Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

two new minnesota marathons

That's right - not one, but TWO new marathons are coming to Minnesota in 2009.

The Stillwater marathon will be held May 24, 2009 & the Minneapolis marathon will be May 31, 2009. Full details on the Strib.

Friday, December 12, 2008

get a job

I love it when our audience does my job for me. Here's some info on a jobby-job with the good folks at Get in Gear.
Get in Gear Part-Time Office Position

The Get in Gear is looking for part-time office assistance and/or student interns for the 2009 season. The hours are variable and flexible from February through May with emphasis on March and April. This is a paid position. Requirements are enthusiasm and interest in the running industry, high energy and ability to be self-motivated in assigned projects.

For more information please contact Paulette Odenthal, Executive Director at 612-722-9004 or e-mail

Now then, quit reading this blog & get your enthusiastic, self-motivated butt in contact with Paulette.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

trail time

The internets are buzzing about trail construction & runners. If you run the river road trail in Minneapolis, you may be interested. If you run Black's Grove in Wadena, not so much.

Good news is, the trails will be wider. Bad news is, the pedestrian path will be concrete, the bike path will be asphalt. This means we will likely end up running on the bike path... which is something a lot of us do already.

More info can be found right here, on the kind of awesome, original blog post I wish I were capable of composing. Contact info is at the bottom of the post - in case you want to sound off on the path project owners.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

we've got something you want

You know what's found at the end of a rainbow? It ain't a pot of gold. It's this:
The 2009 MDRA Annual is at the printer! We'll be shipping them out in a couple of weeks. If you want one, don't forget to join or renew. The Annual is packed with race info, photos, a training log & all sorts of Minnesota running know-how.

Get one.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Meet of the Miles

The first race in the 2009 MDRA Grand Prix is just over a month away! The Meet of the miles takes place Monday, January 12th. You can register for the Grand Prix at

Now that winter is in full swing (I know doesn't officially start for 3 weeks, but Cedar Lake is frozen over & that's wintery enough for me) don't forget about MDRA Dome Running. Run the dome Tuesday & Thursday (except holidays) from 5 - 8 p.m. Cost is only $1, enter at gate D, park in the upper lot for free.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

turkey day 5k

Wayne Kryduba's Turkey day 5K photo slideshow is up. Check it out here.

Can you name these runners? Hint: they are faster than almost everyone.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I just ran 6 miles and my sweat smelled like stuffing.

I love Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

dome running

MDRA Dome Running is going on at a Metrodome near you!

Run the dome Tuesday & Thursday (except holidays) from 5 - 8 p.m. Cost is only $1, enter at gate D, park in the upper lot for free.

Friday, November 14, 2008

treadmobile - surely a sign of the apocolypse

This is either the most pointless or the greatest invention of all time.

Behold the Treadmobile.

Instead of running from place to place, you can run in place while traveling from place to place. Wrap your head around the physics of that.

The soundtrack to this video will remind you of the theme to every 80s sitcom ever. It's like Weather Channel "Local on the 8s" music meets a bad John Tesh composition.

If you can stand it, watch until the end. The Treadmobile passes a Porsche.

A Porsche. Seriously.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

MDRA jackets are in

New red MDRA Brooks wind jackets are in. They are available for the bargain price of $45 (that includes postage). Email Heidi at with size & shipping info if you want one.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

contest winners!

Last night the MDRA board voted for our favorite TCM/10 mile limerick. The voting was so close, we're going with a state-mandated recount. Final results should be in by February.

Just kidding.

Two entries were so outstanding that we just couldn't decide & called it a draw. Winning limerick #1 comes to us from Nathan Campeau:

I was running my best of all time
When my bowels woke up and said hi!
Then appeared close to me
A heaven-sent biffee
So I still had a PR at the line!

Poetry about port-a-pottys will always have a special place in my heart. Deep in my heart. The bowels of my heart, if you will.

Winner #2 is a TC10 limerick from Chad Bjugan in Chaska.

Their once was a runner from the west.
Who thought the TC 10 was best.
He tried to stay with Alberto.
But his legs would not go.
And Salazar swatted him away like a pest.

Chad includes this footnote: "Alberto beat me by only 30 seconds. It was funny most of the younger or less informed runners didn't even know who they were running next to."

You may not have bested Alberto, Chad - but your TC10 limerick vanquished all challengers.

Our winners will be receiving MDRA goodies soon. I'm not sure what the next MDRA contest will be, but I'll think of some way to get some shwag in your hands. Keep apprised of future contests here, or on the MDRA Facebook Group.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

grand champions

Big shouts-out are going to Kirk Walztoni and Eileen Moran for winning the overall Grand Prix titles! Awards will be handed out in all age groups at the MDRA annual party on January 17th.

There are special grand prizes for anyone who completes all 13 races and another prize for anyone who completes 10 of the grand prix races. If you missed out on the Grand Prix for 2008, you can register for the '09 GP at the MDRA annual party. Cost is only $5!

For those of you who live or run in Minneapolis, the Park Board is seeking opinions on their latest round of trail improvements. Here's the skinny:
Thank you for your previous participation in the planning process for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB’s) comprehensive plan. Community input is currently being sought for the development of a new Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for the MPRB through a Bike, Walk and Roll Survey and a Field Sports Survey

Thank you for your continued support of the Minneapolis park system!
Sound off. Improve parks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

don't forget to win stuff

Just wanted to remind everyone about our latest MDRA contest. I'm extending the deadline to next Friday (11-7) since we've received only 2 submissions thus far. Write a TCM limerick. Win stuff. Brag.

I've seen some crazy things while running - like Jesse Ventura on a trampoline, a dog in a wagon, jerks, etc. But on Monday I saw somehing that topped them all.

I saw a man jogging & using a cane. Jogging. With a cane. Honestly.

It was what, 38 degrees Monday afternoon? This cat was wearing shorts & a sleeveless shirt. Brave man. He looked about 25-30 years old & was actually using the cane while jogging. I guess it was more of a power walk/jog combo. He was definitely putting weight on the cane each time his right foot hit the ground.

On behalf of MDRA and sane runners everywhere, please take time off from running if you need a cane. Try some aqua jogging or biking or something. I'm begging you. Your doctor is begging you. Your orthopedic surgeon is on the fence. If you screw up your recovery, he'll get paid again to fix you up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

polar bear runs resume

If it's cold and a Saturday, there's probably an MDRA Polar Bear run going on somewhere. The first Polar Bear run will be this Saturday (November 1st) starting at 8:00 at Minnehaha Falls.

Keep apprised of Polar Bear runs on the group page. Add yourself to the email list to receive run locations & start times in a weekly communique.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

rhyme time

Was I asking too much when I asked for limericks? We've only received one entry thus far for our latest contest! You've got until the end of October to submit a TCM race recap in limerick format.

In running news, the team cross country circuit is already half over. Only the Challenge at Gale Woods, Rocky's Run & the State Championship remain. If you haven't run xc yet, get out there & give it a shot. Rumor has it the final race will be a 10K this year. Ouch.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Medals 4 Mettle

Here's a dandy of an organization; Medals4Mettle. There was a piece on them in the latest Runner's World, but it's worth repeating here. (Thanks to Kevin B. for the heads-up)

According to their website, Medals4Mettle's "mission is to celebrate and reward the individual and collective courage of all human beings by facilitating the gifting of marathon finisher’s medals from marathoners to people who have demonstrated similar mettle, or courage. The recipients can be any age and might have exhibited such mettle by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. Marathon runners around the world, and others who have won medals, give their medals to Medals4Mettle. Then our nationwide network of physicians and others award these medals to those who might not be able to run a marathon, but are in their own marathon to continue to live their life."

If you're like me (if you are, congratulations! You rule!) you have a drawer or two strewn with finisher medals from lots of races. I have 6 marathon finisher medals, and I don't know where a single one is. I know where my Ironman medal is, but only because I stumbled across it while looking for a paper clip.

