Saturday, December 5, 2009

2009 Run at the Rock- Mud Fest

Water crossings were a chance to rinse your shoes off
[More 2009 "Run at the Rock" pictures here]

"The difference between a challenge and masochism is a cold rain." - Juju

As we drove down to the race this morning with windshield wipers going full speed, we were prepared for the masochistic endeavor of running 14 miles in a cold pouring rain.

Instead, the weather forecast turned out to be wrong, and by race time the rain had mostly stopped. What we were not prepared for was the mud. How muddy was it at Run at the Rock this year?

Well there was about an inch of mud... at the bottom of my shower after the race when I got home.

The field before you even get to the trail
When the race started I was all serious, running the first quarter mile of road as fast I could, trying to get near the front before we got to the trail. I wore my Red Shoes which worked so well for me at Raven Rock and in Uwharrie.
But as soon as we left the road, the slip and slide began. It wasn't a thick shoe sucking mud but a thin slippery kind. It felt exactly like when your car hits a patch of ice, and you helplessly slide off the road, wheels spinning.
I laughed out loud with the guys around me as we careened into trees and each other. The first mile I tried keep up with everyone but I quickly became exhausted taking three steps to move forward only one.
A few guys passed passed me, but it wasn't easy for them because I kept sliding back and forth from one side of the trail to the other. "Sorry! Oops, sorry again!"

It was like this for most of the race.
There were many small stream crossings and big puddles, some up to my knees, which were a blast to just plow through. In fact, it was actually easier to run through the water than the goop on the trail.
There were also 2 steep, rocky downhills that I stupidly went bounding down uncontrollably. If I had slipped in mud, I would be in the hospital for sure, missing most of my teeth. But I was extremely lucky, and didn't fall.
About mile 3 the trail went up hill and cleared up. It was so refreshing to be able to step on solid ground that I picked up the pace some. That lasted until mile 7, when the 14 milers had to repeat the loop.
After 500 people had gone through, the trail was now completely chewed up and muddy almost the entire way.

Shannon shows off her legs
While it was very hard, it was also a lot of fun. I am sure that with all the slipping, sliding and wheel spinning I will be very sore tomorrow. Shannon ran with a camera, of course, and got these good shots of race (There are more here). Despite this, she still finished 3rd female, and she didn't curse at me once!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Photos from full moon run

We went for a moon run Tuesday night.
The temp was in the 40's, so I wasn't too exited about stopping for Shannon to take pictures. But I was pleasantly surprised by how well they turned out. Here is a link to all of them. Here are my favorites(click for larger):

Ring around the moon. These are actually color, but look black and white. If you look close, you can make out Bubbles in the lower right.

You can see little Jorge's paw in this one, as he was running towards the camera.

The ghosts of runs past...

I love the other-worldly graininess of this one. It is distorted and abstract enough to tap into the subconscious, like a snapshot of a dream. Or nightmare.

These shots remind me of Shannon's "Black Sun" pictures. This is my favorite one of those. It was taken with her old-school rolleicord camera.
She used some old, expired film which gave that extra graininess, and the black sun. The black sun was caused by the sun actually burning a hole in the film.
I don't why, but when I look at this picture I hear a horrible screech of an off-key violin.

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