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KC turns the big 50
by T-Bone Williams

For all the years he has been running, KC is clearly a DNA freak of nature. Everyone who runs for 'real' gets injured at some time. KC seems to sail along and still turns some damn fast times. Another thing you figure out if you run with KC for any amount of time is his wife, Joan, has done an excellent job raising three boys. Two sons and KC.

Turning 50 being a big deal, KC invites some of his crew and a handful of running knuckleheads over for some chow. There was some anxiety on this reporter's mind rolling into the perfect backyard as you are never sure what might happen in the Ferry Street Bridge area. One hears stories. The last thing I need to see is KC jumping into the hot tub off the roof buck naked with his toenails painted red. Probably a bigger danger was KC would take the stage for a marathon 'I love me' monologue or an open mike type reading from KC's late 70's early 80's running logs. The crowd was spared any of this torture and in fact was treated to some great food. I'm not sure if this was a special edition KC but do not miss the next invitation to break bread at the Taylor household.

All runners were invited to Hayward at 8 the next morning for an 'upbeat' celebration mile. I'm much too clever to fall into that trap so I started running at 6:30 so I could have a built in excuse on why I can't join the fun. I did time my run to show up to witness the event. Since I was the only one with a gun I was pressed into duty as the starter/timer. Earlier in the summer the Rage had pioneered the four lap 1600 meter "mile" with the rolling "ladies" start but since this was the first mile in the new age group for KC, the headerosexual men's mile was selected. Standing start and a little more than 4 laps.

Pre race negotiations ended with TK (Thomas Kreuzpeintner) asked to dial in 75 seconds per lap, KC on his tail and Al Whalen hoping to hang on. I get them started and call out the 200 meter split. 37 on the button. With German precision, lap one comes in at 75. It is a tight pack rolling thru the turns on lap two. TK in the lead, KC relaxed in the silver medal spot and Al hanging in there. They come to the line 2:30, 2:31. The German is on the job. Lap 3 is the tough one. Still a tight group but less joy in their faces. Maybe they are thinking about that second glass of wine last night, maybe turning 50 was not such a good idea. Either way they come thru at 3:46. Now it is money time. The bell lap. The majority of the investment has been made on the first three laps. Anyone can gut out a final lap, but at what time/effort cost?

Thomas is still looking strong in the lead. KC is rolling behind him and Al is the surprise by keeping contact. Down the back stretch they go. Going into the Bowerman curve, Al appears to lose his mind. He blasts by the birthday boy, Kreuzpeintner and takes the lead. Thomas is not sure what to do. His job is to pace KC. That deep into the mile and at that speed, confusion and fuzzy thinking takes over. By the time Thomas' mind kicks back into gear he has two thoughts (the two thoughts are probably in the original German) 1) what the F? Al's a marathoner not a 1500 guy. I need to chase him down. And 2) Screw KC. Every man for himself down the stretch.

TK wins it in 4:54, Al "dark horse" Whalen smoking at 4:55, and KC with a respectable 5:03.

In the post race interview KC was asked about the Whalen upset. "Al's a punk" is the only retort from the normally silver tongued Taylor.

After the finish, I captured the moment with Al's clearly broken Camera phone. Al then asked me to be the official photographer for their HTC team. He even offered an "at cost" shopping spree at Fiddlers and all the golf balls I could carry. Nice offer but I will be busy in van two of another HTC team. A group of female nurses and candystripers are looking for a driver/masseuse with a steady hand and knows the course. - Bone, out.

Thanksgiving Mountain Run
by Michael Logsdon (November 26, 2004) - Much More at FuriousM.com

Since it was Thanksgiving morning and we clearly had to do something to justify eating massive quantities of food, it was time to do what my brother and I do best: climb mountains as fast as we can. In this case, our grandparents live at the bottom of Manastash Ridge--which has a bunch of radio and TV towers at the top--so Ben, Uncle Regan, and I decided to run to the top. We ran for about two miles on flatland until we got to a draw where a primitive road led up to the tunnels that go under the freeway. After going under the freeway and through a barbed wire fence, the real climbing began. The slope that runs to the top of the ridge is probably a little under 30 degrees, and as soon as we started up it Ben took off, Uncle Regan followed him, and I was last. But I wasn't about to let my game plan be changed, and sure enough, about halfway up the steep part Uncle Regan faded a little and I surged a little and passed him.

