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.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Magical Time at Dogwood (Or Third Time's a Charm)

They say the third time is a charm. The third running of the Dogwood Canyon 25K/50K race, which is part of the Outdoor Fitness Festival sponsored by Bass Pro Shops went off this year on October 31, 2010 at 8 am in near perfect conditions. Fall in the Ozarks just does not get any better. Race day started out nice and cool 44F and warmed up to 73F later in the afternoon. A nice fall breeze kept things from getting too warm. Trees were in the process of turning (a bit late this year) and several spectators observed bald eagles in the canyon.

With almost 300 racers, this was the largest turnout for this event. The morning started with a minor emergency. 'No TP in the men's' room!' crackled over the race radio. That's not the way to start a race... With that taken care of, the participants gathered under the large log structure pavilion, with two huge open hearth fire places roaring with fires to hear the pre-race announcements before moving to the stone bridge starting line to hear the Lennon brothers [need names] perform the national anthem. They also participated in the race!

And with a the countdown, they were off! The course started out (as usual) with a few flat miles along Little Indian Creek, crossing the creek 11 times. With one good ascent thrown in early (about 2 miles in) for good measure and to get the legs warmed up. Then the hills began. They are short, but steep and un-relenting. The 25K is one big loop and the 50K is same course in reverse, with an extra 'little' loop. One racer was overheard late in the 50K race 'Are they friggin' kidding me!!?' Top finishers all agreed this is one of the toughest courses they have ever run.

The race is run primarily on 100 year old logging roads on a 2000+ acre private property that have been opened up specifically for this race. Even though Dogwood Canyon is a private nature park, open to the public, The general public is not allowed access to these roads and trails except during the race. At one point the road gives way to a ravine that washed the road out many years ago. The racers have to scramble down the rocks, into 'The ravine' and back out. This year the ravine was filled with 'Dueling Banjo' music.

Since it was Halloween, there was also a Halloween contest - and there was everything from 'The Lady Bugs' to 'Wonder Woman', 'Twister Lady', and 'Tutu Man'. Awards and prizes were given to participants who sported costumes on the race course.

The day ended near perfect with all racers completing the course prior to the 9:30 cutoff time, and with only 2 DNFs. The top 250K finishers crossed stride in stride at even after missing a turn, and having to add about 100 yards to make up the loop they missed, and third place was only about 30 seconds behind.

Thanks to Bass Pro Shops, Dogwood Canyon and all the volunteers from Ozark Greenways - without whom this race would simply not be possible. Special shout out to John Montgomery and Shawn Gates - you guys ROCK!

One last call on the radio for the day was 'Chad, Uh, I'm not sure how to say this, but uh, the wheel fell of the Prowler'. I had literally driven the wheels off of an Arctic Cat Prowler that was used for race radio and transportation on-course. With that, we were were promptly picked up in the Bass Pro corporate logo-ed FJ Cruiser, back to race HQ to get a jeep to go take down the last aid station. And on my way home that evening, witnessed the most gorgeous sunset across Tablerock lake I had ever seen. A near perfect close to a near perfect weekend. Will we see you next year?

More Photos Click Here

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ahhh, the Frozen Trail...

Cold winter mornings are the beckon call of mountain bikers. Fall usually brings wet muddy trails, but as soon as temps can stay below freezing and overcast, the bikes come back out. Last two days at Sac River Trail have proven the popularity of frozen trails. Saturday at 8:30 am I was planning a ride with a couple other people, but when they bailed, I met up with three other guys, and as we finished up at 10:30 am another 6 or 7 were headed out. Today, I met with yet 3 more guys layered up ready for the low rolling resistance, 'ride to stay warm', and 'ride before it warms up' sensations. It was pure bliss. Snoticles and all...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gorgeous Winter Day at Busiek

Temp in the low 30s, overcast and light rain. A group of 20+ trail runners gathered for the "Stomp Hunger' run. I showed up with MTB to protect some foot problems I've been having. I rode about 1:30 before heading back to town to teach spin class. After the initial group photo op, the group split up and went different dirrections. Here are a few images from today.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

For Marcy

Here is the photo I think you are looking for:


Been a while since I posted - been laid up most of the summer, and volunteering at events like the Berryman Adventure Race, Dogwood Canyon 50K, Trail Masons Workday, and the Turkey Trot. It has been nice to see the view of the trails from another perspective.

If you are on Facebook, you should check out Springfield Missouri Trail Runners and Trail Masons Association. If you are not on Facebook, you should join in!

I'm still planning on going to White Rock, but just as I was finishing rehab on Achilles, I started a bout of plantar faciatis. Doc says it's all in the calves (loosening them up) and getting good orthodics for my shoes. Signs of getting older. (not old, just older).

I am thankful that I can still get out and help make some events, for great friends, and for my wife, Joyce, who does not make me put up Christmas lights outside. We should all give thanks for the trails and open space we enjoy, and for our health every day.

Looking forward to getting back on the trail, and maybe seeing you there!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bass Pro Shops Dogwood Canyon 25K / 50K 2009

This was the second year of this race (see last year's post Day 1 and Day 2). This year we were MUCH more organized, and we did not get a jeep stuck, and nobody got lost. We had over 200 participants and everyone finished the course, no DNFs despite the slippery, muddy conditions and a very tough course. Maybe the toughest 50K in the Midwest?

John, Shawn and I worked all day Saturday (well, John showed up a bit late...) and up till about 11 pm that night making sure the trails were in good shape, and well marked. Imagine 3 guys, in an old jeep, running around in the woods, after 10 pm. Conjures up thoughts of high school escapades...

Race day went off without a hitch. And we had some great course and aid station volunteers. With results like 1:42+ on the 25K, and 4:17+ on the 50K, on a tough course, shows the strength of participants we had. My hats off to all the racers, including our last 50K finisher., David Black at 9:36+ who is trying to an Ultra in every state. We joked that it may need to be two laps at Rhode Island... Click here for all the results. Photos were taken by Action Sports Images, and can be found here when they are online.

This year I chose not to run, but to manage on course logistics. It was fun seeing everyone having such a great time. I'm looking forward to the 2010 race already!