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Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's My Blog, So I'll Rant if I want To!

Now, if you are reading this you probably share my love for running, and running races in particular. The excitement, the energy, the camaraderie with our fellow runners and getting that bling placed around your neck at the finish makes the pain/expense worth it.

While there always little things that irk me during a race, like walkers walking 4 across or people wearing ear buds during a race then turning their music up so loud that they can't hear, but my new pet peeve tops the list:


While I understand that makes the registration convenient and easy, they charge a fee of almost 10%!

Here is what the Salt Lake City Marathon (and tons of other races) advertises on their website:

Marathon: $75 through Oct. 31; $80 through Dec. 31; $90 through Feb. 28; $95 through close of registration

But when you register through, the price goes to $97.75!

Now, there is the option of mailing in your entry. Here is what I found on their mail in form:
That brings the total to $95.00!

I realize this may seem petty to some, but when you do a lot of races, these little fees add up. Race Directors, in the name of all things sacred, if your race will cost me $97.75 or $95.00, advertise it as such! Why say your race cost $90.00 to enter, when it does not! 

Whew! I feel better now that I've gotten that off my chest!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Our Running with (or from) the Buffalo Adventure- The Practice Run

At last weeks training run, the subject of the Antelope Island Buffalo 25k came up. No one in the group had committed to doing it yet and with registration closing at the end of February, we knew we needed to get on it.

It is an awesome trail race (25k, 50k, 50 miler, 100 miler) on Antelope Island, a beautiful remote island about an hour outside of Salt Lake City and is the home to all kinds of wildlife, the most popular being herds of wild buffalo and antelope.

Last year, Teresa and I did the 25k and Bob B. and Bob K. did the 50k. This is a tough course, but we LOVED it, so the consensus was, LET'S DO IT AGAIN!

Now, if you read my blog post from last year's practice run, you will remember that Teresa and I got lost on the trail and almost ran into a heard of buffalo only to be rescued by a park ranger. While terrifying at the time, it made for a great adventure. Today's run was also quite the adventure.

Teresa, Bob B., Bob K., Skyler, Eric, Jamie, Kathleen and I headed to Antelope Island for another "test run" before the race next month. When we got to the ranger station to pay the fee to get in, Kathleen asked the ranger, "What do we do if we encounter Buffalo on the trail?" In the most nonchalant way the ranger answered, "Run like hell!" Nervous laughter filled the car.

The group on Antelope Island

It was a little cold & windy when we got there, but we quickly warmed up and the wind died down. The first few miles was the toughest as it is all up hill. It wasn't long before the guys split off from Teresa, Kathleen and I. The three of us watched them pull away up the hill and settled in to our pace (which at times was walking the killer hills).

It started to rain a little, but we didn't care. We were having a great time! Antelope Island is beautiful!

 Me on the trail

Kathleen on the trail

Teresa and I on the trail

We got about 4 1/2 miles into our run and we hit a pretty rocky part of the trail. I said "I think we are out of buffalo danger as I think they stay on the flat plains." The trail was pretty rocky, so we were all looking down to avoid tripping on the rocks. We were running on a single track trail, I was in front, followed by Teresa, then Kathleen. Just a few minutes later, we came around a bend on the trail and I just happened to look up. When I did I saw 6 huge buffalo about 100 yards away! If I hadn't looked up, I would have run right into the side of one of them! 

At that point I turned on a dime and quietly said "BUFFALO!" Teresa and Kathleen followed suit and we booked it back down the hill. Kathleen at one point said "Are the following us?", but luckily they weren't. Once we got far enough away, we laughed about it and were pretty thrilled at the fact that we would have another great story to tell the guys! 

The rest of the run could not be more beautiful. The weather was perfect! We were coming up on the fence where we parked when I saw a large brown spot moving near the trail. Yep, another buffalo! We immediately got off the trail and got close to the fence. Luckily by the time we got to the opening the buffalo had wandered off the trail and we made a run for it!

 The buffalo once we go behind the fence!

Teresa at a safe distance from the buffalo! Notice how close he is to the trail?

When the guys got back, we found out that they also ran into the 6 buffalo we saw (Bob B. got video)!

It was an awesome run followed by breakfast at Corner Bakery. Thanks to Kathleen for driving and to Teresa for taking these great photos! I can't wait for the race now! I think I will bring my pepper spray again! Hee Hee!