By this time, Ben had a commanding lead and I thought I had second place locked in, but as I was nearing the top I started hearing a terrible loud noise on the hill behind me. I turned around and saw that Uncle Regan had a stick in each hand, and was using them for extra strength and speed climbing--he was gaining on me fast. So I put my hands on my knees and started doing what I like to call power hiking for all I was worth. Then, Uncle Regan must have noticed that he was no longer gaining on me and had to take drastic measures, because the next time I looked back he was running. Keep in mind this is the same steep, almost 30 degree slope, and I had no choice but to take off running as well. Amazingly, there was enough in the gas tank to make it to the top and beat Uncle Regan, but it was very close. The picture...is one Ben snapped right after we got to the top and were still completely out of breath.

Once at the top we had to take cautionary measures because of all the microwave radiation coming from the towers: namely covering the groin area (as Uncle Bruce said, "cover the little head, not the big head"). Uncle Regan took us a little down the other side trying to look for a fort he once had in a rock outcropping, but it wasn't there. So we ran down and the day was a success.

© 2004, Michael Logsdon

Trail Running for Yuppies
by Michael Logsdon (February 28, 2004) - Much More at FuriousM.com

Somehow we ended up with a National Geographic Adventure magazine at my house, and thumbing through it was not a pleasant experience. The introduction to trail running spread made me want to throw up. There were pictures of a lady with a heart rate monitor, an mp3 player with headphones, and a camelback water dispenser. I think that kind of misses the point of trail running. The idea of trail running is to get away from the highly structured modern world and just run on a dirt path. The article was also full of great advice, like "gaze at least five feet down the path, and plan two steps ahead." If you're so stupid that need a magazine to tell you to watch your step on uneven terrain, trail running probably isn't the best hobby for you. Then, in a part about the importance of balance it said "Rocks can rotate, gravel can slide, and roots can be slippery..." Really? I had no idea. I thought natural terrain was identical to pavement. The worst part is that they call these statements of the obvious "technical pointers."

The article also had gear recommendations. My favorite was, "The HighGear Axis Altimeter Watch ($149) is both feature-laden and affordable." I can think of some better adjectives than "affordable" to describe a 150 dollar watch. Personally, I favor the low tech approach. I don't remember how much I paid for my watch, but I bet it was under fifteen dollars. Instead of a camelback water dispenser I carry a water bottle, unless I know I'll be back in under an hour, then I don't carry any water at all. When I climb Lazy Mountain in the winter, instead of buying crampons or some fancy schmancy stabil-icers at rei, I drill screws through the soles of my shoes. The people that article was written for disgrace trail running. The real men and women are the ones who run the Matanuska Peak Challenge, thirteen miles up and down 9,000 vertical feet. My hat goes off to them. (See FuriousM dot com for the Bender's Matanuska Peak Challenge Report, 9/15/06.)

I'd like to point out here that I extend my cheapness towards running to all aspects of my life, like skiing. Recently, I bought telemark bindings and had them mounted on my old downhill skis. The only problem was that new telemark boots cost 450 dollars, so I did the only honorable thing; I used some leather boots from the 70s that were in our shed. When I golf I still use my spaghetti shaft POS sports authority irons. For a while I had a Callaway driver that I got for my birthday three years ago. Unfortunately, it was an original Callaway driver from 1989. Long story short, I was at the driving range one day when I swung the club and the head flew off. It went damn near 80 yards, but I retrieved it and we got it reshafted. It happened again. We got it reshafted again. It happened again and we just gave up. But there is a happy ending; I got a newer Callaway driver and shot an 82 at Palmer Golf Course last summer. PGA tour here I come.

Anyway, I'd better get back to the subject of trail running. As you probably already don't know, the World Mountain Running Championships were held in Alaska last fall. On Mount Alyeska down in Girdwood to be exact. The races were held on a weekend in mid September, and I guess someone forgot to tell the coordinators that it will probably snow in the mountains if you hold your race between September and May. So it snowed, but the real point is the course change. The original path up the mountain was too steep for the governing body of mountain running, so a new one was made with plenty of wimpy switchbacks. Even with a completely sissified course all the runners (mostly from Europe) said it was the steepest course they had competed on, which leads me to believe that in Europe, mountain running is running through the mountains, not running up the mountains. Then again, the Europeans were way faster than any Americans regardless. My point here is that Alaskan mountain races are hardcore. There is no required trail on the Mount Marathon race, the winner is simply the person who gets up and down the fastest, no matter how they do it. The Matanuska Peak challenge uses the trail up Matanuska Peak and I use that term loosely here. The "trail" goes straight up a 35 degree ridgeline for 3,000 vertical feet. In the words of Zap Brannigan, "That's a route with some chest hair."

