Category Archives: Relays

ThomBob Kayak 1M Run 5K Relay – 2007

July 14, 2007

Todd Rose and I are paired up again for this fun Team Runners High relay.

Todd is running really well right now and I had a slight improvement in my kayaking time.  (It must have been the zero times I practiced since last year.)  In layman’s terms, we improved… but we didn’t beat out any of the ringer teams.

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Browne-Rice Kayak Run Relay – 2014

July 12, 2014

Another “final” year of the Browne-Rice Kayak (1M) Run (5K) Relay.

Last year, I got a ringer teammate (Mark Vishnevsky) only to discover that we could not establish a big enough lead with either of our kayaking skills to figure in the final results.

So… this year, I wanted someone who might enjoy the event as a first timer, since the event is about having fun (though there are always the same teams that win… in a fun way).  So, I invited my friend Dulce to participate with me.  She was concerned that we might come in last, but I said that even if we do so, that’s OK with me.

Enrica, Dulce and me before the start.

Enrica, Dulce and me before the start.

I let Dulce go first on the Kayak leg because as a newbie, she wouldn’t know the course that well, but she could follow people, whereas, if she kayaked second, she would probably be on her own… and having done the course at least 10 times, I have a better idea of the course.

She had a decent kayak (didn’t finish last) and then handed off to me for the run.  It must be a high tide time of year because there was a huge berm and not a lot of hard-packed sand to run on.  I did my best with the amount I had and hoped that I wouldn’t lose too much time in the loose sand.

I passed a few folks whose partners had better opening kayak legs, but was still far behind the really fast folks. After 24:55 (right around 8:00/mile, including SAND) of running, I handed off to Dulce and she ran a nice comfortable time and didn’t give up any of our “lead.”

While I was waiting for her, Jackie Davis came in and said that she had “gotten” lost.  I was incredulous because, well, there isn’t anywhere to get lost.  What had happened is that she tried to short-cut to the beach path, but ended up in the yacht club parking lot behind the gate and couldn’t get out.  Later, her partner did the exact same thing!

Finally, Dulce handed off to me on the kayak leg.  I left about the same time as another kayaker, but I am a terrible kayakist.  Part of the problem is that I am too big for the conveyance and cannot get any leverage.  Too boot, the back support kept slipping, so I appeared as if I was practically lying down and lazily paddling.

"Laid-back" paddling.

“Laid-back” paddling.

I ended up with the second worst paddle time (surprise, surprise), and we finished 3rd to last… but who cares?  We had a great time.  The prizes (which mostly went to the same 5 or 6 people) were Runners High pint glasses.  Then they did a drawing for two sets of free shoes at Runners High.  Each person had one entry, plus an additional entry if they volunteered to paddle one of the 18 kayaks to the start.  Despite only having one entry, I won one of the pairs of shoes!!

Browne-Rice Kayak (1M) Run (5K) Relay – 2013

July 13, 2013

This was a previously held event called “ThomBob,” but it died out somewhat when Thom Lacie was no longer affiliated with the Runners High stores.  Or maybe because it was thought that there wasn’t a lot of interest. Well, even though I am a crap kayaker, I still enjoy doing this event.

Back in the day, the teams were required to be more evenly matched, but after a few years, I started to notice that Bob’s kids seemed to be ringers and then the handicap measure went out the window.  Though… if you really think about it, unless a team has two professional kayakers, the odds that a team will automatically win are more based on how they do on the run.

With this in mind, I decided to ask my buddy Mark, if he wasn’t putting on any races that day, because I felt like we might have half a chance to place if my running partner was a ringer.

As usual, on the kayak leg, I was the worst person in my section (the order is: person 1 kayak, person 2 run, person 1 run, person 2 kayak), but Mark ran us back into the top 3.

On my run, I was able to do a sight better than at Boeing, with 25 and change. This dropped us out of the top 10.

Finally, Mark wielded his skills on the kayak.  I thought he might have an advantage seeing as he can get leverage with average length legs.  It made me feel better that this running superhero was just average in the kayak (but he did pick up enough places to get us into 10th).

