Rage Race Report:
Run for the Shamrock, 2007
Photos Courtesy of Mr. Al Whalen
the Flintstonian (e.g. as in Bam-Bam) finish from a year ago
firmly etched into the lore of this local ten klick, it was
inevitable that the pre-race buzz would include some speculation
about how tightly The Flintstones would finish come show time
"Like a bunch of triple twenties in a 301 game…before
the beers kick in," said one anonymous observer reflecting
on last year’s finish. She was metaphorically referring to
the popular dart game played well into the wee hours on a
nightly basis in so many of the local watering holes sprinkled
about this college town.
Allowing a pair
of sub 37 performances just a week earlier to speak on their
behalf at Champoeg just about 75 minutes north of here, Ken
Vendley and K.C. Taylor served notice to the wannabes that
no Flintstonian finish would be complete without Betty, Wilma…and
Nobody wants to
note of this was the now 50 year old Rage, with the Shamrock
being his season opener, he covertly assessed his fitness
level in his warm up routine. While he was feeling bouncy
on this particular day, he still had no clue how he’d run.
He seemed content with shooting for another respectful finish
as opposed to rolling the dice for a fast time.
The Rage was not
oblivious to the whispers. The rampant rumors of his descent
into wussyness were many. None cut deeper than the suggestion
he should start subscribing to (gasp!) Runners World for some
help. The suspicions were further fueled by a YouTube video
clip showing him hugging people he didn’t even know after
finishing a short "jog" (he claims the clips were
speaking, during recent years, some even had suggested he’d
adopted the dreaded STR (e.g. "spineless training regiment")
since losing a chunk of it in 2002, resulting in back surgery.
In any case, all
of these rumors were dispelled over the last year as he started
chasing the TWBD (e.g. "Team Whalen Big Dogs").
So today, there
was no reason The Rage shouldn’t run well.
I warmed up with Vendley, I wondered out loud if last year’s
first mile three metal (6:10) might be too conservative off
the tee this year. I decided I’d go ahead and hit driver,
and joined Todd Bosworth and Josh Masterson as we all chased
K.C. Taylor down the first fairway in 5:55. It didn’t take
long for us to develop a sense of unspoken bond in our group
as we all shared one thing in common: We’d been passed by
Randy Hilliard no less than four times in the first mile and
But we soon decided
we weren’t in a bonding mood, and the three of us pressed
on without Randy, giving whatever chase we could muster up
to keep Taylor in view, who’d already opened up about 40 meters
Mile two was long,
which made mile three short, and none of us really knew exactly
where we were distance-wise, but it was clear that Taylor
would have to come back to us…a lot… if any of us was going
to close on him. He was looking strong.
A four mile split
of 23:55 kept me motivated to keep pressing, but then turned
back into the wind when we crossed over the Willamette River
at the Greenway Footbridge. Nevertheless, a five mile split
of 29:57 continued to hold my attention. Even so, any aspiration
for another Flintstonian finish was all but gone with Vendley
and Taylor now 30 – 40 seconds ahead.
After a six mile
split of 36:04 put a sub – 37 out of reach (e.g. a 55 second
sprint was physically impossible for me in .2 miles), I was
momentarily content with a 37 oh-anything and cruised around
the last turn preparing to mug for Al Whalen’s camera.
Then, I noticed
the finish clock at 36:42…and it jolted me back into the reality
that the ball game wasn’t over. The last .2 must have been
short...which meant if I dug deep enough, I could break 37
minutes for just the fifth time ever! (Translation: "Oh
shit…I sure don’t want to have to sprint right now…because
I am really tired….")
The official final
number (drum roll please): 36:59!
Ken Vendley finished in 36:21, holding off the hard charging
K.C. Taylor (36:30).