The only good thing about that article was that it gave me material for my website. I should subscribe to Runner's World if I run out of ideas. That would give me an unlimited amount of material. Energy bubble my ass.

© 2004, Michael Logsdon

The Palouse
November, 2002

On, on to the Palouse
From school and job they cut loose
Up the valley, through the Gorge
Over mountains, I say by George.

Refrain:
Yet, no fair weather fans were these
They watched both teams slug it out
Do you understand what I'm talkin' about?
They watched both teams a playin'
Do you understand what I am sayin'?

They tickets to this event were rare
As is any event when ABC is there
With topcoat, touk and tarp
From Scott Hall on campus with Ben did they depart.

(Refrain)

And many a dumb bet Oregon made
As the Cougs upon the Ducks did prey.
While the Cougs continued to score
Coach Bellotti Duck fans did deplore.

(Refrain)

The Duck fans arrived
with all the hype and fever
Only to leave with Jason Fife
Unable to find an open receiver.

(Refrain)

In the land of hard winter wheat
Coug fans stayed on their feet
Three quarters went by with the Ducks in the lead
Only in four to become Cougar feed.

(Refrain)

The playbook was exhausted for Jason Fife
All he could do was run for his life.
When the Ducks flew north in November
The Cougs sent them back "Return to Sender."

Refrain:
Yet, no fair weather fans were these
They watched both teams slug it out
Do you understand what I'm talkin' about?
They watched both teams a playin'
Do you understand what I am sayin'?

Note: The Palouse - November 2002 was a compilation effort written on the long road trip back from Eastern Washington to Eugene, Oregon.

Kicking it with the Rage
by Jackie Logan (February 15, 2003)

You think you know, but you have no idea. This is the inside story of what it's like living with the Rage.

The "Rage" (aka my father) has done some pretty embarrassing things regarding his obsession with running. But one thing that tops the charts in my book is his need to wear his running spandex into stores, malls and other quick stops we need to make. I totally understand that running is a big part of his life, but I think many people would agree that's taking it a little far. However, his opinion is different. His usual comeback to me is, "I know a bunch of 45 year olds that wish they looked this good!" Um……right. When my friends come over to hang out, they get the great opportunity to see my dad in his skintight spandex!

My family and friends all get to hear the Rage's "wonderful" running stories. He's very proud of the one where he was whistled at while running on Manhattan Beach. However, instead of wearing spandex he was in his running shorts. Let's move on from the story, and I'll discuss his running shorts. These things are short shorts. They're almost as embarrassing as the spandex! Whether it was a man or woman that whistled at him, it sure made him feel special.

My sport is volleyball. I'm a DS (defensive specialist) so I play the back row. My dad's sport is running, so I think it's really funny when he gives me his "pointers." (Rage has a problem admitting it, but he knows nothing about volleyball) When we have a bad game, and the day is over, my dad's words are, "If I was the coach, you and your bed wetting team would still be running right now." He also threatens during the game, to call up Bruce on the cell and have him talk to the team. Runners think they know everything about anything.

Rage thinks he's so tough and macho. But one thing I bet no one knows is he drinks chai tea. Can you believe that? I myself had a hard time believing my eyes when I witnessed this. I was quick to inform Bruce because I felt I should be the one to let him know that the Rage had gone soft. Well that's the inside scoop of what it's like living with the Rage. There's no glitter and glamour but we love it anyway! It's pretty entertaining to live with my dad, yet incredibly embarrassing! He's a straight up classic and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love ya dad, you're the best!

**Jackie** (2/15/03)

Bosworth's Secret
by Paul Scott (April 19, 2002)

Hey Rage Man,

Your nemesis, Todd Bosworth, aka, Hughmongus, has been utilizing a secret training regimen which seems to be paying off against his closest competitors. I happen to know this because I am his secret coach. You see, long ago, when I was a semi-capable runner myself, I met Todd around mile 8 on the old Bohemia course. He was running with his buddy Re-Todd (Ferguson). As I was barely past my prime, and Todd was still on his ascendancy, he passed me by for the first time. I remember it distinctly, as does he, because he commented on it during the pass, and I was powerless to respond. You know the feeling, it sucks.

From that day on, we became friends and began to bet on races. For a year or two, it was head to head, with a beer or six-pack on the line. Todd was always sandbagging his times during training so I'd go for a slower time. This worked pretty well due to my being so gullible sometimes. That, and the fact the bastard has absolutely no discernable pain threshold. Something I'm sure you're familiar with. Todd won more of the bets than he lost because of this.

