Sunday, April 13, 2008

Into the Mud...

Lori Callahan and Charlie Andrews are the two newest runners to step up to and complete the Tuckahoe 10-Mile Challenge for 2008.

Add two names to the Tuckahoe 10-Mile Challenge roster: Lori Callahan and now RUR regular Charlie Andrews. We couldn't have asked for a better day to run the loop--60 degrees or so, sunny, and the rain hadn't done much to make any parts of the trails unpassable.

When we met at the Washington Street/Masonic building parking lot, notably missing were Landy's scooter and any Shilliday vehicle, but Mike Keene stopped by to say hello, talk shop, and try to figure out a way to beam himself out to Tuckahoe for a run.

By Tuckahoe standards, it was a busy day at the park, with a few groups of dog walkers, hikers, two trail clearing/maintenance crews (many thanks to them for their important work!) and a couple of trail (horse) riders. Everyone justifiably looking to cash in on the weather.

It was great fun talking to Charlie in the actual waking hours, and getting to know Lori, who I have only passed a medal/trophy to for being the first female finisher of the Bridge-to-Bridge half-marathon last year, and then seen at other area races.

I have to give some props to Charlie, who "allegedly" has just been running 3-5 miles, 3 times per week of late. On Thursday, he dusted through 7-8 miles, and then today, had no trouble knocking out 10 miles of mud and hills. We've made it an unofficial goal to see how far/fast we have to run Charlie before he looks winded or stops smiling ;)

Lori becomes the first female to complete the Tuckahoe Challenge. With 3:40 marathon speed around Easton, and great speed in 10-miles and half-marathons to boot, my guess is "first female" is a term she is somewhat used to hearing.

Gender aside, Lori earned herself two prestigious and coveted awards today. The first is the "Best Mud" award, which she took home almost instantly, about halfway into the run, taking a spill at the first stream crossing on the Creekside Cliff Trail. Charlie thanked her for helping him decide which way to cross, and also earned himself the "Gentleman's Award," by not running across Lori to keep his shoes dry. When you take a spill into the drink or mud, that's hard to top, and Charlie and I all but conceded the award at that point.

For those that have seen Joel's Golden-Globe-worthy short film of my creek crossing last Sunday, the crossing this Sunday was more sure-footed, if less energetic, with a strong current kicking through. Many thanks to Landy for pioneering the unassisted crossing, which has become one of my favorite parts of the loop. Lori enjoyed the course's chief "water feature" as well, with Charlie opting for high ground. He is a car guy, and says that he had the best interest of the Honda Pilot in mind. Let's say his true motivations are still questionable.

We had some muddy hills on Little Florida Trail and Pee Wees (not muddy enough for skiing, Joel), and somewhere among the two trails, Lori picked up her second award for "Best Blood," which may have been the kick-back from a branch of thorns. She pushed ahead, undaunted, and reported on our return to Easton, that she might look trail-thrashed, but she was ready to go back.

So two more names will be on the end-of-the-year party invitation list, and two more pairs of shoes have been baptized by the mud and water of Tuckahoe. The next trail trip of the RUR crew may just be a mid-week romp. Stay tuned and congrats to Lori and Charlie. Next up: Tuesday morning, back to the dark!

14 comments:

landy said...

Lori looks legitimate with plenty of mud on her shirt, but Charlie looks too clean assuming that he already ran when this picture was taken. Can you confirm whether this photograph is pre or post run?

Anyway, glad to see more folks coming out to finish the ten mile course.

Joel said...

Good stuff Mike, I am coming to expect these posts with my morning coffee/mug.
Don't let up.
thanks
http://www.flickr.com/photos/olorak/153402045/

Michael Valliant said...

Landy - I am sorry to report that the photo was post-run, and Charlie is almost spotless. It is possible he thought that Lori fulilled the mud quota for the day--and I took a minor sprawling spill early on...just to establish that it was okay...ahem...

Michael Valliant said...

Joel - wow, great photo! That is over by the fitness trail, I think, which goes opposite from the way we go--other side of the recycled tire park. Thanks for sending that link.

joel said...

yeah, I thought maybe we would warm up through there on a 7 mile day, to turn it into an eight mile day.

landy said...

That is a nice photo, Joel. I have asked Mike about the fitness trail before, but somehow he always manages to steer us towards then quickly down those hills on the other side of the road. Looks like a beautiful spot!

stephen bardsley said...

guys and now gal! Im so envious, the runs have been sounding great, with near perfect weather. Im making the slow road back to running health. Mike, my name better be on the challenge list, as i did two complete loops(20.2) 48 hours before the appendicitis.(I think the imflamation had started already in hindsite)That was supposed to by my last long run pre taper for B&A marathon. Hope to be out there soon! later guys, and gal! stephen

Michael Valliant said...

Don't worry Bardsley, you are on there. For the record, said list is currently: Stephen Bardsley, Mike Keene, Jim Crowley, Landy Cook, Joel Shilliday, Charlie Andrews, Lori Callahan, and Mike Valliant. 2007 runs don't count, so Pierre Bernasse will have to do it again :)

Landy, Joel - fitness trail warm-up, anytime!

Runners on Trails said...

With so many new names and faces on the Tuckahoe Trails, I now need to get everyone straight in my head. So, here goes...Mike V, Landy, Joel, Charlie, Stephen,and Lori; or should we say, "Splash, Fast, Oz of Music, Neat, Monday Maniac, and Mudblood, respectively, with respect of course. They call me Wood Frog.

Joel said...

I think you have it WF.
Though I am not sold on any nicknames for myself this early unless it is 210+, or Fats.
I like Neat, and Splash.
This blog is becoming a real distraction.

Jose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jose said...

That proves Lori's legs are not only for show.....you are a tough woman. I'm proud of you.

Lori said...

Mike, you are kind with your words....you present a prettier picture than I remember...maybe that is just b/c of my mud and blood haze. It was a great time. I definitely want to get out there again, although it did feel good to go back to the road Tuesday! (Thank goodness I had planned a day off on Monday...)
By the way, I do know Jose that made the comment above and no, I did not pay him for the things he said...

Michael Valliant said...

Lori - we will keep you posted as to the next trip--love to have you back out there! Our friend Mike Keene just dropped the current record down to 1:26 out there today, which is pretty quick for the terrain.

And you have to enjoy getting compliments in the comments! All best to you and good luck at Oxford Day.