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 davetara1118@msn.com or 515-251-3756. You may also visit the IMT Des Moines Marathon website at www.desmoinemarathon.com.

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 CNN.com, 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 coachkirk1@gmail.com 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: www.runmdra.org/victory/. 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!