Sunday, April 26, 2009

OKC Memorial Marathon 2009 = Misery

The showing of the 2009 Memorial Marathon here in Oklahoma City was today. 19,000 runners poised at the starting line at 6:30 for what promised to be a big day of running, good time and remembering the bombing of the Murrah Building in 1995. I have taken a liking to ultra marathons so I am trying to get into a couple marathons here and there, in an attempt to keep my fitness for the 50 and 100 (next year) mile runs that I hope to occasionally do. So obviously the Memorial is a great choice; the starting line is 1/4 mile from my place. It's the hometown marathon. It's big. Fun. And not horribly difficult in terms of the course.

Little did I know what we were all in store for on this April 26, 2009.

I knew we were in a bit of trouble when, at the 6:30 start, it was already over 70 degrees and hovering in the 80% humidity. I also knew when we turned south at mile 14 that the trip back to the finish line was going to be pure misery. You see, the runners of this year's full marathon endured sustained 30 mph head winds gusting to 45 mph for the last 12 miles heading south. 8 minute per mile effort got you about 11 minute mile pace. Suffering was widespread. Many walked in. Many didn't finish. I have vowed to never run a marathon again in those conditions.

I had a come to the run with a few reasonable expectations. The first was to wear a goofy outfit and laugh and play and joke with people along the way. The former came through. The latter did not. I was in no mood to talk to anyone, nor did I have the lungs to do so. I used my headphones to drown out the crowd and my heavy breathing. My mindset was negative to the point of, when a funny song came on the iPod I hit "next". I also had hopes of a 3:30 marathon time and felt like it might happen at the 13.1 mile split where I turned in a 1:46. But alas, it did not happen and I hobbled through the finish line at 3:47 feeling lucky to even have finished. Highly disappointed and exhausted, I soon learned that I earned the top spot in the heaviest clydesdale division(215-230 lbs) - read "fat boys club" - with the next closest runner a full 43 minutes behind me. Trophy's in the mail and I can't wait. I like to break things so it'll serve a purpose I guess.

My buddy Steve and brother Jon rode their bikes all over the course and hung out with me a bit at times, occasionally being yelled at by course marshalls. I'm glad they did. I suffered. Thanks to Steve for taking some photos of me.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

OKC Zoo Criterium Part 2

Wednesday marked the second edition of the OKC Zoo Criterium in the month of April. I didn't get to ride in the first one cause I was psyched to shoot it. The photos turned out nicely but I vowed to ride in the next one. Well, last Wednesday came around and I was feeling quite tired, and with the Memorial Marathon coming up in a couple of days I felt that the rest was going to do me some good. Not to mention I just picked up a Nikon 70-200mm 2.8 VR glass that I was amped to use on some pedalers.

I'm always so torn between racing and shooting. Oh well, it all works out.

Enjoy the visual located right HERE

Friday, April 24, 2009


Got to shoot some photos of a little stud named Summit the other day. This guy gets to run around the grounds of Rocktown Climbing Gym everyday cause his mom and dad run the show there. He's another wild one, and very happy. Me and Summit had some fun running around downtown. As usual, it's hard to keep up with these kiddos but I'm trying...

You can see more of this big guy right HERE

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lu Lu

Lu Lu, Elle, Andi. Those are my favorite names for a girl. I want a boy. Which means that someday, when the day comes, that I have a child (God forbid, I'm not fit to be a parent) I'm definitely going to get stuck with a girl. So I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for it.

Well, I got to hang out with one cool little girl the other day. Lu Lu is Freddy and Dawn Harth's "experiment" and she is turning out to be a success. She's a wild one, and hard to photograph that is for sure. She is always moving and running and laughing and playing. That made my job hard, but every now and then I'd just decide to sit down the camera and play with her. It was good times.

Maybe I could learn to love having a girl someday!

Click for some photos of my new friend Lu Lu.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Free fall fun at Holdistic

Holdistic Climbing Gym is about a month away from opening in Edmond Oklahoma. This past Thursday, my friends Emily Harrington and Andrew Tower (from went up with me to check the place and see how everything was going. Freddy Harth is the owner of Holdistic, and has been working hard to get the place ready to roll for the May 1st opening. He has also put together some sweet walls and boulders, including an ingenius design that includes a 28 foot bouldering wall that gives the climber a free fall into a pit of foam. It's still in the works, and the foam will be updated eventually, but this thing is AWESOME!!!!

I shot a sequence of Emily on the wall. Peep.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Climb time - Refuge style with the ARI

Last weekend a couple of friends of mine came through Oklahoma. Kevin and his girlfriend Meredith are on a 2-3 month road trip across the United States climbing areas with the Anchor Replacement Initiative, in cooperation with Climbing Magazine and The North Face. Kevin works for Climbing and Urban Climber Magazines, and we've worked together for years on my annual climbing competition, 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell.

Last Thursday they escaped the bad weather in Arkansas, only to be batted down here in Oklahoma during our little spring snow episode. We hung out for a couple days, then got stir crazy and headed to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge for a couple of days on the granite stone. We got lucky, and the weather was spectacular.

So I shot some photos for them and their blog, not to mention for my own selfish gratification. It was good to hang with both of them, catch up, and send them on their way west into New Mexico and Arizona. Then Cali and back into Colorado. You can keep up with their ultimate trip on the Urban Climber website.

Time for the VISUAL

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Race Bicycles and the Visual

Last night I had the opportunity to race bicycles.

I've been racing my mountain bike this season and having a stellar time at it. My boys at Bicycle Alley invited me to race on the team - possibly cause they feel sorry for me, or because I took photos of them - and I've taken them up on it. I'm psyched.

So last night I was supposed to road race in the OKC Zoo Criterium. I think that is what it was called anyway. Well, unfortunately I got snagged at an appointment and couldn't make it in time to blast the field with my turbo legs. I did, however, have the chance to pedal over there on my fixed with the camera in my backpack and snap off some shots. Take special notice of my Bicycle Alley Boys. They are fast.

The photos are good. LOOK AT THEM.