Friday, December 28, 2007


MDRA Past President Rick Recker & friends were interviewed by Toni Randolph of Minnesota Public Radio news the other day. The story is about Dome running & the various people it draws on a weekly basis. Check it out.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

high resolution

Some New Years Resolution ideas I'm knocking around:

1) Actually doing hill repeats instead of just thinking about doing hill repeats.
2) Not talking, at length, about electrolytes or malodextrin with my wife, lest I put her to sleep.
3) Taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator.
4) Stretching my hip flexors more than once a month.
5) Saying the word "speedwork" without wincing.
6) Saying the word "fartlek" without giggling.
7) Not purchasing sports gadgetry made of carbon fiber if a suitable aluminum alternative can be found.
8) Making timely updates to the MDRA website.
9) Starting a metal band called "Bring Out the Gimp".
10) Arriving at Polar Bear runs more than 30 seconds before the group departs.

Friday, December 21, 2007

x-mas break racing

I've got a serious racing schedule lined up for the next four days. I'm gonna be racing to the bottom of bottles of Summit Winter. I should do well, as I've been training hard for the last month or so.

Happy Holidays, kids.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

seriously, wow.

Metal band Manowar performs Nessun Dorma.

And the rock was brought.

I need these guys to follow me around during races on a flat bed truck & blast this out at high volume. I'd never bonk again.

At daybreak, I shall win!


Check this cat out

The man in the mask is Kyle Economy, a Sophomore at Chaska High School. His dad, Rob, snapped the shot after Kyle ran 11 miles on a 5 degree day.

I hope he stuck the mask in the freezer after his run. You gotta preserve something that cool.

Monday, December 17, 2007

funky christmas

Tis the season

How 4 white New Englanders took the world by storm with Funky Funky Christmas is beyond me.

And whatever happened to Arsenio Hall?

Friday, December 14, 2007


A local legend died this week.

According to the Strib, Bill Andberg's philosophy was to "live long but die fast." Good advice.

Monomelic amyotrophy-tastic!!!

Run Blog runners, I need your assistance.

I was recently diagnosed with a lovely little condition called monomelic amyotrophy. It's basically like ALS of my left arm. You can find all the particulars on Wiki.

I learned from my wife's friend's husband (who is an MD, Neurologist & PHD) that fewer than 200,000 Americans have this. That puts the total number of cases in Minnesota at around 1,500 if my arithmetic is correct. The odds of getting this around 1 in 10,000,000. I'm one in ten million! Woot!

Long story short; there is like, zero info online about how to deal with this. If you know a physical therapist who has heard of this mamma-jamma, send 'em my way. If'n you have this condition too, I want to hear from you. We'll start a band. We'll be called "Bring Out the Gimp" or possibly "D-Squad" (the D is for disabled) and we'll play either punk or metal. It's going to rock. I'm already working on album cover art.

Aside from now-tricky activities like opening jars, tying shoes & buttoning shirts - I plan to keep as active as I have been for the previous 29 years. So, I'm welcoming all suggestions for affixing my hand to bike handlebars (road, tri and mountain) ski poles (classic & skate), and maintaining my swim technique. I'm guessing there will be lots of velcro & rubber bands in my sporting future.

The good news is that my running remains long as aid stations in longer events are always on the right side of the street. I'm grabbing nothing left handed. Oh, and as long as my shoes don't come untied during a race.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

hoist the main sail

I decided ro run over lunch today. How bad could a 25mph wind with 35 mph gusts be?

Turns out it can be awful. Really awful. Like, insanely awful. There's tiny little ice crystals blowing around as well. I'm the mayor of Windburn City this afternoon.

I can't wait for my skin to grow back.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

missing post

There was a post here about some minneapolis public officials and a decision they made.

It's gone now.

More on that later...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

every time a bell rings, and angel gets new socks

Need new running socks? Why not try Holeproof, the brand endorsed by Jimmy Stewart himself!

I don't know what's creepier, the style of those socks, or Stewart's massive head floating in space. Freaky.

Monday, December 10, 2007

more on beards

News on the downside of beards, courtesy of Nathan:

1) Gets icey during runs
2) Look like a child molester
3) Significant other won't kiss you

It's true, my wife threatened to not kiss me if I grow a beard. Which is a bummer, 'cause kissing her is totally bitchin'.

Winter officially starts on Friday. Looks like it will be warmer by then. And there was much rejoicing.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I need a beard

I've never been a fan of facial hair... then I went to the Polar Bear run yesterday morning. Yowza. A beard would have been awesome. Not a ZZ Top beard, mind you. More like Al from the show Home Improvement. Just thick enough to insulate my face against -5 temps. That would have ruled.

In other arctic news, a runner commented that Brooks brand wind block underwear didn't quite cover everything that needed covering. Make a note of that.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

screw shoes

Yesterday I found myself recommending (like I do every year) that a coworker screw some hex-cap quarter inch sheet metal screws in to her shoes for traction in snow & ice. Luckily, I don't need to explain it in detail, because someone beat me to it. Sweet.

This guy uses a power drill to insert the screws, which I find a little freaky. I'm a fan of using pliers. Either way, the screws will keep you on your feet instead of on your ass. Which is nice.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

run today, just wear ski goggles

I banged out 6 miles over lunch in the time it usually takes to do 8. Not the best footing out there. Wear trail shoes if you have them. The poor footing wasn't helped by my lack of vision. Ski goggles would have been a great antidote to the blowing snow. I don't know how much of a pelting by those tiny snow flakes it takes to scratch your cornea, but I'm sure I came perilously close.

Could be worse, though. Runners on Superior's North shore are likely traveling by snowshoe today. Or dog sled.

Friday, November 30, 2007

trailing off

There's a big honking snowstorm coming this way. Saturday morning might be our last chance to run the trails before xc skiers take over. So, join the Polar Bear runners at Hyland Park in Bloomington for one last snow-free blast. If the snow gets here early, plan B is meeting at the Nokomis Community Center.

It won't be long before everything looks like this:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

i wussed out this morning

I was planning on biking to work this morning. Then I checked the weather & saw this:

4 degrees? Huh? Wasn't it supposed to be 18 overnight? Not to mention the strong wind out of the North West (the direction of my ride to work). So, I wussed out. Maybe I'll man-up and ride tomorrow...just as soon as I find every piece of wool & wind-block clothing I own.

On a related note, here are my all time top three essential items for winter running survival:

Craft Thermal Lobster Glove These suckers will keep your hands warm when the temp is well below zero.

Wind Stop Underwear I just happened to link to a pair from Craft, but I can also vouch for Swix, Helly Hansen & Patagonia. If you are a man who runs in winter, you need these...especially if you plan on having kids.

Smartwool Adrenaline Socks These are warmer & taller than regular Smartwool running socks, but not as bulky as their hiking socks. Everything from Smartwool is money. Buy as much of their clothing as you can. It rules.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

29 hour marathon

Most people would scoff at a 29 hour marathon... but not this one.

Zoe Koplowitz is tougher than hell.

Monday, November 19, 2007

bad air day

If you were looking for an excuse to skip your evening run, you've got one. An air pollution health alert was issued from Marshall to Minneapolis. I ran over lunch & it sucked, and air quality has declined since then. Hopefully the wind will pick up tomorrow.

Friday, November 16, 2007

winter-ish stuff

There's a 30% chance of snow tomorrow for the metro, and there's already snow on the ground up north. Your options for the next few months are:

1. Join the MDRA Polar Bear run group & brave the elements.


2. Stay indoors for MDRA Dome Running, starting this Tuesday, November 20.

Inside or outside, MDRA has got you covered baby.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

odds and ends

Chad Austin interviews Jason Lemkuhle about the marathon trials & getting back to the track.

Proof that the whole damn world has lost it's mind; Santas in Australia have to say "Ha Ha Ha" instead of "Ho Ho Ho" because "Ho" is american slang for a woman of ill repute. Except they're in Australia, so why does it matter?

