Archives for May2012

Wounded Warrior 5K 2012

Contributed by Matt Mullen

When trolling for a race to run this weekend, I found the Manteca Wounded Warrior 5k was serving free post-race omeletes.  Sold!

The memorial day theme was strong from the start – flags everywhere, uniformed vets, a blue single-prop plane was making low-flying

yarn bomb flag

smoke trails over the start line, and someone decided to yarn-bomb a bike rack in truly patriotic fashion.

I walked the site a bit and found a lot of post-race festivities.  The right of the finish line held a classic car show, and the left an impressive display of  crucifixes.

They were putting up a pretty big kid’s zone, too, full of inflatable jumpy houses. I wish I’d brought my kids along, they’d have been pretty wow’d by the site:

jumpy houses

I warmed up until 8:00 (gun time!) came, and then was pretty confused: The race didn’t start.


In fact, I couldn’t find a start line.

There were mobs of confused runners all around, not sure where to go and asking around for the race director  The volunteers I talked to had no ideas, and the only people with a clear purpose was the U-JAMS dance crew, who led bored runners in sort of live DDR contest.  Looked fun, but where is the race?!

The race director eventually showed, explained we were starting from a spot with two tiny flags in the ground, and then the longest pre-race ceremony I’ve ever seen began.  Veterans were introduced, tears were shed, orders shouted, rifles fired, flags were flown at full, then half-mast, and a young woman belted out a national anthem.

Finally someone said “let’s run”, reminding me I was actually there for a race, and then we started.

I was getting a lot a attention from runners – I kept hearing “You’re running in flip-flops?!”.  Not exactly.  I’d been told that the course wasn’t barefoot-friendly, so I wore my Vibram Luna Sandals to weather the rough terrain I’d been warned about.  Then I saw the course.  It was the opposite – smooth paved streets with little debris.  Too bad.

I focused on cadence during the run – I’ve read that keeping good cadence is important, and I ran mile 1 in 7:50.  I realized that’d put my final time over 24 minutes, which seemed too slow to me, so I asserted that I’d speed up.  Well, my mind decided to, but my body didn’t comply – I finished mile 2 in 7:48 – not much more speed.

Passing a runner in mile 3 felt good, though, so I kept working until I’d passed 5 more.  The last group of 3 I passed was just then I’d noted from my runkeeper data that I was right on pace for 24:00, so I hollered “on pace for 24 guys!” on the way.  Moments later, the youngest in the group was sprinting by me.  I applauded him, but wondered if it was early – we had ~ 200 yards left.  Then I could see the finish line so went to full sprint – about 5 minutes/mile, re-passed the teen and finished the race, kneeling and dry-heaving.

My 23:55 finish made me the 5th place male age 30-35 finisher, and 36th of 219 total runners.  [ results ]

Free omelet time!  I found the kitchen where a dozen volunteers managed twice as many griddles.  Filled a cup with my favorite sides, and a volunteer fried it up.  win

Western Pacific Marathon 2012

Contributed by Greg Holtz

Drew and I were consistently running Brazen half marathons and having a good time with it. One afternoon Corey emails us a link to the Western Pacific Marathon. A Brazen marathon? Sign me up!

We had approximately 10 weeks to train, which was doable since I was already in half marathon shape. I knew it was going to be tough to properly fit the training in, but I figured this was my best shot at doing a marathon. Training went well for the most part. We incorporated a lot of bike riding into the training which I think helped a lot. We peaked at an 18 mile run at an 8:55 pace. I tried to do a 20 miler the next weekend but felt my knees hurting so I stopped at 12. I had to play it safe.

Drew and I carbed up the evening before the race at Mongolian BBQ. I took my time and I ate 3 bowls of noodles and veggies.

Race day

Race started at 7:30am. We arrived ready to go. For the most part, the first 10 miles were uneventful. We walked at every aid station, kept hydrated and maintained about an 8:40 pace.

At mile 1, there was a bathroom break. Corey and Matt were manning the aid station and cheered us on.

At mile 6 there was a wall of people running with the 3:55 pace runner. I noticed everyone was too scared to pass him up. So we passed him up and laughed about it (he would later have the last laugh). There was this older fellow with a camelback who was run/walking and staying behind us the whole time.