Rather than letting those medals collect dust in some drawer, why not donate them to a non-profit who will do something cool with them. They accept any and all earned marathon, half marathon & triathlon finisher medals. Go forth. Donate.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

marathon mania

Has everyone warmed up after running a soggy & cold Twin Cities Marathon? Me neither. Congrats to all the finishers & condolences to those who found the course or conditions too much to overcome. I dropped out at mile 14.5 after not having a thing to drink since mile 9. My hands were so cold I couldn't grab or hold on to cups. Running the last 17 miles with no fluids did not seem like the wisest course of action.

As always, Down the Backstretch has top notch TCM coverage. Check it out.

On behalf of the MDRA board, thank you to everyone who stopped by the MDRA booth at the TCM expo. We love talking shop with other runners. We gave away approximately a zillion bumper stickers. Our sticker contest winner "I can run faster than your honor student" was easily the crowd favorite.

With the marathon behind us, it's time for another contest. Last time we asked for haikus. This time we're looking for your race recap/summary in limerick format. Here's the classic example:

The limerick packs laughs anatomical
In space that is quite economical,
But the good ones I've seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

There you have it. Email us your answer ( by October 31 & we'll pick a winner at the November MDRA meeting. The winner will receive a hat, singlet & bumper sticker prize pack.

Even though I'm not eligible to win, here's my contribution:

I felt fine when we queued at the Dome
At mile 5 I was way in the zone
But after the lakes
My cold hands got the shakes
So I jogged my frozen butt home

Friday, October 3, 2008

i don't know whether the weather will change

If you're anything like me, you've been checking the Sunday forecast every 30 minutes for the last 4 days. Right now it looks like the 10 milers and sub 3:00 marathoners will stay dry. The rest of us might get a little soggy. I'm sure this will change by tonight, so I'm not going to worry. Yet.

Speaking of tonight (beautiful segue, no?) various MDRA board members will be staffing the MDRA booth at the marathon expo tonight & tomorrow. We're in one of the middle-ish aisles toward the back of the hall. Swing by & say hi. We like meeting other members.

Tomorrow (saturday) from 10:00 to noon MDRA President Kevin & MDRA blogger me will be at the booth taking pictures & signing autographs!

Of course, no one will be asking for autographs - we just like working on our penmanship.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

conversational running

Last year I wrote a post for TCM spectators about good cheering & snack spots. This year its the runners' turn.

I know I can't do as good of a course write-up as Kirk did in the latest issue of Run Minnesota, so I'm going a different route. Incidentally, we'll be giving away copies of Run Minnesota as well as bumper stickers, calendars and other good schwag at the MDRA booth at the marathon expo. Stop by & say 'hey'.

Without further ado, here are some tips to hopefully make your marathon more enjoyable/interesting/less of a suffer fest.

1. One block after making the first turn on to Hennepin Ave, look to your right as you cross 7th street. You'll see the music venue First Ave - made famous by Prince in the movie Purple Rain.

2. As you approach mile 2, you'll pass by the totally awesome Walker Art Museum & outdoor sculpture garden.

3. The guy playing the tuba on Douglas Ave is Alan Page. In 1979 he became the first active NFL athlete to finish a marathon.

4. Just after mile 3 you'll run by the famed "Mary Tyler Moore House."

5. The second lake you run by (Lake Calhoun) is 90 feet deep and is home to some really big muskies. It used to be called Loon Lake. That's all the Lake Calhoun trivia I've got.

6. At mile 10, you'll run by a big bronze bunny. It will be on your right, and children will likely be playing on it.

7. At mile 11, just before the turn on to Cedar, you'll run by my cheering Grandparents-in-law. If you stop & say hello, you'll almost certainly be offered lefse & coffee.

8. You'll be running around Lake Nokomis from mile 11.5-13.5. This is where the famed Lifetime Fitness Triathlon & Pond Hockey National Championship take place. Hallowed ground - or water, I guess.

9. Miles 15-19 can get a little lonely, as the spectators can be thin. However, the views of the Mississippi River are great so be sure to look to your right occasionally. This would be a good place to strike up a conversation with another runner. Here are some topics to get you started:
  • What's your favorite running shoe of all time?
  • What's your favorite citrus soda? (I gotta go with Fresca)
  • Who is the best non-British rock band of all time? (this is a tough one. take away the Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin and what's left?)
  • What's the best surface to run on?
  • Can I get your phone number? (assuming the other runner is cute & likely to be single.)
  • What's the best song to get stuck in your head during a run? (When I ran my marathon PR I had Weezer's "El Scorcho" lodged in my brain the entire time.
  • What is the best flavor of energy goo?
  • Who would win in a fight? (then you name two people, like Larry King vs. Dakota Fanning. I once had a serious training run conversation about who would win in a fight between the Mickey's Malt Liquor bee and the Honey Stinger bee. Stop by the MDRA booth Saturday between 10:00-noon & I'll give you the details. Short answer is the Honey Stinger bee wins if the fight goes beyond round 1.)
10. Just before mile 21 - as you near the middle of the climb up river road - you'll pass a lite radio truck blasting all of your favorite lite hits. If Michael Bolton isn't motivating you to move your legs, try getting a Led Zeppelin song stuck in your head. Even better, go with Mastodon.

11. There are a few colleges on Summit Ave between miles 22-24. That means there are lots of hot college girls & guys out cheering. Enjoy the scenery.

12. Like, 3 or 4 blocks after the mile 25 marker, on the corner of Nina & Summit is the mansion where my wife & I got married. More importantly, it's just a couple of blocks from the point where you can see the finish line.

13. Get a space blanket at the finish, even if you don't think you need one. You'll need it in 15 minutes. Trust me.

If you have any other need to know TCM info, leave it in the comments below.

pros & weather

There's a nice article in the Strib today about Team USN-MN runner Matt Gabrielson.

In other marathon-related news, KARE 11 running meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas has a constantly updated TCM race day forecast online. That's all I'm going to say about that as anything more will jinx the forecast - and I don't want to ruin it for everyone.

Friday, September 26, 2008

recover food

The Twin Cities Marathon is 9 days away, and I'm already thinking about my post race recovery meal. As you're all aware, post-workout nutrition plays an important role in nutrition.

In my world, post-marathon meals & nutrition do not go together. I'll punctuate my TCM by scarfing down two Jucy Lucys & fries from Matt's Bar, and "re-hydrating" with a refreshing, hoppy, local beverage or two.

How will you recover after the marathon? Share your plans in the Comments section.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

training trivia

The MDRA marathon training class this fall has 80-ish runners it. Here's a breakdown of what they'll be running this fall, courtesy of coach Nathan:

10 first-time marathoners (at least)
6 who have run 10+ marathons
18 first-time MDRAers
8 trying to qualify for Boston
Running other marathons this fall:
San Antonio
Whistlestop (3)
Des Moines
Marine Corps
Death Valley

Good luck to the MDRA marathon class & everyone else tackling the 26.2 distance this fall. For a bit o' inspiration, here's the trailer to the film I mentioned yesterday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

marathon memes

This just in - the film The Spirit of the Marathon will be making it's Minnesota debut at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis on October 4th at 3:00 PM.

In other news of the 26.2, writer Wade Bergner (he's from Wisconsin, but we won't hold that against him) submitted the following pre-race article:

This week serves up round number two of Marathon Paradise. Grandma’s Marathon starts our spring with a bang and Twin Cities Marathon blesses us with one more round. TCM Fever is in the air and don’t we know it. Both races have earned the reputation as world class events. These events provide us with a tremendous amount of motivation and excitement. With this being said, big time races may cause us to put excess stress on ourselves as we zone in on a peak performance. Below are some thoughts to lighten your load so you can enjoy your marathon experience.

As runners we typically focus on our task at hand. We love the thrill and adrenalin that setting a goal and seeing it through provides us. Allowing our bodies to stretch into un chartered territory, is a very personal experience. We all must remind our selves how incredibly fortunate we are to encounter experiences like these. Some people physically are not allowed this opportunity.

This weekend I handed myself a bit of humble pie, as I experienced a disappointing race. As we focus we often loose the fun factor. With the mind and body locked in on what needs to be done, often we loose touch of the big picture. After reflecting I realized that just a few months back my goal was to be healthy and enjoy running. How quickly one forgets as we forge ahead to bigger and better achievements. Regardless if you have spent time on the sidelines or not, please remember that if an injury takes you out do not fright. You are being called to a greater challenge. Listen for it and respond to it. Like the song says, if you love something set it free. Above all else keep your active lifestyle in tact. Collectively we as runners positively influence our families, friends, and general public with our lifestyle. Running has so much to offer the greater good. Feel good about passing it on.

