Tuesday, July 20, 2010

All I talk about is running

It seems that all I talk about recently is running and all the pictures are related to running. I guess I'm mostly OK with that I'm still doing plenty of work but I'm not finding quite the angle to talk about it.

I'm currently sitting here eating a late lunch waiting for a SNMP event from a device to debug the handling since previous events from this one source apparently have gone missing.

Briefly, SNMP -> custom trap sink -> event parser. I'm sitting in front of the whole stack waiting for packets with debugging enabled.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rockville Rotary Twilight Runfest Race Report

Saturday was the 25th Rockville Twilight 8K and the first time either I or Courtney had run it.

shampoo and haircut

After spending the morning at Capitals development camp watching the rookies scrimmage and lunch at Rock Bottom Brewery we headed over to Potomac River Running in Rockville for last minute pre-registration.

A couple observations; I really like the free space counter and signs directing you to open spots. Also, if the parking lot has free space counters and signs guiding you to the open spaces, why are you driving around asking people if they are leaving?

A huge ice cream cone

After registering for the race with about 4 hours to kill we headed to the movies to sit in the AC and took in a showing of The Sorcerers Apprentice, it was lighthearted and entertaining. With that done we got smoothies at Robeks for a light early dinner and C- got a pre-raceshampoo and haircut.

The square around packet pickup was packed with people picking up packets, stretching, putting chips on their shoes eating huge ice cream cones and having a good time while enjoying the atmosphere and shade waiting for the sun and temperatures to fall.

Around 7:45 we headed back to the car to change and on to the race start to warmup. After checking my bag I decided to turn down the offer from 7-11 for a free hot wing sample. However, I observed a number of runners taking them up on the offer which I decided was very daring minutes before a race.

At the starting line I saw the youngest race official ever and headed out for a moderately hard warmup befitting the relatively short nature of the race.

the youngest race official ever

At 8:35 I ran into Mandana who was still in need of a warmup and Allen who was trying to decide just how hard of an effort he was going to put it. Allen and I looked for Tom and Carol and any other members of the AARC who might have been there to pass the time until the start (Although most of them would likely be much closer to the starting line than we planned to be).

As Allen and I waited we wondered about the utility of announcing on a hard to understand PA that specific paces should try to line up by X, Y and Z but seemingly only the once instead of having pace grouping signs.

Around 8:50 at the 5 minutes to the start announcement I felt like I was starting to tighten up a bit and started feeling antsy to get the race going.

At 8:55 the race started and we were off for a leisurely race in the heat and high humidity. Having talked to Ray Pugsley about the course earlier in the day I was expecting some hills and had decided that this was not going to be a PR attempt. I would go out a bit easier than tempo pace and pick it up a little each mile.

Near the first turn Allen wished me luck and dropped back a little only to fly by just at the second turn at a little over a mile on the down hill. I called out asking him how he felt about his pace and slowed ran with me (a bit faster than his original plan).

Right around the hill of the first water stop Allen wished me luck again and I didn't see him the rest of the night. Looking at the results I believe he finished about 10s/mi faster than the pace he had been aiming for.

I stuck to my plan picking the pace every mile but got to the end of the race with too much in the tank. At mile 4 I realized that although I had too much left I didn't have enough to run the fastest nearly mile of my life to PR and just did a progression picking up the pace to a final sprint for the last 100m or so.

I dropped off my chip, grabbed some water and reverse ran a bit of the course looking for Allen and C- to cheer them in while I cooled down. I missed Allen but saw Courtney who was looking good so I headed back to the finish to cheer some more. After C- crossed the line I heard the announcer call out the name of a friend we hadn't seen in years and went to say hello, chat and get her over to say hi to C-.

Then we headed to grab our bag, some food, our beer and to look for friends and eventually as the party was over head on home.

I definitely had a good time and would look to do this race again next year. C- mentioned that after starting fairly far back she was jostled and had her elbow hit by at least three people running at a substantially higher pace than everyone else around her in the first mile to the point that she was wondering why anyone would want to race and was thinking about dropping out. Thankfully the field opened up a bit and she ended up having a good race as well.

