Category Archives: Relays

Browne-Rice Kayak-Run Relay – 2017

July 15, 2017

Browne-Rice is back… under new management.  Of course, Browne and Rice are still around, but TRH is going through the motions of taking some responsibilities from Paul and Bob in the event they are incapacitated (or not around).

Since January, I have become closer friends with Alan Sheppard (not the astronaut, but his head is definitely in the clouds).  I stayed with his family when I did Avalon 50M, he came to Hashtravaganza, and he is a good guy to talk with (has good ideas and also listens).  Since he always seems to want to try new things, I thought him the perfect partner for this event.  Who knows how he will do with kayaking?  (Will he wear shoes in the boat?)

In the morning, I walked down to the start (off of Ocean Blvd, the usual spot) and met up with the usual crowd.  This event always “sells out,” and it always has plenty of open spots for participants who missed out originally (because of no shows).

I always insist on kayaking first because I know I will be useless after running.  I did kayak second once and hated it.  Plus as the senior member of our team, I should get first choice.

I did my usual back-of-pack demonstration with the kayaking, but I did manage to beat a couple of old ladies and corpses.

Alan took off on the run, giving me just enough time to rinse off my feet and put my shoes on without getting too much sand into my shoes.  (and I cheered him on from the street)

I was definitely the slower half of our team, but I did manage 25:16 for the 5K (which is around the same exact time I ran for Boeing last week which doesn’t run on the sand or in sandy shoes).

We finished in the top ten (of 22) and had a good time doing it.

I hung around for quite some time afterwards (not just drinking the beers) as Alan’s whole family came to enjoy a day at the beach.  I had sort of met his wife and kids before at a distance, but got to know both his boys a lot better.  They are super-cute and kinda look like him (bald and quirky).  Looking forward to doing some more events with Alan.  Seems like we have similar mindsets.

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ASP Ekiden Relay (2017)

May 21, 2017

I always have fun doing these but I got started a little late from my house and arrived just as they were doing the drawings for the teams.  As usual, I got picked last (meaning I have to run the longest distance (first teammate runs 1 mile, second, 2, third, 3, fourth, 4)), but I am on a team with Jim Kelley, so maybe we will be fast.

It is a bit warm out (nearly 80) and I am not the same runner I was the first time I did this relay a dozen years ago.

The best part about this run is getting to see a number of people I don’t see all that often, as well as the kids that keep coming back to these events, but are starting to grow up.  Sandy Draper’s daughter used to watch the runs, and now is a bit of a powerhouse in the mile sprint (think she is a decent 5Ker as well).  The littlest kids from 12 years ago are all in their 20s (kids of Beverly Andrew)!

After our first three legs are run, we are in 5th place and it is my turn to run.  Course is a little different.  We used to run straight up the hill, along Ellis, left on Goldenwest to the edge of the park, but now, they want us to turn around sooner, so we do an extra little loop by the lake on the uneven pedestrian path.

We are just behind 4th place and I easily pass that runner, but I know that behind me, probably 45 seconds to a minute back (at the handoff) will catch and pass me just as easily.

I manage to stave off the passing until midway down Ellis (and that included walking up the hill on Edwards) and then I was walking and running alternately trying to stay ahead of the 6th place runner.

I feel like I am not running that well (evidenced by being passed so easily by certain runners), but I manage to finish the 4 miles in 33:24 and basically maintain the 5th place finish.

They have a good post-run brunch and I also win Horton Hears a Who in the post-race video raffle drawing.  Pretty good run and pretty good haul for “free.”

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.

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.