Race Schedule

2018 Races…TBD!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Serious Case of Adventuring...and Shoe Envy

This past weekend, it finally happened...I knew it was coming...in fact, it was a very long time coming.  And the worst part? I knew exactly the day it would happen.  The earth spun it's final axis, the sun set on my final day, and due to the state of my being, the moon even failed to rise as Geof, Julia and I sat inside Meade St. Station, a bar in the Highlands 'hood of Denver, noshing on some seriously good food, and drinking some seriously decent draft beer and I contemplated my mortality...  No, I wasn't actually being all deep, but I was considering the existential weight of exiting my 20's and entering the unknown realm of 30-something. 

What I'm trying to say is...I turned 30!!!!!  And, to celebrate the milestone, we headed west for desert yellow pastures, soaring mountain peaks, thin, dry air, and sun so bright and wonderful you can't help but smile and be happy as a clam.

Naturally, we headed for even thinner air.  Our hostess supreme for a couple of days, Julia, took us on a 3ish hour hike up a mountain to see some glacial lakes and we started our adventure at the trailhead for the Fourth of July Trail, a short drive outside of Nederland, Colorado.  BTW, Nederland is adorably cute...and they have a bar that puts on a $2 PBR happy hour each day...hello!

With Julia, and our trail scout, Charlie

The hike was so beautiful and challenging enough for these flatlanders.  We climbed from 10,000ish feet to a good ways above  12,000 feet, to Arapahoe Pass.  I know we started on the Fourth of July Trail, but then followed a different trail system the rest of the way up.  Julia and Geof were in charge of navigating.  I was in charge of using up the camera battery, and drooling over the landscape.

Getting close!

On top!  Arapahoe Pass, super chilly, super beautiful, super rocky, and there was a dude climbing DOWN to where we were after having skiied some gnarly backcountry routes higher up...that's hardcore.  He was hiking down the mountain in his ski boots...

Okay, so there is some running content in here.  We did a couple runs, but mostly kept it low key as I was still letting some post-50 miler blisters heal up and generally wanting to recover like a champ.  We stopped over in Lakewood to watch some of the Bear Chase 50 Mile run on our way out of town.  Super hot day, and peeps were looking pretty beat up from it.  It appears to be an entirely exposed course with great views of how far you still have to go and plenty of demoralizing sun and cotton mouth.  I felt pretty thankful to be on the spectating side of things that day :)

Oh, I have great news!  Well, first I should let you know that things didn't go so well with my first date with Montrail's Rogue Racers.  I mean it was fine and all, but I didn't fall in love at first footstrike.  In fact, not at all.  I fell in 'like' with them.  My first pair were too small, so they immediately got shipped back, and I simultaneously ordered a new pair in a 1/2 size up.  Couple days later, round two.  This time they fit just fine, but I still only liked them.  I waltzed around in them for a couple hours in the apartment, but ultimately I knew it wasn't meant to be.  "It's not you, it's me."  I held onto them a few days more, still stewing over them.  I also tried a pair of the New Balance WT101s that peeps are hog wild over...awful.  I slipped them on, stood up, and slipped them off.  Definitely not the shoe for me.  I'm of the mind nowadays that you shouldn't have to 'break in' a running shoe, it should work immediately if it's the right shoe for you.  My Wildcats are the right shoe :)  So, back to the virtual store those shoes went.  Defeated and saddened by my shoexperience, I resolved to not cheat on my Sporty Cats again. 

Then, we went to Boulder.

I cheated so bad on my Sporty Cats, and they were in the car the whole time it happened! ;)  We skipped up to Boulder Running Company to check out their trail shoe selection Thursday afternoon and, be still, my beating heart, we were in heaven!  There were so many trail shoes!  So many pretty runner things!  Though I only ended up trying on two pair of shoes, both of which made my heart flutter.  But only one had me singing sweet melodies as soon as I laced them up.  Enter: La Sportiva Quantum.  Read about them HERE on iRunFar.com, and HERE.  I really wanted to try its sister shoe, the Electron, but they only stocked the Quantum.  They are awesome!

