Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Naked-tastic 2015 Bay to Breakers

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of joining 30,000+ runners for the annual bacchanal known as the Bay to Breakers 12k in San Francisco, CA. This crazy parade of costumes, nakedness, and drunken debauchery is also a world-class elite event, and I look forward to it every year. My 8-year-old Sophie opted out this time (horses and vaulting took priority), so it was just me, the camera, and a course lined with free beer on both sides. It felt more tame than previous years, but was still a hoot!

(29,980 official runners take over San Francisco)
(Wow, it's cold outside!)
(Me and Ape Hashbury!)

(Bird's eye view of the start)

I arrived with breakfast beer in hand, and was greeted with smiles from the Ethiopian elites warming up in the Seeded Corral. Geez, these guys are hard at work and I'm just goofing around! I recognized a few trail runners as well, including Brett Rivers and the now-famous buns of Bob Hearn. Always strange to recognize a fellow runner by his thong!

(Bob, good to see you again)

(Brett and SFRC represent!)
After a dazzling national anthem by a 13-year-old, we heard the gun and took to the streets. Normally I'm driving in gridlock around 3rd and Mission, but today, we were flying along at a 6 min/mile pace. Part of that was just to stay warm, given our 55 degree day with a slight breeze. Naked runners freezing to the left, costumed runners boiling to the right...everyone was finding their groove.

(And we're off!)

(Wouldn't mind running in this centipede if the outfit worked for me)

(Wonder Women!)

(The elites up front)
Hayes Hill (mile 3) was calm compared to previous years, but I realized this was likely because we were in the first 1,000 runners. The locals probably haven't even woken up yet for the party that starts in an hour or so, and is known to dump 17 tons of trash in four hours. I took a quick break with the salmon (who run the race in reverse), who were waiting for the pace to calm down enough to begin their spawn.
(Now we're talking!)

(The salmon wait for just the right moment...)

(All hail THE PIMP!)

(Respect...he seriously committed to that costume!)

(Hayes Hill, out of control)

I stopped for another beer on Fell Street, happy to be the first runner to kick off one of the many neighborhood parties on this stretch. There were plenty of volunteers handing out water, and for good reason - this was quite a spectacle! I bet it's the most entertaining volunteer gig one can find.

(Jesus loves high fives)

(Fell St, right behind the centurions)

(Best volunteer gig ever!)

(Neighbors probably not so stoked to see this)
(And then there is this)

Our trip through Golden Gate Park (mile 5) had bands every half mile or so, featuring everything from God-preaching folk music, DJ's with roller dancers, to 60's psychedelic, and even a swing band. We leaned into the hill, dropping the pace to 5:45 min/mile, and of course, with me burping the whole way.
(Church of 8 Wheels get their groove on)

(Worked out all year for that outfit!)

(Groovy Judy back again)

(Swing time!)

(Oh yeah, still have some running to do)

(Giant Oompah Loompahs!)
(Finish and start freezing!)

I crossed the finish line in 54:11 for 815th place, laughing at my Strava map that showed beer-mile like intervals of 6 min/miles between beverages. My brother-in-law Brian Drue just happened to find me at the finish (also checking his Strava), and we toasted a beer to his 13th consecutive finish! I asked about his kids, but they were busy spray-painting his garage that was scheduled to be demo'd the next day. Yeah, I probably would have gone for that too.

(Checking our Strava!)
(New sponsor Little Debbie's puts out Twinkies and Cup Cakes to go with your beer...not exactly the healthiest finish line, but there you go)

(World record one-armed conga line!)

(Ha! Wouldn't that be fun? Kids tag up the garage before it's demo'd)
I vaped some hops at the Langunitas Brewing booth (tasty, but no, you don't get drunk) and grabbed some Twinkies before joining the World Record attempts at "longest one-armed conga line" and "most people jumping rope on their left leg". Although the B2B isn't the insanity it used to be, it still has it's crazy quirks. Glad I made it one more time! 

Now time to get serious for Comrades...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kremer, Maksimow, Team Roche and More Named to Team USA World Long Distance Mountain Running Team

When the 2015 WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships kicks off at the Zermatt Marathon on July 4, 2015, ten top U.S. runners will be there donning the red, white, and blue. Many of them are no strangers to international competition, while a few get to cut their teeth for the first time and try to be one of the top 3 scorers on the team.

(This course ain't no joke)

A few highlights of Team USA:

Stevie Kremer, 31, Crested Butte, CO – Salomon's pocket rocket, Stevie Kremer got the attention of the world when she won the Skyrunning Series in 2013, fresh off winning the 2012 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships. She's one of the best climbers in the sport, which will fair well on the Swiss Alps course. Great new video on her on the Salomon TV Channel.

David and Meghan Roche, Sunnyvale, CA - Likely the fastest couple in trail racing, these two Nike runners are known for setting a dozen course records per year between the two of them. Meghan is the reigning USATF 50k national champion, and recently won the 2015 Way Too Cool 50k.

Peter Maksimow, Manitou Springs, CO - A Team inov-8 member, Peter has incredible range on the mountains, from his Top 10 at the Pikes Peak Ascent, to top finishes all over Europe last year. He will certainly give the local breweries a test run as well. Too bad there's no award for best mustache.

Andy Wacker, 26, Boulder, CO - Andy placed 3rd at the WRMA championship at Pikes Peak last year, and won the USATF Half Marathon Road Championships with a blazing 1:05 (despite nearly missing the start). You can bet his speed will be put to the test.

Mario Mendoza, 29, Bend, OR - Famously known as the second fastest trail runner in Bend, OR, Mario is no slouch when a championship is on the line. He picked up Top 3 finishes at the USATF 10k, Half Marathon, and Marathon Trail championships in 2014 along with wins at the Dirty Half, Squawmish, and Haulin' Aspen Half Marathon.

There are also a number of Mountain Running Team USA regulars such as Eric Blake (team member for 10+ years, team silver in 2010), Maria Dalzot (back after making the Junior team in 2007), Brandy Erholtz (her 6th US team), and Megan Kimmel (4x La Sportiva Mountain Cup winner). Former US Mountain Running Team athlete and longtime staff member Richard Bolt from Mountain View, CA will lead the team to Switzerland.

The World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships is sanctioned by the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) under the patronage of the IAAF. This is the first year the event has achieved “Championship” status. The first World Long Distance Mountain Challenge was held at Sierre-Zinal in Switzerland in 2004, and last year, the event was held at the Pikes Peak Ascent in Manitou Springs, CO. The first team competition took place in 2009 in Austria. The U.S. Women have won the team title three times and the individual title three times. The U.S. Men have two gold medals and one silver team medal, along with three individual titles.

Wish them luck!


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