wide berth when passing. Some of the Amish/Memonite community came out to watch/cheer us on and will have a memory imprint of the 3 Amish boys who sat behind a wall clapping their hands as runners went by.
The check point/aid stations were first class, the best I have ever seen in a running event.....guess we should expect that as grandma knows best!
Finished the event in 07:17 and it made me wonder what my time would have been. I had stopped to pick up trash and at one point the contents of my box went flying everywhere when Ecuder got stuck in a hole. Had to stop to collect and put the trash back into box. Think box, being new, needed more training and decided to leave him with Scott (RD) to train.
If you want to be spoilt on a marathon - this is certainly one to put your name down for.
Thank you to the aid station at mile 16, your enthusiasm and cheerleading was amazing and thank you to everyone who donated. $57 USD was raised and has gone towards the Benevolent Fund.Some photos of the course:
Signing the New Holland East Coast Pledge
The New Holland pledge1. To reduce consumption
- reduce purchasing stuffThink about reusing and repairing things before you decide to throw it away. Perhaps Freecycle/Freegle or some type of share organisation will have the item you are looking for.2. To reduce trash
...By reducing trash that you bring home by applying the simple principle of "Bring Your Own" (BYO)a) BYO
take away containers to restaurants/take out shopsb) BYO
thermal mug to the coffee shops (it also is so much nicer than polystyrene cups)c) BYO bag to the shopsAlso think about using Freecycle
or some type of share organisation to move on the items you no longer want. In the UK broken vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers go very quickly! Let someone else fix it and make some spare cash.Recycle as a last resort and not as a first resort.3. To stay active forever (minimum is 20 minutes a day) to combat stress, health issues, reduce dementia, and more
. Activity creates a free happy drug - Endorphines! That's why active people are so happy :-)
The Expo had a village feel about it due to art and craft produced by the Garden Spot Villageres, foods from the Amish community, companies with clothing lines and companies from other marathons.
The Garden Spot Village marathon decided to try out the Hydro Pouch as a way to reduce the number of throw away cups on the course. I wonder what feedback has come back from its use. I decided to continue using my water bottle so that I could continue to carry a larger quantity of water on the course and by pass checkpoints/aid stations.
The pasta dinner was again excellent with a vegetarian option. Desserts came in the form of cheese cake, carrot cake, mousse and am sure there were some others. Just couldn't fit them all on my plate!!!
Where does your trash go? To a landfill site!
The Pasta Talk
Different messages were delivered that the audience could choose to go home with:
a) Dragging tyres is about putting life in perspective. b) Challenge yourself to keep your mind young.
c) We, as a technologically advanced society should be aiming towards zero waste! We, as a collective group can make a difference to our environmental impact to the world.
My challenge you is to reduce your outgoing household trash to one small bag a day or even zero trash and to move away from the "disposal society" we have become.
The amount of trash we produce is steadily increasing and the resources we have to supply our consumption is decreasing. As an alternative to oil, bio-diesel is being produced. However this means vast areas of rain forests are chopped down to make way for acres of crops like palm oil trees (in 2008 a Horizon report suggested 5 football fields a day were being slashed in Indonesia). Additionally our toxic plastic waste is making its way into the oceans creating vast plastic expanses (some estimate this to be the size of America), suffocating life and making its way back into our food cycle. Think Capt. Charles Moore explains this best.
Comparitive Figures of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)(Household waste) or when available SW (includes industrial waste) Produced
Currently it is estimated that the world produces 1.3 billion tonnes of solid waste per year and it will increase. A search on the web has produced these figures below. It should be noted that China is a big importer of many developed nations "recycled" trash, including USA and UK. What ever cannot be recycled is landfilled there! With the introduction of packaged goods in China, China's MSW will only rapidly increase with more "throw away" plastic.
| || |China:MSW=
@250 million tonnes/year*GDP=
Total MSW recycled=23%Plastic waste=
Unknown since they are global importers of the world's plastic wasteSources:* Facts & Details - 2012
for only household waste** World Bank
- 2011 figureSingapore:
SW=7.2 million tonnes/year*
Plastic waste=0.7 million tonnes/year*
* nea - 2012 figures
for all waste
** world bank - 2011 figureNote: Singapore incinerates its waste, converting it into energy. The ashes are used to reclaim land!