Todd Bosworth continued
his comeback with a 38:15.
ran a personal best (38:04) for 10 kilometers.
and Taylor earned top age group finishes, with Vendley, Bosworth
and The Rage either the first or second losers in their respective
York (Team EWEB) finished first in her age group. (The
Rage Race Report: 2006 Run for the Shamrock
Park, Eugene, Oregon (March 11,2006) - Perhaps
there will never be another race where the phrase from Rage-speak
vernacular called "Flintstoned the chute" will ever be more
appropriate than at this particular 10k road race.
we ain't just talkin' about no "Bam-Bam" finish here, baby.
Try "Bam-Bam-Bam-Bam-Bam," as in Ken Vendley, K.C. Taylor,
Kyle Gee, Todd Bosworth and The Rage separated by a total
of 17 seconds.
…And while you
might have been able to get a Portland phone book in the biggest
gap between them, forget about Seattle's.
That is unless
of course you don't include Thomas Kreuzpeintner, who is in
another league altogether, finishing second overall in 35:23,
and who usually puts the entire eastern seaboard's phone books
between him and these sorry asses anytime he decides to lace
'em up, you know what I'm talkin' about?
Wow. Forget for
a few seconds that the answer to the question of which of
the five "group B" (e.g. sans Thomas) runners saw the four
others cross the finish line happens to be The Rage. And forget
that his average 6:00 pace he threw at these dudes over 6.2
miles (5:58 over the last 5.2) only served to raise the group
average pace by nearly a full second per mile (…a fact made
all too clear at an impromptu group intervention surrounding
Rage's pickup in the parking lot after the race, all but securing
him the coveted position of "Van Driver Specialist II" on
any future relay invitation unlikely to come his way).
The Rage trying to sneak back into the picture yet again with
another patented furious second half rally to get back in
the ball game, after opening with a 6:07, 6:03, and 6:02.
The Rage, who reluctantly
rolled down the window just enough for ESPN's Chris Berman's
microphone, spoke in hushed tones as the Dodge attempted to
slink quietly out of parking lot unnoticed while Boz, Taylor,
and Gee continued their moshpit-like celebration.
"It almost worked
again, but Todd was just too strong today," Rage told Berman.
"I wouldn't have run it any different," as he reflected on
a fifth fastest lifetime best 10 kilometer road race not even
good enough for the podium on this particular day.
"I could feel
my eyeballs get real big when the field started coming back
to me," Rage said after closing with a 5:58, 5:57 and 5:54.
His must have seemed small compared to Boz's when he spotted
Rage closing on him with a half mile to go as he turned into
...and that was
that. "The Boomer" was gone, taking off like a down wind four
iron on Bandon Dunes, determined to settle his oh-for-05 match
up with The Rage once and for all in their inaugural '06 match
Nuf said there.
Boomer's back…and he's talkin' smack.
While all of this
was going on, several other issues were being sorted out amongst
friends, namely Taylor, Vendley and Gee who weren't doing
much chatting the last couple of miles. With only six seconds
between them, it was pretty much all a blur.
it all off at the finish, hangin' with Barney's kid (e.g.
overall winner Matt Barnhart, whose father Dan graduated in
the same class as K.C. and The Rage). K.C., while pleased
with a sub-37 effort, worked harder than he thought he would
and was impressed by how much company he had at the finish
in this tune up for his goal race in the form of the annual
Blossom Run (10 miler, April 8 in Medford). With these
dudes right on his ass in a 10 klick, "Spay Cee" had his game
face on before he even took off his bib number.
It should be a
dandy come April 8. Stay tuned.
And that's The
Post Race Notes:
Quote of the race
was NOT the one by Rage in the finishers' shoot as he stood
immediately behind Bosworth:
"…Let it be known
that the eco-system now officially has been restored to a
The Quote of the
Day goes to a race volunteer, who replied: "…Huh?"
The Numbers Are
The Only Relevant Truth:
Kyle Gee 37:01
Thomas Kreuzpeintner 35:37
Ken Vendley 36:55
K.C. Taylor 36:58
Race Report: Run for the Shamrock, 2002
I woke up on race day, looked outside and it was snowing.
