Sunday, April 22, 2018

2018 Leatherman's Loop: Race Photos & Results

My fifth Leatherman's Loop is in the books!  What a great day to run - sunshine and warmth!  Which is saying a lot in a season where winter doesn't want to give up the ghost and welcome spring!  In fact, up until last night the race director had posted that the final water crossing (aka the "splashdown") would be bypassed because of the condition).  Luckily the water level and current dropped enough to restore the iconic water crossing to the course (with the added bit of runner safety - a guide rope)!

As for the actual race - I thought the mud was much more challenging than the 2 water crossings.  Maybe it was my imagination, but mud was the word today. I don't think it effected my race given that my finish time was only 1 second slower than last year :D

Already looking forward to the 2019th edition!

Here are the official results from Leatherman's Loop.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2018 World Amateur Radio Day!

Happy World Ham Day!

New for this year - from my end of the radio spectrum - is a brand new call sign - NI4A (from my previous KC2RVY).  I had wanted a vanity call for years, but since my license was up for renewal last year I finally did the paperwork.

Here is the official statement from the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) on its 93rd anniversary:

Every April 18, radio amateurs worldwide take to the airwaves in celebration of World Amateur Radio Day. It was on this day in 1925 that the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris. Amateur Radio experimenters were the first to discover that the short wave spectrum — far from being a wasteland — could support worldwide propagation. In the rush to use these shorter wavelengths, Amateur Radio was “in grave danger of being pushed aside,” the IARU’s history has noted. Amateur Radio pioneers met in Paris in 1925 and created the IARU to support Amateur Radio worldwide. Just two years later, at the International Radiotelegraph Conference, Amateur Radio gained the allocations still recognized today — 160, 80, 40, 20, and 10 meters. Since its founding, the IARU has worked tirelessly to defend and expand the frequency allocations for Amateur Radio. Thanks to the support of enlightened administrations in every part of the globe, radio amateurs are now able to experiment and communicate in frequency bands strategically located throughout the radio spectrum. From the 25 countries that formed the IARU in 1925, the IARU has grown to include 160 member-societies in three regions. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Region 2 covers the Americas, and Region 3 is comprised of Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, and most of Asia. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has recognized the IARU as representing the interests of Amateur Radio. Today, Amateur Radio is more popular than ever, with more than 3,000,000 licensed operators! World Amateur Radio Day is the day when IARU Member-Societies can show our capabilities to the public and enjoy global friendship with other Amateurs worldwide

So to all my ham friends out there - get on the air today!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

2018 NJ Ultra Festival: Race Photos & Results

Be careful what you wish for - and be prepared for the consequences!  I had been praying for the end of winter and return of sun and warmth... little did I expect it would arrive all at once - yesterday, in time for the NJ Ultra Festival!  Despite all the miles of training (in 30 and 40 degree temperatures), it wasn't preparation for running in an ultra (or any shorter distance, for that matter) in 80+ degrees!

The heat took its toll in spades.  Not only did I drop down from the 50 Miler to the 50K, but my time for the 50k (roughly 7:32) was perhaps my slowest 50k performance - ever!  What I had hoped would be a solid 50 miler turning into a very tough 50k training run.  It would have been a much different day (goes without saying, obviously) had we run 50/60 degrees - but 70/80 was not fun :(

I'll write up a race report later this week.  Still, despite the heat (it was still 75 degrees when I finished up at 5:00!), I really did enjoy the day out on the trails. The double loop course (2.4 miles around the lake and 2.6 miles through the woods) was challenging - and filled with some spectacular views and "obstacles" - including a rope crossing!

Here are the official results from NJ Trail Series.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

2018 VCTC Urban Environmental Challenge 10K: Race Photos & Results

It was sunny - on the positive side - for the Van Cortland Track Club's Urban Environmental Challenge 10K this morning.  Unfortunately, temperature-wise it was still Winter, with a pretty stiff wind chill tossed in for good measure!  But, that detail aside, there was a great turnout for this awesome trail race!

The course is a double loop that splits the back hills into 2 trails (the "high" road on the first, the "low" road on the second).  The second loop, in contrast to the first loop, had a lot of debris and fallen trees/branches on the trail. I had a 55 minute target in mind at the start.  I didn't think there was too much speed in my legs going in - and looked as it a final trail tune-up going into next week's NJ Ultra Fest.