My new pretties, layered in Red Rocks dust :)

A little jog outside the store sealed the deal.  I then wore them on our three hour hike the next day, and again on an hour run around Matthews/Winters Park, next to Red Rocks on Saturday.  They handled the dry, sandy, dusty, and rocky steep stuff extremely well.  They were a tad iffy on super slick/wet surfaces (rock-hopping across a waterfall-fed stream), but no worse than most of my other shoes.  They fit like a sock and fail to rub any spots in the wrong way.  I will put them to a real test during my long run this weekend.  My only beef is that the tongue slides to the side because it's a tad long.  I may cut it down because of that. 

No worries, I am NOT replacing my Sporty Cats; my Quants will simply be a new addition to my running shoe line-up :) 

Training is coming along quite nicely!  We are about to close out Week 10, wowza!  JJ100 = 6 weeks away :)

Paige, out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The (North) Face Off: 50 Miles v. The Dunmores

I've been trying to decide how to approach the topic of Saturday's North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile run as it was more than just another day on the trails.  More than just getting in the miles.  More than just a "training run" race.  I struggle to find the words, sometimes, to describe stepping-stone experiences.  And, the better the experience, the harder it is to describe it adequately enough to others.  So, I'm just going to write and see how it comes out :)

We left work early on Friday in order to make the drive up to Brookfield, WI in time to pick up our numbers and swag, stop for dinner, and make it to Janesville in time to spend a little bit of time with family before we started our final prep for the next day and hit the sack.  All day I'd had a little bit of that blech feeling you get when a cold is trying to invade, so I was sucking down even more water than usual and upping the vitamin C.  Ultimately, I knew it was nothing a good long run couldn't fix :)  I was right.

We woke up at 2:00 the next morning (yes, I'm serious) and were packed up and out the door by a little after 3:00.  We had about an hour's drive east to Ottawa Lake Campground (the race's start), and were warned to allow plenty of time to walk from the parking lot to the race start, and we had to have our drop bag there by 4:30 a.m.  Seemed a little excessively cautious on their part.  It was. 

It was pitch black still, obviously, when we pulled into the parking lot (the farthest parking lot possible...literally, about 1/4 to 1/2 mile away) and I immediately had to pee.  Good thing it was dark out, and we were in ultra company :)  We hiked it in, dropped our one bag with the drop bag peeps and then found an open heat lamp to huddle under while we waited out the next 30 minutes.  I still felt a little icky, but much better than the day before, and I didn't have a good sense for the day.  Ususally, I have a feeling about a race before it starts.  This time, I couldn't tell what it was.  I knew it was going to be good, but there was something else about the morning ahead of us that I couldn't figure out...

We were both surprised by how few people there seemed to be (~160 runners in the 50M) compared to two years ago, but it was nice to know we'd have some space on the trail.  After a little speech by someone up front (was it DK?) we were off!  I immediately felt great.  Running has a way of doing that.

After the brief road section, we turned onto the trail and the real fun began.  It was a little jarring at first running with a headlamp again (it's been awhile!), but it's like riding a bike I suppose.  We were moving really, really well and moving through the pack with ease.  Before long we were just behind the front fasties and enjoying the smooth and fast pace.  Or, at least I was.  Geof was a little more weary about moving so fast so early, but more for my sake than his (Geof's a fastie).  We rolled into Scuppernong (somewhere between 6-7 miles in) while it was still completely dark out and I recalled the sun had already come up by the time I got to this point back in 2009.  Score.  It was here that that "something else" started to come to fruition.  Volunteers shouted, "Second woman, second woman!" as we rolled in and straight through the aid station.  My stomach lurched in excitement at the announcement, but at the same time I really didn't want to hear something like that so early on and get too ahead of myself. 

Coming into Scuppernong, blinded by the flashing of the camera, wowza!