On your way to Sunday’s starting line, be sure to leave any stress in your drop bag with your sweats. There is simply no room for it on the course. Allow yourself to become one with the race. Visualize yourself watching down on the event as it unfolds. Let it sink in that you are part of something special that is much more powerful than an individual goal. Collectively we are exposing the masses to a wonderful activity that can improve lives. I truly believe by keeping these things in mind you will allow yourself to experience marathon paradise.

Friday, September 19, 2008

TCM top ten

The Star Tribune ran an article today about the field coming to the Twin Cities Marathon. I'm proud to say my sister-in-law Johanna is in the Women's Open top 10.

This year the TCM is hosting the Master's marathon national championship, as well as the women's 10 mile national championship. If you aren't racing, get down to the course & watch some of the fastest athletes this country has to offer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

bumper sticker contest winner!

We've got a winner for our MDRA bumper sticker competition! Bonnie Hanson of Roseville submitted the entry "I can run faster than your Honor Student" which cracked us up. We'll be printing these up ASAP, so look for the new bumper sticker at the MDRA booth at the Twin Cities Marathon expo.

We'll also be bringing 2 classic bumper stickers out of retirement - the ever popular "I'd rather be fartleking." and "Run Minnesota - plenty of water stops".

The MDRA board sends a big thank you to everyone who submitted a sticker idea. We had close to 30 suggestions and only one was ruled out a previous bumper sticker. That's a heck of a lot of originality.

The next blog contest (blogtest? someone trademark that!) will to recap your Twin Cities Marathon in limerick format. Details will be posted after the race.

Friday, September 5, 2008

More volunteers needed

Hey there cats & kittens - we still need volunteers for the Lake Calhoun water stop at the City of Lakes 25K this weekend. Email Heidi if you can lend a hand. The race starts at 8:00 am.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Victory Monday

Don't forget, the Victory 10K in this monday. Run it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

volunteers needed

MDRA office manager Heidi is looking for volunteers for the Victory and City of Lakes races.

Volunteers are needed for registration, t-shirts & other early morning stuff - starting at 6:30 a.m. Everyone who helps gets a long sleeve shirt. Email Heidi at if you can lend a hand. Round up your friends, neighbors, kick ball team, kids, cell block & whoever else you can think of & help Heidi. She'd do it for you.

Perhaps helping out at a race will spark ideas for our bumper sticker contest. We've received around 20 submissions so far!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

starting out strong

We've already received 2 entries for the bumper sticker contest (see previous post). We're not limiting your entries - so if you have five good bumper sticker ideas, send them in. In fact, you should send us five bad ideas. Our last sticker was "get your run on". The bar is pretty low people.

Speaking of getting your run, two MDRA events are fast approaching. The Victory 10K & 5K are less than three weeks away. Online registration is open.

The City of Lakes 25 is also looming on the horizon. Last year the race filled a week early, so register early this year.

Monday, August 11, 2008

goo review & new contest too

As promised last week, here's my review of Gu Roctane: It was fine.

I didn't barf, I didn't bonk. I didn't develop superhuman strength or the ability to do really complicated long division in my head. Although, I did work the Pythagorean theorem in to a joke shortly after consuming my Rocktane.

In other news it's time for another MDRA contest. Our most popular items at race expos are bumper stickers. Past slogans have included "We Run Minnesota", "I run, therefore I am", "I'd rather be Fartleking", and my personal contribution, "Get your run on". Dickensian.

Well now it's your turn to come up with a new MDRA bumper sticker slogan. The rules are; it has to be a new slogan (we'll check it against our master list of stickers past) and it has to fit on a regulation bumper sticker (under 10 words is best). Deadline is September 1st, and the winner will receive a bumper sticker, hat and singlet prize pack! We're going big with this one.

Email us your entry by September 1 & the MDRA board will pick a winner at our September meeting. Good luck, runners.

Friday, August 8, 2008

new goo review coming soon

At long last, there's a new energy food on the market. Rejoice! I just picked up the new Gu Rocktane - sounds pretty badass, doesn't it?

Rocktane is a bit pricey $2.50 each. It has 35mg of caffeine, double the sodium & potassium of regular GU and a bunch of amino acids, such as Histidine, Leucine, Valine & Isoleucine. Mmm... I loves me some Isoleucine. Just like mom used to make.

I'll be rockin' the Rocktane on an 18 mile run tomorrow. Will I beat the bonk? Or will my stomach explode in a gooey Vanilla-Orange fireball? Tune in Monday for a culinary review of this latest incarnation of malodextrin in a foil tube.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

the games are about to begin

The Olympics kick off tomorrow, which I think is actually today for us. That whole date line thing has always confused me. Track prelims start Saturday, I think the 1500 is the first running event.

The opening ceremony promises to be awesome. When the host country invented fireworks, you know it's going to rock.

Just to get you fired up, here's the '96 torch lighting. I dare you to watch this and not cry.

Monday, August 4, 2008

that was a rough one

The Hennepin-Lake Classic went down yesterday morning. Conditions were, in a word, 'humid'. Conditions in two words were 'crazy humid'. I won't go in to conditions in three or more words, as I'd have to break out some vocab from my four-letter-word arsenal.

Fortunately, it appeared that everyone was smart enough to slow down a bit & stay hydrated. I didn't see any ambulances on the course, which is always good.

I did weigh myself on the fancy digital scale at the Y before & after the race. Even after consuming ~30oz of water after the 5K, I was 4 pounds and change lighter after the double header. That's a half gallon of sweat. That's nuts!

That's also why I waited until 3:00 to post this. My apologies if you were enjoying a late lunch while reading this entry.

Friday, August 1, 2008

team circuit race this sunday

Just a reminder that the Hennepin Lake Classic is this Sunday at Lake Calhoun. The 10K starts at 8:15 & the 5K starts at 9:30. The start is at the south end of the lake (Upton Ave for the 10K & 36th street for the 5) so plan your parking accordingly.

Me? I'll be biking to the uptown Y, running 2 miles to the start, running the doubleheader, running 2 miles back the Y, and the biking home. The remainder of my day will most likely center around the couch, pain killers & a stiff drink, though not necessarily in that order.

Note: the temperature this weekend will be approximately... ridiculous. Dress accordingly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

all Lydiard, all the time

MDRA's own Nobby Hashizume was recently interviewed by Flotrack regarding the life & legacy of Arthur Lydiard. Check that stuff out.

clear the air

Attention Duluth & all points South; the southern two thirds of MN are under an air quality alert for the remainder of the week. That means we should be exercising indoors or not at all.

If you're anything like me, you aren't going to heed that warning. I'm still planning on running over lunch - though I'll likely go 5 miles instead of my usual 8.

Anyhoo, be careful out there. Hydrate well & all that jazz.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I love this guy. Breaux Greer is an American Olympian in the Javelin. He's also funny. Like, way funnier than any other pro athlete.

Time magazine recently did a feature on 100 Athletes to Watch in the upcoming Olympics (Breaux is #75). He rules due to his totally nonchalant attitude when it comes to competing.

He says of his javelin career, "Dude, I throw a stick. Come on. I get paid a pretty good salary to throw a stick." I love it. No ego. None of that "I'm the best" crap you hear from a lot of pro athletes. Incidentally, he is the best. He holds the American record for 'throwing a stick'.

His 'just have fun with it' stance on competition reminds me of another Olympic athlete - skier Bode Miller. Bode didn't ski to win, he skied to have fun. He even authored a book titled Go Fast, Be Good, Have Fun.

A lot of people take exception to his style. He's been chastised by the media on more than one occasion. Before the 2006 winter Olympics he was interviewed by Newsweek. In that interview he explained what he thought the ideal games would be. Two and a half years later, I still remember it verbatim.

