On December 31st, we renewed a yearly Creek Road Runners tradition that we had to pull the plug on in 2020. Sixteen participants and two dogs showed up to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. We managed to get a decent group shot and keep a reasonable social distance.
CRR Barret Michalec touched based recently, sending in some of his thoughts and experiences from living and running in Arizona, where he moved about a year and a half ago.
I’ve been running here and there since moving to Arizona. I live in an area called Fountain Hills. It gets its name from the famous Fountain, and, of course, [there are] rolling hills…which I have learned about first-hand in my running. The heat is the kicker, can’t really get out any time after 9 a.m. in the summer and even late spring, but during the “winter” and “fall” it’s pretty fantastic running.
I haven’t been training or anything but saw a run that looked fun. It was a trail 15k in the local mountains…AT NIGHT! I hadn’t done much trail running because of the snakes and wildlife and fear of getting lost, but I figured I would be able to see all the other headlamps of fellow runners at this thing. It was super awesome. A bit scary, a bit like “They allow us to do this?!”
I ended up finishing in 1 hour and 20 minutes and came in 3rd [among] all men (4th overall out of 60+ [finishers]). What struck me was the age of the top—all over 40. Trail running must be something different out here—different crowd, different techniques/tactics. I couldn’t use my long strides because of the rocks and loose-footing areas on the uphills and downhills, and there are a lot of twists and turns, so you have to really focus…especially at night.
There were folks there for a 75k, 50k, and a 25k! NUTS! Maybe [I’ll do] the 25k next time though….
Barret, thanks for the update, and stay cool out there.
The novel coronavirus has certainly changed the behavioral landscape in 2020, particularly in terms of event cancellation. The Creek Road Runners annual trail run, traditionally held on Dec. 31, was no exception.
Not to be completely deterred, however, was CRR Mark Deshon, who, along with four other “millennium men,” began this holiday tradition in 1999. In an effort to exercise (or is it exorcise?) away the effect of all the holiday food that is ever-present and so tempting while sheltering in place, he decided to make good on the last decent-weather day of the year (Dec. 30) by engaging in a duathlon pilgrimage, biking to and from the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area and running the course.
The 4.1-mile bike—4.67-mile run—4.1-mile bike effort was both a challenge and a good way to close out what had been a great year of training for Deshon. With some transition time in between, mostly to change gloves and headgear, his times were 17:52, 40:26, and 15:35, respectively.
The wind from the southwest was substantial, accounting for the big time difference on the bike, while the “monster” of New Muenster hill gradually slowed him to a survival jog.
Deshon missed the company of triathlete and CRR Steve Tague, with whom he had been bike training since May. Tague was also trying to take advantage of the good weather by finishing a deck-building project.
Another year, another trail run in the book, and another year of “wringing out the old.” And, yes, the old was completely wrung out in 2020. Time to ring in the new!
For a sample chronicling of past years’ events, check out the following:
Creek Road Runners’ popular annual New Year’s Eve day event—the “Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New” trail run at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area—has been cancelled as a prudent response to the surging coronavirus pandemic.
Event organizer CRR Bill Rose fully expects that next year we’ll be able to hold this event for the 22nd time.
In the meantime, we hope that, while awaiting an available vaccine, all of you will stay safe and healthy, especially now that you have a year and three weeks to train for next year’s run at Fair Hill.
As CRR Vic Kaliakin implies here, hats off to all you Creek Road Runners, both near and far, for a happy holiday season and a better new year in 2021!
“Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New” began inauspiciously 20 years ago on Dec. 31. The 21st running was an interesting one in that there were several ideas of how to run the course among the 12 participants (and two canine entrants).
A fun time was had by all. Two runners (CRR Michael Chajes and CRR Luke Nigro) took part for the first time. This year’s event was organized by CRR Bill Rose and featured refreshments at the end of the run.