Also, today is the Great American Smokeout. I'm guessing not many readers of a runblog are smokers. If you are, put the Parliments down for today. The ACS has a cool anti-smoking poster gallery on their website. My dad had the 1969 one hanging in our garage. I was about 12 before I figured out that was a woman & not a man in the photo. I've been scarred ever since.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

greener goo

Here's a reason to hang on to your empty Gu packets.

The good folks at GU Sports have a totally sweet program called "Stash Your Trash." You download their coupon, and send it in along with 50 empty wrappers. In return, they'll send you 5 free packets of Gu. How kick ass is that!? Send in more than 200 empties & you'll get some free schwag.

Help keep the environment clean & get free stuff. Can't beat that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Go Norse!

Time for a blatant plug. NCAA D3 regionals are this weekend, and my alma mater is looking good! The latest poll has the Luther Women ranked 2nd in the Central region, and the Luther Men are 4th.

Here's a virtual L-U for you Norse. Go get 'em!

Monday, November 5, 2007

big weekend

A lot happened last weekend, the men's marathon trials, MN State cross country, Mankato State qualified for D2 nationals... my wife & I got a little kitten... so there's lots going on.

Rather than link to a zillion different articles, I'm sending you to Down the Backstretch. They do a killer job of covering Minnesota running.

However, I have the market totally cornered when it comes to new kitten coverage.

Behold the new cuteness:

Also last weekend was the Rocky's Run 5K and 8K cross country extraveganza at the U of M golf course. Holy crap, was that race hard! I bonked at 5K. It sucked. I'm blaming the cold I had all week - I hadn't run since the previous Monday.

I noticed a lot of people with fancy cameras taking pictures, but I haven't seen any online. So, if you were one of the folks shooting the race, throw those pics on or flickr or something so we can all see how bad we looked after 8 hilly Ks on the golf course.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

men's marathon trials preview in the Star Tribune

Jason Lehmkuhle and Chris Lundstrom made some ink in the Star Tribune this morning.

Jason has pretty much the greatest plan ever for running a marathon; "My experience in marathons shows me I need to run my own race. I'm going to be less interested in if there are a lot of big moves being made up front than I am in doing what's best for me." Right on.

Rip it up on Saturday, boys!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Last-minute Halloween costume idea

Hey hey runners. Are you going to a wild costume party tonight, but don't know what to wear? Well, MDRA is here to help. Here's what you do...

Step 1: Put on running clothes. It's going to be cold tonight, so dress in layers.

Step 2: Write "Why did the chicken cross the road?" on a piece of paper & tape it to you chest.

Step 3: Write "To get to the other side." on another piece of paper & tape it to your back.

When people ask what you're dressed as, tell them you're a Running Joke. Then bask in the glory of your wit and subtle humor.

If that doesn't get a laugh, go as this guy:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

feed a cold, starve a runner

Man, I hate being sick. Yesterday I felt a little stuffy, not bad enough to take the day off by any stretch, so I ran 8 miles over lunch. I heard somewhere that it's OK to run easy if you have a head cold. As soon as you're coughing or have a sore throat, you're supposed to rest. Makes sense, but I have no idea if it's true.

Well, today I woke up with the worst sore throat ever! The old adage about running with a head cold is a falsehood. Curse you, evil old wives tale!

In other random news, this is now my favorite thing to listen to before a run. Mastodon rocks so hard.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


If I ever drop during a marathon, I hope the ambulance driver doesn't have to stop to ask for directions. Sheesh.

Friday, October 19, 2007

doing a double

It's on this Sunday! I'm on a mission to get as muddy as possible. The fun starts at 9:30 AM, Gale Woods, 5K Cross Country race. After that I'm hauling my arse back across town for the Mill City Cyclocross Classic at noon. Rocking the single speed Surly, baby!

If you haven't seen cross, check it out. It's like doing a steeplechase with a bike. Pain, suffering and mud are par for the course.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another TCM recap

There was another writeup on the heat at the TCM in the Star Tribune.

The author wonders if marathons have become to inclusive. Hell yeah they are! With a 6 hour time limit, you can walk like a 13:43 per mile pace & finish in time. That's hardly running a marathon. Wasn't the old City of Lakes marathon an event with a 4 hour time limit? If you know, put it in the comments.

Bring back the 4 hour (or at least a 5 hour) time limit, I say. Put the run back in running a marathon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mud run

This looks fun as hell, a Marine Corps mud run. Someone please start one of these in Minnesota!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

free to a good home - high jump shoes

Someone out there must know someone that could use these:

That's a men's size 11.5 Nike high jumping shoe. They were used for one season of indoor track in 1998, my sophomore year at Luther. After indoor season, I decided that high jumping wasn't nearly as much fun as drinking beer, mountain biking and uh... "hanging out" with my girlfriend... so I quit the team. I subsequently developed a bike fetish and gained about 25 pounds. 2 years later I figured out I was better suited to distance running and 35 pounds came off, so it all worked out.

Anyhoo, these shoes are in really good shape. I still have the spikes and the wrench, though the insoles have disappeared. If you know a track coach, or some big-footed kid who's short on cash, drop me a line and we'll figure out how to get these shoes in your hands... or on your feet.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

another cool local website

Check out when you get a chance. It's a Minnesota based, all-things-outdoors website full of useful info, blogs, gear reviews and advice. There are a few running features worth a look.

Don't forget, the Paul Mausling XC race is this Sunday at Como Park. Be there! Unless you run for Run-N-Fun, then don't be there. Give the MDRA boys a shot at victory.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

TCM & 10 Pictures Up

MDRA Uber-Photographer Wayne has photos up from the TCM & TC 10 mile race: Check that stuff out.

Polar Bear Run Info

Below is the Polar Bear run info from Kirk. He uses the word "Granfalloon" in there. I don't know what it means either, but it sounds sweet.
MDRA Polar Bear Runs


It is time, once again, for the Polar Bears to come out of hibernation
and begin to run again-that is, after a few well deserved weeks off
after their fall marathons. The Polar Bears will met every Saturday
from October 27th until the beginning of March at various locations
around the metropolitan area, depending on trail conditions and the
random wants and desires of the group.

Okay, okay, I'm sure there are some people asking Polar what and Polar why??? The Polar Bears is a Granfalloon (you'll have to look it up)
of runners of all capabilities. Some of us run 2:45 marathons, some
of us run 5:30 marathons. All of us love running and all of us love
getting out and defeating winter in our own little way. We meet
Saturdays at 8 AM and almost always meet for coffee or breakfast
afterwards in order to warm up and enjoy the company of each other.

I organize the Polar Bears through a Google Group that can be found at the following address I've limited viewers to members to help guard against any unsavory sorts-- so if you aren't already a member, please ask at the website to become one and I'll send you an invitation. Once a week, you'll receive an email from me telling you that the schedule has been
updated and you'll simply have to visit the Google Group Website to see where we are meeting that week.



Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Polar Bear runs starting soon

Fall finally arrived...a week late. Stupid season. Today there's a winter storm warning for Bagley, MN (Bemidji area) so the cold stuff is on it's way.

As such, MDRA Polar Bear Runs will be starting Saturday, October 27. These low-key training runs of 60-90 minutes will be organized by MDRA board member Kirk Walztoni this year. We'll (hopefully) be on trails until the snow flies. Google Group info will be arriving shortly.

Also up for discussion - an MDRA Boston Marathon training group. This wouldn't be an actual MDRA class per-se, more like loose-knit training collective. If you're running Boston, give it a think. Come to a Polar Bear run & talk to Kirk.

Monday, October 8, 2007


One word can describe the TCM - brutal. Congrats to everyone who was brave enough to toe the line. Fantastic race coverage can be found at Down the Backstretch.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

the official unofficial TCM spectator guide

We here at the MDRA love gabbing about running. We don't talk about spectating too much, so here's something for the friends & family of all you runners out there. The Official Unofficial TCM Spectator/Snack Guide.

First few miles.
The start of the marathon is nuts. The field will start to get strung out by the sculpture garden, so that's a good place to cheer. Grab a cup of coffee at the Loring Park Dunn Bros, check out the Sculpture Garden, yell at runners.