Probably the biggest and most fun bet was an 800m at Hayward which ended the year 1997. I had a pr of 2:19 and change and our bet was to better that time before the end of the year. I think we made the bet around spring, so he had plenty of time to train and lots of good competition at the summer's all-comers. Well, as these things happen, Todd got injured, trained for longer road races, blah blah blah. Summer ended and then fall. I began to think I could win this bet for sure. Then I needed some help with some information. Todd offered it for a second. I bit. Now it's 2:20 he has to beat. Then another concession, and another. By Christmas he's up to beating a 2:23. Now I'm worried. He decides the day to do it will be December 31st at noon. The day is brisk and bright, not a cloud in the sky. We send the word out for witnesses, and assemble about 15 hard core hashers (you know about the hash, right?). At 12:00 sharp Todd strips off all but shorts and flats...his nipples stand erect in the cold. With no one to pace, he's off on a single tear hitting his mark in the first 200. As he comes through the bell, I notice his time is pretty damn good. I'm worrying more. But it's tough to carry this effort off without help, so I figure he'll fade on the back stretch. He doesn't. Now everyone's screaming for him. It's the least we can do, the poor guy's got 200 meters of lung burning hell in front of him. Coming into the finish, I glance at the watch and it's going to be close, and then, bang! he gets it by less than half a second. All that training, all that effort, for what, a stinking beer. I paid the bet gladly.

You see where I'm coming from here, Rage Man? With a training regimen that includes something so dear to a man (beer) with no pain threshold, how could you ever hope to compete? When Todd wants to kick your butt, he calls me, faints injury and laziness to prompt me to offer up the exact time he figures will beat you, then places the bet. For this latest race (your write-up was great by the way), he scorched me with a 59:01 for a bottle of wine. And whine he did when I tried to get him down to the 57 level. He's evil I tell you, evil.

Cheers to Eugene and the best running in the country.

Walk it off...shake it out...rub some dirt on it
by Manciata (February 4, 2002)

It used to be that one of the central goals of sports was to teach young people to ignore the little aches, pains and bruises of athletics and life. The wise advice of old coaches included, "Walk it off...shake it out...rub some dirt on it." Now it seems that these aches, pains and mishaps which occur during sports have been glorified until they become red badges of courage. We hurt, therefore we are. Every injury must have a name in order for this glorification to have its newly desired effect.

We used to have sore knees and thighs. Now we have injured ACL's and suffer from IBS. My suspicion is of those who collect and catalog the minor discomforts actually suffer from a far more devastating condition. That condition is CSS, Chronic Slowness Syndrome. All of their well named aches and pains serve as nothing more than sanctified excuses for slow 10k times.

A recent article in our favorite magazine RW (aka Runners Whining) lists no fewer than twelve categories of "typical running ailments" and lays out the rules when it's okay to run with pain. This one must have been edited to pass by risk assessment as the advice is so weak as to be pointless. Blackened toenails, one of the categories in the Guide to Pain, is elevated to a condition worthy of its own charitable foundation and perhaps a telethon hosted by Oprah will follow. They should be happy that they have toenails at all. - Manciata (February 4, 2002)

Say it ain't so Rage
by Manciata (August 2001)

It's okay to walk during a race? Sure, why not. Lots of people sleep at work, some people play tennis with the nets down, and some people kiss with their eyes open. These are all obviously acceptable behaviors according to the runner formally known as Rage.

Can you imagine the Kenyan national coach saying before the 10K at the Olympics "Hey guys, around the 5th or 6th K, if you get a little tired, walk a few laps"? The Rage often refers to Prefontaine as an inspiration. My memory serves no examples of him walking during a race. Again use your imagination for a conversation between Prefontaine and Lasse Viren during the 1972 Munich games. It's the 8th lap, the pace is strong and Lasse says to Pre, "Say you American upstart, what do you say to you and me walking a few meters, I feel lactic acid starting to build in my right quad."

You see Rage, despite your own 2001 Butte to Butte experience, it's called a race. It's not called a walk jog. Part of racing is being tough, and tough doesn't walk, it runs. Your attitude is symptomatic of a nation that can't produce runners that can compete on the international level. Small countries like Ireland routinely produce runners that kick our collective asses back across the Atlantic.

Sure you have to know your capabilities. An untested, out of shape person should walk if he or she is feeling exhausted in practice or in a race. But the pain felt racing is the temporal price one has to pay for the ephemeral experience of a race well run. - Manciata (August 2001)

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Date and time page last updated: 07/25/2007 12:51 AM