"For me the ideal Olympics would be to go in with all that pressure, all that attention and have performances that are literally tear-jerking, that make people put their heads down because they’re embarrassed at how emotional they’re getting, that make people want to try sports, talk to their kids, call their f---ing ex-wives—and come away with no medals. I think that would be epic. That would be the perfect thing."

Hell. Yeah. I was interviewed by Midwest Events magazine last month, and I wish I could have said something that poignant.

When the Olympics start next week, I won't be paying attention to the TV networks gold medal count ticker. I'll be watching the faces of the athletes when they cross the finish line. There's nothing I love more than that "Holy crap, I just raced in the Olympics" look of shock.

Here's footage of the 2004 women's marathon in Athens. Skip ahead to 8:40 to see what a third place finish looks like.

In tears.

Friday, July 25, 2008

walk the dog

So I was out running on Minnehaha Parkway last night. Somewhere around 12th Avenue I saw one of those things that makes you question the survival of humanity.

I approached a couple walking their Jack Russel terrier & pulling a toddler in a little red wagon. They were giving the toddler play-by-play, "Look at the pretty bird. See him? Pretty bird!" in one of those octave-too-high voices reserved for little ones.

As I ran by the wagon, the toddler barked at me... because it wasn't a toddler but a dog! They were walking one dog and towing the other. And they were telling the pug what it was missing out on. Wrap your head around that one!

The pug didn't appear to be injured. It jumped up when I ran by. I give the couple kudos for walking the Jack Russel. But seriously, if the dog needs to ride in a wagon just leave it home.

There aren't many things more off-putting than expecting to see a cute baby & instead being barked at by a stocky, bug-eyed furball. It wasn't quite Rosemary's Baby disturbing, but it was definitely close.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stiletto run. Seriously.

Ad Rants is reporting on this interesting event. It's a promotion for Glamour magazine where hundreds of women in Moscow race 75 meters in stiletto heels for a big fat cash prize.

There's a big photo set of the event on Flickr. Warning: Images may be extremely awesome.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

oh boy

Just when you think doping investigations can't get any weirder, this happens.

Marion Jones is asking President Bush to commute her 6 month prison sentence. The article makes it sound like convicted felons ask for presidential pardons all the time.

The good folks at USATF aren't going to stand for this, so they've drafted a letter to the president asking him not to commute Jones' sentence. They also offer a condensed version of the letter on their website which you can copy & customize before sending it off to the White House.

Since there are presidential politics involved, I'm sure this will be a hot button issue. I am merely the messenger. Do as you like with this information.

Friday, July 18, 2008

meet the newest MDRA member

The MDRA family just got a little bigger and a hell of a lot cuter.
Meet Cole.

Cole is the latest addition to the family of MDRA President, Kevin & his wife Alicia.

With a couple of marathoners for parents, it's a safe bet Cole will be a fan of pureed pasta, long slow distance crawls, and sippy cups full of Gatorade. Will his first word be "ma-ma", "da-da", or "tempo run"? Only time will tell.

and the free schwag keeps a coming

The MDRA is really an advocacy group for runners. But lately we're a bastion of free stuff. Resplendent with schwag a plenty for the running masses. This is one of many reasons why we totally rule. Tell your friends to join MDRA. They may one day win something awesome, and they'll owe you a solid for turning them on to our goodness.

On to the freebies. The Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago needs TCM participants for a study. You do a few online surveys before & after the marathon, the you're entered in a drawing for cool stuff.

Here's the skinny from George Wu, PhD.
Letter to Participants

The University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business is conducting a study on the relationship between marathon performance and satisfaction and we would like to invite you to participate. We are seeking individuals who plan to run in the 2008 Twin Cities Marathon.

The study involves completing 3 online surveys, one taking place roughly 2 months prior to the marathon and the final taking place after the marathon. Each survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete and will include a variety of questions pertaining to the marathon, your training, and your general running experience. Participants will be entered into a lottery offering prizes including an iPod Nano, Garmin Forerunner GPS watch, and various running jackets. The study has been approved by the University of Chicago's Institutional Review Board (IRB).

More information about the study (including a full listing of prizes), contact information, and an online registration form can be found here:

We also hope that this research will be of interest to you, and we would be delighted to provide you with the results of our research when the study is complete.

We look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks for your time!


George Wu, PhD
Professor of Managerial and Organizational Behavior
University of Chicago
Graduate School of Business

Thursday, July 17, 2008

a mile & a shot at Grandma's Half Marathon.

Dig this:

Minnesota Mile St. Paul Set for July 22

2009 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Entries to 250 Finishers

( Duluth , Minn. ) Some of the world’s fastest athletes will showcase their speed July 22 in St. Paul . They will be among hundreds of runners competing in the 2nd annual Minnesota Mile St. Paul, a Grandma’s Marathon race held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

The event has four separate running divisions (see division schedules below) with the elite athletes competing in the feature race ― Grandma’s Minnesota Mile. A $5,700 prize purse is being offered to the top finishers with the male and female champions each receiving $1,250.

Among the top male runners registered is Kenya ’s David Tuwei, runner-up in last month’s Grandma’s Marathon . Matt Downin of Minneapolis and Ethiopia ’s Abiyot Abebe are others who are expected to contend for the men’s title.

Katie McGregor, who finished second in the inaugural Minnesota Mile St. Paul in 2007, is among the top females, as is Caroline Rotich of Kenya . Rotich placed second in the 2008 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon.

This race is the first of two events which comprise the Grandma’s Minnesota Mile series. The second event, Grandma’s Minnesota Mile Duluth, will be run in downtown Duluth on Sunday, September 7.

One special feature of the event is the distribution of 250 guaranteed entries to next June’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. Names of the finishers from all four divisions will be collected and 250 runners will be randomly selected to receive the half-marathon entries. The same opportunity will be offered during the September Grandma’s Minnesota Mile Duluth.

Grandma’s Minnesota Mile St. Paul is presented by Verizon Wireless and Advantage Emblem. For more information, visit or or call (218) 727-0947.

Grandma’s Minnesota Mile St. Paul

Tuesday, July 22

Minnesota State Fairgrounds

6:30 p.m. Kids Mile For children ages 8 to 14

6:50 p.m. All-City Mile For Recreational Runners with the following projected finishing times:
Men - 5:46 or longer; Women - 6:46 or longer

7:30 p.m. St. Paul Mile For Semi-Elite Runners with the following projected finishing times:
Men - between 4:41 and 5:45; Women - between 5:41 and 6:45

7:50 p.m. Grandma’s Minnesota Mile For Elite Runners with the following projected finishing times:
Men - 4:40 or faster; Women - 5:40 or faster

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

MDRA 15K & MHI 5K coming up

Now that July is half over, it's time to start thinking about August events. The MDRA 15K & Minneapolis Heart Institute 5K are happening August 10th.

The 15K is the state championship race for open & masters, and it's part of the USATF team circuit series. Register before August 4th to get a discount.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

we have a winner

Last night at the MDRA meeting we voted for our favorite Grandma's haiku. It was a close contest, but the winner by a margin of two votes was Diane Odeen from River Falls, WI. Here's her winning entry:

Firebreathing art
Lakeshore roads to city streets
Strawberries and ice.

Well done, Diane. Your hat is in the mail.

We (the MDRA board) decided on a different contest for the Twin Cities Marathon. We'll be giving away a hat or something to the best race recap in limerick format. It should be hilarious. Limericks always have the potential to get a little blue.

If any of you runners out there know a speed walker, give them a heads up. Mr. T is gunning for them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

run naked

Behold! Nude Recreation Week is upon us.

Follow that link to learn about all sorts of nude activities. I checked the list of 20 things NOT to do during nude recreation week. Running was not among them.

So, those few, brave, nekkid runners out there are free to frolic - though we suggest staying away from popular areas. And well lit areas. And areas where cops hang out. In fact, just stay the heck away from everyone if you want to run around nude. No one wants to see that stuff.

However, if people tell you that you look just like Anne Hathaway (or if you are Anne Hathaway), I invite you to run nude around my back yard. I really won't mind at all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

attention local fast people...

