Sunday, January 3, 2010

4th Annual Pigtails Flat Ass at Cedar River Trail

December 19, 2009
Cedar River Trail

And so it goes. Another year, another race. This year, I had to deal with more issues because of the need to obtain permits and insurance. In the past, I was proud to offer this race for free but was forced to charge a small fee to cover expenses. No one seemed to be bothered by the $5 price tag. In fact, people were so generous with donations that in addition to food for the Maple Valley Food Bank, I was able to donate $200 as well. Thank you for your kindness, especially during these tough economic times and holiday season. Ken delivered the food and monetary donation because of my busy work schedule and he said they were extremely grateful. The food bank was packed with people with a long line of people out the door and there were even a couple of volunteers coordinating parking. It was very special for him to see the looks on their faces. I wish I had been there.

Every year I have had to come up with a new medal design. It’s getting tougher and tougher to make each better than the last. The first year was a gold ball ornament that I taped a picture of a pig on. It was a hit. Then year two featured a round Styrofoam pig that I spray painted pink, watching the Styrofoam melt literally before my eyes, but they still held their shape, enough for me to super glue feet, snout, and tail to. I drew on its eyes, which was next to impossible with Styrofoam. Then last year, my husband turned some very nice pear wood and cut me thin slices and sanded a beveled edge that I put a finish on, glued felt ears to, and drew on the face. Both were adored. But this year, I wanted to get back into the holiday spirit and came up with the idea of jingle bells. I have an ornament on my tree that is a reindeer made from a bell. That gave me the idea of making a pig from a large jingle bell. Out came the pink spray can again. Fortunately, we had a day in the low 60s this late fall without rain that I was able to go outside and paint 120 bells. It left my driveway with a pink spot but it is gravel and eventually disappeared. But then it was looking like I was going to exceed 120 sign-ups, so I went seeking for more bells. (I had cleaned them out last year with the after Christmas sale-yes, I came up with this idea just after my 2008 race finished.) I found about 20 more, but this time, the temps were in the 30s and it was snowing the day I needed to spray paint them. (Remember that week a couple of weeks ago with temps in the teens?) I didn’t dare do it inside, the spray was going everywhere, and I couldn’t contain it. So it was snowing while I painted that last batch. I spent many hours super gluing the tiny felt ears that I cut out, sometimes getting my finger glued to the bell or to my other finger. I drew on the faces and looped the ribbon through. Of course I would run out of this or that and would have to go back to the store to get more supplies. I was so worried that I would run out of medals for all the runners, but rather, I have more than twenty left over from the cancels and no shows. Oh well, better to have too much than too little. I can use them now to help mark the trails for the Tiger Fat Ass after the New Year. The medals were a big hit this year again. How can I top that?

I was able to get my race permit with a discount because of my low fee and the fee for USA Track and Field was reasonable for 100 runners. We had 98 starters with the same finishers. No one got hurt or lost, thank goodness! My volunteers were amazing! Jess Mullen and Shawn McTaggart are fellow ultra trail runners that don’t care much for flat races, lucky me! They have done tons of races and know what runners want. Heidi Hansen is relatively new to distance running and did her first marathon at Portland this year. She has been running and exercising a lot and agreed at the suggestion of a friend to give her body a little break for a week. Being a mother of 6, I think she is entitled, but you can see her hardly being able to contain herself and wanting to get back to it. She told me she lost 50 pounds when I first met her earlier in the year so I’m sure she wants to make sure it stays off. Jess is training for a 100K in Texas in January (a veteran of several 100 milers herself) and Shawn, also a veteran of long distances including 150 miles in April at McNaughton, ran a phenomenal 50K the day after my race with so much elevation gain and descent, it hurts just thinking about it. Then, there were the start/finish volunteers. This included my husband, who supports not only my crazy running addiction, but also putting on two races a year. He does it without complaining or “you owe me for this” attitude. Tamara Cartwright was critical in helping with handing out medals, reading off times, keeping the soup pots filled and hot, and everything else under the tent. She has such a cheerful attitude, which was very much needed during the times I had to focus and couldn’t give the runners the special attention they were looking for. Tamara has been running more and more. I know she ran 37 miles at this year’s Redmond Watershed 12hr, but I’m not sure what she has done lately. She is also a great climber. Mel Preedy helped with organizing all the food donations and support until he had family commitments. I enjoyed hearing about his recent accomplishments at Cross Country Nationals in Lexington, Kentucky where he won a bronze for 3rd in his age group and a gold and trophy for 1st team in his age group. And Mel is 76! He ran 70 miles on his 70th birthday. I better slow down if I want to be able to do that at 70, but it might take me a week. And then there’s Michael Cartwright, who really counts as two volunteers. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law, Cliff Richards, whom many of you know, fractured his patella last week and had to have surgery the Friday before my race. He was planning on helping at the finish. Instead, he was laid up at home. He had been dealing with patellofemoral pain for a while and it was felt that he probably had a stress fracture that fractured even further when he fell last week. Well, at least he has the peace of mind knowing what the problem is and can now get back to rehabbing and returning to running. On the positive note, he had become a pretty good swimmer, but will need to get back to that slowly as well. Michael is a pretty amazing climber if you didn’t know, but has been focused on work lately. He has run many ultras and puts on a few of his own. He was my everywhere guy at my race, going back and forth, feeding the other volunteers, including me, and riding his bike back and forth on the trail checking on runners.

