Sunday, March 22, 2009

Afton Opener 2009

One of my favorite orchestral pieces is "The Rite of Spring" by Igor Stravinsky. Ironically, when he debuted that piece, people rioted in the streets because they thought is was "not music" and blasphemy.

If I recall the intent of the piece, is was about how the rite of Spring is the less than pretty transition of Winter to Spring, with melting ice crushing things and the earth literally breaking open. Or.... as an Afton runner might say, running across ice in the morning, mush mid day, and then swamps in the late day. (okay, Stravinsky just rolled over in his grave for that comparison).

Although, some of the experiences yesterday might be more like some of Stravinksy's other works like the Firebird Suite. Steve Quick eloquently acted out the "Dance Infernal" movement with his "I don't need no spikes on my shoes" attitude. Watching him navigate ice is much like watching a ballet dancer performing the "Dance Infernal".

But, I digress.

The cast and crew yesterday was great company, as usual. Steve, Karen, Zach, Carl, and Bill. This was Bill's first venture out at Afton. He got sucked into this trail/ultra thing after watching and helping at the Superior Races last year. Kel took a picture of him laughing at me as I roll into mile 78 aid station on fumes. Hopefully we didn't scare him away.

The new year brings new attitudes and goals for everybody. Major Kudos to Karen for losing 18 pounds over the winter! And, she sped up over the winter. It took us a long time to catch up to her out there. I see a red jacket in her future.

Zach is faster, Carl got his first 100 (sweet belt buckle), and I think we were all just happy that the winter is pretty much done.

Zach and I ended up with 40 miles, which I am happy with. We did it without killing ourselves (although, I was beat at the end).

What was amazing was the ice in the morning, turning to mud and swamps in the afternoon. That was a lot of melt. I think we aided the melt by breaking it up. Check out the pics from Zach.

Here is a closeup of those shoes in the ice water.

And a few of me a little bit earlier.

So, Afton is open for business. Just beware of the extreme mud for the next couple of weeks.

Sounds like I am 1 of 2 entrants at Zumbro 100k, so I have I pretty good chance of finishing in the top 5 at this point.

3 weeks and counting.


SteveQ said...

Broke the hand again, but I'll be at Zumbro anyway.

Runnin-From-The-Law said...

Is the red jacket to trail running like the green jacket is to golf?

If you're hoping to convert me to trail running you need to quit posting pictures.

I'm a wimp.

JojaJogger said...

Excellent mud!

johnmaas said...

Looks like you had fun out at Afton.
What did your toes look like after 40 miles of mud and ice water??