Tag Archives: TRH

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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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.

Halloween Marathon – 2015

October 31, 2015

Earlier this month, my friend Gilbert Barragan (Jr.), ran his first marathon.  I helped a bit with the training (bringing him needed ice-cold beers on the long runs), but his real assistance came in the form of Eddie Hahn, another hasher, who is also a Marathon Maniac.  Eddie ran with Gil the whole way and sent him on to a 5:00:22 marathon, a really good debut run.

I first met Eddie at a hash several years ago and we bonded on the fact that we had both had published articles in Marathon & Beyond Magazine. I think he got extra copies for me when his was published, too.

Eddie and I often have discussions about who has run more long distance races (he has, by far).  Mostly the discussion gets into actual mileage on races.  With my last ultra, my total full marathons and ultras totaled 101 (with 26 being marathons).  I think I have figured the total mileage is equivalent to 143 marathons.  Long Beach was Eddie’s 198th marathon.

All that being said, Eddie’s 50th birthday is next Saturday and he is running the Revel Canyon Marathon, and he wants it to be his 200th marathon.  Thus, he needs 1 marathon in between Long Beach and Revel so the numbers work out.

He decided to do a Charlie Alewine event, which is going to be loops somewhere in Long Beach.  I have done several of his races, but nothing recently.  I had told him that if he needed extra bodies to make the race “official.” (Marathon Maniacs has some standards as to what counts as an official race.  I think people were running “Virtual Marathons,” which is just you running and telling someone your time – to me, that is NOT a race, that is training.)  I was not wild about doing a cement loop marathon, but I was game to help out a friend… if I could get a decent deal on the race.

I made an arrangement with the race director (can’t tell you the rate, I promised) for a time-only rate (no shirt, no medal, no trophy – I don’t need those anyway), and I was in.

Because I am nuts, I decided to walk down to the race start from my house (about 2.5 miles).  When I arrived, Eddie (and Laura) were already out on the course.  I thought they were all doing the regular start, but everyone started early (except for me).  Laura’s marathon apparently included the mileage to and from her house (kinda that Virtual thing again).

The loop course started at the start of the bike path and then ran basically out to the end of the bike path (plus 200 yards past by the marina), and back.

I felt OK at the beginning, but started to get tired as the race progressed.  Each half loop was about a 5K (a little longer), so I could see how I started to fall apart as the race progressed.

First two sets:   32:13 and 31:42
Second two sets:  40:50 and 44:15

On my third set, Eddie walked with me.  I know it was really really slow.  He was pretty tolerant, but then again, he wants to run a good race next weekend, so why push it?
Third set:  48:34 and 51:57

Eddie finished and I went on to do my final loop.  I started seeing all the folks doing marathon training from TRH plus some TRIBE folks getting ready for the Arizona Ironman.

I had horrible blisters in such a bad place that I actually did at least a half mile by turning my right foot completely sideways and walking normally with my other foot.  Awkward.  Literally awkward.  A number of my friends out training asked if I needed assistance.  No, thank goodness I’m almost there!
Last set:  40:32 and 45:58

Total time was 5:36:53.  Pretty good considering that I walked 60% of it.  It also cements the fact that I don’t like running on cement.  Ouch.

Now I did have another 2.5 miles to walk home, but when Laura ran home to finish her marathon, she convinced Chuck to come pick me up and drive me back home.

Later that day, I walked to Chipotle for my free Boo-rito and then to K Dubs Halloween Party, and then homes, so I ended up getting in 35.6 miles for the day.

Afterword:  Since I was the only regular time marathon starter, I won the marathon (but I didn’t have the fastest time).  Eddie ran his fastest marathon in several years for his 200th/50th birthday run, and qualified for Boston.

Summer Nights 5K (2) – 2015

July 14, 2015

My favorite!  Back-to-back 5Ks.  I should also mention that after yesterday’s Boeing 5K, I went to Chittick Field and ran a medium-intensity track workout in the evening.