The TC 10 Mile is looking for you. New this year, local elites may be eligible for a guaranteed and comped entry to the Medtronic TC 10! That's right speed demons, free entry to the lottery-drawn TC 10. Here's what to do if you're interested:

1. Go to to see the time standards to be considered a local elite. Consideration is given to those who are close to the standards and age is also taken into consideration. Sadly, special consideration is not given to 29 year old middle-of-the-pack bloggers.

2. After reviewing the standards, contact for consideration.

3. Do this BEFORE signing up for the general lottery process (which starts Monday, July 7th). If you are eligible for a comp entry, you should NOT enter the lottery process.

There you have it. Remember, consideration is given for equivalent times. So if you've never run a 10 miler, but you've run a fast 10K, you could still get in as a local elite. Good luck, fast Minnesotans.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Des Moines Marathon needs pacers

The IMT Des Moines Marathon has put out a request for marathon pacers for the 2008 event. This year's races (half marathon & marathon) will be held October 19.

More info on pace team leaders can be found here.

Friday, June 27, 2008

motor mouths

It's been a good year for people yelling stuff from cars. A lot of drivers must think runners are interested in their opinions. The comments I hear the most are "Run Forrest, Run!" - a true classic - and "Get a car!"

I hear 'get a car' mostly from redneck-ish guys in big pickup trucks, usually when I'm biking. There's often a "Git-R-Done" sticker & some NASCAR memorabilia in the back window. I can't figure out why they don't yell "Get a truck". Maybe I'm not macho enough for a big truck. You've got to be really tough to get 12 miles per gallon while wearing a Def Leppard T-shirt with the sleeves torn off.

However, MDRA office manager Heidi heard the best vehicle to exerciser taunt ever while biking this week;

"The other day I was riding and hear some car start to slow down and pull up near me. I start to think, now what (as it has been that kind of summer) and this kid rolls down his window and shouts "my girlfriend is HOT!" Okay....she was in the passenger seat. Guess he just wanted someone to know."

Wuh... just, wow. Amazing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

you're a poetic bunch

The Grandma's haikus are rolling in! The deadline is Monday, July 7.

We did get a Bjorklund half haiku - so the contest has been expanded to include the half. It's all part of the same experience, so why not? If a half marathon haiku wins, we'll send you half a hat. Please specify which half you want. I'd opt for the bottom half. That way it will still function as a visor!

Just kidding, by the way.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Coupla things

First off, this is our 200th blog post. Welcome to it.

Next, don't forget to send us your Grandma's Marathon Haiku for a chance at winning an MDRA hat. A herculean effort this is not. You could have your kid write it for you. We won't tell. "No dessert until you finish mommy's haiku. And clean up your room!" Kids these days...

Also, there's an article in the Strib about barefoot running. I cross that same railroad bed on my lunch hour runs, and my feet get dinged up in shoes. Crossing that barefoot can not be pleasant.

Finally, we got a request from a MN runner Steve K. who is looking for some traveling companions:
"I'm a competitive marathon runner and I'm planning a two week trip to the mountains in August (8th-24th) for some altitude training. Unfortunately none of my serious running buddies can take the time off or miss prior commitments, etc... So I'm looking to find one or two people to come with me."

If you too would be down with some high-altitude butt kicking, drop us a line & we'll put you in touch with Steve.

Friday, June 20, 2008

reporting from Duluth

MDRA Office Manager Heidi just sent along this info from Duluth, where she's setting up for the Grandma's expo:

"I have never felt it so warm and humid at 10 am before, supposed to be cooler tomorrow but a perfect day today for hanging out. Get up here early -one lane traffic coming into Duluth is going to be a nightmare."

There you have it. Leave early & hydrate well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Sexy Limp

A lot of things about runners could be considered sexy. Our totally awesome legs & butts come to mind first. Most of us marathoners have pretty rockin' abs as well. A sexy limp? Definitely not at the top of my list. In fact, it isn't even on my list of sexy things about runners.

Strange as it sounds, I've been told that I have a sexy limp.

It was on the way home from Grandma's Marathon. We stopped at a gas station, and I shuffled in to buy a Gatorade while my friends pumped gas or waited in the car.

Upon limping back to the car, my buddy Chad's girlfriend Chris announced, "That was really sexy."

An awkward silence followed.

I had to ask, "Uh...what was sexy?"
"Your limp." Chris replied.

She went on to explain that she didn't usually find limping sexy. She knew the cause of my limp (Grandma's Marathon) and thought that it was pretty cool that I ran it, so it became sexy in context.

Yeah, I don't get it either.

I just wish I'd used the sexy limp to my advantage. If Chris thought it was sexy, odds are a few other women would have too. I should have gone out bar hopping... or bar limping, as it were.

fall marathon class starts Tuesday!

I know Grandma's is on everyone's mind, but the TCM is closer than you think. The MDRA Fall Marathon Class starts Tuesday June 24 @7:00 at the ECC - room 351. We do have TCM entries available. Be there.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

another chance to win a hat is here!

Once again it's on! Last year we ran a competition after Grandma's with an MDRA hat as the grand prize. We're bringing it back for 2008.

Here's how it works. Email with a race recap in Haiku format. That's right. Haiku.

For the unfamiliar, it's a 3 line poem with 5 syllables in the first & third lines and 7 syllables in the second line.

Here's two examples:

Bonked so very hard
Good thing I had Gu with me
Slow walk to finish


PR in the bag
All my training paid off huge
Runner's high is great

There you have it. Recap your Grandma's experience in Haiku & win yourself a sweet Headsweats MDRA hat.

Bring the prose, runners
Free running schwag is way cool
Make us laugh and win

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Best. Cheering. Ever.

A bit of set-up is required for this story, but it's worth it. Trust me.

I went to Grandma's '02 marathon with three friends from college; Chad, Pete and Tim. They weren't running, but they had nothing going on that weekend and wanted to see what a marathon was all about. Chad's girlfriend at the time had family in Duluth, so we had a place to stay.

As previously mentioned, 2002 was the year the Grandma's start was delayed about a half hour due to dangerous thunderstorms to the South. I heard (but never confirmed) that the aid station tables at either mile 7 or 9 blew over & had to be reset. The race directors made the right call. Unfortunately, they made the call after I dropped off my sweats.

So there I sat, at the start line, shivering in a singlet in a light rain, waiting for the race to start. After what felt like hours, the race finally began.

The shivering took it's toll - my legs were heavy from the get go. I was out of the race mentally by mile 5. It didn't help that I was borderline over-trained going in.

By mile 7, I knew I couldn't make it. I also knew I was miles from anything & I had to hang on a little longer so I could find an aid station with some space blankets so I wouldn't freeze. I didn't know it at the time, but mile 7 was the worst I'd feel all day.

I chatted with other runners & tried to stay positive. I saw some spectators wearing Luther sweatshirts at the halfway point, and that cheered me up. I knew my friends would be between mile 17-19, so I convinced myself to run to them & then drop out.

I spotted my buddies a bit after mile 17. I was sure they had lost their minds.

They were standing in a line, just screaming their heads off & clapping for every single runner that passed by. These usually stoic, Mid-Western Lutherans had transformed in to enthusiastic mad men. My friends weren't runners. They weren't really sports fans in general. For whatever reason, watching thousands of runners stream by lit a fire under their collective behinds.

Then they spotted me.

Chad saw me first. He sort of hunkered down & leaned toward me, turned bright red, and began swearing encouragement like you've never heard swearing before. It was something along the lines of, "F**k yeah Colin, you g*dd**n m**herf**ker! Keep that s**t up! You f**king kick f**king a*s!!" ... and I'm toning that down. Fortunately there weren't any kids around. It may sound offensive, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.

Pete yelled some encouragement similar to Chad. He also did an arm-waving jumping-around maneuver not unlike a jumping jack. Now I know I was tired, and my brain was low on glucose, but I'm certain he was floating 4 inches above the ground. I will swear on a stack of whatever holy book you put in front of me (Bible, Qur'an, Lydiard) that Pete was levitating above highway 61 while cheering like a mad man.

Tim had just spent a year in Norway, so he was cheering in Norwegian and English, just to switch it up. He was yelling in Norwegian before I arrived, so he stuck with it. To this day, I have no idea what he was screaming about. It could have been a grocery list for all I know. Whatever it was, it made me want to go faster.

