Race Report: Oregon Marathon Relay 2001
sent ripples around which of the following on
April 21, 2001:
Eugene Water & Electric Board (EWEB) Fountain (located at the
b. The Willamette River
c. The Oregon Masters Track Club
d. The Track and Field World
e. None of the above
Bill Welch (center) & several other OMR runners discover
fleas on their left wrists...all at the same time!
(a) The EWEB Fountain has been drained due to the power shortage
in the Western U.S.; (b) due to (a), ripples can no longer form
on any river in the West, no matter how stunning five hackers'
victory might seem in their own minds; (c)
The only ripples over at the OMTC are in the steeplechase pit
at Hayward Field; (d) Runner's World did not cover the race, making
it a non-event in the track and field world.
okay…so the correct answer is (e). But to Team Killerwatts, this
was huge. While 2:44 would not beat the top 30 individuals in
most marathons, that was the furthest thing from my mind, as each
of us accepted the traditional Division Winner's hats for this
event. However, it did give me some pause to think as I drove
home that if Bruce threw his P.R. at us today (2:22), he would
have had plenty of time to shower and get dressed while we continued
to hack away at our 6:15 pace. I have no idea how anyone can hang
on to twenty-six 5:20's. I don't care how young (or old) they
approaches mile 3.
to get a team together, we had to make a deal with The Devil (see
Run for the Shamrock race report) himself
after Mark Kalen's hamstring started barking a few days before
the race. Fortunately, Todd Bosworth was available, which was
great after losing a good runner like Mark.
to sandbag our way into some hardware, and doing everything I
possibly could to find some way to duck all the fast old guys
in this town and back into a hat, I thought I could tiptoe quietly
into registering for the Open Division, which I noticed was pretty
thin last year. Problem was, I found out we were too old for the
O.D. It looked like we'd have to run in the Masters Division after
all…which I knew meant we were toast against the likes of Robert
Towne, Daryl Egbert, Dave McJunkin, and a couple other teams who
took another version of Team Killerwatts to the woodshed last
year (actually, Daryl's team basically gave us their hats last
year, when they had a runner take a wrong turn). So much for sandbagging.
I guess I'd have to wait to milk my handicap for Coop and Manclark
on the golf course.
One mile to go!
Bill hands off to Tommy Williams as Coop
(purple shirt, far left) looks on.
them all about what order they preferred to "carry
the stick" (e.g. we would actually just slap hands. But, in this
cutthroat business of covering the runners beat, I'd like to think
I am just one cool phrase or two away from being discovered by
a major mainstream running publication. So I like to slip in a
few technical, jargony running metaphors from time to time…you
never know) and nobody cared. So I went with Bill, T-Bone, Coop,
Todd and me.
and back course started at the EWEB Plaza area on the bank of
the Willamette River. All runners run the same 5.24 mile course,
which proceeds east up the river, crossing at the Autzen Footbridge
and continuing upriver just past the Interstate 5 overpass and
then returns back to the EWEB Plaza. Probably the saddest part
of the whole event was Bill and I actually measuring and marking
the miles with a wheel and leading our team on a dry run (…add
that to the "Are-These-Guys-Geeks-Or-What?"
checklist). At least we didn't all have matching sweats, heart
monitors, nipple protectors or worse yet, those stupid band-aid
looking things on our noses.
hammers away on Leg 2
10kTruth photo work
Bone" takes it to the house, far right)
up with a solid first leg, delivering the second place runner
right into T-Bone's wheelhouse. We won't talk about the guy that
ran the first two legs like a cheetah from one team, and already
had about a five minute lead when he made the turn to do the second
one. The Bone wasted no time taking charge of second place. He
then gave the honors to Coop to take charge of the whole thing
after Mr. Cheetah handed off to a human. Not only did Coop grab
the lead for Team Killerwatts, he maintained the one hundred yard
gap he started with on the surging team now chasing us, now running
second. Once Coop handed the stick to the "Damion," it was all
but time for The Final Countdown, baby.
(Tommy hands off to Coop, now running in second place, left)
hammered his leg, adding to the efforts of Bill, Bone and Coop
for a collective five or six minute lead by the time I got the
stick for the anchor leg. Despite
getting tangled up in a string connected to one of the helium
filled balloons marking the course turnaround point, which probably
cost us our sub-2:44 (we finished in 2:44.02), I managed not to
runs away from the field, after seizing the lead, above;
The Rage amazingly not blowing the lead his mates give him, left)
the answer to the above "ripples" question was best answered by
the nice OTCM volunteer who greeted me with a warm, sincere "Congratulations,
Chuck." Oh, well. The hats are pretty cool. And because the label
says "one size fits most," it would probably fit Chuck, too. And
that's The Truth.
Bosworth pushing through mile four on Leg 4.
Todd Bosworth looking smooth and strong
with 1.25 miles to go.
Coop invites Team Killerwatts to
a photo shoot
for his next CD...
