If you want to know anything about the local running scene, ask Heather Cass. A member of the Erie Runners Club for 10-plus years, she is immersed in the local fitness culture, and she's taking your questions. Read more about this blog.
* Does it seem like it takes longer to recover the older you get? Um, it does. Here’s why.
* For the ladies: Jezebel: If You Must Think About your Weight, Here Are 10 Things to Think About Warning: there are plenty of f-bombs in this article, but this is probably the greatest thing I’ve read in…well, ever. I’m at that stage where I’m pissed off about this situation we’ve all bought into. I’m sick of women’s magazines and fitness magazines and women’s expos that are full of ways for us to fix ourselves — lose weight, fix your hair, get the whitest teeth, cook better….f@#$ you, I’m fine the way I am. READ THIS. PRINT IT OUT. GET MAD.
Video of the Week
Hmmm….now this treadmill workout could possibly hold my interest:
For all my ultra-running friends. (This is a JOKE…though, you have to admit….it’s funny because most of it is true, right?). LOL.
Here are all the details in amusingly cute country speak:
Date: Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 4 p.m.
Event: 2 mile bike – 400 yard swim – 8 mile bike – 3 mile run – Country BBQ
So just what is a Country Triathlon?
Well pardner, it’ll all begin at Gem City Outdoors Club, a real pretty place out in the woods. You’ll start out on that bicycle of yours, long about a two mile ride to Dave’s Pond. Right there your gonna hop off your bike and go for a dip in the Pond ‘bout 400 yards or so, then get back up on your steed and ride eight more miles back to Gem City. You’ll corral that bike a yours then go for a three mile run through some right purty trails in those Gem City woods.
After that? Well, we’ll fix you up a right nice country barbecue, play some Hank Williams songs (and a few others as well) and pass out our hay bale awards.
The Country Triathlon sponsored by our friends at AXA Advisors and some other real nice folks and let me tell ya – there ain’t nothing quite like this here event. And all proceeds benefit that YMCA you got in your neighborhood and by gol’ there ain’t a finer organization in the land.
Registration is just $50 until June 25.
Application & information here. Online registration here.
As seen along the streets of Cleveland on Sunday morning:
(Yes, most of these are blurry….I was RUNNING!)
Simple works, too:
These people love the Indians:
Two oldies, but goodies:
Cute parent signs:
This woman was getting a LOT of laughs and high-fives from the women in the race:
Maybe not the most inspiring sign, but….damn was I glad to see this cardboard “GU” sign:
Beer stop (no, I didn’t stop):
This photo just about says it all. Note the “Runners rock” sign on the sign post near the mailbox:
For me…..one of the greatest signs in Cleveland are those lights from Jacob’s Field (or whatever the proper name is now) up ahead. Once I see that stadium, I know it’s almost over (the half is anyway):
I wonder if I could talk this girl into coming to the PA Grand Canyon Marathon for me:
Another classic…only his mileage was OFF:
And, the best signs on the course (in my biased opinion, of course):
I love his expression….that’s pretty much what it feels like after you run 26.2 miles in 80-degree weather.
6: 25 a.m. Sunday morning Dan and I are walking toward the marathon start line in front of the Cleveland Browns stadium, though it reads “Cleveland Browns Sta” because the “dium” metal letters are missing. No matter, this isn’t our first rodeo. We’ve run this race for years now. We know where were going.
The runners and spectators become a streaming mass, clogging the sidewalks and stretching onto the now-closed road. There are something like 20,000 runners, I think.
We pass a group of law enforcement officers dressed in Army green pants and shirts, standing around dark van. They’re wearing combat boots, baseball hats, black sunglasses and bullet proof vests. They have automatic weapons slung over their shoulder and bullets wrapped around their waist.
“Great, we’ve become Mexico with machine-gun wielding Federales everywhere,” I mutter to Dan as we walk by.
There are dozens of law enforcement officers inside and outside the stadium — bomb squad, Sheriff’s office, stadium security, Cleveland police officers, K-9. Some are gathered together, others are standing and watching the crowd from above, K-9 officers are weaving dogs through the crowd and the bushes around the stadium.
I know they are all there for us. To protect us. To reassure us. To watch over us. They are a very visible sign that the race directors are taking Boston seriously, but it’s frightening and it kinda depresses me.
Sons of a bitches ruined our marathons. Bastards.
I don’t know their names, and I don’t care. I’m not going to look it them up either because they are not worth it. To me, they’re nameless cowards.
Spectators, three and four deep, line the road filled with runners. Hundreds more ring the outside platform of the stadium, looking down, pointing cameras, video cameras, and cell phones in our direction.
