Friday, March 25, 2011

Lake McMurtry Preview

This Saturday marks the 13th 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 was last years shirt....with a few changes. Mike's creative touch with the scriggly lines and the determined look on Mr. Stickman would mot show up on a tech shirt, so it was revised. I liked the finished shirt design, but I may make another stab at the original artwork on the 2012 shirt.

This year's shirt is a more sedated design. (I was sedated when I came up with it :-P) It's a gray tech shirt, and I like it a lot!! You'll get tired of seeing me wear it over and over.
This year, we'll also have some honkin big medals for all finishers. Don't miss out, as there are only 250 medals and shirts. Sign up quick!!

Lake McMurtry is a beautiful course. 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. It's a little harder than the Snake Run. Lake McMurtry is 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.I'll be over there this Saturday marking the course. I would love to make it idiot-proof. I believe there might be a year when no one gets off course. We'll mark 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 some awesome BBQ, and give the crazy 25 and 50Kers a cup of Gatorade and some some psychiatric advice!

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