Monday, October 19, 2009

Vo Legs Full Speed Ahead

Last Spring my wife got the crazy idea that she was going to start running. It started by her wanting to the Trolley Run in April which quickly hatched into a plan of doing the Rock n Roll half marathon in Chicago with her sisters Angie and Ngoc. All summer she trained and once a week i would lace up my shoes to go out and do her long run with her. This consisted mostly of the Trolley Trail. A crushed gravel trail through the city that is boring as ever to run on but good for developing some endurance without suffering through hills.

August quickly came, and Bit was off to Chicago for the big event while I stole away to Wyoming for a climbing trip. She had a great time and finished in 2:32, meeting her goal of completing the 13.1 miles without walking (except for the one bathroom break).
Have Ipod, will run. With smile on face.

With One under her belt she quickly decided that she was going to do the KC Half Marathon and both Ngoc and Angie were in as well. Ngoc has been a runner for years while Angie and Bit had just taken it up this year. With a little confidence and much improved stamina for hills, Bit and I started doing some trail running as part of her training. I found great relief in this. I only moderately enjoy running, and despise the Trolley Trail after this summer. Now trail running is a totally different story. Going out to Landahl and Swope park for a jaunt through the woods is very nice. Bit quickly learned to appreciate the peacefulness of the woods, as well as the training benefits of technical trails with plenty of elevation change.

The weekend finally arrived and the house was taken over by the Vo sisters. Saturday morning the alarm went off at 5:30 and I set off to starbucks to get coffee while last preparations were made. I dropped a car load of Vo's off near the starting line then bolted home to grab the dogs. The pups and I left the house and met Jeremy and Zion to look for our respective runners up at Main & Westport Rd.. We never saw Trish or Ngoc in the endless crowd of runners. And I know I would not have seen Bit if she didn't coming running straight out of the stampede to give me akiss then sprint back into the sea of runners. She looked very energetic and was just ahead of the 2:15 pace group. Angie came by several minutes later rocking out to her ipod and not hearing me yell to her.

Dogs in tow I jogged over to Gillham and 40th St. to cheer them on around mile 9 and to hand out accelerade gels and sharkies gummies (sorry Ngoc). Again we missed Ngoc, but my Mom and Andy had been there for the last 20 minutes and said she went flying by. Bit made her brief appearance looking strong and still holding a steady time. Angie made her way to my support station getting her energy gels, which she said she really needed at this point. The course had been very hilly and there are zero I repeat zero hills in Chicago to train on. Everyone finished, having a great run despite cold and damp conditions. Bit finished in 2:16 knocking a whopping 16 minutes off her previous time, talk about leaps and bounds. I am sure there are going to be plenty more of these to come in the future.

Vo girls post race. Sorry Sean!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I had heard of it and finally this year I experienced it first hand. Two weeks ago I met some other Team Ethos riders and competed in the Boss Cross Race in Parkville, MO. I liked the pain enough to do my second race today, the Boulevard Cup at Wyandotte County Park.

Cyclocross works like this. Take a road bike, make it capable of dropping loading docks and monster trucking over a ball of human and bicycle, slap some knobby tires on it, and be ready to ride this machine to the verge of technicolor yawning all down your jersey. It is usually held at a park on a twisty turvy coarse marked off by police type tape between wooden stakes in the ground, with occasional obstacles that require you to dismount and go over them on foot. The race consists of getting as many laps in a 30 minute period for intermediate riders, and 50 minutes for the advanced riders. Basically it is the most fun you can have on a bicycle in the absence of roots, rocks and benchcuts. The other huge perk is that after you are done racing there is hoards of warm food and cold beer all while watching other groups race. Because it is held in a park the course is very compact and makes for a great spectator sport unlike most cycling events.

Today brought beautiful weather, a very technical course and great friends to cheer on. Second race of the day had Travis Donn, Kevin Winters, Jamie Jeffries and myself duking it out with 90 other riders in a combined group of Cat 4, Cat 4 40+, and Junior Boys and Girls. The start was mayheim with several wrecks within the first 1000 yds. I redlined for 4 long laps having a great time with only one little tumble to get 19th out of 50 riders in my class. Travis Donn ran away with 1st winning by a comfortable margin. Kevin made his goal for the day by not DFL'in (dead fucking last).

Two other Ethos stallions Garet and Cameron raced in the single speed category with Cameron putting the hurt on his fellow racers grabbing 1st with Garet finishing ultrastrong in 3rd. We all had a great time cheering on everyone and drinking the Tank 7 provided by Boulevard, that stuff is the pics to come soon.

Travis justifying all the money spent on his bike!

Jamie schooling the police tape.