Sunday, May 29, 2016

Race Report : Sonoma County Back Country Challenge (60 mile), May 22, 2016

What's cycling 60 miles of cool morning air plus BBQ and beer?  A good time!

This was my first time cycling the non-competitive Back Country Challenge in PennGrove, CA (near Petaluma) and it was a blast!

My cousin Sam gave me a list of local rides to ease my way back into cycling and he knew that if the finish featured a beer garden that he'd have my attention.  And he did.

There are three distances to choose from : 35 miles ($70), metric 100 (62 miles - $80) and 100 mile ride ($90).  I originally signed up for the 100 but knowing that my wife and kids would probably be waiting for me downgraded to the 60.  Registration fees benefit The Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Club and the many groups they in turn support.  The ride is extremely well organized with very clear turn markers, Aid Stations every 10 miles or so, and the best chicken BBQ and beer I've had in while.  Additional perks include three twins ice cream cones.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Race Report : Taiwan Beast Runners, deLoop, April 16, 2016

I’ve run a couple races in Taiwan before. Both road races in June. A 12k and half marathon (22k).  I could only get two weeks of vacation from work because of commitments but really wanted to find a trail race amongst the lush rain forest like conditions.  To my surprise, the Taiwan Beast Runners(TBR) had a UTMB, UTMF certified ‘loop’ race in just the environment I sought after – or so I thought.

Pre-race day Period: April 10th-April 15th

April in Taiwan has generally speaking for a sub-tropical island ‘nice’ weather in that there aren’t any monsoons nor is the weather too hot nor humid.  However, I knew that the humidity and timezone difference were different enough that I would need a few training runs to acclimate. So, I started the very next morning with a 10k then added 10k per day for three total workouts (10k, 20k, 30k*).  My last workout was cut short because what was supposed to be a dry day turned into torrential rains so only got 15k in.  I must say that my first work out the day after I arrived was tough. I mean a 10k should have been easy to knock out but I had to push my legs to finish. However, by the second day I ran a 20k with ease.
The 3AM bus pickup area.  I located the pickup area which was Taipei Main Train station East exit 3 and minutes from my mother in law’s house on Google Maps and thought easy.  I showed the map to my wife, then mother in law which promped a family walk using mom’s route to the train station. Mom’s route was most efficient of course because the MRT underground would be closed at that time, had to use surface streets and was easy enough to cross ‘no crossing area’ at 2:45AM provided you were not picked off my early morning race car drivers.