Tom Corris and I had a lot of fun creating the ultimate trail running training and partying weekend for members of the VHTRC and the WVMTR on January 14, 15 and 16, 2005. So much fun, in fact, that we wanted to share the highlights with you just in case you ever want to host a training run for 60 of your nearest and not-so-dearest friends. Tom had a report planned for his MMT run but he’s too busy going to the Inauguration, so he asked me to write this on his behalf. As they say, the trail is a great teacher, and we came away with some good lessons. Here they are:
DO link your training run with another on the same weekend, so you have a full agenda planned. The Rivanna Ring (RR) was Saturday in Charlottesville and the MMT training run was Sunday in Front Royal. This encouraged wonderful friends who live really far away (in New England) to make the trip. Chris, Deb, Steve, and Sue, it was awesome to see you running on the trails of Virginia once again, although Steve wasn’t considering, when he chose to wear his spray-on tie-dye tights, that this is a RED state (though we are a BLUE county) that voted for values and morals (and still has certain laws from 1700s).
DO invite the WVMTR runners to join you. They are fun, friendly, really fast, and can belt out an awesome national anthem. John Reynolds of the WVMTR was the first runner to finish the RR (ahead of ultra luminaries Courtney Campbell, Russ Evans, Bill Young, and women’s leader Sue Johnston). And for some reason, they really like the Little Debbie’s snack cakes. Thank you for joining us, WV friends, and we look forward to joining you at North Fork on August 12-14.
DON’T advertise your run on the VHTRC website unless you want more than 15 people to show up. I was getting emails at 11:00 pm the night before the RR from people I didn’t know (UVA students and runners from Richmond) who asked, “any more room in your run for me?” Of course, I don’t have the heart to turn down trail runners, so I would respond, “Sure! I am looking forward to meeting you!” Of course, I didn’t get to meet hardly any of them, since they came, they ran, and they left, but I do hope they had a good time, whoever they are.
DO have a dinner on Friday night for those who are traveling from far away. Thirty runners met and ate dinner at Casella’s and then a smaller group congregated at the hotel for a little Knob Creek and Jose Cuervo. It was a great start to the party/run/party/run theme of the weekend, although Deb and Steve got the love going at Casella’s and really needed to get a room…but we were in their room.
DO invite Gary. He loves to immerse himself in the culture of the host town, especially if the host town also boasts an ACC university. Gary had persuaded the hotel clerk to give him her UVA Women’s Basketball “Orange Crush” T-shirt and Quatro gave Gary a UVA cap to wear during the RR, despite the fact that he is a devout Hokie (Va Tech) fan. Gary also took over as the official finishing line greeter, checker, and bead-giver. Many thanks, Gary!
DON’T invite Gary. In addition to being up to his usual antics at lunch, he tried to give the infamous Mango panties to a young woman who unwittingly parked her car next to his, and she turned out to be one of my high school students. “Hi Mrs. Speidel!” I heard as I saw Gary approach her with the panties. Needless to say, I have some explaining to do at school….
DO invite Anstr and ask him to craft a waiver for everyone to sign in case you get torrential downpours and flooding the night before and have to cross really cold and fast-moving streams. Anstr arrived Friday afternoon, bought all the aid as well as the beer, and drove around with me while we inspected three impassable rivers. He was amazingly positive and calm despite my panic that we might have to detour entire sections of the RR course, which we ended up doing at 0830 Saturday morning. Thanks, Anstr, for putting up with my freak-out. You were the calm amidst the storm…or something like that.
DON’T underestimate the positive and adventurous spirit of trail runners. They absolutely loved the mini-“American River” crossing with the cable across raging floodwaters, and no one complained that the trail had to be re-routed through trailer parks and commercial warehouse districts in order to by-pass impassible streams. Thank you, friends, for your flexibility and understanding, and for humoring me by wearing the SpongeBob party hats…Anita wore hers the entire way!