I spent over 2 hours wanting to be done...then they happened. Two hours of misery vanished in seven seconds of high-energy freak out. My mindset went from "I can't wait to walk off the course" to "I'm going to kick this course's ass and it's going to stay kicked." If I dropped out, I'd be letting them down.

I was still grooving on their cheering when I crossed the finish line.

Cell Phone Chicks

Grandma's '02 was my second marathon. It was also the first, and only, time I saw cell phone use during a race. I'll repeat that.

Cell phone use. During a race. Wha???

It was at mile 22-ish. I wasn't having a particularly good race. My legs felt heavy from the start, but perked up a bit at mile 17 due to some amazing cheering (more on that tomorrow). Since my pace picked up, I started catching & passing people.

I caught the cell phone chicks just after Lemon Drop hill. They were in their early 20s, wearing lots of makeup (that tells you something) & on pace to run a 3:50 marathon, give or take.

One of the girls reached in to her water bottle belt pocket & pulled out a phone. She called her mom & said "Hey, we're at mile 22 so we'll finish in about 30 minutes."

I thought, "Well that's pretty clever." Then she called her boyfriend & chatted for a while. Then the other cell phone chick called her boyfriend & had a minute-long conversation about where to meet after the race. Then she gave the phone back to the original cell phone chick, who made another call!

Call me old fashioned, but when I'm running a marathon I like to concentrate on running the marathon. Post race meeting plans are best finalized before the race is underway.

Great leaps in cell phone technology have been made since '02. Now the cell phone chicks could buy little bluetooth headsets & yak with their friends the entire race. "Omigod, I'm totally running a marathon! Did you watch The Hills last night? Omigod, I just spilled blue Powerade on my cute top..."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jesse Ventura on a Trampoline

There are some things you expect to see along a marathon course. Volunteers. Spectators. Police & traffic control.

Jesse Ventura on a trampoline is not something I expected to see, but there he was.

I think he was around mile 8 or 9 - not the real Jesse, but some nut in a costume. He had on a crazy flesh-toned muscle outfit & was wearing a neon Speedo. I think there might have been a feather boa involved as well. The guy adorned his upper lip with a great fake Jesse mustache...or maybe he grew his own for the occasion. I hope so. I admire that kind of dedication to your craft.

He was hopping around on one of those mini trampolines. Not sure why. All the while he encouraged runners in a deep, Jesse-inspired baritone. He did a decent impression.

A few yards after I passed him, I heard a guy behind me say something to the effect of, "Well that was weird".

The guy who said it was running in a US Postal Service uniform.

That was a really trippy race.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

the caffeine man

It's time for the first installment of fine Grandma's Marathon memories. Enjoy.

Part 1 - The Caffeine Man
I met the caffeine man while standing in the port-a-potty line at the Grandma's start. I didn't really meet him I guess. I experienced him.

For those of you who remember, '02 was the year that the start of the marathon was delayed 30 minutes due to really bad thunderstorms near the halfway point. Most of the conversation in port-o-john lines was centered around weather. There was one notable exception - the caffeine man.

He was in the next line over from mine. The guy was about 5' 10", skinny & spoke with what I think was a Texas accent. He was bouncing up & down and talking with his buddy, who was also from Texas. They weren't so much talking with each other - caffeine man was firmly in control of the conversation.

He talked about Minnesota accents (he thought we sounded 'neat'), storms, shoes, socks, anti-chaffing solutions, blister prevention and at least 30 other things in a span of 2 minutes. All the while he was jumping up & down like a kid on a pogo stick.

After a few minutes, the woman standing in line in front of him turned around & asked "What got in to you this morning?"

He quickly announced, "500 milligrams of pure caffeine, ma'm!"

For a sense of scale, that's 10 cups of black tea, 20 caffeinated GUs, or about 30oz of Caribou or Starbucks coffee. I'd like to call to your attention some other drugs that, like caffeine, end in 'ine'. Morphine. Codeine. Draw your own conclusions.

What really cracked me up was that he knew the exact dose! This dude was likely eating his morning bagel while reading the back of the No-Doze bottle. He probably said to himself "If 100 mg will wake me up, and 200mg will keep me up, 500mg will make me fast!" He then popped 5 pills, almost certainly against the advice of friends,loved ones, and the poison control center. I bet his wife has them on speed dial.

Not long after making his 500mg proclamation (like, maybe 20 seconds) the caffeine man turned to his Texas buddy & said "I can't handle standing still right now" and jogged off. They were one person from the front of the line.

I don't know whatever happened to the caffeine man. I would like to know if 500mg is still enough to fire him up before a race. If you told me he now snorts a few lines of powdered caffeine before a 5K, I'd believe you. I bet he has a big pile of it on his desk at work, a la Scarface.


Have you ever dreamed of being a certified USATF level 1 coach? Of course you have! Here's your chance; there's a coaching class June 16-17 in Stillwater.

The MDRA always needs coaches, so get certified & work with us!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

could be worse

I realize the weather has been less than ideal as of late. I grew tired of soggy slogs in rain a few weeks ago. However, it could be worse. The picture below was taken this morning in Park City, Utah, by my buddy Chad.

Our rainy stretch has been dreary...but not nearly as bad as finding 2 inches of snow on your patio mid-June.

Side note... my buddy Chad will come up again next week. With Grandma's Marathon around the corner, I'll recount some of my favorite memories from when I ran it in 2002. Chad's name will pop up in a post tentatively titled "Best. Cheering. Ever."

Other Grandma's memories I'll regale you with include "Caffeine Man", "Jesse Ventura on a Trampoline", "Cell Phone Chicks", and "The Sexy Limp". Stay tuned.

Friday, June 6, 2008


I found an answer to my red winged blackbird question (previous post) after a bit of online sleuthing. Here's the answer, from the fine folks at Wild Birds Unlimited.

"Red-winged Blackbirds fiercely defend their territory during the breeding season. Over a quarter of the male's time is spent vigorously defending his territory from other males and predators. They do not hesitate to attack much larger animals, including people."

That's the prefect setup for a joke about defending my territory during mating season if there ever was one. However, my wife reads this blog.

I'll just let you write your own punchline.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Just a quick public service announcement for all you runners...

It's officially red-winged blackbird dive-bombing season.

I don't know if they do this because its mating season, or baby bird raising season, or "let's be a bunch of jerk birds" season. Whatever the reason, they've lost it. They were amiable enough on Saturday morning. Yesterday they flipped out.

If there's a running ornithologist out there, we want to hear from you. Why do those punk birds wig out every summer & attack runners?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

we're still alive...

Sorry about the lack of posts lately here on ye olde blog. Work (both the 9-5 gig and freelance) has been nutty lately. Normal blogging will resume in the near future.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

just kidding, there still are TCM slots

I spoke too soon, there still are some TCM slots...if you know the right people.

Fortunately, you know the right people, baby. The MDRA Fall Marathon class will have up to 50 slots for TCM available!

Here's the fine print: you have to join the class and also pay the TCM entry fee and do the volunteer commitment (normally chip assembly or something like that).

The marathon class is $125 to join, which is a bargain for the amount of coaching you'll get! Also included in the $125 class fee is a one year MDRA membership & all the Mountain Berry PowerAde you can drink on long runs. The 2008 fall class starts on June 24th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TCM is closed

The Twin Cities Marathon reached it's registration limit recently. If you know someone who is just dying to get in, there are still fundraiser slots. Cost is $195, there are only 150 slots, and registration opens this Thursday (May 22) at noon.

In other news it's getting close to Grandma's taper time! That snuck up quick this year.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

the president's fitness test is back

I've missed the days of the grade school President's physical fitness test. I always got my butt kicked on the flexibility test, but exacted revenge on the limber kids during the mile run.

Well, the test is back for adults. It grades you on a 1.5 mile run, sit-ups in a minute, push-ups until failure, flexibility & B.M.I. All the details & how to grade yourself can be found here.

I'll be doing this thing as soon as I get a chance. I'm not expecting to do well, since I'm basically a one-armed man & can do maybe 2 push-ups. However, I think I've got a sub-9:00 mile & a half in my legs. That should count for something.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

free food!

