Saturday, November 1, 2014
If I had seen this before I registered, I don't think I would have run the race ! But what a great map .
And this from Jim McIntosh , who not only set it up , directed etc ... but managed to run 3rd in a decent 10m time ( my time was a PW for a 1/2 ... not counting Farmingtons version of this torture )
"Good morning, Good People--
Attached is a map of the All Souls courses, in case you want to prepare yourself for the race by running it beforehand. To be honest, I'm not sure this is such a good idea. (You'll know what I mean when you start running up Arizona Street.) But if you'd like an orienteering exercise, a good dog walk, or a remarkably scenic & savage family outing, print the map, get your compass, & off you go. Please note the disclaimer at the bottom of the handdrawn map."
but wait ... there is more
My friend & frequent race organizer Bob Schiowitz took his GPS for a stroll on our 15K course (more of less) & sent me this gem of a course profile. I was so proud of it, I had to send it to you all. "Check out the elevation profile below," Bob wrote. "You’ve outdone your sadistic self on this one. As you probably realize, this is a hill climb that averages 5.8%, with maximum ascents/descents of almost 20%."
The course profile is particularly helpful as you make a mental map of your coming ordeal. You will note that this course, like the city of Rome, has seven hills. They are, in order: La Capilla, Cemetery Point, the Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Boston Hill Proper (via the Devil's Backside), Turquoise Vista, Raven Pit, & The Sotols. I figured naming it all would bring you a certain comfort.
and in closing I would like to repeat, that Carlos from Run Culture said this race wouldn't be too hard !
Thursday, October 30, 2014
|high altitude bucci|
I drove out from Silver City and camped in a great forest above a blown out ancient volcano . did a nice hike to Gila Cliff dwellings .
|great job on trail by NPS|
|condo made of stona|
|the canyon in|
The weekend of October 25 had at least 10 races to chose from in the SW New Mexico / El Paso area . The Las Cruces races were 5ks , and after doing some very short intervals thursday I realized I would blow up in a short race . There was a 1/2M in Sunland Park which finished on a race track ( horse ) a marathon and half in El Paso . Both races involved no race day registration and the now typical big buck entrance fees . Meh . So I opted for the All Souls Urban Trail Races ( 5 & 15k ) in Silver City . With urban in the name …. how bad could it be ??
I spoke with Carlos , who owns the running store (Run Culture) in Las Cruces and he seemed to think the course wouldn't be too technical . Maybe some hills. .
The town of Silver City is about 110 miles west of Las Cruces in the SW corner of NM . At an altitude of 6000 feet it is somewhat cooler , especially noticeable at night . Western NM U is located here , along with a uniquely vibrant arts community . Like KW , it is a destination … not something you really drive through to get somewhere else, although there is some major wilderness and ancient culture explorations to be had nearby . And hills .
The race was being run to help raise money for the town theater . And it was being sponsored by , among others , a brewpub, who would be putting on an Oktoberfest after the race . Yes .
The course started downtown in front of the theater , turned right for a block, turned left …. and went straight up (a half mile maybe) to a gate that gets you onto the trails .Since I was already toast , I used the sharp right turn thru the gate as an opportunity to WALK . Yahoo … No O2 …. and I am just getting started . The course continued to climb and climb , making lefts and right here and there … each turn staffed by a couple of volunteers who cheerily gave you the "looking good" greeting . If I could have found the strength to vibrate my vocal cords I would have begged for ride back to the start . Shortly after passing by an old cemetery with band playing music for us , and an ambulance or two, we reached the point where the 5k and 15k split . I was so tempted . But not one runner in front of me turned for the 5k . Tell you anything ?
All kidding aside , the course was tough … very tough . But beautiful and fun . The ups were steep enough to make you walk if you didn't keep your focus . And the downs were scary enough ( steep , bumpy, and loose in spots) to make you crawl from fear …. but really for the most part , there was enough visibility so you could let it fly like an 18 wheeler in the Sierras …. knowing there was a flat spot coming up before your wheels came off ! I found myself concentrating so hard that frequently I didn't have time to realize I was out of gas !
Great community support , interesting people … and I felt I had really accomplished something when I was done . The 2nd place finisher and I yakked for a while . He ran in sandals . And not some sport sandal . Homemade . He is doing a 100 miler next week and needed the work . "Because this is about the hardest course in the state" . Now I'm feeling even better !
|the big ditch|
|coming into town|
|silver from where the course entered the trail|
|somewhere up there is the turn around|
so ? Anybody been there ... anybody know where it is ??
At Chaco I met a guy early one morning who, like me, was out taking sunrise pics of the Fajeta Butte . We ran into each other again later , and swapped emails so he could send me a picture ( the one of me on my bike frozen like popsicle ) . He owned a solar company in Las Cruces, talked it up , and when I emailed him back about some RV parks he invited me stay at his place . Like most people (it seems) in the SW he had a dedicated pad with electric and water for his RV and I stayed a few days and had the benefit of local knowledge .
Because with my limited knowledge the best thing I could think of was , southern New Mexico , it must be warm . (After it dipping below 40 at night in Chaco ... I'm ready !) And now that I had looked at a map once or twice on the trip, I knew it was on the Rio Grande . This is what I found !
Take the state university . Place it in a town near the Texas / Mexican border . We are talking desert , high desert . Surround it with mountains . Run the Rio Grande through it and give it major Ag … everything from Pima Cotton , to Pecans , Corn to Cabbage , the famous New Mexican Pepper , onions, garlic , tomatoes … grapes ! NM has a burgeoning wine industry and this is one of the best appellateions . Throw in Spaceport America , Virgin Galactic , White Sands ….and you have a lot going on for an old spanish town of 100k !
Here is a link
Anyway, I have had a blast hiking , running , touring . I literally woke up to the wonderful smell of chilis roasting every morning from the local salsa company . Hungry !!!!
|Mellow & Janets house|
|locked gate while hiking|
|which one ?|
|running trail along Rio Grande|
|low tide on the River Large|
|collection of cacti|
|A Parade of Pima Cotton|
|A Pandemonium of Parrots in the Pecans|
Friday, October 17, 2014
|aka Dish Network|
Tracy gave me this quirky ( surprised ? ) little book b4 I left on this venture titled 50 unique things to see in Florida ( or something like that ) . Like the worlds largest pile of phosphates ... or the Rodin Museum . ...which might help explain why while on a journey to National Park and Monument Paradise, I thought of her when I drove out to the VLA . Its really cool . Large too.
|History of the VLA:|
|1972 August: approved by Congress
1973 April: construction started
1975 September 22: first antenna put in place
1976 February 18: first fringes
1980: formal dedication of the VLA
|The total cost was $78,578,000 (in 1972 dollars), roughly $1 per taxpayer at the time; the project was completed nearly one year early, and within the allotted budget.|
|...and the worlds coolest sundial|
|lunch time !|
|seemed like a good idea at the time|
|repair shop ... those are people in lower right corner ... each dish weighs 230 tons|
|winner of best sign award|