When: Saturday, March 20, 2010 7:45 AM-12:15 PM. Central Standard Time
Where: Veteran's Park (21st & Boulder)
I really hate to come across as pithy, but I feel the need to hiss at the now nearly infamous Dom-N-8rz 8:51 group (think scaly “tough love”). For many, many weeks now, we’ve been challenged with more than our fair share of inclement weather for our Saturday morning training runs, which provided all sorts of “excuses” for folks/folkettes to phone it in, stay under the covers, work on shedding that skin – anything other than to hit the trails and slither around with your trailmates. Now with only a few weeks to go, I fear with all my rattles that I inadvertently sold you a bill of goods, snake oil if you will, in promising that we would make sure that you would be ready for the OK City Marathon. Unfortunately, these training runs won’t run for themselves. The “Think System” is not a sustainable run training program, so we must wrap ourselves around the jogging branch, and vow to make up for lost miles. Not to poison the nest or cause undue rigor mortis, but this week’s training run is a scheduled 22-mile serpentine route--coiling, straightening, and then re-coiling around the Arkansas River, home of the Tulsa urban legend Ark-Py-Moc-Rat River Serpent. Be on your watch, as mid-March marks the time of heightened snakeular activity. The “APMR Serp” feeds on raw sewage and river debris, migrates from the Jenks River Walk to the R66 Mother Road, with extended stops near the sewage treatment plant. Frequently spotted near the PSO Power Plant canoe rapids during afternoon feeding sprees, the APMR recesses to the nearby Turkey Mountains for winter hibernation and reproduction, and is reported to occasionally snack on lonely, isolated, and downtrodden trail runners.
The route for this week’s run starts at Veteran’s Park at our standard 7:45 AM’ish time, and is comprised of several stretches of forward paces, followed by left and right turns, a few timely starts and stops, and then a bunch more steps, with a bump or two thrown in for special effect. See, not too difficult if you commit this to memory.
So really, let’s make a pact – no more lame excuses, it’s time to show, it’s time to go. Let’s collectively make up for lost time, and agree to help each other reach this new milestone. Not to poison the waters, we’ll vow to hold each other accountable for each other’s success.
So, rather than continue with this side winding, I need to confess that I won’t be running with the group this week, as I’ve volunteered my services for the noble cause of helping to sweep Turkey Mountain clean of any remaining snakes, with particular focus on the APMR Serpent. Civic duty and a few “cents” of irresponsibility and abandonment issues dutifully sirens me to the centuries old TATUR Snake Run, led by no other than that dastardly, and unabashedly perty, snake charming duo of Pretty Boy Brian and Trail Zombie Ken. Although they frequently speak with forked tongues, possess those enticing snake eyes, and have photo shop enhanced memories, they generally mean well and more often than not look adorable in the rain. Yes, I’ve been Snake Bit!
Joined by approximately 150 recruited St. Patrick wannabees, we vow to reticulate the upper Turkey Mountain area for hours on end this Saturday to rid the mountain of the dreaded Reptilian monster. We collectively commit that ravines and forests and caves and rock garden boulders alike (Oh My!) will be tepidly scoured via moccasin-adorned trail runners to banish the APMR Serp and all it’s skinfolk back to the bountiful Arkansas river. We take our inspiration from his beloved Greenness from the isle across the great Pond to extract those snakes and return the mountain to the turkeys of wild. We come well prepared, armed with ample doses of antivenin, and we’ve been forewarned that underbellies will be exposed, trails will be splashedly “marked”, and Serpent Soldiers will consistently respond to salutations of “Is that a snake in your pocket or are you just ….” with a robust response of “Exactly”.
Finally, we strike at this opportunity with all the venom we can muster to promise to not overachieve our mission. After all, our goal is to not forever banish those slithering creatures, as professional snake charmers/charmerettes never want to work themselves out of a job. After all, the annual fun and joys of the TATUR Snake Run need to be repeated for future decades and generations. It’s just too legit to quit.
Now SNAP! And remember: Keep those Fangs Up!