Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

Archive for June 25th, 2008

My Helvetia Half Marathon personal results

Posted by bunchgrasser on June 25, 2008

First, let me just say a big thank you to the event sponsors and the folks at Run With Paula for putting on a great race! This was my second half marathon, but first time running the Helvetia Half and I thought everyone did a great job. The weather was perfect, the event seemed well organized and it almost made destroying my legs for 13.1 miles fun.

How did I do, you ask? Well, I’m pleased to say that I ran it in 1:56:54, which means I averaged an 8:55/mile pace. I placed 75th out of 145 for my age group (40-44). Now that may not seem too impressive to many runners out there, but I did establish a new PR and I beat my last half marathon time by several minutes. I do like the trend here…

Some observations about the race…

First, I really enjoyed running through the rural setting. Most all of my running (training and races) occurs in an urban setting, so cruising down the 2 lane roads past hay fields, trees & farmers was a refreshing change and I’m already looking forward to running Helvetia next year.

Second, the Jamba Juice smoothies placed into my hands the moment I crossed the finish line were a life saver. Although I wouldn’t recommend sucking down two of them quickly right after running 13 miles (as I did). The cold headache was almost enough to make me pass out.

Third, the water stations and portable toilets were distributed well across the entire course. I did make one pit stop, but I waited until I came to an unoccupied unit so that I could dart in/out quickly. I think I may have set a new speed record – can someone verify that for me?

Finally, I have some constructive suggestions for the organizers for next year. These are not, I repeat, these are not complaints – but merely my opinions on how to improve an already fantastic race.

 First, please consider replacing the cotton t-shirt with a technical shirt of some kind. The rest of the athletic world has moved away from cotton, so I’m amazed that race organizers still give them out. If cost is the issue then please at least offer both choices to participants. It would be nice to actually use race t-shirts for running rather than stuffing them in a box or sending them to Goodwill.

Second, please reconsider serving tepid hamburgers to race participants that just ran 13 hard miles. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but my system just can’t handle that kind of gut bomb after a long run. Perhaps some kind of pasta and/or vegetable dish would be more universally appealing.

Finally, Ugh – the parking issue after the race. The last thing people will remember about this race is sitting in their hot car for an hour trying to get out of the parking lot. I can assure you that I will find an alternative parking option next year. But I’m guessing some may avoid this race next year because of this reason.

I’d also like to thank the folks at Portland Fit for running a great training program. Although registration is closed for this marathon season, I would highly encourage anyone looking to run a marathon, half marathon, or simply improve their running to sign up for this next season. I’ve really enjoyed the group runs on Saturday mornings and the accountability has truly helped me ratchet up to double digit mile runs and beyond.

What’s next for me? Well – I just registered for the Pacific Crest Half Marathon to be held June 28th in Sunriver, Oregon. I’m looking forward to the flat course, but Sunriver’s higher elevation may have a noticable effect on breathing. Stay tuned for the post race report.



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Bunchgrasser’s quote of the day

Posted by bunchgrasser on June 25, 2008

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.”

-Muhammad Ali

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United Sodium – Hawaii Regionals results

Posted by bunchgrasser on June 25, 2008

Well, the lady warriors are back on the mainland now after 8-9 days in sunny Honolulu for Regionals. Although their 1-2 record wasn’t what they had hoped for, I’m certain the trip was a success in many ways.

Sodium opened with a game against tournament favorites, Cal South Slammers. Sodium fought hard and took the bench with a 1-0 lead at half time, but the Slammers hit the pitch with their game faces on, scoring 5 unanswered goals to hand Sodium their first loss.

Next up was wild card team, Colorado. The Sodium ladies, smelling blood immediately took command of the game, running up a 3-0 lead in the first half with goals from Hannah Lautenbach, Emmy Owens and Bailey Hall. The second half proved to be a bigger challenge for Sodium though as Colorado fought back with 2 consecutive goals to close within range of a tie. The final minutes of the game played out as the Sodium “brick wall” defense all but sealed off Colorado, earning their first win of the tournament.

Sodium’s final game against Utah ended in a 3-1 loss and quashed any hope of moving to the next round. A crushing blow for sure to this team of dedicated athletes. The lady warriors left the field with their heads held high, vowing to be back next year. There were some tears and sad faces as the Sodium team, coaches and supporters left the field. But it was a proud moment for all to reflect upon the entire season and the hard work it took to get there.

As a parent and dedicated fan of Sodium, I’d like to offer my thanks to all of these fine ladies for playing hard and giving it your all, every day on the field. It has been a true pleasure watching, cheering & photographing you all season. You play with your hearts and leave everything on the field – and that is the true beauty of the sport.

Please check the Sodium blog for a more in-depth tournament report.



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