So do we care to work collectively to change our consumption habits? I know Modesto
and New Holland
care. Hope to find out if this has progressed forward for each marathon's 10th anniversary!
What the Trash?
Having the privilege of joining a Garden Spot Village pre-marathon check list meeting, it was time to voice a concern. Being a person who runs with the guys at the back, I have been disturbed by the amount of trash runners drop on the ground: cups, bottles, sticky gel packs, wrappers......Am not sure why it is okay for everyone to discard their trash on the ground when check points/aid stations (CP) are so frequent. As a person who has also volunteered and marshalled at these events, been at the event before it started and waited for the last runner to come through, it irks me even more to have to do a litter sweep of the track at the end. It would be so great if runners could be more responsible and respectful.
Come on runners, discard your rubbish at CPs or put them back into your pockets! Let the event be a great collaboration between runners and volunteers :-)
I wondered if the organisers could say that I would charge runners $5 who simply dropped their trash on the ground. The wrath of the "TG" would be upon their running legs should they disregard this. Scott (RD) sent out an email!
In the meantime, I would like to talk a little bit about this fantastic area and the village that runs the event.
Photo taken from http://www.theinquiringmind.net/
New Holland, Lancaster
The Garden Spot Village marathon is located in New Holland, Lancaster, PA. For visitors to the area, New Holland is set in Amish farming country with cows and crops. With many farming countrysides that I have been in, there has always been a slight eye/nose sensitivity from the "stuff" they spray on crops. Here there was.....nothing. The air smelt clean.....surreal. Sure there were the cows smells, but even their smells smelt better than the normal cow smells! The Amish community chooses to do without modern conveniences. For example they do not believe in using power generated electricity
and clothing is strict. Every farmland that I saw had an "organic" label and it was easy for them to do so when you have read about how they live. To read more about them click here
Aerial View of Garden Spot Village
Garden Spot Village is a country club for the retired! Okay it is a retirement village with different levels of health care. Additionally, if required, there is a benevolent fund for residents who find they require further financial assistance. However these residents are alive (!!), active, learning skills from one another and sharing a great sense of camardarie for each other. My only concern were the attempts to get me to try out their spa pool. I've seen movies about this!
Living in one of their studio flats for a couple of days, overlooking a zen garden, there was a sense of peace and serenity. Throughout my stay, it was easy to see why there is a waiting list to get into this village.
Note: There is much research on the web to show activity and learning are two tools to help delay the onset of dementia (see here for more information). In London, have been involved with a charity called SiverFit that is helping to inspire the 50+ to be active (see here for information) so any 50+, get active or watch this space.
It's all about the beards!
Type of Race: Themed race
on road with arrows for every turn.Goody Bag:
Technical t-shirt + offers from local shops.Course: Hilly
, mainly along the hard shoulder of a relatively busy highwayOrganisation and volunteers: W
ell organised event with enthusiastic volunteers who were great at cheering you on.CPs:
Every 4 miles with water, snacks, oranges.Weather:
Started cold (@ 5 degs C/40s degs F) going up to @ 17 degs C/63 degs F plus rain and sunStart Time:
07:00Start Location: United Methodist Church (UMC), Reeds SpringFinish: At
UMCAfter: Check out Reeds Spring townOverview:
This is a themed run that is a lotta fun and has the potential to go even better. Finishers and spectactors can watch the movie Forrest Gump over and over again and/or play a game of table tennis. Many runners brought their own bottle which helped to reduce the trash being thrown further down the route. In addition, Julie (a volunteer) was a roving support station going up and down the course to check on runners and had supplies if required.Website: http://www.campgalileemo.org/#!cross-country-missions/c1qsz
Chamey & Ecuder dressed up
28 March 2013: Preparation
A word from TG:
The night before, I did what any normal tyre gal would do before a marathon......I dressed up my tyre and gave Chamey a beard.
Gotta admit my brain cells have been having a hard time sleeping. In fact it seemed, despite the comfy hotel rooms, sleep had mostly been fleeting for the better part of the week! It could only mean one thing was happening. The body was preparing for the red rage. The time when a gal is emotional: angry, sad, perhaps happy for a moment. It's a time when men don't want to be around a gal! It would probably explain my agitation when folks want to talk to me especially after mile 13 during a marathon. After all just because am running slow, it doesn't mean am on a social!!!
However I did manage 1/2 a plate of pasta, 1/2 a salad and an ice cream and to be socialable with Bob (speaker and runner). So just to make sure I would feel extra crabby in the morning, I slept at 01:30 and got up at 05:30. There was no reason to go to bed late but when the brain cells are humming, sometimes a gal has gotta go with the flow.
Ecuder watching Forrest Gump
29 March 2013: Race Day
Back to Ecuder to continue the write up:
Arriving in at 07:30, Forrest Gump, the movie, is being played first thing in the morning. It's a great distraction. Ya don't have to greet anyone, ya just pretend to be focused on the movie until start time, and that is what we did. Alternatively we could have played table tennis in the other room, but am not sure how anyone else would have felt about me, Ecuder, being on the table.
This is how the course was most of the way!
Modesto marathon had someone sing the US national anthem before the starting horn (not that we were there to hear it). Forrest Gump had a prayer by team 413 and then Ray (RD) yelling "Run Forrest Run" with the starting horn to signal the start of the event.
The cold tarmac ground tried to suck me in, but TG stayed strong and we managed to overtake a couple within the first mile, and then a second person after the second hill on the main highway. However these guys were only doing the 4 mile event. It was just going to be TG and me against the tide of traffic alongside us.
After passing a very enthusiastic check point/aid station (CP) at mile 4, the grey clouds began to spit sporadic water drops. After a couple of miles it began to drizzle more consistently. The game changed, the tarmac could no longer take grip and I could glide more easily on the wet surface. TG whooped. The stars were in perfect alignment.
TG against the vehicles
We motored down the motorway and with each truck honk, TG seemed to find power. 9 miles into the race with the rain still pouring, Julia checked in on TG as she passed an entrance. However at this point, an impatient 4 wheel drive car decided to dive into the gutter behind me, to head on up its entrance spraying grit as it powered out of the gutter. TG was not amused but this just seemed to give her more energy. Passing a petrol station, some random person gave TG a gel. She looked at it suspiciously and decided to keep it for later.
By mile 13, TG was still motoring. The rain had slowed down as we started the second lap and were forced into the gutter as there was no hard shoulder on this first part back to the highway, with some cars passing too close for comfort. Every agitation appeared to give TG more power.
Back on the highway, the rain had stopped and the sun began to shine. Having no more rain water to lick off her face, TG finally began to drink from her water bottle.
Julia paces us to the end
As we headed towards CP5 (mile 21), a car decided to drive on the hard shoulder for 150 metres. TG decided to play chicken, heading straight into the car and then stopped before an entrance to wait for the car to turn into. The car had won and we were alive!
Seeing the awesome Steve (volunteer) at CP5 cheered TG up as he pre-emptively filled up her water bottle. This was the first time TG stopped to have a piece of orange and a quick chat. Heading back out with the sun in full beam, TG had now slowed down. She needed some special gas.
The lovely Julie (volunteer) came to run the final stretch with TG and to chat with TG. Not sure that was the special gas TG was looking for! Questions were responded with cryptic answers. Julia decided instead to talk about food, I decided to sing along, and TG decided to pick up rain sodden race numbers that had fallen off runners. For a moment TG stopped to smell the air.....she could smell the fir off the nearby fir trees.
Box has been reused by Ray (RD)
But as Julie continued with us, she gave TG the special gas she needed: "we are less than 3 miles to the end". TG looked at her watch and there was a hurriedness in her step.
TG picked up one last fallen race number and worked hard up the final hill. Having got to the top TG moved, sensing the end was near. Julia was talking to TG, but TG didn't hear a thing except for an internal clock ticking away. We motored to the end point to just make it under 7 hours.
****New official record: 06:59:39****
Recommended to drop into Pops, Reeds Spring
A celebratory treat for the third marathon of the week and a much improved time.... Julia took TG over to Pops (TG thought she was talking her to see her folks) for an excellent grilled burger, curly fries and an old fashion ice cream.
Later, back in a Branson hotel bar, some motorists were talking about some strange gal, with a reptile strapped to her back dragging a tyre....
TG: Thank you to the passing runners for their support, to the lady runner who gave me a hug and to the organisation for letting me run and speak at your race. I think I like hills :-)
Model Village close to the Hollywood Museum
Branson (28 March 2013)
A late night entry into Missouri, meant we would be driving into the wee small hours to get to our final destination. Having passed signs that we were entering into Christian county, made Branson
a real surprise. Instead of churches we were blasted with neon lights! At first it had seemed we had entered toy town with a one storey high chicken greeting us, but then it became apparent we had arrived at one big theme park with rides galore, mini golf, a number of roller coaster rides, museums and a whole lotta country and western shows. Tucked away in one area of town was a "model village" with quaint shops and stuff! A short drive out of Branson and there is a place called the "Silver Dollar City
" if you wanted more rides. Drive further and you are placed in wilderness broken up by ziplines to "wahoo" across the countryside.I later found out that Christian county is actually a county!!!!
Happy Valley Lodge
Happy Valley Lodge
The Forrest Gump Challenge got a $30 deal with a lodge that's located about a mile from Silver Dollar City and about 5 miles from the event start. It is worth mentioning as it is located in a peaceful setting, nestled in the hillside overlooking the lake. In fact there is about 100m walk to a jetty with big sofas to chill out (or fish) on the lake. In the early evening you can hear the birds chirping and the crickets singing and rarely a sound of anything mechanical. Each lodge has its own fully equiped kitchen. Everyone who stayed there raved about it and the gorgeous starry night.
Unfortunately I was settled in Branson (@12 miles from event). Thankfully the event happens off season, so there were no huge crowds in Branson. However for those thinking of bringing their families up whilst they did a marathon, there is plenty to do in the area.
Note the beards for sale!
The Forrest Gump Challenge Packet Pickup/Expo (29 March 2013)
This is an inaugural event with a lot of great ideas to make a truly fun event.
The expo was very small, held on a church premises within Reeds Spring. It is also the start for the marathon, so there are "proper" toilets and a solid firm shelter to keep warm before the start!
If you wanted to hang out at the expo, you could try out the Forrest Gump table tennis. This has the potential to turn into a competition to span over a couple of days and perhaps find the next table tennis star to take on the World in the Rio Olympics!
The finale to the expo was for both Bob Schluben (BS) and myself to present ourselves to a small crowd. Bob is running 52 marathons this year. You can read about Bob's challenge by clicking here.
The focus was on:-
To keep growing, continually challenge yourself and move the road blocks that are placed in front of yourselves (TG)-
Find a mission to give your challenges purpose (BS)...and of course please can we move towards reducing our plastic
trash in a bid to become responsible for the world God has given us.Now who else wants to take Ecuder for a run?Next post: The Forrest Gump Challenge Marathon
Type of Race:
Very small, simple event with
multiple laps round a lake (5.5 times) + medal at the endCourse:
On pathways - no roads to cross, only a bridge at the endVolunteers: EnthusiasticCPs:
Every 4.5 miles with water, gatorade, sweets, salty snacks Weather:
Started cold (@ 5 degs C/40s degs F) going up to @ 20 degs C/64 degs F plus sunStart Time:
08:00Location: Lake MercedPost Runner Recovery:
A toasted cheese sarnie - it was fantasticAfter:
Take the family/yourselves around San Francisco. I enjoyed the Muir Woodlands.website: http://www.tracysracing.com/crazyeight
Endorphine Dude...hope that dog isn't thinking the unthinkable
TG had found her perfect marathon, going round in circles round a lake. She couldn't get lost could she?
At 07:10, TG threw me on the ground and started to run, every now and then checking out the side tracks and narrowly missed the doggy do on the dirt track. The local San Francians looked at us oddly, almost a little nervously.
Ecuder to local: "Have you not seen a tyre before?"
TG to Ecuder: "It would be nice if you kept a low profile"
One lap done and a shape from the past appeared. There is a wheel story about a tyre called Rec who lives in Santa Rosa and how a guy called Endorphine Dude helped TG save her modesty when she needed to urgently duck for cover to relieve herself, only for him to disappear leaving Rec to flank TG's naked side.
So here is the famous Endorphine Dude. After a quick hug, photo take, talk of Santa Rosa, we were back moving again for our 2nd lap and met a couple of the other runners.
Fluffy looks on as Chewbacca jumps in Box
On our 3rd lap, a foreign accent could be heard. 2 Oz lads (Trent
and Mike) would be doing all 8 days (or 9 days) of the crazy 8. Would TG join in? After completing 5.5 laps in a time of 7:50
, decision time. Would TG go on to the next day for 26 laps around a one mile lake? Chewbacca jumped into box saying "shtay shtay"; Fluffy said "youser circles!"; Chamey shook his head. There have been stories about TG undertaking a quadzilla marathon
which were laps round a lake and nearly giving up on it. Apparently TG does not like multi-lap routes! I don't care either way, a drag is a drag!!!
TG looked at Tracy (RD), sighed and declined. Tomorrow would be a day of rest playing over in the John Muir Woods
.Thank you Danni Bird for that heavenly cheese toastie at the end :-)NOTE: The Golden Gate bridge is a toll bridge that does NOT accept cash. You are expected to prepay before you get on it. We got caught on the first day this policy was implemented with no warning from the car rental company!
On returning the car, the rental company told us to call the toll company as one cannot pay retrospectively. The toll company told us to talk to the car rental company! LOVE THEM CIRCLES!Thank you Endorphine Dude for the photos!
Seniors at Gregori High School
It was back to Gregori High School again to see the pioneering Ms Merenda and take a couple of classes to talk about:1. The amount of trash produce
d (USA: @250 million tonnes/year - source epa.gov.us)2. The amount of plastic that is trashed (USA: @
31 million tonnes/year) with only 8% actually recycled. The rest is landfilled/leaks back into the environment (click here to see the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch
)3. How to reduce the amount of trash we produce4. How to begin to conserve
the rain forests of the worldThe future lies with our younger generation to be responsible as unfortunately a large majority of our older generation tend to be set in their ways due to "just trying to survive", buying as much as possible for our children so that they do not have to suffer without stuff and therefore it becomes "okay" to have excess and throw aways. 25 year olds and over have become a generation of irresponsible big kids with too much money who continually want new things versus need things.
The price for our technological advances means more power consumed and a reliance on gadgets to help us get through a day. Our unbalanced levels of green house gases are a symptom of our consumption. Chopping down rain forests and polluting the seas (due to domestic/industrial waste + shipping of foreign goods) will certainly kill the lungs of the world and mother nature's heating/cooling balancing act, all due to the collective wants of the rich nations
to package everything and the need to show progression with automating everything we do.
Our children need to pick up the slack, to be the change to halt our locust style consumption. They will need to disentangle the lies we have integrated into our society: what is a material need and what is a physical need. Sorry kids - t
he adults of the world are too busy;a)
making money to support their families to be too concerned about things like the environment unless it can be easily integrated into their lifestyle.
b) trying to balance the economy with the ideology of "spend spend spend" on products that no longer last. Companies have forced the consumer to "buy buy buy" as many products now a days are not made to last as it would be bad business to make products that last; obviously screw the environment, it's not that important!!!
so kids, teens, young adults, it is over to you to change the way we live, to change the way we work, to change our economic model.Thank you Gregori High for allowing me to share opinions with you. It was exciting to meet a generation of change makers :-)
and to hear about your "alternative energy" program. Go Jaguars Go!