Uncle Rage and Matt Logan
Rage Race Report:
2004 Sunriver Turkey Trot
It was a bit nippy,
to say the least. Matt Logan was about to find out what running
a hard three miler on November 26 feels like in central Oregon
(not to mention the 4400 feet of elevation).
Matt runs for Branham
High School’s (San Jose, CA) cross country team. He was also
the only district meet qualifier from Branham (not too bad
for a freshman).
It was about 25
degrees during our warm up, and his hands and face already
were reminding him where he’s used to running. No big deal.
After all, he'd be running with Uncle Rage.
I had guaranteed
him a top five finish, and some age group hardware…a pretty
safe bet with someone with his young talent, the day after
Thanksgiving in a resort community and…the weather. We scanned
the crowd and I didn't see the kid from Stanford last year
that reminded me how old (and slow) I was.
Then, we spotted
two young dudes with state meet sweatshirts on, which looked
like they were not older than 19 (e.g. Matt would be on the
lower end of the 13-19 age group. Bummer.). Of equal importance
from hardware standpoint (at least from my perspective) was
another fast looking dude that looked like he might be bumping
up on my age group (40-49).
Well, we were
going to have to work for it today.
It's 25 degrees
and they paid $25 each. Idiots?
Our plan was to
let them go, tuck in behind and reel them in on the inward
half. It was an out and back course…starting at the lodge,
out past the airport with the turnaround at the stables. The
surface was icy in parts, but otherwise fine…much better than
the snowy conditions of 2003. I suggested we create some running
room early to avoid traffic.
Logan takes the
Matt created some
early space all right. He shot out like a bullet for the first
quarter mile chasing the other fast looking dude. I let them
First Road Race:
By the time I
caught up to Matt, the other fast looking dude (uh...check
that...now a bonafide fast dude) had gapped us by about 60
yards. I told Matt, "That guy is very good. Hold this
Then, I hear the
unmistakable sound that happens when you’re about to become
someone’s road kill. What I had wasn’t good enough to hold
them off. Of course, it's the two state meet sweatshirt kids.
How could I have forgotten about them? Turns out they were
just out for a jog. They were running shoulder-to-shoulder
and weren't even breathing hard, having not even bothered
to remove their sweats. They dropped me with a nice, in-your-face,
non-anaerobic "Hello, Sir." I hate it when that happens.
We sure weren't
going to beat those guys and I re-focused my attention on
trying to catch the only other guy in front of us.
I was still optimistic
at the turnaround point, but the look on his face when he
went by didn't remind me of someone who tended to go out too
fast. Turns out I wasn't able to catch him like the two state-meeters
did; failed to get closer than 23 seconds. (The good news
was he was thirty-six years old…just a kid.)
And as Uncle Rage
guaranteed, Matt got a top five in his first road race.
And that's The
Shameless Fun Run Sandbag Attempt Turns into a Trip to the
So I confess. But, as rare as a “W” is on my running resume,
is it such a crime to wear a game face to a “Fun Run?”…as
in the Sunriver (Oregon) Turkey Trot Fun Run?
I showed up that cold November 27 Friday morning, the day
after Thanksgiving, I didn’t expect to see too many runners,
especially in a resort community after gorging themselves
the day before. But, maybe that’s why we do because we can…or
something like that. I know I certainly had no intention of
racing. When I got to the registration table, I was pleasantly
surprised to see about two dozen hearty souls of all ages
had already arrived 45 minutes early…and more were starting
to pull in.
bad for a 25 degree morning and about eight inches of snow
on the ground. The course was a sheet of ice. Racing would
be out of the question.
went for a short warm up jog and actually found myself practicing
a short, skid proof stride, trying to compensate with as rapid
of turnover that my 47 year old parakeet quads could possibly
produce…which isn’t much. But it was enough to start thinking
to myself “….Well…it ain’t race pace…but, I think I can hang
on to this for three miles without falling down, and…if no
stallions show up, who knows…I just might be able to win this
Next thing you know it, I am actually scanning the crowd for
stallions. Yeah, I listened closely to the starter’s instructions…who
drilled into our heads: “…I’ve got two words for you all:
FUN RUN…” …but, I still wanted to win it!
wasn’t like I was lined up in the front row with elbows poised
to knock some kid into a snow bank or anything. I know a low
key deal when I see one, o.k.? Heck, nobody really even knew
exactly how long the course actually was. Just head to the
mall and follow the pink paint marks in the snow. And the
guys in front of me started off very responsibly, making sure
of every step to prevent a pile up on the first couple of
sharp turns. Nope. I was just going to try to keep in contact
with whoever decided to lead and see what happened…that’s
all. After about a quarter mile into the thing, the pace appeared
manageable (Translation: If Rage is in the lead pack AT ANY
TIME, it’s either (1) within 50 meters from the start; (2)
everyone else is on crutches; (3) a lot of runners slept in
that day or; (4) Bruce paid them all to pull a George Plimpton).
all of a sudden, this one guy starts to pick up the pace.
I thought, o.k. I can cover that…I think…uh…wait!…It wasn’t
long before I realized I couldn’t cover it and this kid was
for real. He had a classic Manciata-like leg flair that was
way cool. Effortless. Pure cruise control, baby. This guy
was good, and he was taking me to the woodshed something fierce…and
making it look awful easy.
watched him slowly pull away. My goal became just trying to
keep him in view. Wrong again.
arrived at the fifth tee box on the Meadows Course and broke
into the open, finally found some dry pavement and hoped to
get a glimpse of him. By the time I saw him again, he had
almost a minute on me. By the time I finished, it was more
sought him out at the finish and here was the exchange:
Nice run. You from around here?
Thanks. Just visiting. My dad signed me up.
So where do you run?
I run in college.
Yeah? Which one?
Stanford. Rage: (Gulp) Oh.
(Pause. Choke. Gag.)
So…do you know Ian Dobson?
He’s my room mate.
No kidding. I followed his career at Klamath Union High School
with him and Eric Logsdon running against each other. He did
great in Waterloo (NCAAs).
You guys must have been amused at the talk Stanford runners
not being able to handle the cold, eh?
Yeah. I’m from Montana. You?
Uh…yeah…I really don’t…It’s just kind of a mid life crisis
kind of thing…
Nice talking to you. And nice run, too.
a class, humble individual he was to take the time to deal
with my stupid questions. Sure hope he didn’t mind.
I got back to town, I checked out the Stanford Cross Country
Team’s website. Sure enough, there he was: David Vidal, who
owned the 11th fastest high school mile time in the nation
as a senior and who earlier this year had recorded a personal
best in the 1500 of 3:47.
gulp again!). So that’s what class, talent and a bright future
I get it.
that’s The Truth. - The Rage (12/05/03)