There is a much larger crowd tonight – lots of kids!  This means that there will be a lot of dodging and weaving in the first mile or so… better once it gets spread out, and then I will also finish lower in the overall standings.

My goal tonight is to finish with a comparable time to yesterday and possibly faster than I ran at this race last month.  Yesterday’s time was 23:12, but that was on a flat, paved course.

My first mile tonight is 6:50 (5 seconds faster than last time), my second mile is 8:07 (EXACTLY the same time… weird), and my third “mile” (actually 1.1) is 8:35 (11 seconds faster).  My time of 23:32 is virtually the same as yesterday’s time.  I am really happy with that!

After the race, I am chatting with my friends from Team Runners High and AREC, and gutting out a few thousand photo sessions with Jesus, when a guy hanging out with Dr. Richard Graves says to me, “Didn’t you hear me cheering for Piedmont High School?”  I did remember hearing that, but dismissing it as an aberration.

Turns out, this white-bearded runner (about 4 minutes faster than me in the race!) is none other than Drew Sells, my PHS ’89 classmate.  I had remembered seeing him at the Seal Beach 5K/10K several years ago… so I knew that he lived in the area, but I had no idea if he was still running.  (A number of my classmates who ran in high school seem to no longer run, whereas those of us who started ‘late,’ seem to still be running.)

I enjoyed my plate of tacos, got a free massage from The Lumbar Yard, and then helped the nice masseuse and chiropractor to pack up their stuff, before heading home and taking more than a 30-hour break in between races.

La Palma 4th of July 10K – 2015

July 4, 2015

Back to La Palma for another 4th of July race.  Dona McBride and I carpooled.  It’s sort of like we know the drill – we switch off who drives and we always park at the Hospital parking lot that is adjacent to the local park (20 yard walk from the car).  No one else seems to know this trick.

If you register online, it’s the best deal (even with the credit card charge).  Registration included a technical t-shirt and $4.50 gets you a pancake breakfast ticket.  Plus, they always give out mugs or something cool to division leaders.

The negative side to this event – particularly the 10K – is that you start 0.15 miles behind everyone else… so you cannot hear the announcements (including the starting gun), you half-hear the National Anthem, and once you catch up with the 5K group, there are hordes of people impeding your forward motion (the walkers, the meanderers, and the minute-per-mile-slower-than-me people).

We see a few of the usual people that we always see at this race – Paul Browne, from TRH, that lives right around the corner; Gil Perez (AREC VP) sporting a Beach City Runners shirt, but an AREC hat (wanting bonus points for wearing the hat – wrong shirt, buddy!); and Nick Kincaid, another AREC guy, who has gotten faster over the years (I used to be able to beat him; now I can only ‘contain’ him.).

The 10K starters are listening for the distant gun so that they can air-horn us off, and immediately, I find myself trying to accelerate around the mopey folks in this field.  I have about 400 yards to formulate a strategy to get around the 5Kers.

One item in the negative column that I forgot about is that there are random Mile markers… some for the 10K on the first loop (but 5K markers) and one on the second loop.

That being said, I reach Mile 1.15 in 8:25, which is around a 7:39 pace.  Fast… for today.  It started out overcast, but I can’t see that continuing 25 minutes from now.

There are lots of people out here but after the first mile, I presume I have passed most of the slow types… but I may encounter some of them on the second loop.  I get to Mile 2 (yep, for the 10K) in 6:46… but as my last mile was actually 1.15, my pace here is 7:31.

There are a couple of water stations after Mile 2 – one close to Mile 2 and one about 500 yards from the end of the loop.  It is here that it begins to get crowded as some of faster 5Kers are gearing up for their finishing sprints.  As I pass by the start, I time through in 9:36 (back to 1.2, because this segment is 3.1+0.15 – 2 = 1.25) or 8:43/mile.

The positive point here is that the crowds have thinned out, but the negative is that I don’t really have anyone to run with because until I catch the walkers, I am caught out in ‘no-man’s-land.’

