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.