Long awaited group session

Categories: blue ridge relay   group   Photography   run   training

Saturday brought our merry band of runners together for an evening of camraderie and sweat.

Most of us started the morning with our usual group run, a casual 5 to 8 miles followed by the breakfast of soon-to-be champions. (Mcdonalds.)  From there, we went our separate ways for the day, and reconvened at 7:00 PM.

The original plan was to watch Running on the Sun, a documentary about the Badwater ultramarathon. Some of the group have seen it already, and said it was really good. Unfortunately, the disk was so badly scratched up, it wouldn’t work. Instead we ended up watching the first hour of the womens marathon in the Olympics.  We were sad to see Deana Kastor drop out early, and theorized that it’s because she didn’t eat her secret recipe enchilandas. Our very own Coach K provided additional commentary on the race, although I’m not sure that he knew what he was talking about, since he kept mentioning Jack Daniels.

As it started to get darker, those of us continuing with the evenings plans changed into the proper outfits and we discussed the drive the the boonies. As part of the training for the Blue Ridge Relay, we wanted to get a group night run in to test lights and flashers and everything else. Originally, we were going to run one of the routes we usually run, but Keith was nice enough to invite us up to his place, where we were virtually guaranteed no traffic and street lights.  A quick group shot, and we were off.

Upon getting there, Dustin (The Rookie) was waiting for us, unwinding from a long day of digging through dirt looking for bones.  Yes, that’s really what he was doing all day. He’s a detective with a local police agency, and a construction crew found a femur while demolishing a house. Dustin was called to the scene, and with an experts eye, not only did he find a sock full of foot bones, but also a skull. (“Alas, poor Yorick.”)

The plan was for me to do the first mile with them, then I went back to get the car and follow as a support vehicle in case there were any problems. (After all, that’s what I’ll be doing during the relay. Plus, we’d probably still be out there if I were running.)  The first mile went well, except for Little Bertha, the hill we had to run up.  Luckily, I didn’t have to run up Big Bertha, the 2 mile long climb that finished the run! 

Getting back to the car, then trying to catch up and take pictures was a blast. I was having a great time, and was glad I didn’t have to the the miles on the dirt road. During the day, I’m sure it’s nice, but at night with no lights, I was sure I was going to start hearing the banjos playing at any minute. (Or the bears growling.)

Being dark, unfortunately, my focusing skills are usually put to the test, and fail horrible. (Autofocus doesn’t work with no light.) But a few shots came out, with the gang looking like ghosts in the night.


Finishing was much better, since I set up the tripod and actually had time to setup like I knew what I was doing.  Heres the first two finishers. A car came by just as they were getting to me, providing a little extra light.


Keith held a flashlight the whole time, which providing a cool pattern. (Again, a car came right them.  Strange, the road was completely deserted while I was waiting. I think the neighbors were coming out to see the running freaks.) 

And, here’s the team at the end.  (Well, except for the trusty driver.)  One member of our team made some excuse for not making it out, so we had to make do with the closest likeness we could find of him.  (I think his excuse had something to do with sucking peach wine coolers from a kids sippy cup, but I may have misheard.)

Written on August 17, 2008