Friday, May 30, 2008

The bright side of $4.00 gas

I've always been an optimistic, glass half full, kind of guy. But when the gas prices spiked up to the four dollar a gallon mark even I was feeling pretty down.

Maybe this is just the kick in the butt we needed in this country. Suddenly a lot more people are riding their bikes to work, people are thinking twice about unnecessary trips in the car, and sales of scooters and hybrid cars are skyrocketing. The extra exercise forced upon people has got to help, if even a little, with health care costs. The high price of diesel is jacking up the price of food because of shipping, so maybe there will be more vegetable gardens planted.

Now, this morning I heard the price of a barrel of oil is going down because of less consumption and a stronger US dollar. I hope we don't revert back to our old ways.

If only we could make the price of watching TV and playing video games go through the roof ?


Thursday, May 29, 2008


Our awards for the overall winners are a handmade pen/pencil set that Larry Pederson (co- race director ) makes. Age group winners get a pen or a pencil if they won last year. I also made a pen/pencil holder with a deer and turkey lazer engraved on the front. I think they are kind of unique, something different than a trophy or medal.
I would never turn away somebody that wants to help at an aid station and we could always use more. If somebody wants to see the start of the race, and drive out to the 6/8 mile aid station to watch a friend, it can be done. Contact me at jmason@greenway.coop

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Med City Marathon

Congratulations to all who participated in the Med City Marathon. I watched the start and several spots along the route. I was talking to a friend at the beginning of the race, his wife was running her first half marathon, you should have seen the smile on her face at the one mile. Anyway, he said he couldn't believe all the different types of people in the gym before the race. Yes, we runners come in all sizes and shapes, some older some younger , but we are all athletes.
What people that don't run fail to realize is, there are no losers in our sport. There are only a select few that really stand a chance of winning a race. The rest of us are there to compete against ourselves. Trying to run a PR, or just completing a distance that we haven't done before, or sometimes just running for the fun of it and hanging with a lot of great friends.
Peg and Wally Arnold, former race directors of the Med City coined the phrase "Its all about the journey ". I couldn't agree more.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Trail report

Matt and I did a 10 miler last night at Chester. We ran 8 miles on the course and added another 2 miles of brutal hills to add to the fun. at about mile 5 on the course the ground is a little rough from some horseback riders entering the park when the ground was too soft, but its only for a short distance. It was a very pleasent evening out there, a lot of apple trees are in full bloom yet, and the many songbirds were singing.

We put in a pretty good effort bombing up the hills and only walked at the top of The Big Dam Hill. Who thought of putting a huge hill at the nine mile point of a ten mile race ? After recovering at the top of BDH we sprinted back to the finish. Matts been putting in a lot of miles lately and all I can say is , "look out the Hurricane is back". He should do well at Med City providing he doesn't get to full of himself and take off too fast

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ahoy, Bill Barnacle

I know it sounds like a character on Sponge Bob Squarepants but its actually a state woodland area south of Rochester. This is really a beautiful valley along the Root River and it has some trails that are runnable. Matt wanted to go for a run at Chester Woods, but I convinced him to try Bill Barnacle. I parked the truck and after Matts stretching routine we set off across a small creek and up a long ,long hill. I thought Matt was going to lose me as he was full of energy and I'm like a diesel engine, slow to warm up but... once I get going I can put-put forever. After running down an old road for a couple of miles the trail turned down the hill and petered out to a pair of four wheeler ruts and started crossing a creek numerous times.
Now Matt has the Forest Gumplike ability to run one road race after another but, crossing creeks is not his strong point. I would leap across on a fallen log only to see Matt standing there, on the log, shaking like a puppy trying to pass a peach pit. Well, we managed to make it across the river bottoms without falling in any water and, it was pretty with a million bluebells in bloom. I'm ready to head back any time but I think Matt prefers a little less exciting adventures :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Trail report

On Sunday Matt Schrader, David Sletton, Dan Valintine and I went on a preview of the 10 mile course. It was a really nice afternoon for a run. We didn't see much for wildlife except at about 3 1/2 miles Dan suddenly jumped in the air. I couldn't figure out what he was doing until I saw the huge snake he leapped over. I am sure glad the snake was on his side of the trail and not mine.

We've got 51 pre-registered for the races so far. This is double what we were at last year at this time. There are a lot of people coming a from all over to run. With gas prices being what they are, thank you.
I should add that the Snake is a Fox Snake and they are harmless and in the hundreds of times that I've ran the trails this is the second time I've seen one

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Out of the sun ?