We kept moving through and turned back onto the trail on the other side, looking for the markers and following the direction of volunteers sending us down the trail.  Enter: The Groundhog Day loop.  I was busy focusing on not falling flat on my face as we worked our way through an extremely rocky section.  It was like moguls, for trail runners, and super fun :)  It felt like we'd been along this part of the trail before, but I let that thought enter then exit my mind.  Then we got to another section that was also very familiar feeling.  Huh.  That's weird.  Once we got to the grassy fork in the trail, we both knew it.  "We've totally run this section already."  Geof voiced what I was thinking.  Crap.  I was willing to think that maybe this was a section that gets repeated (I didn't study the course map that closely), but when the super fasties up front whizzed by us from behind, and when we came up on folks we knew were way behind us earlier, we really knew something was amiss.  I can't believe this is happening, where did we go wrong?

We were talking through the course, trying to figure out what happened and what we needed to do.  Geof's frustrations were mirroring my own and I let him air them while I ran quietly beside him and listened.  I was waging the same war within, but knew it would do no good to let it out and have both of us freaking out.  Why did they have to go and tell me I was in second?  This totally makes this feel even worse!  We pulled into Scuppernong...again...this time from the other side and Geof began talking to a volunteer that asked us something.  I was in tunnel vision mode.  I only recall that the volunteer already knew there was a course issue and he assured us they were working on it.  "Yes, but now where do we go?"  We were pointed out and we headed down the trail we just came from.  "What the hell is going on?"  We were both baffled.  While Geof voiced his concerns, I was folding into myself making sure I stayed in the moment and didn't let this minor hiccup overtake my loosening grasp on my mental stability.  This was something new to me.  I've never gotten lost in a race before, and somehow having had no control over its occurrence made it even more frustrating.  This was a new kind of mental battle, and it was exhausting!  I stayed very quiet, and any words or sounds I let escape my mouth I made sure to be as upbeat-sounding as possible.  I couldn't believe how much this was bothering me, and how massively we were both tetering on the brink.  What a strange experience!

We finally rolled into the race's 11+ mile aid station and a volunteer outfitted in walkie talkies and maps approached us asking how many loops we had run near Scuppernong.  We weren't sure, but we knew we were at least a few miles further in than we were supposed to be at that point.  He showed us a map and indicated that we must have run two loops (an extra 2.4 miles) and that a handful of the front-of-the packers* had done this, having been routed incorrectly by a misinformed volunteer (but we also heard there was some tampering with course-markings by hunters...who knows what really happened).  They were apparently working on 'fixing' it somehow.  This provided a tiny amount of relief to me, though I didn't want to get my hopes up about anything.  We grabbed some more water and charged out of there, on a mission.       

*Turns out that some fasties had actually been shorted some miles, while we were given bonus miles.  This caused mass confusion for some and ultimately spelled the demise of a few of the front runners shortly thereafter.  What a weird day!

I began to work through things in my head as we ran along silently, letting the new information sink in.  Okay, so we ran some bonus miles, who cares, this is an ultra, it happens.  Maybe we readjust our goal a little.  Sub-10 hours isn't entirely impossible at this point...I'll be happy with 9:59 :)  Get over yourself, this is just a training run!

As the morning progressed and we continued to move along really well, the mood began to lift for us both.  Having run in comtemplative silence for a time, we started to talk about how incredibly draining that first bit was.  Geof had no idea how much it bothered me since I kept so quiet.  I said I was just trying to work on it without losing it, a la 2010 Rocky Raccoon 100 :)  I could finally turn my attention to other things, like enjoying myself!  Ahhhh, bliss.  Oh, lookie here, that's a whole lotta horse poop on the trail!  I was taking a quick inventory on things...stomach felt great, head felt very good, mind was a little exhausted but getting better, legs felt fatigued from the hard push early on, and the ensuing adrenaline rush.  A heavy mind game not only effs with your head, but also manifests in other ways.  Like making your legs feel like you've got 30 miles in them, rather than 15.  But that all eventually worked itself out.  We even found ourselves laughing about the whole thing at points.  I was holding onto the idea that they would 'fix' the situation, but also feeling very okay with them not fixing it, and just tacking on those bonus miles.  I was finally just rolling with it. 

