Thursday, December 19, 2002

My Half-Assed Culo Gordo: A Holiday Diet Slice

My Half-Assed Culo Gordo

The Homage to the epic Culo Gordo 50k was run yesterday in the Santa Monica Mountains. It followed the canonical route as laid down in the last century by the renowned "brujo-dybbuk" Devi Reinstein.

I was late to the start due to an early morning drop off at LAX. I supposed if I hadn't flipped off the security goons and waved the gun I might have gotten there earlier. But I wanted the front-runners to have a fair chance.

The morning was clear and sharp--nippleaciously perky in fact. The rain clouds of the night before had gone on to other locales. As I blundered up the trails out of Will Rogers State Park I wondered "Where's Meg Ryan when you need her? What's a tranquil Sunday morning without a loud cell-phone?"

At the Backbone/Sullivan Cyn trail jct I could feel the heat of the front-runners. Their subtle imprints in the dirt led down into the canyon. I followed the yawns and butt-flares of the bobcat and cougar. At the bottom of the canyon I turned right.

Wrong move. I put at least another mile between me and the front-runners. We were getting all spread out here. I saw the error of my ways and immediately converted to Evangelical Cross-country Bandit Trail Running. With effort I was able to catch a runner who strongly resembled "Kathy Kusner". She disavowed any recollection of Mr Trail Safety.

I pulled the Ultras-As-Sunday-School Lever and only thought pure thoughts and powered up the grade. At the top of Mulholland there wasn't a Power-Betty in sight. Hard left down Dirt Mulholland. On to the cut-off. The Garapito Trail beckoned. I imagined myself running as an oversized Mini-Me thru the bowered brush. I imagined my chiropractor's eyes lighting up. I passed.

Satan came to me. He gestured up to the distant Hub, which was about 11 miles into this whole frolic. I thanked him and gave him a quarter. I realized that catching the front-runners was not going to happen. Or even the 3/4 packers. My legs were revelling in their lo-mileage larditudes. Not wishing to have waffle-prints all over my Magic Johnson, I took the Backbone cut-off back to Will Rogers.

It was destined to be a quiet day on the trail. I imagined being able to catch up on my Westside Lifer-list activity, but there was nary a Double-breasted Hollywood Starlet or Pileated Westside VeloBetty in sight. I imagined that various mall-refuge areas had accomodated them instead.

When I got back to the car Devy, the Culo Gordo Originator Himself was stretching by the curb. He too had entertained notions of running the event but was distracted by other things.

And thus brings to a close the Fabulous Ultra Year of 02.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

Another Sunday-School Ultra Run

Another Sunday-School Ultra Run
25 Miles up the old Mt Wilson Trail

Sun Nov 17 2002, 0702 start

Simultaneous finish [listed randomly]
6:43 John Doe #1/Andy Roth
6:43 John Doe #2/Jay Grobeson
6:43 John Doe #3/Mike "the Serb" Dimkich
6:43 John Doe #4/Mr Trail Safety

[Dan Stumpus joined us for part of the event, but was restrained by
hamstring problems from the Full Measure].

The route followed the following circuit:
Old Mt Wilson Trail out of Sierra Madre-->
Manzanita Ridge-->
Mt Wilson-Phillips-->
Chantry Flats-->
Upper Winter Creek-->
Manzanita Ridge-->
Old Mt Wilson Trail back down to Sierra Madre.

We were there to celebrate the repoening of the Forest. Chantry
remains closed and will probably be more closed than open in the
months to come due to construction, weather, and the inscrutable
motives of the Sierra Madre Police Dept.

Enough of that!

This no aid/fee/whining/bullshit run was a Record Setting Unsupported
Benefit for Little Tommy Krull in Dallas Texas. Tommy is suffering
from Inoperable Comedic Disorder. His condition is sadly terminal,
but he is in good spirits. Race management took up a collection of
used jokes and will be sending them along to him shortly. The jokes
will be delivered by a relay of leather-optional Silicone Rangerettes
on Harleys directly to his door.

The pack set off at a blistering uphill pace to the roar of Barking
Ducks. The windows of nearby homeowners were rattled but slowly
subsided into the typical Sabbath torpor.

Each Runner used specific techniques to seek advantage over the
others in the course of the race; legal footwork, academic inquiry,
arcane musical references, sexual innunendo and pig-bladder
head-whacking comedy. Four men entered the ring, and four men
emerged--nobody went over the side into a canyon, although often it
was too close to call. The mere mention of Tommy Shaw nearly induced
comic infarctions, as well as the guy who wrote the "crappy Styx
songs"...may he infomercial in peace.
There were several near knock-outs, all were on the ropes at one
point or another, and several nearly had their noses planted into
someone else's ass on steep uphill sections bypassing downed trees
and doomed hopes.