I went to the Stay Out Of The Sun Run on Friday. This is a race to raise awareness and funding to fight skin cancer. Ironically it was one of the sunniest most beautiful days we've had for a race this year. Tim and Susan Burris do a fantastic job with this event it has quickly become one of the most attended races in Rochester.
The "trail of the trail "preview run is this afternoon at 4:00 PM it should be a spectacular day for a run through the woods.
The question has been brought up , can people walk the 5k course ? Sure, the only thing I would worry about is blocking the trail for 10 mile finishers. If you want to walk the course stay to the right so those blazing fast runners can pass, the trails should be plenty wide enough.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Matt and I hit up the woods for a little over a hour last night. I don't have any idea how far we went because we ran mostly on trails that aren't on the race course. The woods are looking very lush right now. There's something kind of nice about the brand new leafs and plants this time of year everything is virginal and perfect with nary an imperfection from any bugs chewing on anything. I saw a few turkey feathers on the trails but no turkeys, they must be getting shy.
I'd like to thank Mike Wooden and crew from River Valley Power and Sport. They have provided the John Deer Gator for the race and also for some high school cross country meets that I have helped at.
This Sunday at 4:00 PM we will be doing a preview run of the 10 mile course. Anybody that wants to come just show up. It will be a very easy pace, I just hope I hold together, it'll be the longest I've run in a long time. I'm feeling pretty good right now, soon I won't have any aches to complain about. Yah right.......;-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Trail report

I went about eight miles last night with Matt " Hurricane " Schrader. My Achilles problems seem to be behind me now. Matt and I both just need to burn off some of that fat we accumulated last winter. You could feel the woods shaking with our every step.

The plum tree blossoms are just starting to peak out, its one of my favorite times to run through the woods. The sweet smells are intoxicating

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Grandfather of Minnesota trail running

The Rochester Post Bulliten did a great story on Larry Pederson. Larry is certainly a pioneer in trail racing in the Midwest and is responsible for a lot of the most popular races in Minnesota. Anybody who hasn't seen Larry's beard flowing in the wind in a race is missing something, and he's also one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

I'm hoping Larry can make it to the Chester Woods Trail Race, I would love to hear his opinion about the race. Congratulations on the nice story Larry, hope to see you on the trails soon

Thursday, May 8, 2008


I was just thinking I should express my thanks to a couple of Upper Midwest Trail Runners. Kate Havlin contacted us last year about adding the Chester Woods Trail Run to the Minnesota Trail Running series. I couldn't have been more excited to have this first year race added to a series which also has such prestigious races as Trail Mix, Superior Trail etc....

Kate ran in the inaugural Chester Woods race and was on hand to autograph her book "Minnesota Running Trails " Thanks Kate.

Kieth Krone contacted us for this years trail running series, and somehow while doing some Internet surfing I stumbled across his blog.Kieth also ran the first Chester Woods run , he did a really good job of describing his race experience and had some awesome pictures included. Kieth was kind enough to let me use some of his pictures for the race website etc... One thing we forgot was to have someone taking pictures on race day. It was because of Kieth that I got this idea to do this blog. Thanks Kieth.

I know Kate is busy for this years race, but I'm hoping to meet Kieth and some of the other trail runners whose blogs that I read on a regular basis. I'd like to see those funky shoes Kieth wears up close.

I'm hoping that the Chester Woods Trail Run can be part of the MNTRS for many years to come and I'm going to do my best to make it a race everyone can look forward to

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Trail report

I went for a run last night on the 10 mile route. The trails are drying up nicely .There are only a couple of wet spots. The aspen trees are in the lead as far as leafing out and you are starting to see a little more green as you gaze out over the valley. With no leaves on a lot of the trees yet ,you can see into the woods very well, its fun to watch the herds of deer as they leap over the fallen logs ,stop , and stare back at you for a few seconds before turning and crashing through the woods some more.
My plan was to run as far as I felt comfortable then walk for awhile I ran about six miles and then walked the last three, I skipped part of the Zieman Loop. My Achilles is feeling pretty good today so I think I can finally step up my training a little more. Actually walking through the woods gives you a whole new perspective. You don't have to focus so much on your footing and can enjoy the woods a little more. We trail runners should always plan our runs so we allow a little time to walk , cool down and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of the woods.
As I was walking in last night I actually stopped and soaked up the sight of the far shore of the reservoir. The fading sun was lighting up the trees as the buds are swelling and bursting into leaves. The water was perfectly still except for the ringlets from fish feeding on the surface. I could here the rat-a-tat-tat of woodpeckers first on one side then the other. There was no sight of a human being anywhere.
I heard somebody won the lottery last night in Minnesota, I think it was me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Spring Run

The RTC had the Spring Run last Saturday. Again the temps were in the mid 30's in the mourning with a light rain. Its got to be nice one of these race days. Usually as you run this race you are treated to thousands of bluebell flowers along the bike path , while I guess there were some flowers out, just not the normal amount.
The next day my left leg was totally cramped up and I didn't even run. I helped clip the race timing chips off the shoe laces. I think all the knealing down to snip the chips off must have got me. I must be getting fragile in my old age :-)

Friday, May 2, 2008


I've been tagged by Kel to write a six word memoir. Here goes.