Lakes Area
The uptown lakes are beautiful & busy. There's a Caribou Coffee near mile 4.5 in Calhoun Commons, the Uptown Diner isn't too far for those needing breakfast, and The Uptown is close for those craving a bloody mary.

Parkway Miles
Runners love miles 8-11. It's downhill, shaded and absolutely beautiful on the parkway. It's also really tricky for spectators to get to because of all the road closings. A good spot to go is Lake Nokomis. There's always a crowd at mile 11 where the race turns South on Cedar Ave. After cheering your runner at mile 11, walk a half mile over to mile 13.5 & cheer again as they leave Lake Nokomis & rejoin the parkway. If you need a caffeine fix, Isabel's (my local shop) is 4 blocks up Cedar. Also 4 blocks up is the Colossal Cafe - in my opinion, the best breakfast spot in town. Call ahead & order a breakfast sandwich to go.

If you're traveling on the South side of the marathon route, anywhere along the shore of Lake Nokomis is a good spot to cheer. Stop by Nokomis Beach Coffee if you need a treat.

Middle-ish Miles
Make an effort to cheer at mile 14, you'll be right by the best, mind-blowingly awesome donuts in town at MelloGlaze bakery (28th ave & the parkway). Get a Bismark. Thank me later. If the kids are in tow, head to mile 15 at Minnehaha Falls. There's a park, some scenery, and Hiawatha Joe is pretty close.

Miles 16-19 Are Hard
Mile 16-19 aren't hard for spectators to get to, but it's hard for runners. The field is really strung out so there aren't many people to talk to. Runners are starting to hurt, and there aren't many spectators per mile. If you venture to this stretch, yell loud & bring a cowbell or a sign something.

Near mile 18, by the bridge, is the Longfellow Grill - one of the best breakfast/lunch spots in town. Totally amazing.

Nearing the End
Mile 21 is a totally sweet place to cheer. It's midway up that brutal hill on East River Road, just before an aid station. It's fairly easy to get to from Lake Street. I'm not sure about snack spots in that area, I don't make it over to St. Paul often. Sorry.

Summit is always a madhouse, which is exactly what runners need. The course pitches uphill from mile 20 to mile 25.7 or so. Relentless!! Whatever you do, DO NOT SAY "You're almost done!" Mile 23 in a marathon is not "almost done". It's pretty friggin far from done. "Almost done" should be reserved for mile 26 to the finish.

The Finish
Determine a meeting spot before you get there. It can get pretty crazy. I'm a fan of meeting on the capital steps. It's away from the pandemonium, and it gives me a reason to walk after the race & keep my legs moving. Oh, parking will suck. Be careful you don't get a ticket.

Good luck!

Monday, October 1, 2007

another MN runner qualifies for marathon trials

Minnesotan Melissa Gacek ran 2:45:06 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon, finishing in 8th place yesterday. Way to rock it, Melissa!

Also noteworthy, Kara Goucher (raised in Minnesota) won the Great North Run (her debut half marathon) in 1:06:57. Paula Radcliffe finished second, 56 seconds back.

Friday, September 28, 2007

the awesomest painting ever

This thing is so impossibly cool, there aren't words to describe it. Han Solos is, and always will be, the toughest mother in the universe.

celebrity sighting?

I don't know if this counts as a celeb sighting, but I'm pretty sure I saw Mpls mayor (and runner, triathlete & nordic skier) R.T. Rybak yesterday during a lunch hour run. I've seen him xc skiing before (the dude is SMOOTH!) but never running.

However, the guy I saw was really struggling - like totally bonking. I can't imagine my mayor's form looking that bad on a lunch run. So, R.T., if that was you, please take a recovery day today & tomorrow if possible. Maybe bust out the roller skis to cross train a bit. We don't want you to over train and miss your next race...or press conference.

If that wasn't the mayor I saw, there's a runner out there with a bright future as a body double. It would be like the movie "Dave", except the runner guy wouldn't get to kiss Sigourney Weaver.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

win a trip to honolulu

Yahoo & Accelerade have a little contest going, grand prize is a trip to the Honolulu Marathon. Just shoot a short video explaining what inspires you to run & send it in.

Most of the submissions so far are very serious & heavy - lots of light piano music & dramatic speeches. Let's see some funny videos! I think I'm going to make one where I look straight into the camera and say, "I'm inspired to run because I want to keep my ass tight & sexy". Then the camera will pan down & show my taut, runner's backside. Oh, and the soundtrack will be metal.

Actually, that phrase might look cool on a T-shirt. Look for it at future races!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Edmund Fitzgerald 100K road race to end

Sad news from the North, the Fitz is calling it quits. Press release below.

Edmund Fitzgerald 100K road race to end

Duluth, Minnesota, September 25, 2007: A Press Conference at the Green Mill at Cannel Park will be held at 1:00 PM on Wednesday September 26, 2007 where it will announce The Edmund Fitzgerald 100K Road Race & Team Relay, respected as the Greatest 100K Road Race in the history of Ultrarunning, will cancel this falls event after 26 years.

Bill Wenmark, founder, and race director has produced this event, along with hundreds of his finest volunteers through the ALARC Running Club based in Minneapolis . Bill started the Fitz event in 1982 because of Barney and Janis Klecker who wanted an ultra course in Minnesota . Under his leadership the Fitz brought the best of the world to the longest running 100K Road Race in North America . The 1990 World Championship at the Edmund Fitz is still considered the greatest 100K road race in history. The entire world came to Duluth.

The Team Relay was been the substance behind the event that paid for the stage on which the solo runner have performed. Bill said “the cancellation of our event is about economics and changes in the sport of running. People have many more options and the costs of travel and hotel for 8 team members and fuel cost to navigate a point to point 62 mile event have reduced the numbers over the years”.

Whether the event is continued in some form next year will be up to negotiations that are currently underway with the YMCA in Duluth and other organizations in the Twin Cities.

As for Bill and his staff they are leaving with great memories. Don Fennessy, Randy Nuremberg, and Gene Curnow, his Duluth staff have had a thrill putting on this spectacular fall event.

Thank you Duluth …you have been a wonderful host city and it has been a great run…thanks for all the support over the past 26 years.

will run for work

This is great. An Ad agency from Charolette, NC ran all the way to Boston (859 miles) last month to deliver their Ad proposal to Saucony. Details, pics and video are on their blog.

I freelanced for an Ad agency last fall, and they never asked me to run to Boston. Hell, they never asked me to run anywhere. That's unfortunate, because I totally would have done it.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

city running tours

From CNN - is offering running tours of NY, Washington DC, Chicago & San Diego. Pretty cool idea.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

suds and running

From today's Strib: an article on Twin Cities Harriers, the drinking club with a running problem. I love these guys.

If you need a Minnesota brew before/during/after your next run, pick up some MN-made Surly. Their Furious is the best thing that has ever happened to beverages in cans. Get some.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

a little something for out of town guests

A spiffy new Minnesota website is up and running, It has all sorts of transportation resources...stuff like finding a bike route to work, places to park near the light rail, how to rent a car in Duluth, etc. If you know someone coming to Minnesota for the Twin Cities Marathon, Grandma's, or anything else, send them to the site. Good stuff.

Monday, September 17, 2007

people actually read this blog!

People read this thing! I'm amazed! I figured all of our hits came from Heidi & Chad. At the Ft. Snelling 5x5 I was introduced a few times as "the MDRA web guy", and was amazed by the typical follow up question. For example, the following exchange:

Marty (to cute MDRA chick): "This is Colin, he does our website."
Me: "Hi."
Cute MDRA Chick: "Oh yeah, I read your blog from time to time."
Me: "Really?"
Cute MDRA Chick: "Yeah, I think it's funny."

Wow, I'm known as a blogger! Now the pressure is on to really be funny on this thing. Or at least spell-check it.

In other news, the MDRA boys finished in the middle of the pack at the 5x5, due largely to a slow blogger dragging down the time. I promise to do speedwork before the next race. I know the Run n Fun crew is going to to hand me my ass, but I don't need to gift wrap it for them. They should have to work for it a little bit - or at least thank me for making them look good. I'm providing a valuable ego-boosting service here! Not that anyone running a sub 16:00 5K needs their ego boosted.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


There are fifteen races in Minnesota this weekend of varying distance from 5K to Marathon. That's nuts! Check the calendar, find a race near you, go run it.

