What is a Trail Nerd?

A trail nerd is a runner who loathes the pavement, does not let a little bad weather stop them, does not whine, and is always ready to help a fellow trail runner. They originate from Kansas City, then like little seeds, propogate in other areas. Wanna be a nerd? Just join one of our group runs.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

White Rock Classic 2009

The race that almost did not happen... Ice storm damage in NW Arkansas was a factor in the RD decision to keep the race on.

On Wednesday the 4th, the website proclaimed "After getting the latest reports from authorities in the area, the White Rock Classic is indeed ON for February 7th. The forest roads used by the course are open, but be prepared to see a lot of devastation from the recent ice." The damage at the top of WRM was extensive, but crews have been working to clear the roads and restore power. As of this writing power had not been restored to the house, cabins and lodge.

I drove up Friday afternoon after assessing ice storm damage at my folks house in Tecumseh, MO. It was in the 60's when I got to White Rock, very uncommon for this time of year. Since there were only 5 of us staying, we took Cabin C which has a fireplace and enough beds for 5 guys. The 09 group included thirteen year old Jackson Eiken, and his dad Donnie; James Silverstone from Hot Springs; my adventure racing team mate, Larry Vernon and myself.

There was (as usual) a gorgeous sunset Friday evening.

I drove in 'the back way' but everyone else came up WRM Road - all three of them missed a turn because of the way the signs were facing.

All except Larry made it in time for a romantic dinner by the fire - remember, no power. Larry got in about 11, and got last pick of beds. Sorry Larry...

Next morning we drove down top the start and began the process of 'what do I wear, what do I take. I chose to wear a long sleeve under armour and a wind vest and shorts. I took a windbreaker but never did pull it out.

At Turners Bend store we found this Ale (Ail) and bought a 6 pack ($13.26 - it was so expensive because they burned witches to create the fire to brew the ail, the store clerk said)

Here are the 4 of us - Jack (looking confident) James, (not sure yet if he is doing the 25K, or doing 10 and coming back for 20) me (thinking I'm not ready for this...) and Larry (how do I use this Garmin Forerunner anyway?)

And in a blur, we were off like a herd of turtles. Headed straight up the first climb - for me this is always the toughest part, getting into a rhythm. It took me a couple of miles to get settled in. (Larry, James, Jack and I)

The rest of the run for me was all about nursing my ankle with naproxin sodium (aleve) and pacing myself on the climbs. I ran into Jack about 5 miles from the finish who ended up with digestion problems. He DNF'd but is ready to try again next year. Larry finished the 25K fun run in 2:55, and I limped in at 4:11 (a new slowest PR for me). James turned around at the 10.2 mile aid station to get in a 20 mile day. White Rock is always about the friendship and camaraderie more than the race anyway. We had a great time, and I booked the lodge again for Feb 5 and 6 2010.

I saw the strangest thing on the way home. See this picture and see what you think. 5 dead armadillos... It was a bit bizarre and surreal.