Start of the BT and Doing the DU!

This weekend was supposed to be my last long run before I taper for my next 100 miler so my plan was to run 30 miles of the Buckeye Trail Saturday morning and then knock out a quick sprint duathlon on Sunday with some of my friends.

Saturday morning, my original plan was to step out of my house around 3:00am drive to Mentor Headlands Park (which is one of the BT trailheads) and run the first 30 miles of the trail.  Then a friend of mine said they would give a ride back to my car.  However, after attending a surprise 40th birthday party for a another friend of mine on Friday night — lets just say I slept in.

Start of the Buckeye Trail – Mentor Headlands State Park

I ended up stepping out of my front door at 8:00am!  I was very excited to run this 30.  I am still planning on running this trail in 2013 so seeing how easily (or not) it is to navigate now vs. the middle of winter is VERY appealing!

I’ve blogged about it before, but the entire trail is identified with “blue blazes” on trees, telephone poles, guard rails, stop signs, and markers placed in the ground.  The whole idea of marking out a 1444 mile trail around a state is phenomenal — another reason why Ohio ROCKS!

These are the kinds of places I that make me feel so relaxed!

Gotta love Ohio!

Follow the “Blue Blazes”

The course is generally marked very well.  At times there are two blazes marked.  What this tells you is, that the trail turns, and to follow the blaze on the top; if it is offset to the left,  take the next left… if it is to the right, take a right.  Usually the same tree or telephone pole, etc. is marked on opposite sides so that heading out, or coming back – the directions are pretty clear –  except for this one…

This one kind of confused me…..

This is where the trail cut through the lagoons…

And then it happened.

The trail hit the roads……

I DO NOT like running on the roads!  So after the trail turned into nearly 12 miles of roads, at mile 15 of the BT I decided to make a turn and head back to Headlands.

Roads. Blech.

While it was a gorgeous day to be out for a run… I’ve had enough of this scene!
Especially since I still had to run a DU the next day.

mine.mine.mine. mine. mine. mine….

So, I cut the run from 30 miles of the trail, to 15 miles of the trail and then another 7 to take a more direct route back to my starting point.  Check out the data here.

After I was finished, I hit the grocery store (which by the way is a BIG mistake to do after a run) went home and sat on the couch, eating and watching bad movies the rest of the night on Netflix.

Sunday morning I met up with my buddy Doug, his wife Marlo and their two kids at 6:15am and headed off to Portage Lakes.

Waiting on Doug — Oh the leg? More on that later.

Doug is a bad ass tri guy and so are the people he works with.  I’m a wanna be tri guy – I’ve run one tri two years ago and thought I was going to drown in the swim.  Doug talked me into (which isn’t too difficult to do) doing the sprint Duathalon which was a 5k run, a 22k bike, and then another 5k run.  Sounded fun enough, especially doing a race like this with a bunch of friends; even if they were all doing the tri and I did the DU.  Here is a map of the DU.  The time and splits are wrong because I started the activity too early and I never changed it from run to bike and back to run again — but at least the map is accurate.

Multi-sport athletes (minus a few – Dave, John, and Chris)

Doug and I – representing Achilles Running Shop, Mentor

Getting setup at the transition area

The race went very well!  I PLACED SECOND IN MY AGE GROUP AND 15TH OVERALL!  First place came in with a time of 1hr24min and my time was 1hr36min.  I don’t have any pics from the race yet.  I’ll have to keep checking their website to see if they’ll post any.  I really hope there are some because I carried “Peg” — the leg for the first 5k.  And about “Peg”,  Ok so we are a strange bunch sometimes, but like to have fun running or not….

“Peg” is actually leg #2 for OUTRUN.  The first one was “leg napped” at a race last year.  “She” is a mascot of sorts for our running group, “Ohio Ultra Trail Runners“.  This came to be during the inaugural running of O24 last year.  When the first leg was placed in the arms of a taxidermy bear in the lodge as a “warning” and somehow made her way onto the course, which was a 1mile loop that we ran for 24hrs (well — some of us ran for 24hrs., I ran for 100k).  Once out on the course people began to pick her up and hide her for others to find.  I ended up picking her up and carrying her across the start finish line and then placed her somewhere in the woods again.  She affectionately became known as “Leghorny”.  When you are running a 1mile loop for 24hrs, you have to entertain yourself somehow no?  Anyways, people started picking her up and taking her across the start-finish line, eventually someone applied a timing chip to her ankle and she logged 3x.x miles that day.

Since that day, the original leg went on to “run” races all over.  Someone from OUTRUN would carry her while they ran.  After the first one was stolen, we had such a good time with this – we needed a replacement.  Luckily Zack  founder of OUTRUN had another (I have no idea why). So came to be Peg.  When “Peg” is handed off to another so that they could carry her through their race and earn her another decal, pre race and post race – strange things happen….. She has been spotted getting her nails done in a hotel with kids of members, playing cards, going out to eat, giving presentations… Yeah, we’re a strange bunch that likes to goof around 🙂

Discussing business

Giving a presentation

Performance review?

It doesn’t stop there.  Once at a race the shenanigans continue…

Loves posing with kids…

Big kids too — this is from YUTC 50k on Saturday

Portage Lakes Tri/DU – today

A new sticker should be applied after each race.  This leg is quite the attention getter and conversation starter!  We aren’t the only odd people who participate in races.  There is always someone dressed in a costume.  The races themselves are fun, but this foolishness just adds to it!

My kids had a blast with this thing and wanted to take it everywhere!  So, after football we took her out to dinner with us.

Gotta eat — was a busy weekend

Sharing a snack…

And to top this dinner off, we even had the entire wait staff at Texas Roadhouse recognize her – mad props to all of them for being such good sports!!  Unfortunately we were all laughing so hard that I hit the record/stop button on my phone again and only recorded something like three seconds of it.  But picture this — 10-12 waiters/waitresses converging on our table.  One yells out, “ATTENTION EVERYBODY!  WE HAVE A VERY SPECIAL GUEST WITH US TONIGHT, SO JOIN US WHILE WE GIVE PEG A BIG OL’ FASHIONED YEEEEHAWW!!!”  At which time Jeremy raises up the leg and started waiving it around… priceless….

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5 thoughts on “Start of the BT and Doing the DU!

  1. Michael, great blog…..thanks for sharing the story on Peg, it’s quite a phenom. Congrats on the DU and keep us informed on when you are doing sections of the Buckeye, I will gladly join you for parts of it!

    • Ha! My kids had so much fun goofing with it. I had to hand it off last night to someone running a 24hr endurance race this weekend so after my it came to the bar with us. It made lots of new friends on the dancefloor! LOL

  2. Pingback: The Frosty 50K, North Carolina – Let the 2013 “Craziness” Commence! | No Giving Up Now

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