[Not to lure anyone away from their prescribed Saturday LSD, but if ya want another dose of trail running, read on.]
This Saturday marks the 12th running of the Lake McMurtry Trail Run. This is the race that started it all for me. In 2003 I signed up and ventured over to Stillwater to run a 25K, which at that time was my longest race to date. I remember seeing a handful of 50Kers head off, and I was dumbfounded at how it was even possible for one to run 31 miles. These guys (and gals) amazed me!!
I lined up and raced the 25K, finishing in the middle of the pack, and was disgusted with my slow time (2:33), but now I can't even DREAM of being that fast. Nor do I want to be! It hurts too bad!
The next year, I ran the 50K, and finished in 7:05, I think. I have never missed this race since, and have progressively gotten slower.
In 2006, a contingent of trail runners from Tulsa invaded Stillwater. At that time, TATUR was merely an idea tossed around by Brian Hoover and Dan Threlkeld, and a good idea it was. Many of these Tulsa Area Trail/Ultra Runners have since became closer than family.
I DNFd at McMurtry that year. It was a year that the temps were in the 90s for those still running in the afternoon. I had prided myself in having never getting lost, and that streak came to an end. I dropped at the half was point, but I had ran about 4 extra miles due to my own stupidity. But, I had dibs on the burgers, Chuck's jambalaya, and a few cold beers. Life was very good!
I met Mike Snyder, a guy from Tulsa who ran with the RunnersWorld gang. (Believe it or not, I was not a RunnersWorld runner at that time.) Mike seemed like a friendly guy, and he thought it might be fun to go out to the Leap O' Doom to take a few pictures. I was not a camera person at that time, but I did have a disposable camera and grabbed it....and a bottle of ketchup. Mike later wrote a report of our adventure that I call The Legend of the Leap O' Doom! (Please click on this link to read Mike's account!) Mike and Diana became some of our best friends, and despite their moving away, we still think of them as family.
Mike's artwork should have been last years shirt....I just did not think of it until I had already ordered the shirts from last year. While the reworking of the artwork into a format that would show up on the shirt changed some of the details, I still like the finished shirt design.
Heaps of props are due to Earl Blewett for his 10 years as RD of this race.(Might not have been the pic Earl would have selected, but I like it!) Earl along with Chuck (the chef of the awesome jambalaya you'll get to eat on Saturday) cut some of the trails that we we will be treated to, and McMurtry is an awesome bunch of trails. Truly....no fibbing here--there are very few rocks, no bad hills, and miles and miles of scenic single track. This course is far easier than Turkey and Taturs, or FlatRock. It's a little harder than AOK or Sunmart. I spent Sunday afternoon covering the north leg of the course, and it was a trail runner's paradise.Bright blue skies, crunchy leaves, wind rustling through the boughs of budding trees, while the waves lap at the lake shores.Not all is single track....there are a few short sections on primitive dirt roads. But the view is more often than not, breath-taking.It's not impossible to get lost, but we've marked all the intersections so if you're paying attention, you'll be just fine.There's a few short little uphills here and there. A few downhills too!
And of course, the....
It is not too late to sign up for this race. We will probably run out of shirts, so sign up soon! Wanna just come hang out? We could sure use a few volunteers at the aid stations and start/finish area. You will have the gratitude of TZ, which is a very good thing! :-) Or, do both! Run the 12K, and then grab a cup of jambalaya or a burger, and give the crazy 25 and 50Kers a cup of Gatorade and some some psychiatric advice!