Perfect. As if running a 10k isn't hard enough already…
quit whining," I said to myself, as I waited for Coop's green
pickup to turn onto my street, with my Dodge nursing a dead
tranny. "It seems that every time I slide into that truck,
the weather is terrible. What's up with that?" I continued
to whine, as I thought back on our experience at the California
International Marathon just a few months back. Coop was starting
to earn a reputation of Manciata-esk proportions for bringing
bad weather on race day.
my 14 year old daughter, Jackie, heard me mumbling to myself
as I stared out the window, she asks, "Dad, you don't have
to be The Rage today. It's o.k. to be Dad every once in a
while, you know." I didn't quite know what to say, other than
"Wish me luck, Jack" as Coop pulled into the driveway.
had his CD player teed up with some Steely Dan, and then proceeds
to accuse me in no uncertain terms of mindlessly grooving
to their jams for the past three decades without questioning
the origin of the name of the band. I thought it was about
some guy who caught a lot of fish, you understand what I'm
sayin'? I thought I heard him mumble something about "Dude…you
must have powered down a few too many of Yoko's shaved fish
tacos…" (For more on the fish theme, see
the Rage's Wimpy Trout)
might read a lot, but I think he was just trying to fire me
up on race day.
race, you might ask. I thought I could hold onto 6:00's, but
it had been awhile. Coop, coming off of a marathon P.R. and
last year's Shamrock, where he nearly broke 42 minutes, was
looking for something in the low sevens.
made sure I didn't start out too quick. The first mile was
6:07. I felt good.
ahead, I saw a young runner that I knew had to be one of the
Sheldon High School track team runners…and the son of one
of my running mates. I decided he would be today's motivation.
started quickly and it took me until mile 2.5 to catch him.
He was running smooth…just like his dad.
mile three, I pulled even and we ran stride for stride, but
I said nothing. He sounded like he wasn't even working, and
I was trying to make it seem as though I wasn't. On the footbridge
at about mile 4.25, he was about to be cut off by some pedestrians,
and I said "come on over" and slowed to let him in front of
me. Breaking the silence, he finally asked, "Do you work with
my dad?" I said, "You're one of the Wilson boys, aren't you?"
complimented him on his running and we exchanged some more
chit chat, and then, as if he tired of my presence, he proceeds
to throw a brief surge at me about 1.75 miles from the house.
I couldn't cover it, and he put about 5 seconds on me. Nice
I could do my patented "come to papa" move by mile 5.5, I
picked it up at mile 5. At mile 5.5, I still had not closed
the gap, and knew I couldn't wait much longer if I wanted
to avoid seeing what his 16 year old legs could do in a sprint.
could see the finish and was now going as good as I could
with about a half mile to go. My sixth mile was 5:55 and I
still had not closed that gap. Worse yet, he looked very strong.
I knew I had to break one minute in the last .2 if I was going
to have a chance, and he probably could cover that easily,
too. One hundred yards to the finish, I knew it was hopeless,
and decided to save my legs from a total lactic attack. He
was too strong for me, and beat me by 6 seconds. I finished
he was actually taking me seriously, I learned later he was
thinking more about the Churchill High School runners in the
field. I guess he just had to settle for the 'ol Rage. He
finished in sixth place overall. Remember this name: Mike
Wilson. You read it here first, on 10kTruth. He's gonna be
finished in 43 and some change and was pleased with his effort,
as he should be. He ran a good race.
overall winner was Dan Ohlmstead in 33:16.8. Erin Gray was
the women's winner, in 40:51.3, followed by Wendy Simmons
Wilson: Hope to see you at the Butte to Butte! - Rage
Race Report Run
for the Shamrock, 2001
(And It's Tough to Be a Race Volunteer)
Patricks Day, 2001 in Eugene, Oregon was a great day for a
race. Cool, cloudy and lots of runners showing up for the
5k and 10k races with proceeds going to support the Sheldon
High School Irish track team. I peddled down to the start,
camera poised and ready, trying to spot my training partner
(Coop) at the start of the 10k. K.C. Taylor, a high school
classmate of mine (a sub 2:00 half miler at South Eugene High,
whose son now runs track at Sheldon) also on a bike, would
be calling splits at the first mile not too far from Pre's
Trail (yeah…lots of running lore in this town…). They were
a couple of fries short of a happy meal and needed splits
called at mile 2. It looked like I was it.
