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Friday, March 26, 2010

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've posted any updates because I've just been too busy with work and life (in that order, unfortunately) but I do want to let everyone know what we've been up to. Here's a quick week-by-week recap of the last month or so for HATR...

On 2/28, a bunch of us headed out to Reading, PA, for another Pretzel City Sports trail race. This time it was the Ugly Mudder. There wasn't any mud, but it was ugly to say the least. When Ron Horn announced through his bullhorn at the start of the race that: "...having this race was officially the craziest thing that PCS had ever done...", I knew we were in for it. For 7.25 miles (~6.8 in actuality due to some sections of the course that had to be closed for safety), we ran pretty much single track trails up and down the hills of Mt. Penn through ice and snow. Fortunately, the single track we were on had already been pretty well packed down by the runners in front of us. If you made the mistake of trying to pass someone though, which I only did a couple of times, and chose to step off the beaten patch you immediately lost sight of your feet as the soft, fresh snow swallowed your legs up to about half way up your shins. At the end of this race, they gave awards to the winners but everyone who finished -- which all the HATRs did -- deserved a prize.

Here's a pic of the group pre-race at the starting line:

L to R: Tom P., Bill S., Kelly, Frank, Carlah, Mariana, Chuck, Linda, Butch, Bill Y., Lee

On 3/6, we met at Mercer County Park for a group run and for the second time it was all men that showed up...perhaps a little too much men but I'll get to that in a minute. This run marked our return inside MCP as we had previously been forced to stick to the roads outside the park due to weather conditions. We ran about 7 miles on a mix of bike path and trails making our way out to the dam and back. Bill S. and I had actually met up earlier that morning near our houses and ran to the park to meet the group and then ran home afterward. This added about another 8 miles to our day for a grand total of about 15 miles. It was nice to get a long run like that in but I sure was feeling it the rest of the day. Before I close, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the odd ending to this group run...I can't really explain it, but I will mention it. Somehow, someone at the end of the run when it was time for a group pic suggested it might be a good idea since none of the ladies had shown up to rip off our shirts in a display of testosterone and take the pic bare chested. The idea was not good, nor was the outcome in my opinion but I'll let you judge for yourself.

Roll call: Bill S., Bill Y., Brian, Butch, Mike, Michael, Nate

L to R: Butch, Michael, Bill Y. (clearly the only sensible one), Nate Bill S., Mike, Brian

On 3/13, our group run was canceled due to a torrential downpour, high winds, and flooding in much of the area. It takes a lot for us to cancel but the conditions certainly called for it that day.

On 3/20, we returned to Clayton on the first day of Spring. The weather was beautiful, a far cry from the extremes we had been seeing lately. No matter what kind of shape you're in, the first run at Clayton after not being there for a while is always a tough thing. The hills there are just so unforgiving. Much of the trails were soggy from the rain and melted snow, especially out near the soybean fields and the erosion caused by the run off near the hills forced you to really watch your step at places but we muscled through and had a nice long jog on a nice warm day. Again, the field was made up entirely of men. We managed to keep our shirts on this time but with the temps in the 50's we all wore shorts...not sure if that counts as showing a little leg or what.

Roll call: Bill Y., Butch, Brian, Ed, Michael, Nate

L to R: Butch, Ed. Michael, Bill Y., Nate, Brian

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