Thursday, March 13, 2014

guerrilla flotilla

hillbilly? i'll have you know i have a
masters degree in primeval zoology.
guerilla running and gorilla running are not the same thing.

except for the uninhibited romping through arboreal wilderness, one might suppose.


the good folks at guerrilla running racing club say the hillbilly half is "the hardest half marathon in washington state." 

that's a bit of hyperbole, but still, the course is a good test of up and down hillage, single-track rockery, and shoe-sucking trail ponds. the other element it had going in 2014 was rain, and lots of it.

the forecast on saturday called for no precipitation until afternoon...and i believed it. i am so dumb. first rule of outdoor activity in the PNW: never believe the forecast. rule number two: go ahead and believe the forecast, but prepare for not-the-forecast.

i broke both rules, so of course the rain started early and never let up. it did, however, get heavier at times. my three tech layers put up little resistance, and four days later my shoes are finally drying out. 

not complaining, mind you. if you're going to run trails here, you get what you get, and you don't get upset. otherwise, yonder is the treadmill.

one caveat to this general rule is when it's raining bullets. then you can get upset, so long as being upset doesn't keep you from moving away from the vicinity as quickly as possible.

apparently there's a shooting range in close proximity to the course. which is fine, if you're into that sort of thing ~ unless you demonstrate that you can't be trusted with the second amendment:

"...beyond the heart-pounding hills of the course itself, several runners reported stray bullets whizzing through the treetops over their heads.
"One runner posted later on the event’s Facebook page: “I thought it was all Hillbilly authenticity. Wow! Officially the craziest race I’ve done … glad nobody was hurt.” The race directors responded, “We are fans of controlled crazy … the wackjob in the woods, not our kind of crazy.”
~ jade belzberg, trail runner magazine

so, yeah. that happened.

earworm du jour: defying gravity, from the "wicked" soundtrack. this one was apt, and even worked in my favor this race. i've done worse, earworm-wise, that's for sure...

As someone told me lately
"Everyone deserves the chance to fly"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
Defying gravity
I'm flying high
Defying gravity...

for the record, at no time did i fly around this course. as noted above, however, i did kind of romp through it. the rain and the rocks and the mud wove themselves into a pleasant brocade that went by in a blur, right through the finish line.

and sure, maybe that was because i had to get up at oh-dark-thirty for the drive from seattle to olympia...or maybe it's because it was one of those times when you just get into the zone early and stay there for the entire race.

i don't know about anyone else, but that's how i experience the "runner's high," when everything feels good and you're just breathing and moving and not thinking about anything in particular, all set to a little mental soundtrack that stays in the background and doesn't make you want to bang your head into a tree.

i digress.

the point is, the 2014 hillbilly half was both memorable and nubilous; demanding but not debilitating.

and nobody got shot.

win. win.


hillbilly half marathon
time:      2:07:00
48/212   Overall
2/14       M 50-59