Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Spring is here, John Kelly podcast interview, & Buck Fifty race


It is crazy that we are nearing the end of April already. The kids and I tried doing some fun stuff during spring break, like going to the zoo. Summer also asked for just a couple rest days where we just hung out around the house. I am totally down for that. I did have them go around the fence and find nails that worked their way out. They took turns hammering them back in and saved me about 15-20 minutes, plus they had a blast!

My latest podcast episode with John Kelly came out this morning. I was extremely honored to get a chance to talk with him. I have listened to a few podcasts with him and weather was briefly touched-on during each one and this gave us both a chance to expand on it. You can find Weathering The Run on any of your favorite podcasting apps from Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or Google Podcasts. His list of accomplishments is huge, so to share 30 minutes with him was a real treat. 
I ran in the Buck Fifty, 150 mile, relay race over the weekend. We had to chance up our line-up of runners a few times because of injury or other issues. So the final five of us were acquaintances, but we ended up with a handful of great friendships that will last a long time. 
I had a good friend, Rick Ray, stop by a few of my legs that I ran and he snapped this photo. I took videos of the other runners doing their hand-offs(that video is below), but this is one of the only photos snapped during my turn at running. This was the start of my first leg (Leg 3 of 30 overall) and I ended up getting POURED on with lightning and heavy rain. There was a lightning delay when I reached the next checkpoint. I never run without a shirt, but my shirt was weighing about 10 pounds and I was in the middle of nowhere on a bike path so I just carried the shirt the last 3 miles of this leg. Once I handed off the GPS tracker to Mike at the checkpoint I was dumbfounded why the next runner didn't take off. We ended up waiting about an hour before the lightning delay ended and all the runners started going again.

In the end... we finished! And actually we finished in 3rd place for the 5-person teams! A few more details on running in The Buck Fifty relay race. It’s a race of around 100 teams (5 or 10 person) around Ross County and Chillicothe. All the money raised goes towards Drug Free Clubs of America, for the local youth. Amazing cause and an amazing race.

The race is 150 miles long with about 11,000 feet of climbing on the beautiful foothills of Appalachia. My team covered the miles in just under 21 hours. So many memories were made and everyone on the team pushed hard for each of our legs we ran. The legs varied between 3-7 miles with about 80% on the road and 20% on trails. So it came out to about 30 miles per person for our 5-person team.

The race starts in waves so there isn’t 100 vans of runners at the same spot. Our wave started at 4PM with darkening clouds and very warm temps. The race had a lightning delay for about 90 minutes while I was out on a leg. I sprinted to the next checkpoint and got to shelter. But we started back up again with a break in the rain for a couple hours before we had 6 hours of constant moderate rain. Temps got much cooler overnight. We all were soaked and chilly, but kept pushing on. The rain tried it’s best to lull us to sleep, but we kept moving and the sun came up and the clouds parted for a beautiful sunny morning to crank out the remaining miles. It was so awesome to see sunshine and blue skies again! Towards the end of the race we all kept saying how trashed our legs and body felt from pushing so hard, but we would recoup and go out and run as hard as we could for the next segment.

The team did talk about doing an episode of Weathering The Run on the race and potentially asking the race director, Dave Huggins, to come on and join us. Not an easy task to do a lightning delay on a race that is spread out all over the county and the make the call to start the race again. Plus we all had to run through the rain all night and that left our cargo van with a distinct scent for a while. It seemed to go away though after a while, but maybe we got used to the wet-dog and worm smell. HAHA!

Big takeaways:
It was extremely well organized. They gave us two booklets to breakdown each leg of the race and it was like the old TripTik my grandpa would get for vacations. Each segment had details for running and how many hills there were plus turn by turn directions. This year they had GPS trackers that each team would handoff and it made tracking your runner very helpful to know when to be prepared to run the next leg.
Amazing volunteers! These people were donating their time to stand under a tent in the rain in the middle of the night to document our team/time to make sure everyone was safely completing the event.
The kids/program we helped were very grateful. They wrote thank you cards to all the runners thanking them for their support. Several areas were decorated with hundreds of signs of encouragement.
My team… Can’t say enough about how much fun we all had. We kept taking turns jumping out of the van to go run our segments and jump back in the van soaked, sweaty, muddy, chilly, exhausted, smelly… but always smiling. We had so many great laughs and most of us did not know each other very well before this event. I made new life-long friends at this event and I HIGHLY recommend getting involved with this event going forward.
Good Wednesday morning! We have a few isolated rain showers this morning with clouds, but that will clear out for sunshine today and a high around 60. Light breeze out of the north today. Mostly clear tonight with frost and low temps in the mid 30s. We warm back up to 65 tomorrow with early sun then more clouds through the day. Rain returns Thursday evening. Take advantage of the dry weather later today and tomorrow because it is looking soggy heading into the weekend with shorter dry periods. Friday will start with steady rain then scattered rain later in the day with a high around 66. Saturday could start with a few showers then we are dry for the middle of the day with more rain returning from the northwest later in the day. Highs in the upper 60s on Saturday. Scattered showers return on Sunday with a high around 60. Winds will start picking up, 10-20 mph, through the weekend and we remain breezy early next week. Cool with lingering showers on Monday and a high of 51. Slight chance for showers on Tuesday with highs around 56. Have a good one!

Andrew Buck Michael

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