The day before the race I was supposed to have off to pack my vehicle and get all the last minute details done. But of course, I had to work, filling in for a sick coworker. I worked half a day and came home and got more stuff done that I didn’t get done Thursday in the evening. I had ordered race numbers that didn’t come because they misplaced my order. I used instead last year’s numbers, cut into 4s and wrote people’s names and numbers on. I made a special one for Bill Barmore for his 50th lifetime marathon. I loaded Ken’s Pathfinder, answered last minute e-mails, and actually had a relaxing evening with takeout Thai food, yum! We went to bed fairly early, about 9:30 and I had a decent night’s sleep, loaded up on antihistamines for my hives that had been plaguing me for a few days and causing a few restless nights. (You know when you have a terrible itch that feels oh so good to scratch as if you could take off the skin only to return worse with a vengeance with burning, bruising pain, and even more itching? That’s what I had to deal with. But I digress.) We awoke at 4:30, Ken had his coffee and we had our oatmeal. We arrived at the start about 6:30 with a few cars already there. Then we set up the shelter in the dark and I had to run out the ½ mile from the start to mark the turn around. I got back to more cars and runners checking in. Thank you, thank you for carpooling! That was very critical! The check in went pretty smoothly, but there seems to be a peak time that everyone decides to show up. There were quite a few race numbers still on the table when I led runners to the start on the other side of the river to the power/pipeline trail. I had already sent the aid station volunteers off to set up the aid station. At the top of my lungs I squeaked out last minute course information and sent everyone off into the mist for a short out and back. Then runners came back over the river to get on the main Cedar River Trail. As soon as they were off, we left Mel and Tamara to take care of the food bank stuff/post race food and any late stragglers. We had one from Beaverton, Oregon who showed up an hour late. Michael helped me put up signs and mark turn a rounds and setting up the unmanned aid station. This required some driving around. We picked up coffee and breakfast for ourselves and Tamara and Mel. Ken ran some errands. Michael dropped me off at the start/finish and went to join the aid station gals and also to bike the trails checking on runners. Tamara and I received runners as they came in. Cliff lent me his clock and time machine, which was great! It felt like a bona fide race! Unfortunately, the time machine paper got a little wet and jammed up on me, so I didn’t think I could use it anymore. Turns out I could have retrieved the information later, but I didn’t want to depend on that. Scott Sebelsky came through as first male and Stephanie Day as first female in the marathon in times of 3:20:20 and 3:56:04. Their course was an out and back. Kyle McCoy overtook Alex Swenson in the second half of the 50K to win by just over a minute in 3:56:02. Sara Malcom was first female in the 50K with a new course record of 4:26:00. Way to go! She received $31 for breaking the record. Their course was the same as the marathoners with another out and back at mile 21.5. Winners received farm animal salt and pepper shakers, but two did not pick theirs. I made use of them later anyway. Mary Hanna and Heather Nugent tied the Masters course record or 4:40 set last year by Merita Trohimovich-Pollard.