DO encourage friends who are injured to come and ride their mountain bikes. The Rivanna Trail is one of the few trails in Charlottesville that allows mountain bikes, so Graham and Bur were able to get in a great workout and still be part of the fun. I loved ruuning on the trail later in the day and seeing their tire tracks mixed in with shoe tracks…so glad you boys were able to join us. Heal up quick, guys!
DON’T forget that some of your runners might be famous (infamous?) directors of REAL runs and races who will be watching your every move to see if you mess up just so they can say, “Race directing is a thankless job, isn’t it?” The RR boasted a virtual “who’s who” of ultra RD’ing: Anstr Davidson (The Ring …the real one, not this poser), Chris Scott (The Ring, Bull Run Run, Coyote 4-Play), Gary Knipling (Eagle Run), Dan Lehmann (Highland Sky 40), Tom Corris (Chocolate Bunny), and Ed Demoney (MMT 100 RD emeritus).
DO encourage runners to donate to the local non-profit trail system foundation. Trail runners by nature are extremely generous and I am thrilled to say that they donated $125.00 to the Rivanna Trails Foundation. The Rivanna Trail was badly eroded by the flooding, and this was evident as we ran on the trail. If you would like to make a donation to the RTF for trail maintainence, the address is: Rivanna Trails Foundation, P.O. Box 1786, Charlottesville, VA. 22902. Thanks.
DO have plenty of aid and aid options. Runners at the RR were treated to six aid stations. There were 4 offering the usual trail running fare (water, Gatorade powder, and Little Debbie’s snacks), one that was the Birthday aid station for January birthdays complete with SpongeBob party hats, and one that was at Hardee’s. I think Tom Corris spent about 30 minutes there.
DON'T forget your ear plugs when sharing a room with Big Slim Bobby Stihl and Mickey “The Doc” McCullough, better known as “The Chainsaw Boys”. These two fine musicians will periodically throughout the night strike up their one hit wonder, “Dueling Woodchippers,” just for your listening pleasure. Now even though it usually takes them a minute or two to sync up, once they do, their melodious harmonies will bring a tear to your eye, as you quickly chamber another round. (TC)
DO ask Keith Dunn to help out as an aide station volunteer. Keith is a dedicated servant to his fellow trail runners and an all around good guy. However Don’t forget to mark the entrances to the aide stations and Don’t bother attempting to get his attention during any of his high speed passes. He’s just circling the field, and he will land shortly. (TC)
DON'T get pissed off after humping two gallons of water to the top of Indian Grave and learning that all but one of those for whom you done humped that water up to, have already left. Relax. Have a drink. Life is short. They’ll be at another run. It might even be dark. (TC)
DO surround yourself with loyal trail-loving friends to help you. Bill Potts helped to conceive and promote this event as a member of the WVMTR and worked tirelessly Friday to mark, buy the Little Debbie’s and “winner’s” T-shirts from Bodo’s Bagelry, and to clean up trail streamers Sunday after hosting a house full of WVMTR friends all weekend. Christine Collins (VHTRC and my training partner in Charlottesville) met me at 6 a.m. on Saturday to determine whether we should re-route the course, and she also helped me on Sunday to clean the course of any orange streamers despite a recurrence of ITBS. Quatro Hubbard sacrificed his Friday state holiday (Lee-Jackson Day) off from work to drive through torrential rain at 6 a.m. to help us mark and make decisions about possible alternate routes, then he drove home to Richmond to be with his sick kitten, only to return to Charlottesville at 6 a.m. Saturday morning to test the stream crossings in the dark (while Christine and I watched from the river banks, nice and dry). Q decided that I was in way over my head with this event so he bagged the run in order to help me mark two road detours just minutes before the leaders came through. In the end, Q’s assistance was the reason the RR went off without a hitch, and he did it all while putting up with my obsessing, worrying, and excessive caffeine consumption. He is also a pro at marking trail so I think he needs a job at Bull Run or MMT doing just that.
Many, many thanks to Bill, Christine, and Quatro for all of your help… I owe you guys big-time!
I’d also like to thank my very patient and supportive husband Rusty, who met Anstr at Greenberry’s on Friday while I was out marking trail. As soon as I arrived, Rusty said, “OK, you’re in your element, I’m outta here!” He took the kids for the next day and a half just so I could play with all my ultra friends…and then he got to go mountain biking all day on Sunday.
