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Good news! The Highmark Quad folks have moved the ski & snowshoe event to the Wilderness Lodge, which means….there’s a real good chance it will actually happen this year. While the drive to the lodge is no picnic (I know…I’ve done it every Saturday from January to March for the last four years), it’s a better venue. I see a few challenges — there are not many restrooms or much parking at the lodge and the width of the trails (fantastically groomed) will no longer allow for a mass start. Some may miss the mass start…I will not. I think it’s better to let the uber-competitive super athletes go first and fight it out by themselves up there.
ANYWAY…here’s the official statement from the Quad folks:
The Highmark QUAD Games Ski and Snowshoe has a new home this year at Wilderness Lodge. Hailed by cross-country ski enthusiasts from around the country as “cross country skiing at its finest”, Wilderness Lodge’s 20+ miles of established cross-country trails are beautifully woven among wooded grounds which organizers say will make the trails more resistant to the changes in weather and temperature.
“The wooded setting helps the trails be more resistant to changes in our unpredictable weather,” said Curt Cardman, Highmark QUAD Games race director. “As an exclusive cross-country ski resort, Wilderness Lodge has made a significant investment in the maintenance of their course. This will help us have more control over weather delays.”
Race organizers have named Mike Collins, Jim Samuels and Dan Teed as course designers.
Another change to the event this year will be categories for elite athletes as well as racers taking off in age-group waves. “Typically, we have had a mass start for the ski, but this year, recognize the opportunity to stagger start times and add categories for elite athletes,” said Cardman. “The QUAD is a four-season fitness event for people of all fitness levels; that’s in part what makes it so special.”
Wilderness Lodge will offer a ski lesson package, ski rentals and day-of ski waxing. More information will be made available at www.highmarkquad.org.
Register for the QUAD here.
Finally, if you haven’t, you really should “like us” on facebook!
The 31st annual Highmark Quad Games concluded on Sunday with the 5-mile cross-country ski, which was held at Peek ‘n Peak after having been postponed four times.
* Quad ski/snowshoe results here
* Overall (all four events) Quad results here.
After seeing there were only two women in my age group who completed the entire quad, I was kicking myself for skipping the ski race on Sunday and, yet…I did that race last year for the first time and was made keenly aware of the fact that it is no beginner’s course and vowed I’d never do it again (or at least until I actually did enough skiing to be comfortable with hills and turn and turns at the bottom of hills…).
Random notes from/about the Erie Runners Club:
Are you interested in a no-frills spring half marathon? Jim Lang from Big White Trailer timing is trying to gauge interest in an event.
On Sunday, March 23, 2014, I’m looking for interest in a revival of the TNRL Spring Half. Weekend after St. Pat’s on the multi-purpose trail at PI. Start & end at the cabins. I’ll need 25 people who WILL do it (not probably) and I’ll go through the effort of putting it on. $15 to register online, $20 to mail it in. Very low budget. Probably chipped & split.
On the trails. 3 road crossings that will probably NOT be manned – you’ll be responsible for crossings. (I’ll try to get marshals to cover them, but no promises.) Respond here or DM me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Twitter @BigWhiteTrailer.
Time to renew
ERC membership renewals are due by February 28. The fastest, easiest and cheapest way to do so is online by you can also fill out a printable application and mail it in, too. Remember to indicate whether you want paper or a emailed newsletter. (I think you can still choose both.)
Quad ski race postponed
The Quad Ski Race has been postponed to Sunday, January 19th. yes…on the very week of the polar vortex. Forecast for Saturday is rain and 45…not good for cross country skiing (or golf courses who don’t want 300 cross country skiers tearing up their greens!).
St. Pat’s Day – online registration is cheaper
The ERC’s Saint Patrick’s Day Distance Festival is now online and ready to go. To encourage online registration, the price is discounted $2 from teh print application fee. Online registration also has later deadlines than the paper app. The paper app, when available, will be here.
ERC Winter Series notes
You need to know your bib numbers from the Turkey Trot & the New Year’s Day race to sign up for the Winter Series when you register for St. Pat’s. you can find the numbers in the results listings (Turkey Trot here, New Year’s Day here). The premium this year is a beach towel.
Her Times 5K Date set
The Erie Runners Club/Her Times women’s 5K date is now solid. Date is Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Rotary Pavilion. This year, we’ve also reserved the closest cabin for babysitting. This way, the caregivers can keep the kids more securely and the women can actually use the pavilion before & after the race. Yay!
You’ve got a choice of three 5Ks this Saturday — two in eastern Erie county and one at Presque Isle State Park.
* The Our Lady of Mercy Chicken Run 5K starts at 8:30 a.m. in Harborcreek. This is a brand new race and it offers a division for the Chicken Littles (10 and under) who can participate for free. All the Chicken Littles get a finishers ribbon. Day of race registration is $18 for the big Chickens. Application & information here.
I’m shivering at the start line of the Highmark Quad ski race and wondering how I’m going to get up the steep hill in front of me.
It’s my first ski race and the first time I’ve ever skied more than a couple miles. I’ve done the quad many times, but the ski event has always been canceled, or I blew it off.
Last winter, I invested in some traditional cross-country skis and took a lesson at the lodge where the girls ski every Saturday afternoon.
One lesson and a couple weeks of kick-gliding through the trails at the lodge did not prepare me to get up that hill.
“Be careful when you cross the road,” Julie told me when she found out it was my first time. She didn’t tell me what to be careful of, and I was too afraid to ask.
“Watch out for that last hill with the bridge; it’s steep and it’s on a curve,” Suzy warned.
How did I not know there were hills — big hills — on this course?
