Friday, May 2, 2008

The Trans Tred Avon Challenge

The key to the Trans Tred Avon Challenge is fueling and keeping leg muscles fresh while crossing the river on the Oxford Bellevue Ferry. Photo from the OB Ferry website.

In April, we brought you: The Mug Challenge. This May, we lay down the Trans Tred Avon Challenge. In other words, it just got a lot harder to get a mug ;)

The TTAC is a group run covering roughly 20 miles (yet to be measured, likely between 20 and 25). It will start in Easton, run up St. Michaels Road, and follow signs to the Oxford Bellevue Ferry through Royal Oak, Bellevue, with runners then taking the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry across the Tred Avon River. Once across, the run continues in Oxford, making the return route to Easton up Oxford Road, completing a loop whereby runners have made a successful river crossing and run nice-sized chunks of Routes 33 and 333. There may or may not be a cookout or post run soak or celebration after the run.

This is an idea I have been entertaining for some time, though never sure where to start it--St. Michaels, Oxford, Easton, or when to try it. And therein lies the danger (or blessing?) of finishing a marathon and not having anything immediately on your race calendar.

So far the three who have expressed interest in completing the challenge are Landy, Mike Keene, and myself. I know there are others out there suitably trained to pull something like this off in the next 4 to 6 weeks (if our new Easton ultra buddy Derek is reading, as well as marathon gal Lori C., and I won't implicate others by name...yet :)

There are a number of ways to take part in the challenge: the full-monty (no, no nudity, please) - meaning to complete the whole loop. The half-nelson - run either to Bellevue and call it a day or meet us in Oxford and run the back half of the loop. Or the parti-colored - run some part of the challenge to get in the mileage you want and call it a day. A really ambitious and creative group may even wish to make a relay with as few or many folks as you need to wrap it up.

A few things to consider - the TTAC is self-supported. It's a group run, you carry your own fluids and food. We may outline a couple stash places on the route, AND we pass right by the Oxford Market, where it would be easy to grab a Gatorade, water, etc. If you are running less then the full-monty, your transportation to or from is up to you. Again, the whole self-supported thing. The challenge rests on the legs or shoulders of those wishing to take the challenge.

What do you get for completing the challenge? Well, a very cool and note- and story-worthy run. I am not sure that a group of runners has done this before, sure bikers on a regular basis, but running and biking 20+ miles are different experiences, no? There may be a post-run shindig of some caliber. And, I daresay, if you are not currently in possession of an RUR mug, running the FULL loop may or may not :), be a means of acquiring one.

When is the challenge? The goal is to make it a group run and thereby accommodate all those folks who want to participate. Mitigating factors include call schedules, children sporting events, etc., so we are going to use the blog here and e-mail to select a date where most of those wanting to do it, can do it.

Are you Trans Tred Avon Challenge material? Interested? Leave a comment and maybe even thoughts about when you could pull it off. The challenge must be completed by the end of June, maybe even during May, but there is a pesky half-Ironman triathlon in Cambridge in early June that one of us (Wood Frog) is doing.

So if you are a gamer here, or think you might be, holler in the comments. Specify if you are going for the full monty, the half-nelson, or a parti-color. And stay tuned for our next, or concurrent challenge, cooked up by Chef Joel Shilliday: the Tuckahoe Creek Scramble, which will be much muddier :)


Derek said...

Wow! I've been thinking of doing this route as a long run! I'm in. Saturday mornings are a bit jammed for a while, but any other time is good.
Great meeting you guys at Traildawgs! Hope to meet up with you for an early run soon.

landy said...

I love the idea! Let's go. I'm in for THIS Sunday- the Full Monty. Don't delay it too long.

Joel said...

good stuff!
Could be a proving ground for me.
Its lonely on the road.

Derek said...

I can prolly make Sunday.

Michael Valliant said...

Cripes! You guys are battier than a Louisville Slugger lynch mob :)

Derek - when you get a chance, fire me an e-mail at so we can keep you updated on weekend runs and further logistics for the TTAC. Great to meet you as well--look forward to logging some miles.

Dominic said...

As the newest member of RUR, I continue to ask myself what the hell have I gotten into. I probably shouldn't go for the full monty with only 2 weeks of "training" under my belt, but I would certainly join you out of Easton and see how far I get- ?bellevue, oxford?
Don't worry, I have plenty of hitchhiking experience.