Drew noted how quickly the mile markers were coming. It was weird. We would pass a mile marker, have what was seemingly a short conversation and then the next mile marker would come up.

We took an extended aid station break at mile 13. They had cold watermelon, oranges and GU, quite refreshing. I felt great, we maintained about an 8:40 pace even with the walks and the breaks.

About mile 15, the older run/walker passed us up and we never saw him again until the race was over. (Drew talked to him after the race and he was doing a Jeff Galloway program, smart guy).

Mile 16.5 – Drew and I parted ways. It was at this point I could start to feel my legs hurting. They mainly hurt when I walked. As I was running, there was very little pain. I kept on running.

Mile 17, 18, 19 and 20 felt great. I was weaving through the half marathon walkers at this point. I could hear people cheering me on. My legs started getting a bit heavy but it really wasn’t that bad. I had only a 10k left! I had expected to hit “the wall” at mile 20 but I was still going strong. I was in a good place mentally.

Mile 22 – PAIN. That’s the only way I can describe it. It was overwhelming. Every part of my lower body hurt. I had to stop running. My body was rejecting the run. Mile markers couldn’t come soon enough.

Mile 23 – aid station. The main thing I remember about this aid station was a small hill I had to run up in order to get to it. I literally threw my hands up in the air I was so pissed about this. The camera guy caught my frustration. I didn’t care.

Mile 23.5 – the 3:55 pace runner passed me up. He was running alone. He offered some words of encouragement but I couldn’t hear him through the pain.
Mile 24 – Drew and I crossed paths. He was heading towards the mile 23 aid station and cheered me on but I don’t remember what he said. He later told me I looked like a zombie. I don’t remember if I was running or walking at this point.
Mile 24.5 – I passed a fellow laying on the ground. He was on his back with his hands on his face. He had a marathon bib on so I asked him if he was ok. He said “yea”. In hindsight, if he had said “no” I couldn’t have helped him anyway. It sounds messed up, but that actually perked me up a bit. At least I wasn’t that guy.
Mile 25 – the last aid station. Matt and Corey were cheering me on and telling me I was on pace for a sub 4 hour marathon. At this point, I didn’t care what my time was. I just wanted it to be over. There was a hill right after the aid station. I walked the whole thing.
When I hit mile 26, I knew I had made it. But the last .2 miles were uphill. I gave it everything I had and finished strong. Finish time was 4:01:36.
I won’t go too much into detail about how I almost cried from the pain afterwards or how much pain I’m in today (2 days later). I can safely say this was by far the hardest thing I have ever done physically. It had been a goal of mine since I was 12. I couldn’t have done it without my friends (MHRC) and family supporting me. Thanks guys!

2012-05 Western Pacific

MHRC had sic runners out in Fremont for Brazen’s biggest race ever. Greg and Drew ran their first ever Marathons.  Greg even wrote a race report.

Greg Holtz – 4:01:36
Drew Jacobsen – 4:22:25 (3rd in his age group)
Tracy Crane (Not a member, but a Mountain Houser none the less) – 6:49:44
Michele Lajeunesse (Not a member, but a Mountain Houser none the less)) – 2:02:05
Jason Ngai – 50:06
Jennifer Messser – 1:35:50
And we had 2 of us at Aid Station #1
Congratulations to all runners.

Diva Half Marathon 2012

Contributed by Janice Hom

Women’s Diva’s 1/2 Marathon in Burlingame~ May 6th 2012

I started running last year around this time. I never enjoyed running, instead I just did it for weight loss, until I ran my first race…MH Run with the Kites 10K. After that I was hooked but not necessarily on running but on the feeling of being a part of a race! The people, the excitement, the challenge, the cheers from the crowd and the reward at the end of pure achievement!! So I signed up for a Trail run a few months later and decided I was going to sign up for a half next. Then one night after running 6 miles around the neighborhood, I felt pain in my hip flexor and that was it…  I was out of commission! But it was fall and with a cold winter around the corner, I decided to hang up my running shoes and put on some cycling shoes instead which would later become my newest addiction (along with a new way to lose weight!) That kept me busy till spring of this year came around and a friend asked me to do the Brazen Badger Cove 5K. I thought why not! I ended up placing 3rd in my age group and didn’t even know till I read the results online. Placing and giving me a second medal on its way, gave me the push and reminder of why I liked doing races! So I thought to myself ok now it’s time to do that half marathon. After looking at the medal I would be receiving it was a no brainer to make the Diva’s 1/2 my choice!Â

