Thursday, September 15, 2011


This past weekend (September 10th) I celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary. Apparently I am not a normal woman, as every year for my wedding anniversary I like to go to the small town of Helvetia, camp out in my friends yard, hang out with friends, maybe go to the square dance, and then wake up the next morning for the 10k Mountain Run.

Helvetia is a small village in the heart of West Virginia that was settled by Swiss/German immigrants in 1869. The town still holds that original charm and is like stepping back in time. In fact, I had to tell my assistant at work that she wouldn't be able to get a hold of me because I wouldn't have cell service.

When you arrive in Helvetia you make the 3 mile journey into the woods on a dirt road to Mr. Dan Lehmann's house.  Sometime after you arrive you will be asked to participate in a hash run that doesn't leave the Lehmann property and is guaranteed to leave you with mud splattered legs and cuts from brier bushes. After you've finished the hash and set up your tent for the night, everyone gathers around the fire for some good food brought by good friends (we brought brownies and watermelon from the garden). If you don't get carried away in conversation, you might choose to go to the square dance in the community hall. We have done this a few times in the past, but we forgot about it this year. It will probably be more fun next year when Eileen is a little older anyway.

In the morning we woke and got ready for the race. I had planned to try and get my long run in along with the race, so I was going to run from Dan's house down to the start and then add on a couple more miles. In doing my long warm up with training partner Ron, I forgot all about the kids race. Don had Travis down to the start in time to participate, but I missed it.
Once I got my 4 miles in, it was time to head to the start line, that is after I gave Don a bottle for the baby and changed shoes. The race is a fun 10k with the first 3 miles on pavement and a little grass/dirt, then you start to head up to Dan's house on his dirt road. Once you pass Dan's house you have a half mile uphill climb that will leave you walking. When you hit the top you want to get your stride back so you can use the extreme downhill mile back to the finish to make up some lost time.  I won the race with a 48:50 and 10 miles already done. I ran 4 miles while waiting for the awards to get going.

Every year Dan tries to mix it up with the awards. This year we got some nice pottery that just happened to match some awards I've gotten form other races. We also get a free meal at the Hutte, which is the only restaurant in Helvetia and well worth the drive. 

So once Don and I went back to the house to get showered and pack up the car, the family headed to the Hutte for some lunch before the 2 hour ride home. Another fun weekend spent in Helvetia!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Under New Management

Okay, I've been very bad about this whole blogging thing. Now that I've gotten Labor Day Weekend out of the way my work schedule slows down and I'll have some more time to work on my blog, my running, and maybe even some more recipes!

This post is one that I've been thinking about since July 16th which was the Big Bear 12 hour run/relay race that I put on at work. Although I have actually run in this race, I did not run this year or last year because I am the race director and it is just too much to try and do both. Don helps a great deal and I'm sure I could have snuck in a lap or two, but I scheduled myself a day off. But anyway, on to my post!

I've heard it said that everyone who participates in sports should also have to be an umpire or referee at some point. Why, you might ask? Well, because then you see the other side of things and you are less likely to want to run onto the field and punch the referee in the face when you think he made a bad call. The same can be said in running. I think most runners don't realize just what it takes to put on a race, or the cost for that matter. That's why I think every runner should also have to be a race director at some point!

I recently saw a message board post where it was asked what is a deal breaker for a race, meaning, as a runner why would you NOT go back to a race. One person replied that a race should have 5 year age groups, tech t-shirts, chip timing. These things all cost money. So lets go with a typical 5k fee of around $18. Per runner, a trophy will cost about $3, tech t-shirt starting at $12 (I got tie dyed for my race and they were $10), Chip timing $100 plus $1 a runner (I'm going on what I've heard, my lovely husband always does timing for me), post race food about $150 (if you go simple pizza, granola bars, water), Race Insurance about $3 per runner, Photography carries a fee, as well as advertising, Porta Potties which run about $100 each per day. Then you also have to order numbers and pins (don't forget the pins!). You also have to have your t-shirt sizes to the printer at least a week in advance, so you have  to guess on the number of race day registrations you are going to have or you will have a box of extra t-shirts left over.  If you have your race in a town like Morgantown, you have to get a parade permit, which isn't a lot of money, but kind of a pain. Then you also have to rally volunteers to help. This usually isn't an issue with my event because we have many of the same people coming back year to year and someone is always willing to help.

For a 12 hour race I went with hand made awards which cost quite a bit more and nice quality t-shirts. Then I also have to figure what I will have to have at each aid station per the number of participants for each lap of the race. I also have to take into account the fact that my race is in mid-July and although we usually have awesome weather up on the mountain, we do have the random hot and humid day which will require much more water/gatorage/heed.

Now, I am very fortunate that I have the support of Big Bear, a country store nearby to get extra provisions if I need them, and great support from Saucony and Hammergel which helps out tremendously with the aid stations, numbers, and awards.

I'm sure that I am forgetting something, but you get the point. I don't like high entry fees or an unorganized race, but I will give most races the benefit of the doubt and give them a second chance. I think sometimes people have good intentions with putting on a race and don't know what they are getting into. As a runner, I like to race, and I like to have choices of where to race every weekend, so I try not to complain too much about any race!