Tuesday, July 14, 2009

running & riding Fun Fest style

Fun Fest week has officially kicked off in Kingsport, actually it kicked off last weekend but most of the events I planned on doing are over now. Last Sat. night I entered the Crazy 8's 8k run for the 4th time. I had a goal in mind to try and keep my buddy Chris Dillow in sight for as long as possible. He's alot faster runner than me but he's been claiming not to have been running much this year. After Sat night's race I know he was lying. I lined up right behind Chris in the mix of 1700+ runners and kept him in sight for almost the first mile. With that many runners around us it was tough to keep a good pace and you really have to pay attention to the others around you or you could go down and get trampled. I almost witnessed this first hand when a kid near me tripped but luckily for him a guy behind him grabbed him by the back of his shirt picked him up legs and arms dangling and ran with him until he righted himself. Chris's pace was faster than I knew I could handle but I pushed on hoping he would slow after the crowd thinned out. As we ran along the 2nd street I had to cut right and hop onto the sidewalk due to slower runners in front of me. Chris must have done the same but went left because I never saw him again. I decided then to find a good pace for myself fire up my Ipod and finish as strong as I could. As we came through the halfway point the leaders (Kenyans) are usually finishing and you can see them entering the stadium. I watched as we passed each other and it wasn't until the 11th runner that I saw someone from this country and I doubt he was from the tri-cities.

Lining up at the start

Sara Reed, Chris Dillow & I before the race.

The finish line inside J. Fred Johnson stadium

Yesterday afternoon I entered the Bays Mountain Mountain Bike Rally, a race that's been going on longer than I've lived in the tri-cities put on by our local bike shop Larry's Cycles. Even though the course consists of all gravel roads the competitive side of it still makes it fun. There is not much in the way of flat terrain at Bays Mountain so some of the roads have eroded pretty bad during heavy rains. One section in particular is a steep downhill that is rutted out so bad there are no good lines and I'm surprised the section has not been eliminated from the course due to safety. At one point during the descent I thought I was going down when I tried to take a line too fast, the gravel was deep causing my rear wheel to slide around sideways. I manged to steer my bike out of the gravel and off the road in order to slow down. By the time I reached the bottom my arms were shaking from all the bumps and hard braking. After the race we learned that someone did take a spill on the firetower descent and broke their arm. Maybe next year they organizers will see the danger in this and change the course.

Gearing up to ride.

Lining up to race.

Mike and I duking it out at the halfway point

Earlier in the year it was rumored that the new Chiquapin Trail that we built was going to actually be added to the course to make this mountain bike race actually feel like a mountain bike race. Well it didn't happen but they did announce it will be added next year. With all the great singletrack at Bays Mountain I'm surprised the majority of the course is not singletrack.
I'm looking forward to this weekend, the 1st Annual Dead Possum Ride kicks of Saturday morning with tailgate grilling afterwards and a backyard skills party that evening. Bikes, grillin', beers and more bikes, what's not to like about that.

1 comment:


whats this backyard skills party you speak of?