Anywho, back to the action!  I was running in my brand new La Sportiva Wildcats, and was thrilled that I decided to go with those shoes.  My feet felt awesome.  I ran with just one water bottle (filled with...water), and munched on my Honey Stinger waffles or chews about every hour.  I also took an S!Cap about every hour or so.  I am stoked with how well my stomach held up, and that I managed to completely avoid getting bloated at any point.  Double score!  So, I've at least got the nutrition thing down for 50 miles and under :)  I sipped on Mt. Dew or Coke at a couple aid stations, but I think that's the only other thing I ingested. 

Somewhere in the marshy section of the course, where there's a bunch of boardwalks, Geof ran ahead to make a pit stop, and I took a walk break to eat another Waffle.  I had just opened up the package, taken a little bite, and BAM! I was down.  It was the flattest, smoothest section of the course (other than the pavement) and I bit it hard.  I hit my right knee in the same spot I smacked it last month; that's gonna be a scar.  My first thought being, "where's my waffle?!"  And the next thought being, "I wonder how funny that must look to someone watching me fall like that."  My poor waffle fell in a dusty mud patch.  Five second rule!  I dusted it off, did a once over and decided that if I was going to get sick from it, it probably wouldn't happen until much later.  Totally worth it.  With that, I ate that dirty waffle.  And it was good!  The sand and dirt just gave it a little extra crunch.

As I walked off the stinging pain working its way around my knee, Eric B and a couple other guys ran past me.  Geof appeared out of the woods up ahead, and I informed him of my date with the dirt, and showed him my bloody knee.  Once the pain subsided, we picked it back up.  Much better :)  We caught back up to Eric and his crew and moved past them..."She can't make up her mind!" Geof jokes as we run by.

See my little booboo?

From here, things are a little fuzzy.  There was a LOT of running.  A lot of smiling.  A lot of being blown away by how beautiful the day, and the course, was.  Mile 21ish is McMiller AS, where we had our one drop bag.  This was our "big" stop of the day and we took a couple minutes to empty our shoes, grab some more nutrition, and to use the potty.  The volunteers at each aid station were taking note of our arrival each time, and kept reassuring us they were probably going to be stopping us 2.5 miles before the finish line and giving us our finish time at that point.  Okay, cool.  I'll get excited about that if it happens :)  We still didn't know what to expect, but we were enjoying ourselves too much to worry about it much.  

The McMiller loop (miles 21-35) is the most rolling and challenging part of the course, and easily the most scenic.  It can tire you fast if you aren't prepared for it.  This is the only part of the course description that I did manage to read in full :)  You run out to Emma Carlin (mile 28) and then head back, more or less the way you came, but with some minor changes.  It was a little hard to trust the markings at this point, but I decided to just go with it.  It's just a race, afterall :)  We were running so well, maintaining a very consistent pace.  Walk breaks only came with steep uphills, otherwise we were running.  We also made very short order of every aid station, except for McMiller.  When we got backto McMiller, at mile 35 (our mile 37.4) we stopped once more so that I could change into a fresh pair of Injinji liner socks, making sure that I didn't take any peeks at my feet while I did so.  I could tell I had a couple blisters on the outside of the balls of my feet (that had started during our long run the weekend before and never quite healed), and I didn't want to see them until we were done :)

Once out of there, we continued with our previous routine, ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun, walk a steep hill, ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun, walk a steep hill, etc.  Geof made a couple of mentions that we would easily meet our sub-10 hour goal if we kept up the way we were, but didn't get specific at all.  I had entertained the idea of a sub-9:30, but laughed that one off...until we reached the mile 40 aid station, where another walkie talkie-clad vounteer approached us and announced we would officially be stopped 2.4 miles shy of the actual finish and given our finish times at that point.  I glanced down at my watch and my heart lept.  Is a sub-9 hour finish possible?  No.  Freaking.  Way.  We had two and a half hours to cover ~7 miles to get under 9 hours...  