Cross Country starts this weekend!! The Fort Snelling 5x5 kicks off the fall xc series this Sunday. MDRA will field at least 2 teams, so come on out to cheer (or heckle) us.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Strangest thing ever

So, the weirdest thing happened yesterday at the City of Lakes 25K (race recap in the post below). Norm & I were working the finishing shoot, tearing off bib number tags and running them to Jack in the timing tent. 99 times out of 100, nothing out of the ordinary happens. Tear. Spindle. Repeat.

However, after a few finishers came through the shoot, something totally bizarre went down. It started innocent enough...a guy tried to walk the wrong way down the chute. I expected this would happen. I mean, we have the chute on the pedestrian path near the band shell. It's a popular spot. Anyway, he got around Norm so I stuck my arm out and said "Woah! We've got a race in progress & finishers are going to be running through here." His response? "You don't own the f@*king lake!"


I should explain that this guy was about 6 feet tall & must have weighed 250lbs. One shove would have sent me flying into Lake Harriet. He had on big headphones, and I think he was listening to talk radio. He looked a lot like the guy who plays the backwoods lunatic in the movie "A Life Less Ordinary".

Norm handled it very diplomatically by saying, "Sir, there's no reason to get upset. You just have to walk around the chute & then you can get back on the path." I took the low road by saying, "I may not own the lake, but there's no way in hell I'm letting you walk down this chute!" Norm was definitely on to something, because the guy launched into some tirade about how he walks here all the time & we're blocking his way, blah, blah, blah, on and on.

Eventually, he relented and went around the chute - a detour of about 50 feet. He's out exercising, but he's complaining about exercising a little more? Odd. He was muttering about what jerks we were as he waddled off into the distance.

After he was gone, Norm calmly said one of the funniest things I have ever heard; "I can't believe he went straight to the F-bomb. How do you top that?"

Ha HA! How do you top that?! There's no where else to go? I guess he could use two F-bombs in one sentence, but then it just dilutes the shock value. The only way to one-up himself would have been to pull a weapon, which I'm sure he was capable of.

There were only three other people who tried to walk the wrong way down the chute. There was a couple out walking their dogs. I asked them to go around & they did. The seemed a little confused, but they were happy to oblige. The fourth was a jogging woman who actually asked, "Can I go through this way, or should I go around?"

I could have hugged her for that.

What a race!!

Things could not have gone better at the City of Lakes 25K yesterday! Overnight rain cooled it down, the North wind was manageable, and an army of volunteers kept everything moving along.

The men's race looked like it was heading for a photo finish after the first lap, but Donovan Fellows put the hammer down & pulled away from Chris Lundstrom to win in 1:19:58. Lundstrom finished in 1:21:53 and Jeremy Polson rounded out the podium with a 1:22:45. Four new MN men's age group records were set - full results online.

In the women's division, Jenna Boren took the victory in 1:33:57, three minutes faster than the competition. Nicole Cueno was second in 1:36:54, and Angie Voight was third in 1:39:08. Two MN women's age group records fell. One new record was set by Gloria Jansen. Shocker. Full results online.

One photoset is already up at More photos will be posted soon, so check back for the link.

COL25K Pics from Wayne are up! Enjoy.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I wish I was running City of Lakes!

Man oh Man, I wish I was running City of Lakes this year! I've never run that race in temps below 85! Last year the weather was great, this year looks to be even better. Can you tell I have a bit of a weather fetish? I should just trade blogs with Sven Sundgaard & Johnathan Yuhas - they write about running more than I do!

Last year there was a bit of confusion about the location of the COL25K start. The race ends and the band shell, but it begins at the SW end of Lake Harriet. Here's a map of the course (not exact, but close) to help you get your barrings.

Race starts at 8:00 Sharp. When we say 8:00 sharp, we mean it! Race director Jeff Winter is a stickler for on-time events. He's also a stickler for putting on great races, so thank him if you see him out there. He'll likely be zipping around on a motorcycle.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

City of Lakes 25K is Closed!

You heard it here first - registration for the City of Lakes 25K is closed. The limit of 1100 runners was reached just moments ago. Looks like we'll have fast conditions and a really fast field. Good luck on Sunday!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Running Club Members Face Felony Charges

Seriously - runners are facing felony charges in Connecticut for marking a route with flour. The full story (with video) can be found here. This is one of the strangest stories I've read regarding running. I seriously doubt this would happen in Minnesota, but you never know.

Moral of the story for New Haven runners? Mark your course in permanent spray paint. Sidewalk chalk + a bag of flour = bio-terrorism, apparently.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

race roundup

In case you missed it, Chris Lundstrom scorched the Victory 10K course to win in 30:55. (men's results) Amy Lyons continued her hot streak & finished first among women with a 34:05, nearly a minute ahead of second place. (women's results) Word is around 950 runners competed in the two events.

An additional shout-out goes to Donovan Fellows of Woodbury, who won the double header competition with a 15:18 5K & 31:08 10K.

The City of Lakes 25K is less than a week away! Field limit is 1100 runners, and we're getting close to filling. Registration info is online.

Friday, August 31, 2007

the weather gods are happy

Finally, we're getting some reasonable weather across the state. Fall is in the air. I heard on MPR this morning that the DNR's Fall Color map for foliage is already out.

Looks like PR weather for Victory on Monday. Get out there and run! Race morning should be sunny with temps in the low-mid 60s. Can't get much better than that.

In other news, blogger/detective Chad Austin heard that Robin Balder-Laneau, Erin Ward, Laurie Hanscom & Cindy Brochman were on the winning Hood to Coast relay team. Nice job ladies!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Breakin' the law

If you see a guy spray painting curbs early Saturday morning, don't call the cops! I'll be marking the City of Lakes 25K course for the race next week. I'm hoping to go unnoticed by the Man (read: Mpls park police) as I bike around the lakes with spraypaint in my water bottle cage. Last thing I need is the fuzz writing me a ticket.

If I have some paint left over, maybe I'll get creative. Time to put that Art degree to work!

In other news, does anyone out there know who was on the MN Baba Yaga team that won Hood to Coast? I can't find a team roster on the HtC website, and I'd love to give them a shout-out.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Minnesota Women Win Hood to Coast!

Congrats to the members of the Hood to Coast relay team named "Baba Yaga". The Monticello, MN based ladies took first in the women's division.

They completed the 197 mile long relay in 21:26:19, which works out to a blistering 6:32 pace. The second place team was only 11 seconds back. Word on the street is that it was one of the most exciting sprint finishes the race has seen.

Way to represent Minnesota, Baba Yaga.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Again with the weather...

Our favorite running meteorologist is warning us about the weather for today & tomorrow. Don't get struck by lightning on your run!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - weirdest weather ever this year. Someone sacrifice something to weather gods quick!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Run at Work Day

September 21 is Run at Work Day. I didn't know such a thing existed. Details below.
The Road Runners Club of America, the largest grassroots running organization in the country, has selected September 21 as the date for the second annual RRCA National Run at Work Day. The purpose of National Run at Work Day Day is to promote physical activity and healthy living through running or walking.

The goal of the RRCA National Run@Work Day is to raise awareness about the importance of daily physical activity for adults. The Run@Work day events will be community based events that promote and provide the opportunity for individuals to incorporate at least thirty-five minutes of exercise into their daily routine either before work, during lunch, or immediately following work. Incorporating exercise into one's daily routine can markedly improve one's overall physical health and can help alleviate health related medical costs associated with overweight and obesity.

Sign the pledge at run or walk at least thirty five minutes on September 21, 2007 in support of the RRCA National Run@Work Day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

i'm falling apart, man.

Getting old is total drag. I turned 29 last week - no big deal. I don't age up for tris until next year, and USATF has me in the open age group for several more years. However, I did a half iron tri Sunday, and I'm still limping! What's up with that? My until-now-typical one day recovery is no longer sufficient! Age is getting to me already.