One by one, runners came in, were given their pig bell medal and offered hot soup. “I need more pig bell!” Betsy Rogers’ Thai Butternut Squash soup was again a hit. I made sure to get some of my own. Mary Hanna’s spice holiday bread was gone pretty fast. Heather Nugent made cookies, and there was delicious peppermint candy, other cookies, and a Jell-O delight that got eaten as well. Thanks for bringing to share! People hung around for a while, which gave it a festive feel. Most people were hovering around the propane heater (thanks Ken!) and no one caught fire. Everyone wore their medals-they better have after all the trouble I went through! Actually, people loved them. They jingled every time they moved. Things were thinning out at the end, but I kept the soup going for the last runners. Patty McKerney, who came in 2nd female in the marathon, was waiting for her niece Monica Fredrickson, who decided to switch from the marathon to her first 50K. She looked strong coming in. It’s great to see a wide range of ages. She was youngest at 19 and Bob Dolphin is keeping everyone’s dream alive at 80. I love to see their determination at the end. Bob had left when I needed to get rid of my two extra salt and pepper shakers. I gave one set to Monica and the other to Patty. Patty had found an i-Pod that turned out belonging to Jason Grose’s son. He was happy to see that we found it and Jason e-mailed me saying it prevented the need for him to crack his son’s skull! What a fun group! Other notable accomplishments included first 50K for Tony Myrie and Josh Owen, 50K PR by over an hour by Jessica Bienvenue, 50 miles in 8:58 by Lorie Alexander who ran 50 races of 50 miles or more this year (plus she has a quad coming up the weekend of New Years in Vernon, BC if you are interested but I don’t know the details-I’m sure I could get it for you), 50K PR by Susie Ro, Michael Kuhlmann, and Andy Fritz, marathon PR by over 25 minutes by Will Thomas, who had taken a 5-6 year hiatus from marathons (talk about a long taper!), and Maniac qualifier for Cody Hill and Robert Stretz. For Aaron Cunningham, it was his first 50K and Maniac qualifier. Welcome!

After everyone left, Tamara and Michael stuck around to help me take down the shelter and everything else and load my car. What a lifesaver! Can you imagine me trying to pack that big shelter by myself? Ken had to pick up his parents at the airport, so I was lucky they decided to stick around. Let me tell you, I couldn’t load anymore into that vehicle if I wanted to. It also was raining at that point. Jerry Thayer and Michael were nice enough to take my trash, which is a huge help since we don’t have garbage pick-up, we haul all our trash and recently made a dump run. So this prevented the need to make another trip for such a small load. Even though the race was over, I still had a lot to do. I went to three spots to pick up signs and break down my unmanned aid station. It was getting dark and raining. I squeezed more stuff in the vehicle and basically had to push stuff away from me falling on me from the passenger side. I hadn’t eaten since mid-morning or peed for hours. I know, silly me, I had plenty of help and time. I got home and still didn’t go, too busy unloading the Pathfinder. Finally, I sat down and had dinner, entered the results on Excel, and went to bed. Sleep was restless again with my hives. I awoke at 5am, planning on running about 28 miles on Tiger, but managed only 13. I was running with Terry Sentinella, and we kept getting lost. This sapped our energy and he had run a marathon Saturday (he had already signed up for the Bob Greene marathon before hearing about mine). I felt I had gotten a pretty good workout after 3 ½ hours with steep ups and downs and decided to call it a day. The race directing made me more tired than I had expected and all I wanted to do was go home and have a nap. Ken was pleased I decided to do this because he knew I had a busy week ahead with work and family functions.

So there you are. That is my race story from start to finish. Thanks for sharing it with me. I don’t know how many years I will continue this, but for sure there will be a 5th Annual Pigtails Cedar River Run (new name because insurance doesn’t like anything that has the word “Ass” in the race title). It will be scheduled for Saturday, December 18, 2010. Remember, there is another Pigtails Run at Lake Youngs on 1/23/10. Registration is open. Distances are 9.6mi, 19.2mi, and 50K. Loop course, one aid station, same $5 at the start and food bank donations, and no medals. Prizes only for 50K of farm fresh eggs, sausage, or bacon, all from our animals! See you then!


1 Kyle McCoy M30 3:56:02 1st Male Open
2 Alex Swenson M45 3:57:15 1st Male Masters
3 Bruce Hoff M47 4:16:14 2nd Male Masters
4 Sara Malcolm F26 4:26:00 1st Female Open, CR
5 David Spooner M41 4:28:25 3rd Male Masters
6 Greg Koenig M42 4:31:04
7 Mary Hanna F48 4:40:05 1st Female Masters, Tied CR
Heather Nugent F43 4:40:05 1st Female Masters, Tied CR
9 Tony Covarrubias M49 4:41:57
10 Dean Kayler M46 4:43:14
Tony Myrie M53 4:43:14 1st 50K
12 Josh Owen M31 4:44:26 2nd Male Open, 1st 50K
13 Matt Hagen M39 4:47:57 3rd Male Open
14 Paul Grove M32 4:50:53
15 Aaron Cunningham M36 4:58:10 1st 50K, Maniac qualifier
16 Robert Lopez M43 5:04:46
17 Julie Cassata F28 5:09:05 2nd Female Open
18 Terri Gray F41 5:09:35 3rd Female Masters
19 Guy Yogi M55 5:12:49
20 Craig Foster M47 5:17:22
21 Mark Stadum M49 5:22:12
22 Jessica Bienvenue F31 5:24:39 3rd F Open, >1hr 50K PR
23 Scott Flett M62 5:31:23
24 Andy Fritz M43 5:33:05 50K PR
Ashley Kuhlmann F23 5:33:05
26 Lorie Alexander F50 5:37:39 50 mile 8:58
27 Betsy Rogers F46 5:43:00
28 Mike Kuhlmann M59 5:43:56 50K PR
29 Susie Ro F38 5:44:02 50K PR
30 Max Welker M67 6:33:33
31 Monte Pascual M49 6:55:33
32 Monica Fredrickson F19 7:06:17 1st 50K