OK…well, whatever. Just finish it. Correction: Just finish it without breaking any bones.
The horn blows and the skate skiers take off. They’re up and over the mountain before us newbies even get to the bottom of it. They left us a gift though — chopped up snow, perfect traction for cautious v-stepping skiers.
I strong-arm my way up, digging in hard with my poles and pushing up off them.
At the top, we meander along a winding path.
This isn’t so bad. It might even be fun.
Then I see a ski patrol guy guarding a hill.
I try to slow down by snowplowing and it occurs to me that the snowplow doesn’t work for shit when there’s no snow to plow. I get low, bend my knees and pray to God the old guy in front of me doesn’t fall down because I have no clue how to turn or stop.
About 2 miles in, I hear them announcing the first finishers.
I ski on. Up and down. Around and Around. I gut it out at the hills and manage to make it down most of them without falling.
The course is not for beginners. It’s exhausting, and I just want it to be over. But it goes on and on for five long miles.
As I come up to the finish line, I see the girls standing on the porch of the golf clubhouse, waving and smiling.
“Go, Mom!” Kelly yells.
I give her a big smile and cross the finish line just shy of an hour. Not bad for my first time on a difficult course, but more than twice the time the good skiers turned in.
I’m in last place in my age group for the ski event. And I’m in last place in my age group for the overall quad (those that finished all four events) — 7 out of 7.
I hate that I’m last, and I wonder why I keep doing the quad when I’m so bad at three out of the four events. Part of me wants to fight — to get better at those events, to buy a new bike, to take swim lessons, to try harder, to train like a quad champ, to invest in skate skis — and the other part of me wants to bow out and just quit doing the stupid quad.
I’m embarrassed by my last place finish, but I make it a point to tell the girls where I placed because I want them to know that I’m not good at everything I do, that it’s OK to finish last, and that it’s not always about winning or placing.
I had the courage to start, the strength to get through it, and the determination to finish, which is all that really matters.
About Just Write
“What ends up revealing itself when free writing is that everything has meaning. That is a magnificent gift of writing. If we write from a free heart-gut place, our souls start speaking.”
There will be no fourth leg (ski/snowshoe) for the 29th annual Highmark Quad games. The event has been canceled for lack of snow — bringing to a close the 2011/2012 Quad Games.
The Highmark Quad Games cross country ski race has been canceled for just the fourth time.
The 5-mile race and an accompanying 21/2-mile snowshoe event was to have taken place Sunday. It was first scheduled to take place Jan. 8, but had been postponed seven times because of poor snow conditions on the layout at Peek’n Peak’s Upper Golf Course in Findley Lake, N.Y.
The final results of the Quad season will be based on three events that took place in 2011: the 100-yard swim, bicycle time trial and 5-mile run. Overall and age group awards will be presented April 1 at 3 p.m. at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.
The 30th anniversary Highmark Quad Games are scheduled to start with the 100-yard swim April 15 McComb Fieldhouse on the campus of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
For information, call Quad Games coordinator Craig Latimer at (814) 734-5968.
(sigh)…the one year I was actually ready for it.
Here are the details:
Glenwood Y – Feb. 19, 26, March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1 @ 12-1 p.m.
Eastside Y- March 24, 31, April 7 & April 14 @ 12-1 p.m.
Cost: $15/ 4 clinics at Eastside, $20/ 7 clinics at Glenwood
Swimmers take your mark, for the Highmark 30th QUAD Swim event on April 15! Whether you are trying the swim event for the first time or are an experienced swimmer, these swimming skills clinics are individually tailored for your experience level. They are led by experienced swimmers.
If you need help with starts, the fundamentals, techniques for improving time, turns, or just gaining the confidence to complete the event – these clinics are for you.
I emailed the Y to ask about how to register/pay and here’s what they had to say:
You can register over the phone with a credit or debit card at either branch then just show up at the pool. There is no one specific you need to speak with, any of the desk staff will be able to take the registration.
Glennwood Y is 868-0867 Eastside Y is 899-9622.
Saturday’s Quad run — the 3rd event in the 4-sport competition — offered perfect running conditions with cool temps and overcast skies. The Quad course, out in North East, is always a challenge with rolling hills and a couple of grinders (long uphills) that will make or break you.
Mile 4 at the Quad (5-mile race) is always my worst as it involves the worst grinder on the course. I refuse…just absolutely REFUSE to walk, but that dang hill slows me down every year.
I finished better than I expected with a 39:20 which was good enough for 5th place in the 30-39 age group. Yes, I know, I’m 40 now, but in the Quad, you compete in the age group you start the Quad in. (I’d have placed 3rd in 40-49). The ten-year age groups make it tough to place at the Quad — well, you know, that and the hard-bodied triathletes who participate. LOL. I’m in awe of them — they make it look so easy.
The next and final Quad event for the 11/12 Quad is the 5-mile cross country ski to be held in January.
Complete results for the Quad run can be found here.
Tons of professional Quad photos by Mark Bowen can be found here (run pix not posted yet, of course, but they will be soon).
Here are a few pix I took at the kid’s Quad run, organized by Julie & Curt Cardman, held just after the 5-mile Quad run:
Kid’s 1/2 mile
Look how serious all the one-milers look. Until….
Curt cracks them all up. “No laughing, no having fun and NO smiling!”
And, the 1-milers are off!
Lauren chatted up Donnelle Super’s daughter for the entire mile. If only Lauren ran as fast as her mouth (I’m just sayin’).
Adam Wright finishes strong.
This little guy ran the whole mile, finishing ahead of my “chatty Cathy.”
Lauren gives Curt five at the finish.
I don’t even know what to say about this photo. LOL.