In other news, the Victrory 10K & 5K is less than two weeks away. If I can walk without a limp by then, I may run it. If not, I'll be on the couch with a cocktail. Speaking of cocktails, the much-hyped Tanqueray Rangpur lives up to the hype. It goes well with tonic. Tonic water contains quinine, which can relieve muscle cramps. Could a gin & tonic be the perfect recovery drink? Probably not, but I've convinced myself otherwise. Pass the limes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

We're fit to Print!

Check the front page of the Strib today - MDRA is all over that stuff.

There's a fantastic article & several photos of the MDRA Marathon Training Class in action.

Shouts out to Stephen Regenold for writing the piece, and the Marathon Training Class for being a bunch of hardcore-to-the-bone runners representin' Minnesota.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Broken Records

Holy crap, you people are fast.

Yesterday was the MDRA 15K in Edina. Even though it was windy & warm, a lot of Minnesota state age group records went down in a big way. A whopping 18 Minnesotans set new state records! Full results (with new records highlighted) are on RaceberryJam.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The stranget picture I have ever seen...

I don't even know where to begin - this is so strange. I searched for "Twin Cities Marathon" on Flickr, just to see how many images were out there. Turns out there's over 800. I clicked on a few, then stumbled across the one below. Click it to view a larger version.

I see 2 things wrong in that photo. First, the woman in the foreground appears to be running with an iPod mini, which is a (minor) violation of USATF rules. The second, and more worrisome, thing is that the guy to the left has the words "Women! Pee standing up." scrawled across his torso in Sharpie® marker.

What the hell is going on!?!? Does he have a joke written on his back and the punchline on front? Is he really so concerned with how women pee that he had to take his message to the masses? Is he just completely, utterly insane?

I mean, you can't make that up. If you asked me to Photoshop a funny message on a picture of a runner, I could not have come up with "Women! Pee standing up" in a million years. I'm gonna have nightmares about that photo, I just know it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

just say no

It's been quite a year for drugs. SanFran outfielder (and alleged 'roid junkie) Barry Bonds just broke Hank Aaron's career home run record. The Tour de France kicked out dozens of riders, including the race leader, after various teams and individuals were linked to doping scandals. And, of course, nearly every hollywood starlet has been in & out of rehab a few times this year.

However, distance running has done a good job of keeping it's nose clean. Sure, every year at least one elite marathoner gets busted for doping. There will always be a couple of bad apples in the bunch. But distance running remains (in my opinion) one of the cleanest sports in the world. I won't say it's THE cleanest sport. I'm sure some sports have never seen a doping investigation. When was the last time you heard about an Olympic table tennis player getting busted for EPO?

Long story short, I'm proud to be part of an athletic community that would rather train hard than cheat. Way to keep it clean, runners.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Local marathon seeks hardcore volunteers for course marshaling and walks on the beach.

Every runner knows that races simply wouldn't happen if it weren't for volunteers. Well, the Twin Cities Marathon needs your help. They're on the lookout for Head Course Marshals. This is the top-of-the-food-chain of volunteer positions. I gotta say, it sounds pretty sweet. Description and contact info below.

Head Course Marshal:
This person would be responsible for a section of the marathon course on race day. The Head Marshals tasks would include finding volunteers (with the help of the Volunteer Committee), getting to know the 1-2 miles stretch of the course they are assigned, ensuring the safety of race day participants while on their stretch of course, maintaining radio contact with marathon staff during the race, helping emergency personnel if there is a situation on the course in their area, and clean up of their section of the course. We have a course marshal manual to help with training and there are a couple of meetings before race day to make sure all Head Course Marshals are comfortable with their responsibilities.

This position comes with not only the satisfaction of helping the local marathon, but also with TCM Inc. Association Membership, which brings with it a couple of nice events every year and a nice jacket and other handouts.

For more info, contact Andrew Unglaube at 612-310-8333.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Masters 15K coming up

Holy crap, it's almost August. That means it's almost time for the MDRA 15K USATF and Minneapolis Heart Institute 5K.

The MDRA 15K is the state championship for both open and masters runners and a USATF Minnesota Team Circuit event. Teams composed of USATF registered members of USATF registered clubs will score in the Team Circuit.

The MHI 5K has something for everyone. The MHI 5K also features a team competition - find some fast friends and form a team. Fastest 3 times for each team will be used for scoring. Trophies awarded to top team in two categories: Fastest Team and Most Team Members.

Both races start and finish near the Center for Outpatient Care on West 78th St in Edina. Course follows Braemar Blvd to Gleason Road then south to W 78th St. The 5K will do one loop and the 15K will do three loops.

Online registration is open
, so sign up soon & enjoy this summer classic.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Team USA-MN in the news

Team USA-Minnesota is in the Strib today - check it out. They're always looking for sponsors, so chip in if you can & keep these rockstar runners on the path in international success, fame, fortune, and the wonderful excess those things bring.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Des Moines Marathon Needs Pacers

This just in from Des Moines - they're looking for pacers. Details below in their press release.
Pacers Needed for the Marathon and Half

The IMT Des Moines Marathon needs experienced distance runners that want to give back to the sport by serving as Van Meter Industrial, Inc. Pace Team Leaders for the Marathon and Half on October 21, 2007.

Marathon pace team goals will be spaced every 10 minutes from 3:00 to 4:00 hours and every 15 minutes from 4:00 to 5:30 hours. Half-marathon pace team goals will be every 10 minutes from 1:30 to 2:30 hours. Many of the 2006 pace team leaders are back for 2007, but as always there are several positions to fill for each event. Tara Thomas is returning for her fourth year as Pace Team Director for the IMT Des Moines Marathon.


* Have run two or more marathons at 15 to 30 minutes better than the time that you plan to pace,
* or, have run two or more half-marathons at 5 to 10 minutes better than the plan you plan to pace.
* Able to maintain a steady pace with respect to the terrain for the entire distance.
* Willing to act as a "moving coach" by creating a team atmosphere and offering encouragement and advice throughout the race.


* Commit to maintain your pace and finish with a chip time between your goal time and 2 minutes ahead of your goal time (1 minute for the Half).
* Carry a lightweight sign displaying your goal time during the entire race.
* Wear a bright yellow (marathon) or red (half-marathon) singlet that has a bib displaying your goal time on the back.
* Take a two hour shift at the Pace Team booth at the Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield Sports and Fitness Expo on Friday or Saturday of race weekend,
* Prepare a handout to be given to interested runners who stop by the booth at the Expo (marathon pacers only). Examples from previous pace leaders will be provided to help you prepare your handout.


* Waived race entry fee to the 2007 IMT Des Moines Marathon.
* Pace Team singlet bearing the IMT Des Moines Marathon and Van Meter Industrial, Inc. logos.
* Complimentary pasta party admission.
* Special gift chosen especially for the Pace Team Leaders.
* Prizes for the two marathon (and one half-marathon) pacer that finish closest to their goal time without going over. More information to follow!
* Lots of fun, memories, and a great way to make a new friend or two.

If you are interested in serving as a Pace Team Leader, please contact Tara Thomas at or 515-251-3756. You may also visit the IMT Des Moines Marathon website at

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Big weekend

A lot happened last weekend. For starters, Alan Webb set a new American record in the mile with a scorching fast 3:46:91. He broke Steve Scott's 35 year old record by a little over a second. Go Alan.

In closer-to-home-news, Matt Gabrielson of Team USA-Minnesota ran a big fat PR in the 5000. He finished in 13:30:68 You can watch Matt give a synapsis of his year thus far here. Matt is now an Olympic trials qualifier in the 5K, 10K, and Marathon.

That last link is to a podcast of Matt recapping his performance. People can comment on it, just like you can comment on this blog. Most of the comments are congratulatory, and they should be (he just ran a 13:30 5K for cryin' outside!). However, some assbag named Biff Minion didn't have anything nice to say. I won't reprint his arrogant comments. However, if you google him, you'll find several requests from runners asking to remove him from various running forums due to his inflamatory postings.