I normally only run about 3 miles once or twice a week. Sometimes I’ll do 5 or 6 instead. Nothing big. About 2 months prior to my half I ran 10 and felt good. That was my longest run till the race day. I had recently bought a road bike so I spent a lot of time and miles on that which I’m sure helped but running is much harder! I ran 8 miles a few weeks prior to the race and 5 and 6 the week of. I didn’t follow anything special, I only gave myself one day rest but I did eat carbs the night before 🙂 I signed up for this race solo and I was ok with that. On one hand, I didn’t have anyone to push me but on the other hand I didn’t have anyone to slow me down either. My plan was to walk 1/2 mile after every 3. I really didn’t want to incorporate walking but I didn’t think I could go 13 straight with such little training.Â

On your mark…get set…GO!!!

It took a few minutes to reach the start line with more than 5000 participants. It was fun to see everyone’s different outfits and so much pink! A lot of moms and daughters, sisters and friends. It was powerful to see that many women about to accomplish a huge goal. Everyone was really friendly and even sparking up conversations in the bathroom line. I made sure to go right before the sound of the gun so I thought I’d be good. Unfortunately the large coffee and 16 oz. water made me have to go again at only 2 miles in! I can’t believe this!! There was a line at least 8 deep and only 3 potties. Waiting was frustrating but luckily it was my only stop. I had to make up time, so I put it in high gear and looked for the girls in the bright tutus that were in front of me prior to my stop. I found them! Yay, I’m back in business. I didn’t carry water. I contemplated it but didn’t want to be weighed down. It was a hot day with very little wind but with so many water stations, I was fine with the exception of one that ran out of water.

Half way thru it started to get harder but bearable. So many people around me were walking and it looked tempting. I wanted to stop and join them but I said to myself “NO! Keep going” so that I did.
Along the different markers you would see girls taking pictures with the sign. It made me smile, knowing that was an accomplishment for them to get that far. Around mile 9 I noticed this one lady running by herself and keeping the same exact pace as me. She wasn’t wearing headphones so I started talking to her and it ended up being her first half too. I cheered her on and let her know I was using her as my pacer! When we got to the mile 10 marker people started clapping and again I smiled and the pain went away for a split second. My legs were tired and actually my butt muscles were hurting most. But I didn’t want to stop now; I have just over 3 miles to go. Mile 11 came and again the sounds of clapping to show our achievement. I really liked this and looked forward to doing it again at the next marker. I was out of water and started thinking maybe I should’ve worn my water belt? Mile 12. Ok only one more to go! This was the longest and hardest mile. I wanted to push and sprint to the finish but my body wouldn’t let me. I even fell back a few seconds, losing my pacer. I kept looking for the big, noticeable finish line but it was nowhere in sight. It had to be coming up; I should be able to see it by now…but nothing. I thought this is crazy, where is that damn finish line? This last mile didn’t want to end. Instead of feeling joy, I was hurting and really wanted it to be over. Then finally I heard the crowds of people cheering everyone on! “You did it, your almost there, way to go!” A big smile came on my face. I felt so special to have strangers encouraging and congratulating me along the last 200 feet. They were handing pink boas and tiaras to wear, making you look like a real diva. Finally I threw my hands up and crossed the finish line!! YES!!! I did it. I was so happy that I ran the whole 13.1 miles without stopping. Waiting for me was a topless firefighter who handed me my medal, a rose and a flute of champagne! Not too bad.Â

Finally, I thought to myself. That was hard but surely not impossible. I could do it again but 26, now that seems (almost) impossible! It was such a great feeling of success and I don’t think that special feeling could ever get old. I finished in 2:34 at 11:45 per mile.

Hope to see you all at the MH Run with the Kites!