Finally, I’d like to thank all the runners who came from near and far to run on our wonderful and funky Rivanna Trail. I wish you all could have run on the true RT and avoided the architectural eyesores that Anstr was so impressed with…but there’s always next year! Mark your calendar for Martin Luther King weekend, 2006…Happy Trails!
Distance: 21.1 miles per Russ Evans GPS
Start time: 8:00 am on Saturday, Jan 15, 2005
Wisecracks: courtesy of Sophie and Quatro (mostly Quatro)
|John Reynolds (WVMTR)||10:50||wins the LD challenge (boys)|
|Jay DiCharry||10:54||chip time - started 10 mins late|
|Courtney Campbell||11:10||course too flat for Courtney|
|Jeff Wilbur||11:10||ran course the wrong way|
|Bill Young||11:10||always runs well on mud trails|
|Sue Johnston (VHTRC)||11:28||wins the LD challenge (chicas)|
|Caitlyn Ramsey||11:31||going for the upset|
|Dan Lehmann||11:38||looking for Sophie’s Butt Slide|
|Bill Potts||11:38||co-RD slowed by marking duty|
|Russ Evans||11:41||measures 21.1 Sophie miles|
|John Dodds||11:47||leads the peloton|
|Gary Knipling||11:47||Hokie survives visit to Hooville|
|Jenny Deegan||11:47||survives running with Gary|
|Laura DeWald||11:50||bonked (her words)|
|Barb Isom||11:53||great 2004 racing carries over|
|Mike Broderick||11:57||almost bonked (his words)|
|Bill Gentry||11:57||no goats in his way this time|
|Christine Collins||12:00||couldn't catch Gentry|
|Charlotte Rock||12:00||got lost in "spur," took a cab|
|Gary Smith||12:03||moves up after booth review|
|Bob Clark||12:15||trail newbie|
|Lisa Randolph||12:15||better than running on tow path|
|Graham Zollman||12:15||mtn biking with Bur|
|Mike Bur||12:15||“2.5 times harder than running”|
|Justine Morrison||12:15||watch out for her in 2005|
|Gloria Allie||12:18||no need for VHTRC medics|
|David Quivey||12:20||ran with a babe|
|Jill Quivey||12:20||loves running in Choc. Mousse|
|David Snipes||12:20||patented sprint at finish|
|Deb Pero||12:20||sporting twin SpongeBob hats|
|Steve Pero||12:20||tights painted on by Deb & Sue|
|Farouk Elkassad||12:32||now hates mud as well as rocks|
|Marty Lindemann||12:33||Mar-tay likes to par-tay|
|Tom Corris||12:46||stopped at Hardee’s|
|Bob Phillips||12:52||dove in river for Chris’ bottle|
|Mark Shaughnessy||12:59||sought cookies at end|
|Joyce Fendley||1:00||out sprints Anstr to finish|
|Dru Sexton||1:00||Dirt Chick loves runs in mud|
|Vicki Kendall||1:00||confused by course markings|
|Anita Finkle||1:00||wore SpongeBob hat|
|Jay Finkle||1:00||sporting Wahoo blue lips|
|Anstr Davidson||1:15||one word: swollen!|
|Rita Cronley||1:15||had fun (her words)|
|Lucia Davidson||1:15||slowed up for Anstr|
|Ed Demoney||1:34||honored to have him|
|Caroline Williams||1:34||healthy again|
|Walker Williams||1:34||healthy again|
|Pete York||1:34||never saw him|
|Chris Scott||Finished||poor penmanship|
|Chad Freckman||DNF||On,on to Moore’s Creek|
|Peter Hatch||DNF||ran Monticello trail instead|
|David Litherland||DNF||back from injury|
66 starters, 63 finishers
If you signed the waiver before and after the run, recorded your time-of-day finish, and we could read your handwriting, then your name should be listed above. If not, sorry.
Happy Trails from the Central Virginia Chapter of the VHTRC!