That got your attention, didn't it? There are several free continental breakfast parties a free breakfast party for Bike Walk Week commuters tomorrow morning from 7:00-9:00.

Now you've got the perfect excuse to run or bike to work. I know how much runner's love free food. Anyone who's seen a finish line know how much runners love free food. I'll eat my weight in those Great Harvest race rolls (bagel lumps) after a 10K for no reason other than they're sitting there & I don't see a cash register nearby.

individual wins team state

In case you missed it, a girl in Texas won the state 1A track & field team title solo. Check it here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

TC one team results

The MDRA Crews turned in some solid results at the TC One mile last thursday. The men came in 6th, and even saw a couple of sub-5:00 times. The MDRA Masters cruised to a 5th place teram finish.

Next yp in the team competition is the BK 5K, taking place in my 'hood on May 26th. Be there.

Monday, May 5, 2008

from the Flying Pig marathon...

As this story says, if there's ever a good place to have a heart attack, it's near a group of paramedics. Wild.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

more Boston news & sportsmanship

First, here's the best act of sportsmanship ever.

Next, (thanks for the reminder, Chad) here's a recap of how the MDRA teams ran at Boston from masters runner Tony.

Things went well in Boston. Our Master's team was 16th out of 83 teams, with a team time of 8:52:36, and with all of our scorers coming in under 3 hours. The Open team finished 35th in a very competitive field of 75. All three scores were in at 2:55, for a team time of 8:46:26. I think we were able to show that Minnesota has a strong running community.

Nice job guys! Full team results here.

team circuit race coming up

Don't forget, the TCM One Mile is a week from today, and is the next race in the USATF Team Circuit.

Monday, April 28, 2008


This morning I informed a coworker that I might be late for a 1:00 meeting, as I was heading out to buy shoes over lunch. Priorities.

I made it back in time & she asked if my shopping trip was successful. I said "Yep, I got a pair of Wave Rider 10s & some Grid Trigons."

To which she replied "They don't sound like shoes, they sound like weapons."

I wish I thought of something clever to say. Such as, "My stride is a weapon of mass destruction." But I just cracked up.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Old man winter is bastard.

Snow is in the forecast for most of the state tomorrow. Seriously, winter can kiss my arse. I just washed & stored all of my wool & windblock stuff. It will be coming out of the closet tomorrow morning.

For those of you running Get in Gear tomorrow, bundle up!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


These banners were up all over Boston.
I miss KG, he's one of the classiest pro athletes around. I hope they win it all this year.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blogston Part two - the marathon

I'll start by saying I am a damn fool for not running a marathon last year. If I had half a brain, I would have run a 3:10 in 2007 so I could have raced on Monday.

The Boston TV coverage begins at 8:00 A.M. marathon morning. It's like watching a Superbowl pre-game show. There's all kinds of analysis & interviews & weather updates. They do a fantastic job. After watching the race unfold on TV for a while, my in-laws & I strolled out to the course and stationed ourselves right around mile 25.

The two women's leaders soon came by us shoulder to shoulder. We could hear the fan roar follow them down the street & around the corner to the finish line. Interesting side note: both the men's & women's leaders were preceded by a bunch of cops on motorcycles & a van containing 4 SWAT officers if full battle gear. Wild.

We didn't get a picture of the women coming through, as we were far too busy freaking out, but my wife did snap the men's leader.

A little after 2:50 on my watch, some familiar faces arrived. Below are Nate, Mike & Kirk, finishing strong.

The Boston cheering style is a little bit different than ours here in the MidWest. We tend to clap & yell "Go Runners" or "Go number 1132" if runner number 1132 happens to be running by. Bostonians Go for volume. They just scream their heads off & clap or ring a cowbell occasionally.

There is one exception to their non-number calling cheer style, and I honestly tear up a bit just thinking about it. About the time the 3:15 finishers were coming in, the first walker appeared. The guy's calves were cramping, so he walked little incline in front of us (we were just after an overpass). Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, directed all of their cheering to this guy. People were yelling is number, they were yelling "Come on silver shorts guy!", they were just yelling & pointing at him, then beckoning him forward.

Sure enough, the guy picked up his head, threw a little wave to the crowd, and started running again.

Everyone just lost their shit when he started running again. The volume went up 20 decibels. This random guy got a bigger ovation than Lance Armstrong & the winners combined.

Over the next hour or so, dozens of people walked the hill. Each time, the full energy of the crowd was on that person. Every time that walker started running again the crowd went nuts. Runners were crying tears of pain & joy, spectators were crying tears of joy, and I've never seen anything like it.

Thanks, Boston.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Blogston part one. the trials.

A quick caveat - all of my pics are still on the camera, so this post will be updated later with picturey goodness.

We arrived in Boston on Saturday, totally stoked to watch my sister-in-law Johanna run the trials on Sunday. The first order of business was checking in to the hotel, going for a walk, and hoping like hell I'd hear someone say "Pahk the cah." I love the Bostonian accent!

Johanna crashed early, so her boyfriend & I found the greatest bar in the known universe. If you're ever in Boston, go directly to Bukowski's on Dalton Street. They had an amazingt beer selection & the best rock music I've ever heard in a bar.

Sunday morning dawned gloriously with a light wind, no clouds (it was supposed to rain) and a temp in the low 50s. The women's trials course consisted of a quick 2.2 mile loop through Back Bay, followed by four 6 mile loops, each of which crossed the Charles River.

You can read the results here, but I'd rather blog about the atmosphere. About 75% of the course was lined with spectators. Actually, spectators is the wrong word. Crazy, rabid fans is more like it. Areas of the route were stacked 2 or 3 people deep & damn near everyone had a cowbell. The volume of the cheering was nuts...I bet they could hear us in New Hampshire. On the first lap, the runners looked genuinely surprised at the turn out. Johanna reported running with goosebumps at times due to the overwhelming crown enthusiasm.

The course sort of clover-leafed around, so we could see our favorite runners anywhere from 2-4 times per lap. I bet there are some cool helicopter shots of the mob dashing from point to point.

As the last lap started, we bolted for the finish line. The bleachers at the finish were ears were ringing for hours after the race. As Deena Kastor came down Boylston, the energy went up dramatically. The only thing I can compare the volume to is Weezer concert at First Ave. You know your hearing is being damaged, but it rocks so hard, you just don't care.

The coolest part was, it didn't get much quieter after Deena won. We stayed in the bleachers until well after the 50th place finisher came in, and people were still freaking out. The crowd around the jumbotron was 20 or more deep, watching footage of runners still on the course.

I've heard that Boston is a sports-crazy town. I assumed that craziness was limited to the Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox, Revolution, Boston Marathon & maybe some local minor league stuff. Never in a million years did I think that many people would watch the women's Olympic trials, at 8:00 in the morning on a Sunday. My hat is off to that town.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Shipping up to Boston

As Yeats said, "The innocent and beautiful have no enemy but time."

Run fast this weekend.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

show me the money

We all know runners aren't in this sport for the cash, but this article on Runner's World puts it in perspective.

The men's & women's winners at Boston each get $150,000. By comparison, Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling makes $13 million a year, and played in 24 games last season. That averages out to $541,666.66 per game. He gets paid half a mil to hurl a ball 70 times a game, give or take. Meanwhile, runners are just about killing themselves for what this guy makes in the first 3 innings. That sucks.

During the 2002 winter Olympics, my roommates & I devised a "calorie compensation" formula. Seriously, we worked on it for like 2 hours! We decided athletes should be paid for exactly that, athletics. Makes sense, right?

Under our formula, marathon runners & cross country skiers were at the top of the pay scale. Triathletes and cyclists ranked very high as well. The bottom of the barrel was reserved for baseball, bowling & golf. It seemed like a really good formula, I wish I could remember it.

Although, it could be good that runners are vastly underpaid. A fat wallet in an athlete's pocket can lead to stupid behavior like; battery, assaulting a stripper, cock fighting, dog fighting, kidnapping, witness tampering, or DUI.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Boston & the trials are in less than a week.

Time to get fired up.


In case you missed it last week, MDRA got some news coverage last a story about politics. Our logo even got some screen time. Check it out.