Lets do this.   

Heads down, we pushed it.  I was noshing on my pink lemonade Honey Stinger chews (which are the sweet elixir of life, by the way) and focusing like a fiend.  We're totally going to do this.  Who'd of thought?!

One more aid station stop at 45 miles, and I filled up my empty water bottle.  We decided we were going to continue running into the official finish after they recorded our times, so I needed something to sip on along the way :)  I swear, the volunteers at this AS had glowing halos over their heads, and spoke sweet singing words.  Maybe it was just my excitement over being nearly finished.  But maybe they really were angels.  You decide :) 

We re-entered that nemesis/Groundhog Day loop, this time running in reverse, headed for some unknown spot where our official race would end.  The trail was incredibly sandy here and we were flanked by soaring pine trees.  It was beautiful.  As the trail turned uphill for a ways, I glanced up and in the distance noticed two people sitting alongside the trail, near the top of the climb.  I wonder...already?  It was a little exciting to think we were really almost done, not gonna lie.  There was much food and beer to be had at that finish line!

As we got closer and closer, the two people stood up and walked toward the center of the trail, shouting for our bib numbers.  "45 and 46!" 

"Alright, you guys are done!  If you want to continue on and run through the finish line, go ahead.  Or we can drive you back to the finish and you can run in the last 100 yards."

What do we look like, wussies?  "We're going to run it in, thanks."  And with that, she issued us our official finish times and smiled as we continued on up the trail. 


Not only did we crush my 50 mile PR (by about 1.5 hours), but we also managed to smash Geof's 50 mile PR (by a little more than 20 minutes).  Who are we?

The official chip time: 8h:35m:34s.


Fueled by our accomplishment, we high-tailed it in the rest of the way, running on such an enormous endorphin high I felt completely weightless.  Wow, what a run!!

Pulling into the finish line, on cloud 9, with a couple bonus miles for the day :)

See, I told you it was going to be a good day.  And we totally brought the boomshockalocka.  

What a neat experience, and, perhaps moreso, what a top notch mental learning experience.  To go through that mental roller coaster so early in the race, to be so present and to work through it without losing too much cool, and then to come out the other side of it is probably an even more delicious victory.  I'm not gonna lie, that was tough to do and took a lot of energy.  A handful of fasties dropped as a result of that problem, and I can see why.  It's not easy to manage, and it totally throws you off your game.  I don't wish it on any runner!

After practically inhaling a plateful of pulled pork, salad, some soup, and some delightfully refreshing beer in the beer tent, we caught up with the Brelly, and friends running the race.  I ended up placing first in my age group, and 6th woman overall.  This meant a handshake from Dean Karnazes himself and a picture :)  Oh, and another pair of those rockin' North Face arm warmers.  Those things are NICE!

Seriously, his leg muscles look like that all the time.  Sick.

This was a totally refreshing experience, and one I'm still riding high from.  The way the race officials handled the course routing problem was top notch.  They were on it, and totally owning the responsibility, which they absolutely did not have to do.  Stuff like that happens all the time in ultras and you just have to deal with it.  A 'sorry' is usually about all you'd get I'm guessing.  But these North Face guys went above and beyond the call of duty and took their wrong and made it right.  Huge kudos to them for that.  And a huge thank you to the NFEC staff for giving us such a beautiful day and well run event :)

I've probably left out a ton of stuff because my mind is still swirling, but that's the gist of it :)  I'm very, very happy with how it all went, and feel really, really good about how my training has gone thus far....both physically and mentally. 

The (North) Face Off:  50 Miles v. The Dunmores...v. The Headcold

50 Miles: 0
Dunmores: 1
Head cold: 0 :)


Paige, out.     