…and then settles on this one for the cover!
the 10kTruth - Y2K Archive
Rage Race Report: 2000 Oregon Marathon Relay
always loved running relays. Next to the dysfunctional group dynamics
and well-timed, eloquent trash talk from your fellow van mates,
what I like best about relays is a totally different motivating
force: You are running on a team, not just by yourself. However,
once you have spent over 20 hours of race time, not counting the
trip up and back, dealt with a volatile mixture of perspiration,
Power Bars and red potatoes, you are ready to go home. You are also
not as quick to say "…sure, count me in…" after doing the Timberline
to Seaside thing a few years in a row.
So, I always
like it when we get a local relay where we can leave out the sleep
next to the van part, not to mention being away from the family
for another one of my races. The 2000 Oregon Marathon Relay was
such an opportunity. I thought Manciata would like it, too, so when
T-Bone came up with the idea, all we needed was a bass player and
keyboards: Anita Katz and Andrea Mason. Anita stepped up to be our
team captain and signed us on for the 5 x 5.24 mile legs, we all
cleared it with our sponsors (er….families) and we were ready to
runners (left to right: Manciata, T-Bone, Rage, Andrea Mason and
Anita Katz) made up this Oregon Marathon Relay Team. The race was
April 15, 2000 in Eugene, Oregon.
was making a comeback after several years and the organizers did
a great job with over 40 teams participating. I saw some good local
runners were there, including Daryl Egbert, Robert Towne and Dave
McJunkin. If those guys were running on the same team, we couldn't
touch them. Fortunately, we were the only entry in the Corporate
Mixed Masters With At Least One Completely Bald Runner Category.
I couldn't believe it, but no team was registered for the Open Division.
lead off, and would hand off to Anita. Then Bruce, Andrea and me.
We had perfect running weather.
out with his usual "jack rabbit start" and we held the lead just
past the fountain, which was about 20 yards from the start. I wondered
outloud if his strategic blunder would cost us later. We said terrible
things about him while he was on his leg and planned on speaking
to him when he got in.
his key mental error, he held a respectable third place upon finishing
his leg, but Robert Towne dusted everyone with a solid 30:27opening
leg. Tommy made a clean exchange to Anita, who took off like with
a spirited pace. But it was nothing like Dave McJunkin's, which
generated murmurs in the crowd who could not believe his torrid
start. I could. I hung on his shoulder to my PR in the 1999 Coburg
Half, just missing my first sub 80 and knew he could handle that
start. Wow. That guy can flat out run. And what really angers me
is he runs about two and a half age groups ahead of me. And he's
had plenty of sub 80's.
her own, beating her predicted pace considerably and handed off
to Manciata, who took off at a more experienced and sane pace. As
usual when it's Bruce's turn, the weather turned sour. In fact,
it started to pour. Bruce loves to run in conditions like this.
He has no choice. I firmly believe weather follows him. In the 1999
Jasper To Banff Relay, he actually had snow caked on his forehead
as he ran leg #6. It was the only leg out of the 17 that had poor
weather. He also brought in snow and about a 20 MPH head wind at
the 1999 Steens Rim Run, which unfortunately
is not a relay and we all had to run with him. I always pack an
extra set of gloves when Bruce is racing. His brother and law and
nephew sure appreciated my precaution at the Steens. Snow? In August?
Manciata must be in the race.
bursting into view running with attitude as I would expect trying
to pick off one more runner right down to the finish before he handed
off to Andrea. She took off with her usual smooth, effortless looking
style just as it quit raining. Of course. Bruce was done running.
Daryl Egbert take his exchange and shouted some encouragement as
he went by. It was great to see him back. He graduated a year ahead
of me at South Eugene High School. While we didn't really know each
other then, we had a connection as he and my brother were on the
wrestling team. Watching my brother all of those years, I believe
wrestlers understand how to deal with pain. Just look at the opening
photo of Regan, Bruce's brother in law, on this web site. He was
a wrestler, too. Daryl is further evidence that toughness is the
foundation for performance. It was great to see him back racing
again. I love watching him run.
came into view sooner than her predicted pace. You can always count
on a good, steady leg from her. She looked as smooth and fast as
when she took the handoff 38 minutes earlier.
off, thinking if I broke 31, that would be cool. The leg was an
odd distance and I was not sure what to expect. I had a good solid
opening mile, slowed in mile two, a so-so mile 3 and finished the
last two o.k. I just barely broke 31 and we finished in 2:53, which
seemed awful slow, but we got 4th place overall, after a runner
on Daryl's team took a wrong turn. I thanked him for the division
winners hat, which should have been theirs.
As I walked
away proudly wearing my division winners hat, I couldn't help acknowledging
that Bruce has run a 2:22 all by himself. To put that in perspective,
his PR is a 5:20 average for 26.2 miles and I averaged 5:54 over
one fifth the distance and emptied the tank to break 31. Somehow,
the hat did not seem to fit all that well after that thought…even
though it was adjustable.
from Monroe, Oregon showing the latest in camo-running gear
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