Sunday, January 31, 2010

Try Melon Tri, Muscatine, Iowa

Here are a few shots from today's race. It's great fun to watch, as we can see the whole thing. It's too bad they don't have all of the top participants in the same heat, as Chris didn't have a lot of competition in his heat, it but it's still a great little race and we enjoy starting off the race season with it.

Deep in thought before the swim:

The swim:



Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bad Blogging

Hmm, obviously it's been awhile since we've updated here, and a lot has happened. Chris has been to the Xterra Nationals and back and has competed in a few winter races. He's still swimming with the same intensity and has started working out with a club on the track two days a week to try to make the winter pass by more quickly. He's still running outside often, and working on the bike on the trainer in the basement. Additionally, when the snow at the park is too deep for trail running (which has been most of December and January), he's been doing some snow shoeing:

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Harvest Hammer

Here's a shot that the professional photographer from the Harvest Hammer captured of Chris and his training partner, Brian Parker.

Photo copyright Matt Tucker. To see the rest of Matt's photos, visit

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Harvest Hammer

I'd like to invite everyone to come out to the Harvest Hammer in Morrison, Illinois this Saturday! It's such a fun family race that is also quite competitive. There are three huge kids' races--a Wee run (1/3 mile), Fun Run (1/2 mile) and Challenge Run (1 mile). There is a 5K walk/run and a Duathlon for either individuals or teams. Register at

Following the race, Morrison is having Paint the Town--another great family activity! This starts at new. For more information on PTT go to

Chris has teamed up with local cyclist Bryce Mead for the team duathlon. I will be hanging out at the registration/results table. Hope to see you at both events!

Iowaman Triathlon

Chris had the fastest swim split, & second-fastest split for the other two events. He was second overall, behind Jeff Paul from the Quad Cities.

Before the swim:

Coming out of the water:

Leaving the first transition with the bike:

Climbing the final hill on the bike:

Finishing up the run:

A strong finish:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spartan Challenge Open - Cross Country - Iowa

I woke up at 5:00 and was out the door by 6:00 on my way to the Quad Cities. The morning was pretty cool for this time of year, around 49 degrees. I arrived at Crow Creek Park, which I have passed hundreds of times without ever visiting. I was really surprised on how large the park was. I went to sign up for the race and saw Kevin Sommer and we chatted for a minute or so, and then I changed and headed out for a warm up run. I decide to run the entire course nice and easy, which is a little abnormal for me as of late, a normal warm up for a 5k is 2 miles. The course was 100 percent grass, and the grass was mowed very short, and the ground was very smooth. However the course was extremely hilly, especially in the last mile. I was hoping this would be to my benefit. During my warm up buses were arriving filled with hundreds of junior high and high school runners for their respective races. 8:00 came soon enough and there was only about 40 of us on the line for the open race. But as I looked at the field I asked myself what I was doing here today, because everyone look really fast, and most I was unfamiliar with.

The race started and I try to start more relaxed then normal. Ben Lloyd, one of the best runners from the Q.C. area, took the lead. I did my best to follow in a small group that was developing, but came to my senses just before the first mile. A runner from Cedar Rapids continued to try and make progress on Ben, and Kevin Sommer and myself were left to chase. We came across the first mile in 5:20. Kevin push the pace, but I was able to stay on his shoulder. At about the 1.25 mark we came to a pretty good downhill, and I took a crack at increasing the pace, I was able to leave Kevin behind and rejoin the second place runner. We ran together and hit the hardest hill on the course which is about 100 meters long but really steep. At the top of the climb was the two mile. We continued on and hit another two climbs, and I was running out of steam and had to let the runner go. Came across the finish in 16:59 or 17:00 in third, with Ben first in 16:20 and the Cedar Rapids runner in second.

This was a really good run for me, and I was pleased with the result. I really enjoy hilly cross country races.

I stuck around to watch the junior high and high school races. It was so nice to see so many kids running, and really brought back some college and high school memories. It was also amazing to see just how fast some of the high school runners were. I was unable to get an exact time but I believe the winner of the boys varsity race went under 15:30.

I think this race has now become my favorite course, if not, it's for sure in the top three.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

P-Town Cross Country 5k

This is by far one of the my most favorite races of the year, and I have been looking forward to it all year. The race was moved up about 4 weeks over past years. I was thinking it would be nice and warm compared to years past, but for whatever reason the morning low was about the same this year as it has been in the past. In addition to the cooler then normal weather for August , it has rained almost all summer long. My normal stomping grounds, which is the horse trails at Rockwood State Park, in Morrison, Illinois, have been closed more then they have been open this summer. As a result of all this rain, the course had to be modified considerably and all the woods trails were eliminated, and the course was run on 100% grass.

I was a little nervous before the race, mainly because I really haven't race a 5k in over 6 weeks, and was a little concerned about my leg speed. So I decide to not go out crazy fast. We started the race and I was quickly joined by a runner from the Quad Cities, Kevin Sommer, that I was unfamiliar with. He jumped right on my shoulder and we ran together to the first mile. The ground was soft, but I had on my new pair of spikes I bought last spring , so my footing was excellent. About 100 meters before the mile Kevin put a huge surge in. It surprised me but Iwent with the move. He kept the pace high, but I was able to regroup and we ran shoulder to shoulder for a bit. Then all of a sudden he started falling off the pace. We came through the first of two laps and I had a few steps on him. My mind was telling to push the pace and take advantage of these few steps, but my body didn't want anything to do with that. So for most of lap two we ran a few steps apart. With about 3/8 a mile to go, he started creeping up on me, and with less then 2 tenths of a mile he start his final kick, I knew I was done. One of these days I will learn how to put a kick in.

I would like to congrate Kevin on a very well-run tactical race.

My son, Evan ran the 1 mile kids race after 5k. This was the second year he has done this race. He is 5 years old now. I am so impressed with how far he has come in one year. When the race started he was really trying hard, this is the first time that it seem he knew he was in a race, rather then just running. He was interested in trying to run with the bigger kids. He ran a very solid race, pace was very good, and he finished in a time of 10:24 for the mile on grass!!!!! His next race will be the Harvest Hammer here in town, and I look forward to watching him race again.

My wife took so really good photos of both races as well:


lap 1:

Lap 2:

Kids' race: