Monday, July 29, 2013

Burning River

Congratulations to the NEO Trailers who finished the Burning River 100 Mile Race:

Dave Peterman 26.55

Paul The King Lefelhocz 28.50

Michael Kazar 29.07

Nice work!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Buckeye Trail 50K

LT last BT50K was 2006. Trails are a bit wider now.

Dave Peterman 5.12
Lloyd Thomas 5.12
Heidi Finiff 6.31
TJ Hawk 6.36
Tim Simenc 6.51
Nick Billock 7.51
Mark Anson 7.58
Michael Kazar 8.33
Joe Novicky 8.45  Tenth BT 50K

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Monkey See Monkey Do

We have another Hot Monkey Hills Marathon finisher.
On Sunday the 14th, the originator of the idea for the Hot MHM got his laps to become just the 3rd finisher
of this NEO Trail Challenge.
Todd finished in a time of 9:17.

Coach Hanks always honest race report: Quick recap on yesterday’s Hot Monkey. Started a few minutes after sunrise. It was hot, never even checked what the high was but know it was over 80. Saw 2 bucks, a doe and 3 fawns and they stayed in the area throughout the day. 3 fawns still around during lap 29. Creeper old dude wearing cammo that was stalking me. He kept walking around the section to the road and would be hiding in the trees or sitting on logs. Scared the poop out of me a couple times. Ran 1st and 11th lap naked for a little twist. Maybe he saw me. Smooth sailing through 20+. Slim and the boys showed up at 21 with a Mt. Dew frozen which was awesome. Got tough from 22 on. Slim and the boys hung on a picnic table and watched the disaster unfold. Think they left around 27. Cousin Tim unexpectedly showed up during lap 28 and kept me company on 29. Started in a puddle of sweat and finished in a puddle of drool. Plan was to run 29 naked but Tim was there and wasn’t a whole lot of running at that point so seemed pointless. Not sure how many others will join in on this stupid event. Glad it’s over.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hardrock Finish

Congratulations to Bob Combs on another Hardrock Finish!  Bob finished in 43.19!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Laker 5K - Dan Dunlap Memorial

Several NEO Trailers headed north to Pymatuning Lake for the Dan Dunlap Memorial 5K.

Kimba, Slim, and Baby Hanks were on hand to represent and get a little asphalt pounding in.

Matt not only won his age group, but was first Master as well.
Kimba manned up and won her age group, while Slim was the slacker and only managed 2nd place in his age group.
Complete Results are here.

Awesome shirts for the event.

It was very nice to chat with Dan's twin brother Tom.
This is a nice little country event, raced on limited traffic roads in the campgrounds on the western shore of the lake.
Pizza, watermelon, bananas, orange slices, and a random drawing with lots of giveaways after the run.
This 5K has all you could ask for in an event, even a giant walleye in the parking lot.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hardrock 2013

Hardrock started this morning.
Live updates are here.

Bob Combs is enjoying the thin Mountain Air.

Lots of others that the NEO Trail staff know out there running;
Kimba's Coach, Brad Koenig, Kevin Martin, Steve & Deb Pero...

Wish we were there.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Going on Guts: Ultrarunner Gale Connor Mohican Race Report

Going on Guts
Mohican 50 Mile Race Report
(Ultrarunner) Gale A. Connor

When I signed up for this race, many months ago, I never dreamed that I would be undergoing radiation treatments for a recurrence of breast cancer come race day. A few weeks prior, I had gotten permission from the race director to have a pacer. I was nervous about the side effects of the radiation and not sure how it would affect me during the race. I had gone up to Oil Creek for a training run a couple of weeks before the race and started having dizzy spells on the trail. I was alone and it was very frightening.  A couple of younger runners came by and observed me sitting on a rock, not looking very well. They walked the almost five miles back to the trailhead with me and I became fast friends with the Mark and his awesome dog, Rocky.

I had all but stopped training due to the demands that the radiation was putting on my time and body. At this point I didn’t even know if I could do the distance. I knew that we had power hiked most of the race the year before, so I was counting on that to get me through. Five days before the race, I got word that my pacers (husband and wife) couldn’t make it. You see, she has bone cancer herself and was having issues; Her husband had to go out of town for work. I posted on Facebook that I needed a pacer, desperately. Mark, my Oil Creek rescuer, didn’t hesitate. He said that he was my man. Now, mind you, he does like 7 minute miles, so I was worried that he would be bored to death, but happily accepted.

The morning of the race, I was putting on my on my heart rate monitor in the hotel. It is really old and I thought something was wrong with it because it was reading so high. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe that’s why I was having dizzy spells; that my heart rate was artificially raised due to the radiation. I told Mark about it at the start line and he promised that we would keep a close eye on it. As it turned out, there was to be very little running, just to keep it under 140. At first I was able to run a little, downhill, but soon running was out of the question. I was also having issues with food. From the start I just plain didn’t feel like eating. Poor Mark was almost force feeding me the entire race. Afterwards, he said that I either had food in my hand or in my mouth (I was putting it in my cheek) for all but about two miles of the race.

Things were going pretty well even though my heart rate was high and I had no appetite. We just resolved ourselves that this was going to be a controlled power hike. Mark is a newer trail runner and was marveling at the beautiful single tracks that we were on. He also brought along Rocky, the ultra dog. Rocky was having a ball even though he wasn’t running. I was enjoying the distraction and Rocky was doing so well. Mark and I talked about so many things and it was nice to get a different perspective on life, relationships, training – we just talked and talked. Heck, he talks as much as I do, which is pretty hard to do! The time and miles were passing fairly quickly.

Once we got down into the “Enchanted Valley” I started worrying about Rocky getting up the “Root Climb”; a hand over hand climb, straight out of the valley, up a one story tangle of tree roots. I never should have worried, he got up it easier than the two of us. Had I thought about it, I would have recorded it on my phone; it was spectacular!

I got to about mile nineteen and something frightening happened. By this time, some of the faster marathoners were passing us. That was a nice distraction, especially when I knew them. Suddenly, without warning, I turned to the side of the trail and violently projectile vomited, three times.  Now, vomiting while on the trail is nothing new or unusual for any of us, but the volume was. That told me that I wasn’t processing my calories or hydration properly. That was probably why I had no appetite and was struggling just to eat. I also put quite a show on for a group of marathoners coming up behind me. Mark said that he hadn’t seen something that spectacular since “keggers in college”!

I was about 23 or 24 miles into it and I was really starting to suffer. The heat was rising and due to the unseasonably cold spring, it was really beating me up (along with the myriad of other issues). I was also starting to have serious big toenail issues on both feet. I had gotten very quiet and Mark asked what I was thinking. I said “I don’t want to finish”. He decided to try to chat me up to get my mind off of my misery. At one point he said, “you’re not going on training, you’re not going on fuel, you are going on guts”. No truer words had been spoken. Soon we got to the campground and a group of my friend’s had a spot right next to the trail so they could cheer everyone on. I saw my good friend Mark Pancake. He started walking with me, while they fed my pacer a beer and his Rocky some water. Mark Pancake put his arm around me and walked down the trail with me. I rested my head on his shoulder, and with tears nearly welling up in my eyes, I told him that I wanted to quit. He said “nonsense, you will do this”. He sent me on my way and Mark and Rocky caught up to me. I was feeling very dejected, hot, and miserable. Shortly we got on a road section that I knew would take us to the start/finish line. I really wanted to quit, but I didn’t want to, as well. I wanted to show people that someone going through what I was going through, could do this. All of a sudden, I saw my boyfriend, Ed walking our way carrying an ice cold bottle of Gatorade. When he handed it to me, I busted out in tears. I think I scared poor Mark to death.

We got to the mile 27 aid station and I decided I better see the podiatrist. As expected, both toenails were trashed. One had a huge blood blister under one of the nails and just a regular blister under the other.  They had to lance and drain the one with the blood blister. Once bandaged, and the shoe put back on, I could barely walk.  I wanted so badly to quit right then and there, but a fire started burning inside of me. I now knew that I wasn’t going to finish, but I knew that I had to prove to myself that despite all of the issues I was having, that I had the courage to walk out of that aid station and start the next loop. I asked my boyfriend if he was going to be at The Gorge, which was the next aid station, five miles away. He hadn’t been planning on it but I asked him to be there. I don’t know if Mark knew that it was the beginning of the end, but he had stopped hounding me about eating. All I could think about was sitting down, that’s never a good sign.

As we approached the Gorge at mile 32, I could see my good friend, Dan Bellinger, from Cleveland. I was smiling as I cruised in. I loudly announced that I was dropping. I was in very good spirits and didn’t look much like someone who was ready to drop! I really wanted to quit on a high note. My toes were trashed and I knew the upcoming hills would be murder. I also knew that on the back half of the course, it’s harder to drop due to no crew access. I just felt it was time. Not one person tried to talk me into continuing. I took that as a sign as well. Could I have gone further? Yes. Should I? That was questionable. Some may have questioned whether I should have started in the first place.

In retrospect, I’m glad I did this race. It was good to feel “normal”. I believe I did the right things; getting a pacer, using the HRM, having my boyfriend at the aid stations that he was allowed, letting others know what was going on. I’m bummed that I didn’t finish and get that medal, but when I dropped I was still on an 18 hour pace, which would have been a PR of 49 minutes from the previous year! I had fun and I felt like I accomplished an amazing feat!

Only those who risk going too far can possibly know how far they can go. TS Eliot

Sunday, July 7, 2013

HOT Monkey

The HOT Monkey Hills Marathon now has two finishers.
If you have no idea what that means, then continue reading...

Way back in the day, Mike Dobies ran at Mill Creek Park and after a tour of the Monkey Hills, he thought that running them in back to back loops would be great Hardrock Training.

He also commented that a marathon on those hills sounded just stupid enough to get everyone's attention.

He shared this idea with a handful of the NEO Trailers present, and we all thought it was a stupid idea.

Every once in a while someone would bring up the idea of attempting a Monkey Hills Marathon, but no one ever had that much ambition.

Then one year leading up URINEO, Mike said that he was coming down to run the MHM.

That got a few people excited, and the plans were laid for the first ever MHM.

Mike ended up no showing for the attempt, and Jim Harris, Brian Musick, and Jeff Musick didn't know any better and started anyway.

At the end of the day Jim Harris was the only one able to pull off a finish.
It took him 7:40 for 29 laps on the course.

Since then many others have stepped up to see if they were able to pull it off.

The rules for the MHM are that you have to run it on the day of URINEO or the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Not everyone thought that was fair, and after a little creative thinking Todd Hanks came up with the idea of the Hot Monkey.

The stipulations for a HOT Monkey are that the temperature has to reach 80 degrees on the day that you run, and you can only run between sunrise and sunset.

Not surprising that a NEO Trailer can take a stupid idea and dumb it down even further.

Yesterday at 6:08 AM four starters toed the line and started running their laps.

Tim Knapp had a 10:30 AM cut-off and was mainly looking for some 100 mile training.
Tim got in 13 laps for a total of 12.3 miles.

Heath Harris was able to finish in 7:21:29, to not only be the first finisher of a Hot Monkey, but also set the all time MHM course record.

Jim Harris got his Hot Monkey finish in a time of 8:41, for his third official finish on the MHM course.

Frank Horvath made a valiant effort, but was not up to the task, and stopped in his 25th lap when he stood at the top of Pinball Ridge and decided that he didn't want to go down that hill.
Frank gets credit for 24 laps in a time of 10:00 flat, completing 22.8 miles.

The picture above of Rich fondling his monkey, is right after he spanked it.