(dano, lewdogg and i before adding water. photo by longrun picture company)
february has always seemed a little early to start racing. i mean spring training for baseball players has barely started and like ultrarunners, they play all spring, summer and fall. i've never been fired up about hagg. i was reminded that i had announced "never again" after crossing the finish line last year. what can i say? things change and that is especially true for me over the last 365 days. thinking about not running hagg just didn't sit right with me. maybe it was fear of missing out. truth is, i enjoy the weekend that surrounds running the race. staying with friends at mcmenamins, soaking in the hot springs, drinking local beer. every year finds me making new ones. i always get a kick out of the look on folks face when they realize "oh...yuuur monkeyboy!" it's like they envisioned andrew dice clay and are a little disappointed that i'm just a proletariat from mountains of north carolina. fair enough. usually by the end of the weekend they understand just a bit better.
(turtlepace and her 5 year spoils)
this year was all about the blonde and her 5th hagg finish. the hall of mud beckoned and for a non ultrarunner, the idea of earning a belt buckle was appealing without having to run 100 miles to get it. it takes persistence and patience to look 5 years ahead towards the destination. i don't think anyone was more excited after the 25K than her. it was cool to get to watch her and other friends race on sunday after they stood out in the rain and mud waiting on us the day before. the falcon and i made it cyclocross style with knee high mud boots and plenty of good natured hazing. nice to see the falcon's wife get her first finish. she took one look at that buckle and i can tell she'll be back for more.
nice to spend some time running with the dano and lewdogg. we sounded like a bunch of gossiping hens running up the road. when you've shared the trials of miles, it's easy to slip into a very comfortable place and hard not to enjoy what your doing, despite the task at hand. in the end, it's as simple as going for a 31 mile run on some trails and not being sad about busting your ass in the mud a time or two.
this is how it ends...
(dano, lewdogg, neil and i imitating jiffy pop popcorn. photo by longrun picture company)
we have a great little series here in oregon. appreciating that is not always easy when you have a nasty case of wanderlust, but it doesn't change the truth of the matter. our event directors are good folks and if drama exists, we the customer certainly don't know much about it and that is becoming a rare occurrence as money and growth invade our sport. be thankful, oregonians. it's pretty fucking rad here.