Female Open CR: Sara Malcom 4:26:00 (2009)

Male Open CR: Bryce Mercer 3:41 (2006

Female Masters CR: Merita Trohimovich-Pollard, Mary Hanna, Heather Nugent 4:40 (2008 & 2009)

Male Masters CR: Alex Swenson 3:52:36 (2007)

1 Scott Sebelsky M48 3:20:20 1st Male Masters
2 Will Thomas M31 3:31:57 1st Male Open, >25min PR
3 Brad Nelson M41 3:36:34 2nd Male Masters
4 Eric Bell M38 3:40:24 2nd Male Open
5 Jae-B Jung M39 3:44:28 3rd Male Open
6 Bob OBrien M52 3:45:31 3rd Male Masters
7 Eric Gierke M46 3:46:01
8 Steve Walters M29 3:54:41
9 Stephanie Day F45 3:56:04 1st Female Masters
10 Mark Looi M49 3:56:45
11 Patty McKerney F47 3:57:43 2nd Female Masters
12 Narvie Seals M42 3:58:23
13 Eric Barnes M53 4:01:15
Steve Stoyles M53 4:01:15
15 Heath Johnson M43 4:05:47
16 May Cheng F44 4:08:54 3rd Female Masters
17 Thomas Tan M38 4:09:04
18 BJ Farish M36 4:10:51
Cody Hill M36 4:10:51 Maniac qualifier
20 Bob Satko M49 4:10:51
21 Lesa Overfield F50 4:12:51
22 Rich Hieb M36 4:14:59
23 Valerie Beyer F47 4:15:54
24 Jennifer Aldassy F31 4:18:29 1st Female Open

Greg Manciagli M49 4:18:29
26 Sarah Lynch F31 4:22:34 2nd Female Open
27 Dan Whitaker M48 4:27:27
28 Adrian Call M57 4:29:45
Jerry Thayer M55 4:29:45
30 Marilyn Pyke F48 4:30:11

31 Peter Corduan M50 4:35:52
32 Vivian Doorn F43 4:35:57
33 Steve Yee M50 4:36:47
34 Stan Nakashima 4:40:37
35 Bill Barmore M57 4:41:15
36 Brian Pendleton M55 4:47:57
Marilou Russell F47 4:47:57
David Appleby M37 4:47:57
39 Karen Wiggins F50 4:54:15
40 Heather Myers F43 4:55:02
41 Sherrie Marble F47 4:55:09
42 Patrick Barnes M61 4:56:36
Jim Boyd M67 4:56:36
44 Jill Hudson F47 4:59:32
45 Takao Suzuki M44 5:00:35
46 Tory Klementsen F44 5:01:59
Brian Starkey M44 5:01:59
Marie Zornes F46 5:01:59
49 Jason Grose M41 5:07:27
50 Janelle Gilbert F27 5:11:47 3rd Female Open
51 Christine Buchanan F28 5:14:55
52 Steve Duncan M41 5:15:00
53 Katie Robinson F30 5:23:20
54 Barry Hopkins M56 5:27:35
55 Robert Stretz M41 5:45:10 Maniac qualifier
56 Oliver Chapman M51 5:49:48
57 Dawn Bellevue F50 5:54:27
58 Michelle Barnes F51 5:56:10
Abigail Brownell F35 5:56:10
Jessica Williams F31 5:56:10
Jenny Appel F36 5:56:10
62 Matthew Fleming M34 6:11:22
63 Bret Bellevue M51 6:11:37
64 Jon Yoon M31 6:13:29
65 Bob Dolphin M80 6:33:37

Female Open CR: Annie Theissen 3:14:10 (2007)

Male Open CR: Chuck Engle 2:37: 54 (2006)

Female Masters CR: Merita Trohimovich-Pollard 3:54:15 (2007)
Male Masters CR: Tony Phillipi 3:15:38 (2007)

Linda Rinker F67 3:31:24 14 miles

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