I do see people off in the distance (including Nick), and I try and use that as my motivation to go a bit faster (also I am not zigzagging around anyone).  I reach Mile 4.0 in 6:11 (7:58/mile), and then Mile 5.1 (the 10K 2M marker) in 8:49 (8:00/mile).

Now I begin to catch the walkers.  One of the people I spot is the former owner/coach of Team Runners High Jeff Tribole (now of Beach City Runners).  He is walking with a number of other people, very slowly.  I can be critical since my finishing time ends up about 6 minutes faster than my 80-year old dad walked last October… and I passed Jeff at Mile 2.5 (for him).

Jeff used to castigate me at track workouts that I should ‘run a little faster and talk a little less.’  I feel that you don’t really have the right to criticize me for this if you yourself are not ‘walking the walk.’  I have heard that Jeff used to be quite the runner, but in my 18+ years in Southern California, I have never seen him do more than a slow walk (yes, he had a heart attack 10 years ago, but even prior to that it was bark out the workout and then skulk off to watch the Lakers on TV).

It’s fun for me to give him a little jazz after all of the ‘helpful suggestions’ I endured over the years.  After I finished (in 48:32), I watched him ‘run across’ 10 minutes later, as if he and his group had been running the entire time.  I say we give him that, let him say that he was running 19 minutes per mile.

I was very happy with my time, considering that one week ago, I did a very special high mileage trail run in honor of my little sister’s 40th birthday.  I ran for 6 hours 27 minutes and 40 seconds at El Moro and Laguna Trails and covered 26.1 miles (my sister turned 40 on 6/27, hence the timing).

When it came to the awards ceremony, almost all of our group received an award… but I came in 6th… even though I was the 28th finisher overall.  Small race… too many 40-44 year olds!

Run the Runway 1M – 2015

March 31, 2015

About two weeks ago, I received a cryptic e-mail about running on the Long Beach Airport Runway.  This does not sound like a good idea, since the traffic on the runways always exceed 100 miles per hour.  Even Usain Bolt is not that fast!

Well, apparently, the surface of the runway needs to be re-asphalted every 15-20 years due to wear and tear.  One of Long Beach Airport (LGB)’s runways just was completed and the city figured a good way to show it off and to celebrate would be to let people run on it.

To do so, you needed to register online with your information and include your shirt size (free shirt – just what I need).  The timing of the run would work OK for me because it was at 2pm on a Tuesday, but I would be very surprised if a lot of people showed up because it is in the middle of the day.

Since the runway is only a half-mile long (roundtrip 1 mile), I figured to get in a little extra exercise by walking to and from the airport (though tonight I also have my speed workout with TRH on the track).  I brought along a (used) book I had recently purchased (a short story by Solzhenitsyn) and timed it so I would arrive about 45 minutes before the event.

When I arrived, there was already a rather long line, but I spotted a few folks I know (some in front of me and some behind).  Once we got inside the gate (didn’t even have to show ID), the check-in was alphabetical by… FIRST Name.  This was a total zoo and a lot of folks didn’t even have their pre-registered information.  There were a LOT of people here (over 500).

There was a bit of a delay getting started and I lined up with Chuck and Laura.  The race was not going to be timed, but I still wanted to see what I could do a mile in (with meanderers around me, no less).  It was a weird surface to run on (macadam?), slightly better than concrete, obviously not as forgiving as packed dirt trail.  Both Chuck and I finished in the Top Ten, right around 7 minutes (7:02 for me, Chuck slightly slower).  They were interviewing and had minor prizes for the top 3 (wish they had said that… maybe I could have run a little faster).

After I finished, there were still lots of people who had not reached the far end yet, so I decided I would do another 1 mile loop, race-walking this time to see if I could catch up to the slow pokes.  Yes, 12:38

Chuck and Laura offered me a ride home, but in getting my free lemonade, muffins and cookies, I misplaced them and ended up having to walk home on my own (well, not all of the way; a friend passed me on the road and waved… and then offered me a ride the final mile).

My take-away was a free mile (or two) run, a flat orange water bottle, an orange commemorative shirt and 5 airplane pens.

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!!