Thursday, July 7, 2011

Huckleberry Hustle

Nope, no nifty word play again, just citing the name of the race.

Pre-Race Stuff

While I'm bored to tears at work, I might as well give you the setup leading into today's race.  First off, I'm going camping this weekend, and haven't done anything to get ready yet, other than go to Almar Orchards and buy a case (yes a case) of two varieties of organic hard cider (Scrumpy and Solstice).  If you're ever in Flushing, MI, look them up (also see Koans and McCarrons orchards, because they all offer something different).  Anyway, that's the extent of the preparation I've done for the 2nd Annual Canoe Trip, other than making a half-baked checklist of very unimportant things not to forget. 

The canoe trip came about last year because we missed Nick3's (yes I number them, their name is too common not to at this point) 5th of July party.  The 5th party was a summer fixture until his family sold the place on the lake, and we never really replaced it with anything.  We'd been talking about a canoe trip for years, but things kept interrupting it.  One of the years when we actually had it all put together.  It was abandoned because our friend suddenly wanted to move to California, and we had to send him off that weekend instead.  Besides, he was our planner person, anyway.  I'm still pretty sure none of us would have got this thing rolling had my girlfriend, now fiance, just called and set it up last year. 

It was really fun, minus the two boat flips Jessi and I had, which weren't just nice "oopsy" flips.  They were "owww rocks and I can't hold the boat still enough to get back in" flips.  The root causes of the flips are still up for debate, because I haven't learned those four magic words ("yes dear, you're right").  We also had some comedic neighbors last year.  The mixed UofM/MSU group next to us was pretty rowdy until their 8 hour canoe trip wiped them out the last day.  There was also the crazy Canadians that out-partied the entire camp leaving an unending trail of beer cans (which they did pick up in the morning).  They even took a La-Z-Boy  chair that someone threw out on the adjacent road and sat it next to their fire for a few nights.  They then burned it the last night they were there. leaving only some smoldering scrap metal in the fire pit.  As I said, they put our "party" to shame.  Hopefully we'll get a chance to redeem ourselves.  We'll have at least 10 people this year, where last year we only had 6.  I will try not to throw at baseballs at anyone's head, and bring some Sun Chips for the raccoon (see 1st Canoe Trip)

Anyway, the Huckleberry Hustle is a race out at Crossroads Villiage, which is a small park run by Genesee County that has a mid-1800s theme.  I don't believe I'll be in period dress for the race, but I hope that isn't a problem.  What may be a problem is the 6 tacos that I had for lunch ("I love them little tacos.  I love them good!").  That's a lotta taco.  The race is at 7pm, which is right smack dab in the middle of when I should be getting things ready tonight.  Our tent smell awful, so I absolutely must put that up tonight to air out.  If not, I need to find where I can buy some new cartridges for my respirator mask.  I don't see taking the race too seriously, and I want to take a few photos as I go.  That may change depending on how well I digest and if I feel like actually running hard.  I doubt it.  Anyway, updates on the race later tonight...if I have time.  If not, I'll get it with all the "non-running weekend" camping/canoeing stuff when I come back.

The Race

Let me just begin with stating that the streak of me finishing ahead of Jason is over.  He darted off at the start, and there was just no catching him.  I'd like to blame the tacos, that we just had a distance run and my body's still thinking long distance, or the fact that it was a trail run...well no I don't like to blame race performance on anything really.  I was just slower today, and he was faster.  Still well within the usual margin of error though, and with a 5K average that's still sitting around 32:00, I'm not going to complain about a 27:05?...or something like that (finally checked...27:03 officially).  I forgot to take pictures (because I forgot a camera), but I did relax and enjoy the run, despite trying to catch a skinny man with a blue shirt and yellow stripes.  Yeah, I could see Jason up there, but he was a long ways away.  Honestly, I think it will be best for both of us if we actually have a little back and forth for a while.

As I said, it was mostly a trail run, with a little bit of gravel road through Crossroads Village.  It was closed by the time I got there, so there weren't any old timey people around except for a few people dressed as train conductors.  If I had that outfit, I'd just wear it all the time.  Another woman and on of them was addressing us over a P.A. before the race and saying a bunch of things that I'm pretty sure nobody heard at all.  Loud doesn't really help when clarity is completely lost.  Other than just enjoying the charms of the old buildings and town, there were a few animals there (goats, a calf, a donkey, and alpacas), every runner got a free ride on the old carosel (which I skipped out on...they're constantly restoring that thing as it is, I don't need to go all human waterfall on it and erode half the paint off), and they were giving out some berry blue after (which is my official Detroit Lions Kool-Aid...but never seems to do any good).

All in all a pretty good race.  My apologies for no pictures, I'm just not the shutterbug in this household.  Anyway, it's time for me to pack vacation shirts.  Yep, that's right, it's time to find the ugliest shirts I still own and wear them publicly just to prove I'm on vacation and don't care.  I can already picture Jessi shaking her head.

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