Start of the 10k Race 2001 Run for the Shamrock
the gun went off, I finally discovered what the usual local
leaders, including Dale Londos look like from the front during
a race. I peddled across the Autzen Footbridge over the Willamette
River on to mile 2 and waited for the runners. It didn't take
came by in 11:04. They made 5:32's look easy. I couldn't
resist a confident "Stay on it, Dale" as Londos went
by, and immediately felt like one of those idiots intentionally
trying to be overheard, like I run with him all the
time or worse yet, could if I wanted to. I thought I
caught a glimpse from him as if to say "just stick to
the watch and leave the color commentary to Dwight (Stones),
o.k., buddy?" My confident barking out of the times
suddenly got quieter.
on the button, here comes Coop. He wanted to hang on
to 6:45's and he hits mile 2 at 13:30. It was no surprise
to me. He was running better than I had ever seen him
run. The two key indicators in the last two weeks were
a dry run we did on a course a couple hundred meters
short of a 10k where he runs 43 and some change plus
a 5 x 800 workout, with the last rep his second fastest.
lead pack approaches Mile #1, with Dale Londos running
90% of the race course covered the same route as our dry run
about 9 days earlier. The only question I had was whether
his first two miles were more even than his dry run, when
he went out too fast. As strong as he looked, my guess was
that he was running smart.
approaches Mile #2 right on his target pace.
withheld the temptation to talk smack as he came by,
giving him a safe "you're looking good, Coop." This
must have really caught him off guard, knowing me all
too well. I thought I caught a look of "what's up with
the positive reinforcement, Mr. Sultan of Smack?" (see
Rage article on Smack & Trash Talk). I started thinking
to myself: "This volunteering thing is harder than it
After the last runners came through, I crossed back
over the river to catch them coming in. The view offered
a great background for some good pics looking down river
as the first runner came into my view finder. The lead
pack of mile 2 was no longer a pack, with the first
three runners spread out over a hundred meters.
Next, I got
a puzzled look and a question from Robert Towne as he
ran by. "That's not a mile mark, is it?" having confused
him and probably a dozen other runners seeing the same
guy down the course and assuming I was at another mile
mark (I tried to make sure I was well back of the 6
mile mark…Oops, again!). At this point, I was thinking
I would have caused a lot less damage if I had just
run the race. When Coop came by, I thought it would
be best to minimize any additional damage. I turned
my bike around, tucked in behind him and peddled ahead
to the finish.
help but notice Joe Henderson, of Runners World, looking
on as Coop rounded the last turn for the final straight
to the finish. As I held my camera up, I thought I saw
him frantically fumbling for his note pad to scribble
down his number as he broke into his .2 sprint, hitting
the shoot in 42:04…and lowering his personal best by
is all business with a half mile to go.
Cruise Control, Dale Londos has a friendly smile for
the camera with about a half mile to go (he finished
Gee tries to do everything he can to not get beat by
a guy wearing shamrock dealy bobs.
eyes the clock and digs for the finish..
tried hanging out with Coop, Dale and Robert at the finish,
but every time I walked over, it would get real quiet. At
this point, I thought I could go bond with Henderson, offer
up some of my photos for the next issue and sort of chew the
fat with him on his upcoming column plans…kind of one professional
to another kind of a thing with me being there sort of on
assignment covering the race for 10k Truth and all…
must have just missed him. I then wondered what Bruce and
Cory were doing at about that time…
that's The Truth.