When we finally start, I look up at them as we jog toward the start mat. I get a little choked up because I start thinking about the Jezebel post “The People Who Watch Marathons“.
I don’t know one of those people up there and they are absolutely not there to cheer me on, but…oh, my God do I appreciate their presence — this year, more than any other previous.
I appreciate their mass. Their cheers. Their pom-poms and home made signs. Their cowbells and thunder sticks. Their DIY beer stops. Their garden hoses set to mist. Their willingness to drag their butt out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and fight traffic and pay $10 to park…just to watch us run by.
For 13 miles, every time I see a group of spectators ahead, I rally. I run stronger and straighter, and I forget how crappy I feel. I turn my camera on and scan the sidewalk for funny signs. I look for kids offering high-fives with outstretched hands and move over so I can gently slap every one of those little hands.
I’m eternally grateful for every person standing along that route who distracts me from the task at hand.
The miles fly by because of them. These strangers. These noisy, boisterous, excited, awesome strangers who meant everything to me on Sunday morning.
Thank you. You make it all worth it:
(See :16 and 1:03).
____________________________ 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.”
Here’s the basic who, what, when, where and why about TNRL from Jim’s TNRL page on his website:
Me, you, and anyone else that wants to get out
An opportunity to get out and run a “race” at various locations in Erie County. There will be at least one REAL race this summer, perhaps more. They will be announced well in advance.
Tuesday Nights, 7:00 pm. Mid April to Mid September or Early October
Locations throughout Erie County.
Why not? This is an opportunity to get out, run a different race every week, and generally have a good time.
It’s what happens afta the race. If you don’t get the reference, check out “The Karate Kid“. Mr. Miyagi is a real hero here.
So, it basically works like this.
Jim picks various locations all over Erie County and plots an informal course for runners to “race.” (I put that in quotes because while it’s called the “race” league — some of us just show up to run with other people). There is typically a shorter distance (3 to 4 miles) and longer distance (5 to 6) for you to choose from.
It’s very informal (Sometimes you will finish & write down your own time if Jim’s out running.) It’s basically to have fun and run in different places with friends.
There’s no cost to participate in the TNRL events and, so, there are no t-shirts, race refreshments, etc., though Jim typically brings water and the other racers bring beer or whatever (depending on the location, of course). There are a few TNRLs that have a “real race” option in which you pay & get a shirt, etc. But, you don’t have to — you can just do the race TNRL-style for free (no shirt, no entry into the TNRL race series results).
1. It’s a fun way to get some mid-week speed work in.
2. It’s also a good way to get to know some other runners.
3. It’s refreshing to race somewhere other than Presque Isle.
First up: Harborcreek Community Park – May 28
The first TNRL is scheduled for next Tuesday, May 28 at Harborcreek Community Park , 5800 Firman Road. You have a choice of doing a 3.2 mile course or a 6.2 mile course. More info & course descriptions here.
Next two TNRL events: June 4 in Liberty Park and June 11 in Corry Park in Corry.
Schedule of upcoming race locations will be updated here.
What is the weirdest/strangest/most shocking thing you ever saw laying in the road/trail on a run?
A fat raccoon ….. the biggest that I’ve ever seen. I was running on the multi-purpose trail on the bay side @ Presque Isle and it was sitting there just off of the trail, and showed absolutely no fear of a human running so close to him. — Ramon Patron, Jr.
You asked, so…. the weirdest/strangest/most shocking thing I saw was a (presumably) used condom. — Mike Lawrence
A raccoon with a helium balloon tied around it’s waist, earlier this week on Norcross Rd. — Patrick Dwyer
At the Cleveland Marathon, I saw a woman just off the side of the road, peeing standing up. It was just weird. — Dan Cass
A giant man o’war swimming along side while running on seven mile bridge in the Keys. We maintained the same pace for more than a mile. — Paul Bressen
Dead red fox next to sidewalk at PI before ranger station pond, looked healthy, told ranger. Never saw one before. — Tom Twohig
A lynx, right in the middle of the trail a couple miles from the house…beautiful animal! — Michael Morris (who lives in Alaska)
I once found 17 pairs of bras and panties spread along RT 97 between Waterford and Pennbriar. They were obviously tossed out by someone trying to make a point as they were pretty evenly spread out. Also, when laying a hash trail one time, we found a dead guy in a car. — Chuck O. (OK, you win with the dead guy, Chuck!)
I’ve seen plenty of disgusting things, but the most interesting thing I’ve ever seen was a porcupine on U.S. Route 62 in Warren. It was dead, so I spent plenty of time looking at it….and then felt really weird about examining roadkill.