New MDRA contest: First person to backhand-slap Biff wins an MDRA hat. Make me proud.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Torchlight 5K photos

Wayne Kryduba, MDRA's official photographer, just put photos of the Torchlight 5K online. Check 'em out.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

pre-race tunes

This time of year, there are a lot of shorter (5K & 10K) races on the calendar. I like to get myself nice & fired up before a short race with some loud music. Race directors are starting to enforce the no headphone rule (good for them!). So in lieu of a running related song of the week, here are my top 5 pre-race tunes in no particular order. This top 5 changes from time to time, so I'll post a new list when my musical mood changes.

1) "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead - Guaranteed to make you bang your head.
2) "Hashpipe" by Weezer - This song gets me pissed, which is weird 'cause Weezer were a bunch of skinny nerds. This song should be played at the highest volume you can possibly tolerate.
3) "I Get Along" by The Libertines - These guys were so good, too bad their lead singer is/was a friggin junkie.
4) "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin - Maybe I like this song because my dad is an immigrant. Maybe I just like the idea of marauding vikings. Or maybe it's because Zep rocks & this song is fast & loud.
5) "Woman" by Wolfmother - An Australian power trio brings delivers the best Zeppelin-influenced rock since, well...Zeppelin. Like the Weezer slong, this should be played at alarmingly high volume.

Anyone out there have a heavy tune they like to rock out to before a race? Leave it in the comments section.

Monday, July 16, 2007

race weather

If there's one thing runners (and endurance athletes in general) love to talk about, it's the weather. We're especially preoccupied with it here on the North Coast, where the temp swings from searing hot to wicked cold on a weekly basis. There's always something to complain about. Lately it's the wind, usually it's the humidity, at Grandma's it was the face-melting heat, at the Bemidji Polar Challenge it's the skull-splitting cold.

But every now and then the stars align and we have perfect conditions on race day. That happened last Saturday at the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon in Minneapolis. The men's course record was crushed, I set a PR (finally got my 10K under 40 minutes!) and far fewer people visited the med tent compared to previous years.

Most people would attribute this to luck. Not me. I know the truth.

Lifetime's Peter Spencer (sometimes race director and all-around nice guy) has been developing a weather controlling machine since late 2003. He has a secret Skunkworks of sorts hidden 300 feet below the Metrodome. An elaborate tunnel system links it to Lifetime HQ, the U of M science building, and various NASA labs. Peter's crack team of scientists works around the clock in a tireless effort to control race day weather.

The cool water (Wetsuit legal swim! What?!) and air temps indicate that Peter has succeeded. Bravo! Hopefully he'll be nice enough to turn the weather controlling machine on again for the Twin Cities Marathon. I'm predicting a marathon morning temp of 48 degrees, with highs for the day in the low 50s, partly cloudy, wind out of the West at 4 mph, 25% humidity. PRs for everyone!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

iPod + lightning = OUCH!

I own an iPod, but I never run with headphones. I think it's too dangerous - I want t hear approaching bikes or cars or dogs. Seems the greatest danger to an iPod wearing running may be lightning!

According to this article on, a runner suffered burns, ruptured ear drums, and a broken jaw when a lightning strike traveled through the device's wires.

Even crazier is the fact that is isn't the first time this has happened! You're better off leaving the gizmos at home.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Running-related song of the week

This week's running-related tune is "I Ran" by Flock of Seagulls.

Why Flock of Seagulls? They were the paramount of 80s synth/guitar new wave wackiness, and their haircuts couldn't be beat. See picture below.

Running Related Line: "I ran all night and day". We at the MDRA don't recommend running all night and day. It won't make you faster, but it will make you injured. Very sore and injured.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

We have a winner!

Evan Roberts is the winner of a spiffy new MDRA hat. He had the funniest submission in our "Funniest thing overheard at Grandma's" competition. Here's the winning entry:

As Wesley Ngetich (eventual winner in a time of 2:15:55) crested Lemondrop Hill, I heard a spectator call out "Keep it up, you're going to qualify for Boston!"

For the rest of you, new MDRA Headsweats hats will be available for the bargain price of $20. We'll have the classic logo, and some with the new logo shown below.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A race & a rally

Have any plans for this Saturday? You do now. A rally to support the re-opening of the old Cedar Ave Bridge will take place on the Bloomington side of the river at 12:00 noon. Be there or be square.

Need something do before the rally? Then check out the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon at Lake Nokomis. MDRA office manager Heidi and MDRA blogger Colin will be (hopefully) ripping up the course. Plus, you'll get to see some of the best athletes in the world run sub-33:00 10Ks. Pretty amazing feat after swimming 1.5K & biking 40K.

Thursday Night Gopher Race Series

Bring your pet gopher to this new race series!! Just kidding.

MDRA board member & coach Kirk Walztoni brings us info on a new event. Contact with questions or for more info.

This Thursday (July 12) marks the beginning of a new kind of race series for the Twin Cities Area—the Gopher (a) Run Race Series. It is a 5 week race series that will begin next Thursday evening and run for 5 weeks. What makes this series unique is that the each week points are scored and the winner is the one with the most points at the end of the series. Also, many of the races are quite unique in their execution and scoring. Lastly, the only qualification for entry is that you own a Yellow (for the males) or Pink (for the females) shirt or top. The leaders in each division will be the only ones allowed to wear those colors for that week’s race.

The first race will be the Guillotine Mile and will take place at 6:15 at Minnehaha Academy South Campus’ Track (corner of 42nd Ave south and 46th St. East —one block west of West River Road on 46th St .)
Gopher (a) Run Race Series

1st Stage - Guillotine Mile

* Guess your time (there will be a bidding option directly before the race)
* Only score if you run faster than your bid time
* Score is your bid time, not what you ran
* Time counts down from highest bid, and each person starts when the time hits their projected time-must finish before clock hits zero
* Scoring Based on Sex/Age Group (<30, 30-50, 50+), 15 pts (for 1st), 12 pts (2nd), 9 (3rd), 6 (4th), 3 (all others who finish in time), and 0 pts (for all who don't make the cutoff)

2nd Stage - Witches Hat Climb

* Straight out Race
* Fastest to the top wins. 30 (1st), 24 (2nd), 19 (3rd), 15 (4th), 12 (5th), 10 (6th), 9 (7th) to 1 pt (15th)

3rd Stage - Witches Hat Climb Handicapped

* Handicapped Race
* Slowest runners start first, releasing other runners using results from previous weeks run
* First to the top wins (same scoring as 2nd stage)

4th Stage - Team Race

* 5K Race around Pike Island
* Average Team Members recent 5K Races
* Seed based on average
* Run race and reorder based on average team results
* Same scoring as 2nd and 3rd stages

5th Stage - Predicted Downhill Mile

* No watches allowed
* Scoring is; 25 points within 10 sec, 20 (10-19 sec), 15 (20-29), 10 (30-30, 5 (40-49

6th Stage - done immediately after 5th stage is complete
Storm the Fort

* Steep / Short Course
* No handicap
* Scoring is 5 (1st), 3 (2nd), 2 (3rd), and 1 for all who finish

Post Race Dinner / Awards Place TBD

All scoring is strictly at the discretion of the race director.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Victory website is up!

Check - ch - check it out... Victory has a website: Woot! Why did I put this off for so long? It took less than 5 hours. Most of that 5 hours was spent trying to come up with a design that looked like a WWII propaganda poster. I'll save that idea for a rainy day.

Register for Victory & don't forget about the City of Lakes 25K - another race with a sweet Minnesota runner-designed website.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I promise I'll stop slacking tomrrow

At last month's MDRA meeting, I committed to building a website for the Victory 10K/5K. How far am I? Well, I've got an idea of what it might look like. In order to kick my butt into gear, I am hereby committing to finishing a Victory site by Monday's MDRA meeting. I might as well work on it tomorrow, it's going to be 1000 degrees or something crazy. I want the two or three people who read this blog to hold me to it. The Victory site will be up by our 7:00 PM meeting. Promise.

Speaking of MDRA meetings - they can be pretty fun. Heidi brought a cake to our last one. President Kevin had a hard time keeping us on task since we were all hopped up on sugar. Gloria said the word "Ba-donk-a-donk" twice - which was beyond hilarious.