And I'll tag Renee , Jess , Steve , Joel, and Kirsten

Hope I'm doing this right. I'm kinda new at this so I just picked a few people at random

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Greatest sports story I've ever heard

If you havn't heard this story yet, read on ,but you might need some tissues

Gary Frederick thought he had seen everything in 40 years at Central Washington University. He'd coached baseball and women's basketball for 11 years, been an assistant on the football team for 17 and athletic director for 18.
Last weekend, he learned he was wrong.
In the top of the second inning as his Wildcats played host to Western Oregon University in Ellensburg, Wash., something happened that spoke to the beauty of athletics. It came in the form of a home run that no one in attendance will forget.
"Never in my life had I seen anything like it," said Frederick, 70, in his 14th season as softball coach.
"It was just unbelievable."
Central entered Saturday's doubleheader one game behind Western Oregon in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference race. At stake was a bid to the NCAA's Division II playoffs. Western won the first game 8-1, extending its winning streak to 10 games. Central desperately needed the second game to keep its postseason hopes alive.
Western Oregon's 5-foot-2-inch right fielder came up to bat with two runners on base in the second inning. Sara Tucholsky's game was off to a rough start. A group of about eight guys sitting behind the right field fence had been heckling her.
"They were giving me a pretty hard time," said Tucholsky, a Forest Grove High School graduate. "They were just being boys, trying to get in my head."
At the plate, Tucholsky concentrated on ignoring the wise guys. She took strike one. And then the senior did something she had never done before -- even in batting practice. The career .153 hitter smashed the next pitch over the center field fence for an apparent three-run home run.
The exuberant former high school point guard sprinted to first. As she reached the bag, she looked up to watch the ball clear the fence and missed first base. Six feet past the bag, she stopped abruptly to return and touch it. But something gave in her right knee; she collapsed on the base path.
"I was in a lot of pain," she told The Oregonian on Tuesday. "Our first-base coach was telling me I had to crawl back to first base. 'I can't touch you,' she said, 'or you'll be out. I can't help you.' "
Tucholsky, to the horror of teammates and spectators, crawled through the dirt and the pain back to first.
Western coach Pam Knox rushed onto the field and talked to the umpires near the pitcher's mound. The umpires said Knox could place a substitute runner at first. Tucholsky would be credited with a single and two RBIs, but her home run would be erased.
"The umpires said a player cannot be assisted by their team around the bases," Knox said. "But it is her only home run in four years. She is going to kill me if we sub and take it away. But at same time I was concerned for her. I didn't know what to do. . . .
"That is when Mallory stepped in."
Mallory Holtman is the greatest softball player in Central Washington history. Normally when the conference's all-time home run leader steps up to the plate, Pam Knox and other conference coaches grimace.
But on senior day, the first baseman volunteered a simple, selfless solution to her opponents' dilemma: What if the Central Washington players carried Tucholsky around the bases?
The umpires said nothing in the rule book precluded help from the opposition. Holtman asked her teammate junior shortstop and honors program student Liz Wallace of Florence, Mont., to lend a hand. The teammates walked over and picked up Tucholsky and resumed the home-run walk, pausing at each base to allow Tucholsky to touch the bag with her uninjured leg.
"We started laughing when we touched second base," Holtman said. "I said, 'I wonder what this must look like to other people.' "
Holtman got her answer when they arrived at home plate. She looked up and saw the entire Western Oregon team in tears.
"My whole team was crying," Tucholsky said. "Everybody in the stands was crying. My coach was crying. It touched a lot of people."
Even the hecklers in right field quieted for a half-inning before resuming their tirade at the outfielder who replaced Tucholsky.
Western Oregon won the game 4-2 and extinguished Central Washington's playoff hopes.
Afterward, Central coach Frederick said he received a clarification from the umpiring supervisor, who said NCAA rules allow a substitute to run for a player who is injured after a home run. The clarification, however, could not diminish he glory of Holtman's and Wallace's gesture. Holtman downplayed her role, which her coach said is typical of the White Salmon, Wash. native.
"In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much," Holtman said. "It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain and she deserved a home run. . . .
"This is a huge experience I will take away. We are not going to remember if we won or lost, we are going to remember this kind of stuff that shows the character of our team. It is the best group of girls I've played with. I came up with the idea, but any girl on the team would have done it."
Tucholsky went to the doctor Tuesday. Her knee was still swollen; her trainer suspects she tore her anterior cruciate ligament. She will be in the dugout this weekend when Western Oregon attempts to cement an NCAA berth with games against Seattle and Western Washington.
Tucholsky will graduate this spring as a business major with a minor in health. She plans to continue her studies at Portland State and pursue a career in the health field. But she will never forget the generosity of her opponents in her final collegiate game.
"Those girls did something awesome to help me get my first home run," she said. "It makes you look at athletes in a different way. It is not always all about winning but rather helping someone in a situation like that."
Holtman knows something of knee injuries. On May 8, she is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on both knees, which have pained her all season. On June 7, she will graduate with a degree in business. She intends to study sports administration in graduate school at Central Washington.
Holtman believes sports has made her a better person.
She wants to give back.
Mallory Holtman plans to do that by becoming a coach