Friday, September 16, 2011

Serious Case of the North Face Runs

It's been a...BUSY...week this week. 

My desk feels like this... (photo credit: www.ratracetrap.com)

But that's a very good thing...being busy has helped prevent a lot of my usual taper week crazies.  And, I've managed to make it through the whole week with only one complaint of aches and pains.  Usually I find 46 other aches and pains to agonize over during taper week.  So I've done very well this time around.  This may be due in part to finally actually being f'real trained for a race longer than 30 miles.  Solid training kills the crazies.  True story.

Of course, I did have the CRAZIEST dream last night.  I guess it had to manifest somewhere :)

Anywho, tomorrow morning at 5:00 we line up to run the North Face Endurance Challenge Midwest Regional 50 Mile Run.  That's a really long name.  This will be my fifth 50 mile event, and my 14 official ultra (I don't count the fat asses or my lame DNF at Leadville).  Heh, that's not a lot compared to some, but I didn't realize I was already in double digits.  I'm still a freshman ultra runner, for sure!  If this were high school, the seniors (aka Veteran Ultrarunners) would toss pennies at me as I walked down the hall.  At least that's what they did at my high school (but since everyone knew my older brother (and his penchant for...regulating) I was saved from the penny misery, among other freshman ailments :) But, that's a hilarious story for another day!).

Tomorrow's going to be fun; I can already feel it.  Geof and I will be running together as usual.  That's how we roll.  I'll be breaking in my newest pair of Sporty Cats, thanks to the genius amazingness of Stacy in procuring a pair of the old/my favorite version of the Cats in time for the race.  I love my Cats.  Does that make me a Cat lady? ;)

I feel kinda nervous for tomorrow, but not overwhelmingly so.  It'll be the furthest I've run since last September, at Rio Del Lago 100M, but only by about two miles (I did manage close to 49 back in July...severely undertrained).  But still.  It's kinda intimidating.

Enjoy this most glorious of weekends and get outside!

Paige, out.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A First Date

I have a first date tonight and I'm pretty nervous.

I've gone out on a limb on this one and really don't know what to expect.  You could say it's a sort of 'blind' date I suppose.  I don't know much about them.  We met online.

If it doesn't work out, I'm going to blame it on Stacy.  He suggested I give it a chance.  I hmm'd and haw'd about it for a couple of days and then decided to just take the plunge.  First dates are fun, no?  You never ever know what can come of such things, so one must always be open to new adventures, right?

Did I mention I'm nervous? 

Thank goodness my husband is so understanding and not being weird about my first date :)

Do you want to see a picture?  It's from their online profile, so since I haven't yet seen them in person I hope they live up to their really awesome photo:
What?  Did you think I meant a date date?  Like with a person?  Oh you silly, I'm married!  Of course I'm talking about running shoes! ;)  They are the Montrail Rogue Racer.  Snazzy name, no?

I'm crossing my fingers that it's love at first sight.  Don't worry, I spoke with my Sporty Cats already and they're prepared for the new roommate.

I'll let you know how it goes. 

Paige, out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fall Is In The Air

Photo courtesy of www.layoutsparks.com  

Stepping outside the slight chill went straight to the bone, but a quick thought to the intense heat of one of the weekend's runs stops goosebumps in their tracks. 


Legs are tight and tired, but ready to do this. 

A weak beep from our watches and we're headed down the street.  Fall is in the air and the dense blanket of last week's humidity has lifted, at least temporarily. 

If my legs were made of wood, they would be the weathered, creaky type that lines the floors of weather-worn porches, or ancient attics.  I can almost hear them whine with each step.  I remind myself that a warm-up will have them singing shortly. 

As sing they did.  A brilliant mezzo soprano, on opening night, sparkling beneath the lights!  Maybe that's an exaggeration, but they were feeling happy. 
The wind howled at our backs, pushing us along with fantastic speed.  "We are going to pay for this on the way back north," he says, turning toward me as his voice is carried off, tumbling along the shoulders of the early autumnal wind, to be caught by someone up ahead.  Funny how sound travels on the wind. 