We also spent a good deal of time discussing how exactly Grandma's Marathon was going to enforce the USATF 'no headphones' rule. Did anyone out there witness a race official stealing someone's iPod? If so, we want to hear about it! I wanted to fake a video clip of USATF thugs beating down a headphones-wearing runner. But I don't need Grandma's mad at me. I bet that Dick Beardsley could really throw down if provoked.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Salazar Hospitalized

Send some good running vibes to Alberto Salazar, who is hospitalized after suffering a heart attack earlier this week. Get well soon, 'berto.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

fireworks are dumb

Dear South Minneapolis,

Please stop igniting loud fireworks. They are dumb. Fountains are pretty, and they are quiet. Sparklers are pretty, and they are quiet. Bottle rockets and BlackCats are loud, ugly and pointless. Loud noises aren't entertaining. It's bed time, you bastards. I hope the Mpls police fine you jerks.

In other news, I ran 5 miles at 90 degrees today. The first 4 miles were easy. The last mile, not so much. The other day I weighed myself before & after an 8 mile run. I stopped at 2 drinking fountains during the run and I lost a little over 2 pounds. Scary. Granted, I'm packing 165lbs under my belt - so 2 and change isn't that bad. Who out there is a doctor? How much can I loose to sweat before my life is in danger? I only ask because we're pushing a dozen days above 90 degrees thus far - and we usually average 12 days above 90 in an entire summer. Also scary.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

drink up

There's a great article about bottled water in the Star Tribune today. As runners we go through lots of water, bottled or otherwise.

The gist of the article is...we're crazy. Americans spend $11 billion a year on bottled water. It takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to produce all of that plastic, enough to fuel 100,000 cars for a year. With what it costs to buy one 500ml bottle of Aquafina, you could purchase enough Twin Cities tap water to fill that bottle 2,850 times. Also, water weighs 8lbs per gallon. Think of what it costs to ship a truckload across the country.

If you still need that ridiculous rectangular bottle of Fiji, consider this is; Tap water is treated with fluoride but bottled water isn't. Don't come crying to me when your teeth rot & fall out of your head.

Anyone who has ever run the City of Lakes 25K has enjoyed tasty Minneapolis tap water at the aid stations. If it works while you're racing, it will sure as hell work while you're walking or driving around town. Buy a sturdy Nalgene bottle and refill the heck out of it.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Running related song of the week

This week's running related tune is "Shoot the Runner" by Kasabian. They're a cool band from England with a Rolling Stones meets trip-hop sound. Why are all cool bands from England? Maybe it has something to do with the climate. Or the stronger beer.

Other cool British musicians you may enjoy: The Libertines (broken up now, but they were so good), Dirty Pretty Things (what rose from the ashes of The Libertines), anything by David Bowie, Zep & the Stones (goes without saying, but I'm saying it anyway), Motorhead (the dirtiest band in the world), Cream (my parents went to a Cream Concert in the 60s on their first date - a dating feat which cannot be topped by any member of my generation) and uh...the Animals.

Anyway, listen to the song by Kasabian, it's sweet.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Frontier Air redeems itself

Me & Mrs. Runblogger arrived safely in Minneapolis this afternoon. Frontier air managed to not loose my bike on the return trip, which was nice. We did arrive an hour late, which was less them awesome. Also, I left my totally kick-ass Surly hat on the plane. If anyone works for Frontier, help a brother out.

Minnesota was representin' at the USA Triathlon National Championships. Curt Wood, Brian Bich and Tony Schiller turned in some all-star performances. Buy them a beer if you see them, they've earned it. Hell, buy me a beer - I had my butt kicked all over the course by these cats for 2 hours and change. They mave have earned it, but I need it!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Newt Blog

Right. So when it rains in Oregon, these cute little buggers come out.

I vote we relocate a newt population to Minnesota. They're the most adorable amphibian you're likely to find.

Friday, June 29, 2007

More Oregon Port-a-potty news

These guys are making a bold statement.

The best? I don't know about that. Sure, the pot was placed in a nice wooded location bordering the McDonald national forest. Yes, the hand sanitizer was full. Sure, there was plenty of toilet paper. But the "best"? That just seems arrogant.

However, they do have the best logo I've seen on a port-a-pot (even better than Honey Bucket's). Maybe that does make them the best.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

3:20 marathon

A 3:20 marathon is pretty fast. About an hour faster than your average Twin Cities or Grandma's finisher.

However, a 3:20 marathon is un-friggin-believable when it comes at the end of Ironman Coeur d'Alene. Congrats to MN rockstar Anthony Hirschman who uncorked a monster 3:20 to finish 5th in M25-29 and earn a spot to the Ironman World Championships in Kona.

Way to go, Anthony... you friggin badass.

Doesn't anyone want a free hat?!?

Come on, people! Someone must have a funny story from Grandma's! Send it to by July 4th & you could win a sweet MDRA HeadSweats hat.

As I mentioned before, fire hydrants are wacky out here in Oregon. I was hoping to see one in action, but it's raining today so that seems unlikely. Anyhoo, here's a picture of one.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Running on Planet Endor

Remember planet Endor? It's the one where all the fuzzy little Ewoks lived in Return of the Jedi. They shot portions of that in Oregon. While running here, you expect a storm trooper to pop out at any second to blast you. Not that they'd succeed. Those guys had the worst aim. You think the Empire would mandate a minimal level of marksmanship. I guess that's why the rebel alliance won in the end. But I digress...

Here is what 90% of Oregon's trails look like. This shot was taken at 11:00 AM on a sunny day.

That's 2 time Olympic marathon trials qualifier, 2 time NCAA national champion, and Minnesota native Johanna Olson (I call her sister-in-law) leading me up the trail. The temperature in the woods was a solid 10-15 degrees than the surrounding meadows. I could run all day under those conditions.

We went up for a while...

And eventually took a break near the top. Notice that the canopy is thin enough for sunlight to pass through.

Of course, what goes up must come down...

The descents were fantastic! The trail was a series of switch-backs with slight up and down variations in between. The run felt like a roller coaster ride, and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion.

Finally we made it back to the parking lot, where this fellow stood watch over the trailhead.

I've seen these in the background of Hood to Coast pictures, but could never make out the logo. Oregonians don't call their port-a-johns Biffs, or port-a-pottys, or even port-a-johns for that matter. No, they have the Honey Buckets. It's both a descriptive and hilarious name, and I think we should adopt it. Note to the good folks at OnSite Sanitation; Please consider re-branding your port-a-johns as Honey Buckets. We all need a good laugh when we're waiting to poop before the sun comes up so we can go drag our sleepy carcass around some race course. Thank you.

Live, from Planet Endor,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Running Related Song of the Week

This week's tune is "Runnin' Down a Dream" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

Why Tom Petty? Because he's an American institution. Also, he was in an episode of the Simpsons that totally cracked me up.

Great Running Related Line Uhh...running down a dream. Maybe?

Pics from yesterdays killer Oregon trail run will be posted soon. I'll also post some shots of Oregon fire hydrants. They are freaky looking.

Monday, June 25, 2007

i hate airlines

Run blogger has arrived in Oregon. Don't fly Frontier airlines. Ever. They lost my bike while the plane was on a 1 hour layover. My bike was put on a plane in Minneapolis, lost in Denver, then arrived in Portland several hours after me.

In other news, rain gear is a good idea here. Long live gortex. I'm gearing up for an 8 mile trail run tomorrow by drinking a few Fat Tires at the moment. Good times.

Rockin' the Cascade Mountains fo all ya'll flatlanders.

Friday, June 22, 2007

everybody's working for the weekend

Hey cats & kittens. Just a reminder to Email us your submission for the "Funniest thing overheard at Grandma's in 25 words or less" contest.

I'll be in Oregon next week - so be prepared for some left coast bloggin'. I'm also getting a race in while I'm there. Any advice on air travel with DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) would be cool. Post it in the comments section, amigos.


MDRA Fall Marathon class

The MDRA Fall Marathon class has TCM entries available for you procrastinators out there. Sweet! Class starts next Tuesday, June 26th at 7:00, room 351 at the Edina Community Center. Register on & get training!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Running Related Song of the Week

This week's running related song is Stevie Wonder's "Keep on Running".

