Sunday, April 27, 2008


Chris and I discussing R&B at the starting line.


This is the whole Campfire USA crew with a few Kansas City School for the Blind thrown in the mix.


I did the KC Trolley Run today. This is my third time for this four mile run that takes the competitors from 75th and Wornall down to the plaza. It is listed as the fastest four mile run in the U.S. since most of the course is down hill. The event is a fund raiser for the visually impaired. While I've enjoyed giving to the trolley run charity, Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI), I've never really known anyone first hand that has benefited from it...until now.

The Campfire USA group that Offroad Fixation has been doing tandem bike rides with the past couple of years has been running in the event every year and many of their members are either current students or alumni of the school.

So this year instead of just running the event for time, I volunteered to run with a visually impaired partner. What a blast! I paired up with Chris at the starting line. I've ridden tandem bikes with Chris before but this was my first time as a running partner. He quickly filled me in on the deal.

We stood side by side with our arms almost touching, our hands clutching a short length of fleece cloth rope. As the fleece made a nice loose loop between us, Chris could tell by the tension or lack thereof, what direction I was in relation to him. I picked our way through the crowd of more than 10,000 runners and made sure he had a clear path and Chris did the rest. He was amazing! He was whooping and hollering at every down hill and he made sure to pour on extra speed as we cruised past three or four live bands, watering stations and mile markers that dotted the course. He brought a smile to everyone watching including myself. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a run more than this one.

We talked as we ran along and Chris filled me in on his school and other stuff going on his life. He is a vibrant 18 year old high school senior that could not stop talking about his prom (and prom date). Oh and we talked about music. Chris is a serious music fan. He has hundreds of CD's and could not only list the names of each but could tell you how many songs were on each one. He is very bright.

This was Chris' fourth running of the Trolley and his best time to date has been around 1:10. As we passed the first mile, I did some quick calculations and told Chris he was on a pace to break one hour and he set his sights on that as we went along. About mile three he was struggling with his breathing as the cold air of the morning had kicked his asthma in gear and we slowed to a walk for a bit but he picked it back up for the final mile and we jogged it in to the finish. The crowds at the finish were enough to pump him up for a final sprint and I struggled to keep up and guide him through the ever present crowd of runners. His father met him at the finish line for a hug. We ended up finishing just over one hour in a 1:03 and change, cutting seven minutes off his PR. Chris was stoked!

If you are needing a healthy dose of good karma, come on out during the weekends of June and July and I'll introduce you to these amazing athletes for our tandem bike rides for the visually impaired. I guarantee you a wonderful time.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Orienteering at Fleming Park near Blue Springs, MO

John, Amanda and I had a wonderful day at the Fleming Park Orienteering Meet near Blue Springs, MO last weekend. The weather turned out beautiful and the day was enjoyed by all ages. I was nursing a swollen knee and bruised ego from a soccer match ealier in the week but decided to walk the Red Course and take the camera along to record the fun.

Check out the pictures online at the link HERE.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008



I finally got the pictures downloaded from the camera and found a picture of Amanda and Justin that Dave Shultz took.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sunflower Adventure

We took two teams to the Sunflower Adventure Race in Lawrence Kansas last weekend. John and I did the 24 Hour course while Justin and Amanda took on the 12 Hour course. We figured we had the bigger challenge but it seems the wind picked up on the 12 hours first lake paddle and swamps some canoes. We started an hour later and did a trek to their canoe take-out to put in ourselves but were diverted to another trek when they didn't show on time. Everyone was eventually pulled from the water safely but you could cut the tension with a knife as we came through that CP not knowing if Amanda and Justin were one of the teams that required rescuing.

They ended up alright and were diverted back to shore after helping some of the swimming teams.

I can't speak to the short course but I know the long course had close to 95 total miles split between biking, trekking, three orienteering sections and canoeing on the Kansas River. We had three rope elements; a 11 story rappel, rope bridge and a zip line. Very cool indeed. One of the highlights of the entire race was the CP placed at the 24 hour donut shop in Lawrence. That cinammon roll really hit the spot.

John and I finished in 2nd place in the two person open division and 8th overall with a time of 16 hours and 43 minutes.

Amanda and Justin finished 13th out of 24 teams with 25 minutes left until the 12 hour cutoff.

There are more pictures at the link below:

Sunflower 24 Pictures

Bonk Hard Chill

Off Road Fixation had two teams for the Bonk Hard Chill. John and Amanda Clausen teamed up for the Chill, the race that brought them together for the first time. The way John tells it, if they can make it through the Chill without ripping each others throats out, their marraige is good for at least another 75 years. They finished fourth in the 8 hour division.

Justin Montgomery raced with another team under the Green and Gold name. This was Justin's first adventure race and they finished the full course in just over 8 hours without missing a CP. Great job out there!

I ended up volunteering for the event but didn't get around to taking many pictures as I planned.

Catchup Time

I've been posting like crazy on my daughters soccer blog and have left my entries here slip. So it is catchup time.