11-20-2007 - LHF XC, so right but so wrong..?

Each year it never ceases to amaze me that not only does the road trip out do itself year after year, but the race is such a great time each and every year...it's never without any fun, interesting and odd scenes and good competition.

It's simply an absolutely outstanding time. Another one in the history books. Continue below photogs for the entire scoop...

We headed West 'bout 2 hours to neckMoines (ie: Des Moines) with some local runners (Sutej and Stiffler) and hunter (Kutter)...we lacked any sporting debate on futbol (soccer) vs. deer-hunting this year, but still had many interesting topics of discussion.

Strangely enough somehow local hunter/runner Kutter convinced a semi-retired (from running) Stiffler to run Living History Farms this year.

Not sure how...but I am sure it had something to do with the stories, reminiscing and entertainment provided on the trip West.

We were blessed with perfect weather for mid-November. Something Kutter attributes to his natural canny ability to spray aerosol cans into the air, causing a warming effect in these typically colder months.

Lessons learned from last year's 1 1/2 hour exiting fiasco from the Farm, Kutter brought a little wisdom with him this year. Completely ignoring the Farm hands bright orange flags directing the long streams of car making their way into the Farm. Kutter utilized his Nascar/4-wheel mentality style of navigation and planted his rig right next to the highway.

This was simply for ease of exiting...

We searched valiantly through a local hotel just across the highway for a restroom. Unbeknownst and bewildered, they didn't have one??? Kutter swears there was one right there in "that corner"? We ultimately found a port-a-jon by a trash dumpster that suited the needs just fine...

Making our way to get our #'s there were many strange and odd sites that our eyes endured. Some to which Kutter constantly repeated..."that's just wrong!"

Aquiring our elite bib #'s we finally made our way to warm-up.

We seen quite a few familiar faces...Stenger (who looks very, very, very fast), Will Stacy, Dustin, Old School and many others. It's always great to see the hicks from Nebraska making a nice showing here at the Farm.

We all did Sutej Style bounding drills to get the legs ready to roll through the creeks, mud, water, cliffs and ditches.

I have to admit, the only real scary thing at the Farm is the start. We're jammed packed with very little room (if any) for error. You slip or trip at the start (and we're at the front of the pack) and you are history...trampled and gouged into the gravel until the final 6,800 person finally crosses over your sorry ass!

From my vantage point, we all made it through the start safely!!!

I had it in my mind to run like a badASS today. Really mojo'd with Master's Division approaching, felt like it was a statement race for me. To bring home the Turkey from the younger ones in 35-39 age group but yet prepare for Masters Dominance in a few months. This is typically unlike me as I usually have the Richie Cunningham Style of runner mentality...so I took advantage of the drive within today.

There were many, many fast men whom I have no chance of keeping up with for 7 miles.

Well...that is unless they would take 6 months off and I was in absolute best shape of my life, then maybe...just ask Stenger! ;)

And as always many, many fast women, whom I typically beat...how sad is that statement! ;) But hearing some of their times in the recent months...33:38 10k, a 2:42 marathoner in Twin Cities...I was questioning my manhood ability to keep in front.

Early on a few were close by, but once I brought out my manly squirt guns, it was all about catching the folk in front of me. I did hold off "fast distance runner woman" by a few minutes, but really stayed focused on just catching folk in front of me. I ran off the back of the 2nd lead pack through mile 2, then eventually made my way to the front part of the pack which by mile 3ish was pretty well spread out.

Only one runner passed me after that, around mile 6 on a downhill (I suck on down hills, especially gravel and ditch rutted style) and low and behold dude was 36 and stole my turkey from me; finishing a mere 12 seconds in front of me! A young 19 year old tried to take me down in the last 300m, but I "schooled 'em" Old School Style.

Seen Stenger and Dustin at the finish, they already had their breath back as they were there a full 3+ minutes before me!

Old School was right there close by (as I knew he would be) but was satisfied to hold him off, as I am only 6 years younger! ;)

Very impressed watching Kutter, Sutej and Stiffler coming through the finish as well.

Stiffler had a blank stare on his face for about 5 minutes after finishing, didn't speak a word. I know he's been here before, but I think it's been easier in previous years. The nice thing is...this has got his mojo going again now, so lookout for mounting another comeback from Stiffler.

Watching the folk finish gave me some appreciation for being able to run somewhat faster than the average folk. Man, they were jammed packed throughout, not sure how "distance runner" manages to turn the legs with that many folk around. As well as trudging through the waist high+ creeks, mud and cliff climbing...nice job folk!

After downing some chocolate milk (my choice of recovery drink) and donuts, I grabbed my camera to get some photojournalistic style imagez.

As a "photog at the Farm” you don't lack any interesting subjects.
(You can check the ndorfnz imagez here. Note: Opens new window)

As we roamed around waiting for the poultry, low and behold I continued to hear kutter say…

..."that's just wrong"...

...the Farm, the largest XC race in North America and by far toughest course ever conquered by 6,800 fast, crazy, goofy, mad runners and hunters.

If you haven't been, you have absolutely no clue of the absolutely great time you'll have...even if "that's just wrong!"

How can a race be so right, but yet be so wrong?

See you next year!
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