I hope this event continues, even though the name representatives are getting up there in age.

Ekiden Relay – 2011

May 22, 2011

Back once more to Central Park in Huntington Beach for the Ekiden Relay.  An Ekiden Relay (originating in Japan) is any kind of relay where the teammates run all different distances toward a total distance.  The Snail’s Pace Ekiden Relay consists of 1-mile, 2-mile, 3-mile and 4-mile legs, and teams and distances to be run are determined by random draw.

In other words, everyone puts their name in the hat, and you don’t know your teammates or the distance you will run until your name is drawn out.

Typically, this event gets about 5-6 teams.  Sometimes it’s a struggle to get a bunch of teams; sometimes people double-up so that everyone who wants to participate can.

Today, there seems to be a bunch of people who showed up to participate from AREC, Snail’s Pace, and another local running group (I don’t know which one).  So, there are FIFTEEN teams!

As per my usual with this event, I pulled 4 miles (I have only gotten 2 miles once, and 1 mile never.  That’s fine – I like “distance.”).  When I run my leg, I walk the hills (this seems to be a habit at this point – regardless if I am running an ultra or not, I walk a lot of the hills).  I am very happy with my time – 31:38 – because it means I maintained sub-8:00/mile EVEN with walking.  My team finishes in the middle of the road – 8th.

ThomBob Kayak 1M / 5K Run Relay – 2010

July 17, 2010

Back yet again for the ThomBob Kayak Run Relay.  Todd Rose and I had been teammates for maybe 5 years, but Todd was not available this year, so I paired up with whoever was available.  It happened to be Rich Terrell, who I see at the Boeing runs.  He is about 15 years older than me, but we are similar in skill.  In fact, our total time for the kayak and run was within 1 minute of each other.

More than just doing this race year after year, it is a fun way to spend the morning, a nice brunch and beer afterwards (and unique).  Plus, it allows me to kayak once a year and not feel compelled to do more than that.

A Snail’s Pace Ekiden Relay – 2010

May 23, 2010

Skipped last week’s PV Marathon (again) because of Miwok.

However, I was game for the Snail’s Pace Ekiden Relay because it is random AND fun.

The first runner does 1 mile, the second 2 miles, the third 3 miles and the 4th 4 miles.  Who runs what and for what team is all done by random draw.

I have run this race several times and only once have I been drawn for under 3 miles (though once I traded because I was heading to a Dodgers game afterwards).  Today is no exception – I have 4 miles.

Running last is nice, because you can see how you are doing compared to the other teams.  If you have a chance of medalling, then you can turn it up or down based upon your position.  I was in fourth as I left, though the 3rd place team left probably 3 minutes before me.  Unless that person is walking, that’s a lot of time to make up in 4 miles (and me not being fully recovered).

The 3- and 4-mile loops both have a big hill between Miles 2 and 3 (and a downhill just before Mile 4), so you don’t make up any time on that section, but you do make up a little bit at the end.  During the run, my left side was sore (maybe favoring it over the right side where the IT-band issue is), but I ran through it and did not have any residual soreness.

I was happy with my 4 mile time of 30:30, but less happy that I was not able to maintain 4th place for my team (5th instead).  Despite not winning a useless award, I had a great time.

ThomBob Kayak 1M / Run 5K Relay – 2009

July 11, 2009

Todd Rose and I are teammates once again at the ThomBob Kayak Run Relay.

This “duathlon” is one of my favorites, yet I treat it in the same way I treat triathlons (or duathlons) – I don’t work out at all on the non-running discipline.  This means that I basically have not paddled an ocean kayak since last year (and I also don’t really do upper body workout, either).

The past few years the kayak portion has been between a kilometer and a mile, but this year, it was certainly a mile and no shorter.  I still get a lot of jazz from the other competitors about my paddling technique, but the reality is that I don’t really fit in the boat, and I cannot get any leverage… and I don’t have great endurance in paddling.  The effort it takes to paddle continuously is much more strenuous than shuffling forward on foot.

As for the run, I get my usual 22-odd minutes while Todd runs to recover from the kayaking, and I manage around 24 minutes, which is respectable having kayaked or not.