Ron Mandana and Courtney Post race beer and donuts

Post race beer

The full gallery of pictures by Shawn Ferry

Wickerman Burn

This year was my second Wickerman, it was different from the first in a number of ways. Still a great time but the change in date for the event caused it to overlap with both the Baltimore 10 Miler and the Twilight 4 Miler. I left site very early Saturday to go to the race after arriving late on Friday. As a result I was a bit tired Saturday during the day and evening.

I enjoyed the fire conclave and the burn again this year but the brief bit of wind, rain and thunder drove much of the crowd away shortly after the man fell. After the burn we headed to sound town but still called it a night a bit earlier than watching the sun rise last year.

Waiting for the burn to start Drum circle in front on the man

The man is burning

Soundtown Soundtown

The fully gallery of images from this years burn. Some images may be NSFW.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Running Rocks! in Summer Race Report

On a working farm, the trail is decorated with bones
On a working farm, the trail is decorated with bones

Rockland Farm in Leesburg is a private working farm that happens to have periodic riding and running events, primarily mountain bike racing with Plum Grove Cyclery and now trail running with Potomac River Running. Sunday's race offered two options ~8mi and ~4mi courses. Having already put in my weekend workout I went with a camera planning to run a little and take pictures. I am looking forward to getting out there and racing the next one.

After the rain and the MTB race the day before I was wondering how the trail would be holding up. The parts of the course I saw were fast, dry, smooth and clear with some rocks, logs and roots to keep you from getting distracted. Humidity was fairly low and it was very pleasant running in the shade. On a Mountain Bike I would call the course fairly flat but as a runner I would call some parts gently rolling.

As with any inaugural event there were a few issues that need to be worked out. The course had a single water stop which was supposed to be around the middle of the overlapping course. For the long course the water was closer to 6 miles, combined with mile markers only at the first and last mile a number of long course runners were under the impression that they had become lost on the course and those running without watches were glad to hear that they were nearly done.

The field for each race was fairly small with the short course at 27 and the long course boasting only 30 runners. On the course each of the eventual winners was in the lead over the next runner by over a minute.

Based on the times in the pictures the long course heated up after the water stop with second to sixth place all within a minute. Second place finisher Dirk Plante passed 4th place Charlie Mercer and 5th place Dennis Billings while making up about a minute on winner David Wagner and 37 seconds on 3rd place Jess Laurent extending the gap to 5 seconds at the finish.

The short course got started at almost exactly 8:02 with eventual winner Van Arnold starting off in the lead.

The short course got started at almost exactly 8:02 with eventual short course winner Van Arnold taking off to an early lead.

Men's Short Course Winner: Van Arnold
Overall Short Course Winner: Van Arnold

Women's Short Course Winner: Billie Brown
Women's Short Course Winner: Billie Brown

Men's Long Course Winner: David Wagner
Overall Long Course Winner: David Wagner

Men's Long Course 2nd: Dirk Plante
Overall Long Course 2nd: Dirk Plante

Women's Long Course Winner: Jess Laurent
Women's Long Course Winner and 3rd Overall: Jess Laurent

Men's Long Course
1 1/3 56 David Wagner 20 56:14.5
2 1/7 55 Dirk Plante 33 56:56.4
3 1/9 18 Charlie Mercer 40 57:20.3

Women's Long Course
1 1/3 17 Jess Laurent 29 57:01.5
2 1/3 11 Anita Freres 45 1:00:16.3
3 1/4 21 Emily Sensabaugh 33 1:03:40.4

Mens Short Course
1 1/7 27 Van Arnold 32 28:10.7
2 2/7 43 loren hudziak 37 34:47.3
3 3/7 41 Josiah Hortega 31 37:17.1

Womens Short Course
1 1/5 28 Billie Brown 38 40:40.6
2 2/5 50 BRENDA MORTON 36 41:55.0
3 1/2 64 Jill Raschiatore 43 42:23.3

Plum Grove has a quick write up as well

Full Race results at Potomac River Running

All photos by: Shawn Ferry Race Gallery