|Fun Run At Canoe Creek State Park|
*Photo Taken By Mike McNeil
|Toddzilla, Mr. Picklepower Himself|
Somehow Janice and I thought it was be a good idea to go to the Harrisburg Senators' home opener Friday night before the race. It was barely 39͒ and the winds were howling around our left field seats. Yeah, it was bitter cold for baseball. We were freezing so we only made it through the 5th inning and the Senators got clobbered [Ironically they were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate Altoona Curve]. I was starving when we got home so I had the brilliant idea of eating an entire frozen pizza in hopes of dumping some carbs into me before bed. It probably wasn't a great idea because after a night of tossing and turning, 4:30am came pretty quickly.
The scenic two hour drive to Canoe Creek State Park went quickly. I was pretty psyched to see the place, as neither of us had ever been to the park before. I was barely out of the Jeep and heading to pick up my bib number and I ran into Todd. As a race director, he was busy of course so after a warm welcome and a big hug; I got out of his way. Heading to the registration table I ran into the ATR's Chief Entertainment Officer and Vol State Crazy, Elmo Snively 😎. He was working the event as well and sent me off with an, "enjoy the hills". Previously Todd had told me to bring my poles and now, "enjoy the hills", I was now wondering what hills were waiting for me. Heading back to the Jeep I saw one of the day's Life Guards, Ralph Smith driving a van with Elmo and Todd heading out to their positions on the course. Ralph of course said something like, "____ this, we're going for a beer"...honestly it sounded much better than running up hills.
|Ralph "Budman" - Skilled At Making Arm Warmers Into Leg warmers.|
|The Bens Ready To Get Us On The Trail|
|Janice Got A Shot Of Me Still In The Same Frame As Matt|
The course went around the lake at Canoe Creek State Park and the first lap was just over five miles, so if you were running the 5 mile event; after one lap you were done. There was really only one climb on that first lap. For the half marathon the second lap repeated the first four miles until being diverted to a different section of the park for the remaining mileage. This year the race was being called the Dirt(ier) Kiln Trail Race as the majority of the course was mud. Some of it was that deep sucking mud that will pull your shoes right off your feet. I learned my lesson at the Algonquin 50K and my shoes were tied nice and tight. There was an aid station just before the second water crossing and Elmo and another volunteer were at the ready with runner's needs. I was surprised there was an aid station in such a short run, but if there wasn't; who knows what Elmo may have been up to otherwise? The second water crossing was where Ralph was stationed standing in the water at the ready if anyone fell or got into trouble crossing the creek. [Even after seeing photos, I'm still not sure what Ralph was wearing to stay warm as the water was quite chilly.] Todd was there too, directing traffic so the turn wasn't missed.
|The Second Stream Crossing|
*Photo Taken By Bradley Pike
|Adam Making A Splash|
*Photo Taken By Bradley Pike
|Playing In The Water With Ralph|
*Photo Taken By Liam Clarke
|Dirty Kiln Elevation Profile|
Business In The Front/Party In The Back
|The Hills Behind Me & The Finish Line In Sight|
|A Dirty Kiln|
|Pretty Cool Things To Run Past In A Race|
|Kilns Viewed From Above|
|Proper Diaper Party Attire|
|Elmo And 1000 Diapers|
While the Allegheny Trail Runners I call friends run ultras, it looks like their real skill is putting on awesome events. The Dirty Kiln Trail Races kicks off their year, The Rock'N The Knob Trail Challenge is in September, Sweat For Vets Powerclimb 5K/10K is in November and they have group runs throughout the year. They're focused on fun and quality events and they're good runners too. Check out their website http://www.alleghenytrailrunners.com/ and go run their events!
At the time of writing this, I'm nursing a strained right calf. Out for a routine lunch run, I ran behind a car waiting for traffic to clear, it drifted backwards and I took a terribly awkward step to avoid being hit. That clumsy landing brought a shooting pain up the outside of my right calf muscle and I spent much of that run's remaining three miles walking. Yes I'm running a hundred in just a few days so it's rest, ice, ibuprofen, Arnika cream and compression socks for me. I will rehab, I will be at that start line. See you all after the C&O Canal 100.
Hey look! Bonus stuff!
Check out Ben & Elmo's Brew2Brew 100K Adventure:
Elmo's Blog Post - https://elmosendurance.wordpress.com/2017/04/17/brew2brew100k/
Ben's Blog Post - https://bendivertsthenorm.wordpress.com/