Monday, June 18, 2012

Fast Friends

So what do you do after running three marathons in 14 days? Well I don't know what you would do but I decided a week off from running was a great idea. I was right....not that you should be surprised by this. kidding!...or am I?

By the time Sunday morning rolled around I was totally itching to run. I hope that's why I was itching...? jk. Not only was I excited to get out and run because of my week off, I was also motivated by some awesome friends who kicked ass this weekend! What's this? You're unaware of said ass kicking? Well allow me to fill you in then. Grab a chair and a barely pop and I'll take you on a journey.....okay fine here it is.

This past weekend there was a three day stage race in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A group of runners from Kalamazoo went down there to tackle run three different mountains over the course of Friday through Sunday. 18 miles Friday, 22 on Saturday, and 20 on Sunday. I imagine covering those distances in three consecutive days by itself is challenging enough, let alone the fact that they're traversing mountains in the process. So of the group that went down from here were my friends Jonathon, Nicole, Andrew, and Ryan. A couple of the others from the area work at the local running store (I'm jealous) and this included Alex, a 22 year old I've met handful of times at the store and different events. Really nice kid and helped me out when I got my last pair of Kinvara's.

After Day one Alex was in second place overall, Jonathon and Andrew were fourth and fifth, and Ryan was holding strong in twelfth place. Nicole led the female race through mile 13 and was overtaken, finishing tenth in the female race on Friday. Our running group was all a buzz about how well they were doing. Whoever was blogging on the FB page for the race throughout the day gave them a shout out, saying there are some fast people from Kalamazoo! How cool is that!

Saturday's race, the longest of the three sounded pretty intense. I talked briefly to Jon via text and he said they weren't kidding when they said mountains. They had to hold onto a rope to get around some portions and had to power hike up a couple of climbs. This may not sound like much to you because you don't know Jonathan, but knowing how talented he is and seeing him pull away from me on uphills like he's sprinting, and I can assure you that if he had to hike up it, then I would have had to crawl!

The results of Day two were pretty similar, Alex staying strong in second, Jonathan on his heels in fourth, Andrew came in seventh and Ryan killing it again in twelfth. Nicole had a great day coming in fifth for the female race.

Talking to Jonathan Saturday night he said his legs were pretty shot but he'd be giving it his all. As if he would do anything other than that. I anxiously refreshed the facebook page all Sunday morning waiting for updates on the race. The first update I saw said that the overall leader had dropped out of the race after having to visit the ER Saturday night. I still haven't heard what happened to him other than the fact that he is okay now. This meant that the door was wide open for Alex and the rest of the Kzoo Crew to slide onto the podium, and that's exactly what they did! Jonathan took second place Sunday and Second overall, Alex finished right behind him in Sunday's race and first place overall! Ryan pulled off sixth place Sunday, his best finish of the weekend and this propelled him into ninth overall! Andrew's stellar ninth place Sunday helped land him in sixth place for the weekend! Nicole came through with another fifth place finish Sunday and that helped her pull into sixth place female for the weekend!

I'm so proud to know these amazing runners, and happy that I can call them friends, because as good of runners as they are, they're even better friends. It was a great weekend for Kalamazoo runners in Tennessee, clearly, with four guys in the top ten, including first and second place, and a two women in the top 13. Erin Lumbard, aslo of Kalamazoo finished 13th overall. I hear she's a pretty sweet runner, and though I've never met her, it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

So after reading all about the success of friends on the mountains this weekend I couldn't just hit the roads for a run. I had to be on the trails, and lucky enough, there is a weekly trail run group Sunday's at four that I've been wanting to attend. So I laced up the Cascadia's and met the Dirty Herd for five miles on the trails of Al Sabo. It was a great run, nothing too fast, just nice and easy paced to get back on the feet.

I'm running the North Country Trail 1/2 Marathon in August again so I'm going to need to start getting more trail miles in throughout the summer. Not a bad thing though if it stays as hot as it has been. The trails tend to be a little cooler than the streets.

This weekend I'll be in Northville for the Solstice Run 10 Miler and I'm excited for it. It's a new race for me and I'll hopefully get to see the Redhead and Spike for longer than a minute at the race!

I hope you also had good weekends and are thankful for those who inspire you to get out and on your feet!

I mentioned that Nicole was leading the womens race thru mile 13, and then lost the lead. Well I found out today a little more of what had happened. She was actually leading all the way through the last aid station but a wrong step sent her running into a tree! She hit the tree hard enough to break her water bottle and I guess there happened to be someone right there video taping so I'm waiting to see footage when it gets posted.

I also found out that the guy in the lead after day two went to the ER due to severe hydration and he is doing better now.


  1. Congrats to all your running buddies! I've heard a lot about that race and it is tough! So does this mean you'll be following in Spike's footsteps and getting in to ultra's now too?!?!?

    Looking forward to seeing this weekend!!! When are you getting in to town?

  2. Mountains? Eff that. LOL! We Floridians prefer the flat country.

    Have fun hanging out with MY friends this weekend. Don't you try to become better friends with them! *Shakes fist*

    Congrats to your buds, btw.