Somehow I managed to run a 52:58 (squeaking in just under 53 minutes)!  That's my second fastest finish at this race (just a minute+ over my 2015 finish of 51:49)!  It was a solid 2+ minutes better than last year's finish of 55:17).  As a bonus it was good enough for 2nd place in my age group (which in turn was an improvement over last year's 3rd place AG)!

Here are the official results from VCTC.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April 2018 Race Schedule

It's hard to believe April (and/or Spring) has arrived with a forecast for snow tomorrow morning (seriously) on the horizon!  Be that as it may, Happy Easter - which is today (as I write this)!

As for races, this month is mostly about trails - with the Urban Environmental Challenge 10K kicking things off next weekend.  I love this event - and the Van Cortlandt Track Club really makes it fun (with carrot cake AG awards as well).  This year it conflicts with the second TGNY 100 training run, which is also tough to pass up.  Since I've already registered for the 10K... looks like the conflict has been resolved :D

The following week is a return to 50 miles!  I haven't done a stand alone 50 mile race in a while, so really looking forward to this one!  It's a multiple loop set-up, with runners covering various distances up to 100 miles.  I had originally thought about entering the 100 miler, but think it's too early in the season for that distance :O

After recovering from the NJ trails, the following weekend I'll head up to Wards Pound Ridge for the Leatherman's Loop!  That's easily in my top 5 favorite trail races (only Escarpment and NipMuck ahead of it) :D

Finally,  the month ends with the Sybil Ludington 50K, a joint Taconic RR and Broadway Ultra Society event (in fact, race #2 in the 2018 B.U.S. Grand Prix).  This will be year one of the redesigned course - now a double 25K loop, instead of the original one loop configuration.  Hopefully the reconfigured course will eliminate a few of the hills ;D

Here's how it looks so far:

4/8 - VCTC Urban Environmental Challenge 10K
4/14 - NJ Ultra Festival 50 Miler
4/22 - Leatherman's Loop 10K
4/28 - Sybil Ludington 50K

As always, if you're at any of them - say hello!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

2018 Broadway Ultra Society 4 Hour Run & Awards Lunch

This morning was the B.U.S. 4 Hour Run followed by the Annual Awards Presentation (Lunch), where the 2017 Grand Prix awards were presented to the winners!  This year, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Broadway Ultra Society, the run was extended 1 hour (from its typical 3 hours)!  The run and post-run celebration are high points on the B.U.S. calendar!

The last time I was at this venue (the 2015 edition), I managed to squeak in just over 20 miles in 3 hours - of some serious sub-zero wind chills!  This time around the 1.453 mile loop I managed 20 miles in just over 3 hours (14 loops) and ran a full 16 loops for 23.248 miles.  I stopped with just over 10 minutes left on the clock.  Given that I ran the Savin Rock Marathon in West Haven yesterday, I was more than pleased with that outcome!

After the running came the food (something very close to my heart)!  There was plenty of pizza and salad - among other things.  And, what anniversary would be complete without cake?!

The next B.U.S. event (2nd on the 2018 Grand Prix schedule) is the reconfigured Sybil Lundington 50K in Carmel in April.  For the first time in its long history the Sybil course will consist of two 25k loops instead of the one 50K loop set-up.  It will also feature a new start/finish location. 

I'll add link to the 4 Hour Race results once they've been posted.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

2018 Savin Rock Marathon: Race Photos & Results

Great - if somewhat windy - day to run a Marathon!  The Shoreline Shark's Savin Rock Marathon was a double loop course right on the Long Island Sound.  The bulk of the 500+ participants were doing the Half Marathon (first loop).  About a 130+ kept going past the start/finish and tackled the second loop, for a full marathon!

It was sunny, and solidly above freezing, weather wise.  It would have been great running weather if not for the seemingly endless wind.  The course was challenging (e.g. hilly) but had some great shoreline views.

As for the race itself, I missed my 4:00 hour target my a solid 5 minutes (4:05:14).  My half marathon split (roughly 1:56) was also way off my 1:50 target.  Still, at 1:56, I had a projected 4:02 finish if I could keep it together.  But it took almost 2 hours for me to complete the second loop (no negative splits this time).  There was a great finisher's medal, with the shark logo(!) waiting as we crossed the finish line (and space blankets).  Another great perk was the print out (receipt) for runners that listed their race stats!

Despite not coming in under 4 hours, I enjoyed myself.  It was a well put together event from start to finish.

Here are the official race results (for both Half and Full) from Trimon Timing Company.