Also of note, there's a big yellow thing in the sky today. It appears to be radiating heat. Hopefully will see more of it in the future.

Friday, April 11, 2008

'ello London!!

MN rockstar Jason Lehmkuhle will be pacing at the London marathon this weekend. He's pacing the 2:11 group through 25K. Dude's got a 2:12:54 marathon PR, so it should be a walk in the park. That's friggin sick, man. I couldn't hang at that pace for a mile, let alone 26.

However, I could pace that group over the last two tenths. Marathon directors, contact me if you need a .2 mile pacer.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

i guess winter missed us

Another (another!!!) winter storm warning is upon us. As you can see from the map, pretty much the whole state will be effected:

Here in the metro, we can expect a mix of rain & snow that will result in icky conditions. Icky conditions... I am a damn wordsmith. That was Dickensian.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

the kid stays in the picture

here's your big break, runners. 2 crazy guys are attempting to run across America in 45 days. Any runner can audition online for a chance to run with these dudes for a mile. Details are here.

fit to print

Check out the homepage of today, and you'll see MDRA rockstar Kirk ripping it up at the Run the Valley. Sweet!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Grandma's Marathon is closed

press release outta Duluth...
Registration Closed for Grandma's Marathon

( Duluth , Minn. ) For the 14th consecutive year, Grandma’s Marathon has reached its field capacity and registration for the June 21 event is now officially closed.

More than 9,700 runners are registered to compete in the 32nd annual race which begins at 7:30 a.m., near Two Harbors , Minn. , and travels a course along Scenic Highway 61, through downtown Duluth and finishes in Canal Park .

The field is also full for both the 18th annual Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and the 15th annual William A. Irvin 5K. Registration for the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, held June 21 at 6:30 a.m., was conducted through a random lottery system in which 4,500 applicants were selected from a total pool of more than 9,200. Registration for the William A. Irvin 5K, scheduled for Friday, June 20 at 6 p.m., closed on March 21 after reaching its field limit of 1,200 in less than three days.

For the first time, these three races utilized an online registration procedure. Confirmation cards are being mailed to all registered participants.

Wells Fargo Bank Duluth, Target and Toyota are presenting sponsors of the multiple-event weekend. For more information on Grandma's Marathon weekend visit or call (218) 727-0947.

Friday, April 4, 2008

pothole season

This morning on my run I fell into this pothole.
I'm actually still falling. A college kid with a laptop fell in right behind me, so I'm blogging on his computer. I can't believe I'm still getting a wireless signal down here. I've been dropping for about 45 minutes with no end in site. Looks like I'm going to a party at the center of the Earth.

I hope there's something smooshy to land on at the bottom of this thing.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Olympic trials webcast

Press release below. Turn on, tune in.

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 2

2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon
Streamed Live Online & Televised

Race to serve as premier episode of Olympic Trials series

Boston, Mass. -- The Boston Athletic Association, in conjunction with NBC Sports and, announced today that live coverage of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women’s Marathon will be available on on Sunday, April 20. Additionally, a 60-minute highlights show will air on MSNBC on Sunday, April 27 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET.

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 20, and will be run on a unique multi-loop course in downtown Boston and Cambridge . The race will feature more than 100 of the top female marathoners in America vying for a chance to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer. Among the athletes entered in the field are 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, 1984 Olympic Marathon gold medalist Joan Samuelson, and 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Women's Marathon champion Colleen De Reuck.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

man oh man...the awsomeness!

Here's some totally sweet news; MDRA official photographer Wayne Kryduba is now one of the photogs for the Twins!

We'll let him tell it, "I'm sometimes in the 3rd base camera area, and the 1st base camera area and behind those cutout rectangles in the wall behind home plate....along with in the stands getting fan shots and on the field getting the events."

Kudos, congrats, and shouts-out go to Wayne & his arsenal of cameras, lenses & other implements of destruction. You can check out his tasty race images from the past year over here.

P.S. I hope at least one person gets the Arlo Guthrie reference in there...I bet Norm will.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

MDRA Announces New Summer Race Series

MDRA will be sponsoring a new race series this summer. The "Hotter than Hell" series will consist of six 4.1 mile (6.66 kilometer) races. The first race is June 6 at 6:00 PM. It's sponsored by the MN Women Runners League, and will be called the Ladies for Hades 6.66K.

"It's been so hot the last few years, this seemed like the logical next step." said MDRA board member Colin Farbotko. "After a summer of racing in hell, 70 degrees at the Twin Cities Marathon will feel great. To get in the mood, I've been listening to a lot of death metal."

Farbotko added, "I will eat your soul!" then burst into a searing metal guitar solo.

Series results will be tracked by the malevolent dark lord Gaul, one of Satan's minions & co-race director, and posted on the MDRA website after each race.

Due to anticipated race day heat in excess of 1000 degrees, water stations will be located every 100 meters. Each race will kick off with the national anthem, followed by a sing-along version of Van Halen's "Runnin with the Devil."

Series races include:
Ladies for Hades - sponsored by the MN Women Runners League
Hell's Wells - to benefit the MN Clean Water Project
Beelzebub & Grub - bring a canned food donation for $6.66 off the entry fee.
Underworld Relays - 6x6.6K relay event
Dirt Devil - cross counrty race
Cruisin' fer' Lucifer - series finale

There will be no cash prizes, but the top three finishers in each age group get to keep their souls.

Monday, March 31, 2008


You know what I really liked about last weekend? There weren't snowflakes the size of frisbees falling. Check this out:

Yes, there's a 100% chance of precipitation today. Nothing like a sure thing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

you guys wanna get high...

...cause I got some primo stuff. Mizuno Wave Rider 10s!

Serioulsy, this article in the NY Times focuses on the research of some neurologists who were able to measure a running induced endorphin rush for the first time ever. They used PET scans and bio-whatsmathingy...magic. Let's just say it was magic.

Dude, my best runners high was at this one Phish show in college. Wait, that was just high...on life. Yeah, life.

My best runners high was in 2004 during miles 14-22 of the Ironman Wisconsin marathon. Easily the most effortless running I've ever done.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

hot group action

Astute blog reader Carly asked, in the comments section of a previous post, "since you have this listed MDRA (the organization) and not you (an actual person), this would be better set up in facebook as a Group (then people could become Members of the group) OR as a Page (then people could become Fans of the page)... Let me know what you think."

Well Carly, I think that's a damn fine idea. There is now an MDRA Facebook group. I'm glad there are readers out there who have a better handle on the Facebook-o-sphere than I do.

Join our group, be our friend, join us on a group run, friend.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

face time

We're now on Facebook in addition to MySpace. Be our friend, won't you?

i'll just apologize in advance...

My deepest apology goes out to the Lake Nokomis area. You see, the temp today will be in the mid 40s. After work I'll be out running around the lake, wearing shorts.

And my legs are so pasty white you'll scarcely believe it.

I'm sorry for the horrible glare that will be shining off my bottom half. My only hope is that it isn't so bright as to distract pilots landing at MSP.

I apologize profusely to the other runners and walkers. Please consider bringing sunglasses along on your run. I really hope my pasty sheen doesn't cause permanent damage to your retinas.

I just don't have the genetic makeup to maintain any sort of color over the long Minnesota winter. My ancestry is 50% Polish, 25% Swedish & 25% Irish. None of those people are renowned for their swarthy, bronze glow.

So I apologize for the temporary blindness I will inflict upon the Lake Nokomis area tonight. I wish I could go tanning instead, but it's going to be too damn nice to not go for a run.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

mmmmmm... recovery food

The French have got this food thing down. Tonight I had pizza with créme fràiché (spelling almost certainly incorrect) scallops, salmon and basil.

Oh. Hell. Yeah.

Lots of Nantes runners were out and about today. The prefered running attire for 50 degrees and windy was tights and a T-shirt. They may kick our butts when it comes to food, but we've got these cats beat when it comes to running fashion sense.

In other news, you can make your own parking space here:

My brother-in-law parked his Renault on the sidewalk when he couldn't find a spot. He tells me that you can park on the sidewalk overnight and not get a ticket. The police don't issue parking tickets after 10:00PM or so.

We're years behind.