Why Stevie Wonder? Because he's incredible! Songs in the Key of Life, Anyone?

Speaking of Stevie, Check this out.

It's a six minute drum solo by the man himself. This is by far the funkiest thing you will see today. George Clinton and the ghost of James Brown could perform in your living room, and it would not hold a candle to this clip. Stevie can throw down like nobody's business. 3 minutes and 12 seconds in to this clip, you will get up and dance. It can't be helped, just go with it.

Go Kathy!

Big shouts out to MDRA Secretary Kathy Benhardus, who got name-checked on Sven Sundgaard's Blog.

For those not in the know, Kathy is one of MDRA's rockstar coaches and has been a board member for several years. Sven is the devastatingly handsome meteorologist on Twin Cities' KARE 11 television, and possesses the finest biceps at any race he enters, guaranteed.

A quick look at shows 10 races in Minnesota this weekend. One is taking place near you. Go run it.

Win a hat, dammit!

We've only received one submission for our "Funniest thing overheard at Grandma's" contest. It came from a guy named Evan, and it's pretty funny. Put on your thinking caps, people. Don't let this guy walk away with an awesome HeadSweats hat unchallenged!

Running-related Song of the Week will be coming later today. I've been busy getting my Flash on for the last three days. Mind on overload. Good thing running doesn't require a whole lot of brain power.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Grandma's Pictures are up

Congrats to everyone who staggered across the line at Grandma's! What was the temp? 120 degrees or so?

Pictures from Wayne Kryduba are online. Check 'em out.

Also, we are having a little marathon story contest. Send us the funniest thing you overheard at Grandma's, in 25 words or less. Submissions can be sent to Entries due by July 4th. Winner will be selected by the MDRA Promotions committee, and recieve a sweet new MDRA hat as a prize. Enticing, eh? Get writing people, that hat isn't going to win itself.

Friday, June 15, 2007


I got a new Tattoo.

I think it's pretty hard core. No one is going to horn in on my space at the start line anymore.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Grandma's Weather

Thanks to blog reader Don for this tidbit: the Duluth Lakeshore weather report from Duluth Sky Harbor is typically more accurate than from the airport up the hill. Good to know!

Thanks again, Don. Rip it up this weekend!

File under "i" for irony.

So, I spent the better part of this year bitching and moaning about the wind and what happens? The wind finally subsides and we get a bad air quality advisory for the Cities, St. Cloud and Brainerd. Stupid ground level ozone... whatever that is.

Supposedly, the air is only bad for "sensitive groups". Bad news for me, 'cause I'm a pretty sensitive guy. I cry at movies, I'll admit it. I use after-shave lotion for sensitive skin. This bad air might just do me in.

In other news, past MDRA president Gloria Jansen just had a birthday and moved up an age group. That means a lot of Minnesota state records for F60-65 are about to go down. Hard. Condolences go out to the rest of Gloria's new age group.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Weather for Grandma's Marathon

Twin Cities meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas is running Grandma's this year. As a result, the rest of us are getting a totally awesome race day forecast from his blog.

Here's the start time forecast for the Bjorklund half: "6 A.M..temperature.....54 degrees...Dew point temperature...50 degrees...Sky: patchy fog otherwise clear to partly cloudy with some showers south of Duluth...Wind: Light and variable."

Nothing, if not thorough. Thank you, Johathan. Run fast and have fun.

Get up to date Grandma's info from the Duluth News Tribune's Grandma's Marathon Section. Jeez, could I say 'grandma's' a few more times in this posting? I think I'll go call my grandma.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Summer Track & Field Series

Dust off your spikes! USATF Minnesota is bringing track season back with a series of open meets this summer. Check their schedule for locations and more information.

90 degrees again today. Summer is here. That means Fall is on it's way...and so is Cross Country season!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Running-Related Song of the Week

Time for installment number two of our running related song feature. This week, it's a classic from Van Halen, from the album of the same name: "Running With the Devil"

Why Van Halen? Because they're friggin' Van Halen! The original line-up with Diamond Dave. Pure Gold, baby.

Great running-related line: "Yes I'm livin' at a pace that kills". Anyone who has gone out too fast in a race can attest to that.

Sure, the bass line isn't much (it's one note) but Eddie has a rocking solo, and Dave throws in several larynx-shredding "Yeahhhhhhhhhh!"s.

F.Y.I. - You are required to sing the chorus to anyone wearing bib number 666 at a race. If you don't, the gods of rock will hunt you down and make you bonk. And you don't want that.

Ladies First

In case you missed it, there was a nice article in the Sunday Strib about beginning Women's Running. It's chock full o' useful info and commentary from uber running expert Jeff Galloway. If only there was a class in Minnesota for women who want to start running. Oh wait, there is!

Less than one week until Grandma's! Everyone remember to taper? Stop by the MDRA booth at the marathon expo and say hey to our fabulous board members.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

digital inspiration

Here's a little something to get you motivated.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Homeward Bound

This is awesome. A St. Louis Park kid is biking home from college in Vermont. Seriously.

Mike Mommsen has been posting updates on his college Nordic Ski Team Blog. Hooray for human-powered transportation!

In other news, it's wind advisories for a good chunk of Minnesota. What is it with the wind this year? I am officially sick of wind as of June 6, 2007. It makes running and commuting by bike a royal pain. If only I had a wind turbine, I could generate my own electricity. There's one for the x-mas list.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Running-related song of the week

Here's our first blog feature - the running related song of the week.

This week, it is "If I Run" by Semisonic.

Why Semisonic? Because they are a killer band from Minnesota. Lead singer Dan Wilson wrote a lot of the Dixie Chicks latest album, which won a gazillion awards.

Great Line: "If I run, I can free my worried mind." How true.

In other news, Alan Webb is wicked-fast.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

You know why running is a great sport? Because it's very unlikely that you'll be attacked by a fish.

Plenty or races this weekend, and only a chance of storms for most of MN. Check RaceBerryJam for all the info.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Put on your sunscreen and wear your sunglasses, kids.

In case you missed it, there was a moving story on Kare11 last night. It's about a runner who was stricken with ocular melanoma. I didn't even know that existed before last night, and now it scares the hell out of me. Watch the story. Have a tissue handy. Buy new sunglasses this weekend.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Run boston without leaving your computer

A guy named David Brooks ran the Boston Marathon this year with a webcam of some sort strapped to his noggin. I'm not sure if was a good idea to run in the rain with an electric gizmo on his person, but the finish line video is pretty sweet.

In other news, the New York Marathon is doing away with "rabbits". These are the professional pace setters who typically set a course record or world record tempo, then drop out of the race before the finish. Bad news for those of you who can run 16 miles at a 4:45 pace.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hyland Wildlife Report

Ran the 10-ish mile loop at Hyland Park last night. Saw 6 or 7 deer, 2 huge turkeys, a bunch of geese and a few surly ducks. I know you're protecting your eggs, ducks - but come on. Don't chase me. I assure you, I do not want your eggs. I can buy them at the store, safely encased in either cardboard or styrofoam.

Sunny and unseasonably warm this weekend. Get in Gear on Saturday. Go run.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

running goo review

For whatever reason, I'm a sucker for "performance foods" of any type. I'll try every sports drink, energy bar and goo in a tube if I think it will make me even a little bit faster. I know it's all just fancy sugar, but I like it.

Last weekend, while mountain biking, I decided to try the latest from Clif Shot, Double Espresso. I was intrigued by the promise of 100mg of caffeine (best stuff ever!). I assumed it would taste similar to Clif Shot's other coffee concoction, Mocha.

I was wrong. Oh dear, I was wrong.

Double Espresso tastes like a double espresso! It is not remotely sweet! This goop tastes exactly like a bitter cup of black coffee. I had to spit it out, and it took 20oz of gatorade to get the taste out of my mouth.

Be warned runners, even die-hard coffee addicts (myself included) should be wary of the Double Espresso Flavor. The sugary stimulant boost does not make up for the unpleasant taste.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

test post

test post to run minnesota blog

by: colin