Coats and even scarves are making their first appearances of the season.  Sure signs of autumn.  Smiles abound, thankful for the respite from the heat. 

The lake is in a fury, waves crashing relentlessly against the breakwall.  Rounding the corner by the museum, walls of water shoot straight up in the air, crashing down inches from our feet.  "Eeee!  Hahahahaha, it's beautiful!" I shout as we dodge the water walls.  Timing is everything if you want to stay dry, and we manage to make it around the bend untouched.  For now. 

Crash!  BOOM! 

Another wave, this time soaking the spot we just ran across.  Ksssssssssssss, as the water recedes and plunges back into the lake only to be thrown back up into the air with the next wave.  The sound consumes every air particle, every nook and cranny.  I can barely hear myself laughing as we make our way along the next wall of water.  Climbing up one, two, three steps to avoid the commotion altogether, we marvel at the view of the city hugged in a blanket of clouds.  It's a little like being in a snow globe, but with clouds.

Making our way onto the little island we wind around the path, reaching our turnaround point.  "It's been nice chatting!"  And we turn and head back into a fierce wind, nearly on our toes leaning into it.

Whhhhiiiiiirrrrrrr  A monotone, high-pitched buzz that nearly disappears if you turn your head all the way to one side.  Eyes watering, nose running.  Ah, autumn, indeed.

Soon the leaves will be changing.  The brisk breeze will become a blowing wind.  The sun will welcome us midway through our morning runs, if at all, rather than greeting us upon waking.  A day in the 60s will be a rare treat, and runny noses will become the norm once again.

It feels as though we'll never get there, but eventually we're home.  Beep.  And done.  I didn't know if my legs had it in them after a tough long road run the day before, and a demoralizingly hot trail run two days prior.  But they did. 

And thus begins Week 7.

Paige, out.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Choose Your Own (Ad)Venture: Venturepax

The peeps over at Venturepax e-mailed me back in July to tell me about their new site and to see what I thought of it, being a member of that outdoorsy, we-are-the-world, borderline-urban-tree-hugger crowd, they thought it sounded up my alley.  Usually I ignore solicitation-y e-mails...but, this guy, Danny, knew exactly how to catch my attention: outright flattery.  Flattery, and compliments on my writing, will get you everywhere. 

Surely, I jest.  But really, it did catch my attention ;)

So I decided to check it out, liked what I saw and decided it's a pretty good fit here since we're all outdoorsy n' stuff.

My creative juices have been slightly...lackluster of late (must be all the running!), and I haven't been able to come up with a tubular description of the site on my own, so I'll let Uber-Flatterer Danny (one of the founders) describe it for you:

"Here at Venturepax, we like to leverage technology to help people get outside. We do this by making it easy to find and share outdoor experiences and actually reward our users for getting outside and sharing their pictures, videos, stories, etc.!"

Basically, you enter your location, pick your activity (running, duh :)) and then search all the routes/locations that have been added by other users near you.  Find a new awesome park/path/trail/fountain of youth?  Share it on your page, upload pictures and type a quick description.  Pretty cool.  Very user friendly.  And, I'm getting nothing out of this except for warm fuzzies, so I'm not just being nice :)

I also get a kick out of their Declaration: "Today, we declare that sitting inside staring at the television for hours on end is no longer allowed. We believe in the great outdoors and all that it inspires. That families who play together, stay together, and that fitness can come from fun."

It's pretty cool.  Check out the site, play around a little, and see what you think.  You never know, you might find your new favorite running spot on there!  It's free and they're developing a mobile app for various devices, so you can find your next (ad)venture on the go, which is pretty sweet.  Other than when posting here, I do almost all of my browsing on my phone, so I like apps :) 

Back to my regularly scheduled running blather.  Week 6 chatter of JJ100 training coming soon...

Paige, out.

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