The origins of the term were first described by Dr Casino Bingo in
his luminary article "Origins of Sunday-School Ultras" [2000
"Procedings in Crypto-Ethnology"]. Ultras as Sunday school are
typified by an ernest penitential stance by the author [aka
'groveling'] and are strongly marked by co-conflicting yearnings
towards Dionysian release checkmated by auto-flagellation. When the
Decisive Moment is reached, there is an immediate tendency towards
strict Rectitudinal Insertion of Moral Correction. For example, here
is one Young Man's dilemna:

"...As I approached my nearest serious competitor on Blowhard Pass
during my triumphal victory at the Hellmouth 100, I felt that I would
redeem myself for having let [him] get away from me the year before.
But suddenly, I was beset by images of the doe-eyed Winona Ryder in
little more than several wispy yards of stolen which
point I had to run the next 1/2 mile uphill at an average 4:30 pace
and remember to etc etc..." [op cit, Bingo:2000]

I'm sure you get the drift. Rest assured, gentle readers, that none
of this moral anguish was present on this run. The gnarled root and
thorny burl of that peculiar theology was far removed from this bosky
romp. The Pisswalkers also had their day [soon to be a major motion
picture with Adam Sandler in the title role]. The runners were
treated to the sight of hikers' lips moving as they read the
enigmatic and cryptic slogan on Mr Trail Safety's T-Shirt...NOBODY

Also featured:

***Special Warmups led by the St Rita's Nude Tai Chi Dancers

***Tunes by Starship, featuring wailing guest vocal solos by Steve Perry

***Winona Ryder, Grand Parade Marshal [as part of her public service req's]

Run Mgmt was not responsible for stragglers shot after dark or out of season.
Free-Range Bone regards,
Mr Trail Safety

"Tanned, rested and ready,
From His Undisclosed Secure Location"

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Badwater: Final Prelude to Baldy Peaks 50k

Tue, 30 Jul 2002 09:24:12 -0700

Badwater: Final Prelude to Baldy Peaks 50k

To all the Badwater Finishers out there...congratulations!

What you now need is a cool, relaxing taper run to get the kinks out.
And we've got that for you--in spades.

And for those of you who didn't do Badwater, it's good for you too!

Compare the Baldy Experience®™ to the Badwater Experience

50k vs 122/135 miles!
More Trails...Less asphalt!
Sanguine Big-horns smoking cigarettes vs circling buzzards!
A cool 85 degrees vs 123 degrees!
No need to push a shopping cart or pull a rickshaw!
Aid Stations!
12Hr cutoff vs 60Hr cutoff!

Baldy Peaks 50k inspires finishers to say "Damn! I'll never do *that*
race again". And yet they come back, some say like gerbils to
cocaine, others like swallows to Capistrano.

Go ahead, dare to be Special!

Monday, March 18, 2002

Don't Fear The Päcer

The following item was part of a recent Trail Workshop recently held on Mt Wilson-Phillips here in Satanic SoCal. The garroulous keener know as Ray Manzrek was channeled in order to provide background noise. "Betty Davis Eyes" provided by Kim Carnes.

The featured vocalist was Barney, washed up and recently rehabbed ex-child star. He was accompanied by the Gary Coleman Sackbutt Chorus, with ocarina solo by Richard Clayderman. Mr Barney took center stage at the Kylie Minogue Dinner Theater Amphitheatre at the Mr T Cyclonic Experience. Sponge Bob watched from the wings. A smouldering midget pile of PallMall 100s testified to the strain that the Purple One had been under.

Don't Fear The Päcer
(with insincere apologies to the Blue Oyster Cult)

All our splits have come
Here but now they're gone,
Barking Ducks don't fear the pacer
Nor do the wind, the sun and the rain,
We can run where they are
Come on baby, don't fear the pacer
Baby take my hand, don't fear the pacer
Baby I'm your man

A Flashlight is like a gun,
For pleasure or for fun?

Gatorade and Powerbars
Are together in eternity, Gatorade and Powerbars
40,000 men and women everyday, like Gatorade and Powerbars
40,000 men and women everyday, we could crash in the car,
Come on baby, don't fear the pacer
Baby take my hand, don't fear the pacer
We'll be able to fly, don't fear the pacer
Baby I'm your man

Love of two is run
With my flashlight on your buns

Came the last night of sadness
And it was clear you couldn't go on
Then the cot flopped down and the wind appeared
The barking ducks blew and then disappeared
The curtains flew and then RD appeared,
saying don't be afraid
Come on baby, and you had no fear
And you ran to him, then they started to fly
You looked backward and said "bear to the left", and had become another DNF

RD taken you hand, and had become another DNF
Come on baby, don't fear the pacer

Next up:
Das GelbSchnee Meinenschlockers
Barry Manilow and the Love Boat Orchestra
Why Salt is Good
Free-Range Bone regards,
Mr Trail Safety

"Tanned, rested and ready,
From His Undisclosed Secure Location"