Monday, October 30, 2006

Mayor's Walk for Cancer

On Saturday Oct 21st, I met Karla and Frank over at Lake Benson Park in Garner for the Mayor's Walk for Cancer. It was a first year event with the proceeds going to the Susan G Komen Foundation for Cancer Research. You can see Karla in the blue hat being recognized with the other survivors in attendance. It was a beautiful morning and there were approximately 100 participants in the walk.

We were happy that our friends Laura MacLean and Alan Hughes came out to show their support for Karla and enjoy a nice walk around the park.

I grew up about a mile from Lake Benson and spent a lot of time exploring in the woods and fields surrounding it. At that time in the 60' the area was very rural with only about a dozen houses within 2 miles of my home. Mostly farmland and forest. There used to be an old boathouse and bait shop at the lake and I spent many an hour hanging out there during summer vacation. My parents still live in the house I grew up in.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Seaboard Festival 5 mile

Awoke this morning to a beautiful, unseasonably warm morning outside of West End. I was very pleased that the heavy rains of Thursday had passed on
leaving clear blue skies.
I was the guest of my friend and fellow MTC member Tony Rouse and his wife Lisa. They were kind enough to offer there hospitality to me to save the long drive down from Zebulon on race day or finding a motel. After breakfast and coffee, we made the drive down to the hamlet of Hamlet NC. The race is held in conjuction with the annual Seaboard Festival that celebrates the towns history and relationship with the railroad. Hamlet was at a crossroads of two major tracks of the Seaboard Airline Railroad and also the location of a major yard and service facilities. Over the years many mergers and aquisitions later , Seaboard is now a part of the massive CSX Transportation but the town is still a railroad town. The old depot is a historic site and a museum now but the area is still serviced by Amtrak.
The race is the 3rd in a series of Mangum Track Club events and is required running if one is interested in getting bonus points in the quest for the Mangum Cup. At the present time Tony and I are the two points leaders and barring a major catastrophy, one of us will be this years winner. Since I have become mostly an ultrarunner the past several years I seldom run these shorter road races. One reason is because to run them fast you have to hurt just about every step of the way. Especially if you don't train for it. Before I begin my quest to qualify for Boston, I had not done any speedwork in about 20 years. And since I ran my qualiifer this past Feb. I hadn't done anymore. That became painfully evident between miles 3 and 4. I had been running quite well up to that point but I could feel the bear crawling onto my shoulders. About that time I heard footsteps behind me and I was 99% sure without looking back that it was Tony. He soon passed me and although I recovered and ran the last mile back at exactly my average pace for the whole run, I never was able to close the gap. But hey, that's OK. He's not in my age-group and there are no bonus points for finishing in front of me!
Overall, I was very happy with my race. I was 9th overall and 2nd in the 50-59 age-group. Getting older doesn't make competing any easier. Mark Long and his volunteers and the town did a great job as usual allowing us the opportunity to have some fun . It was nice to hang around for awhile with my fellow MTC's. If you are interested in a well organized race that is a bargain compared to most races, come down to the Sandhills next Oct.
Here is a link to a few photos I took at the finish .
Picasa Web Albums - Joey - Seaboard 5 mile

Friday, October 27, 2006

Single-Track Heaven

Another great day in the playground known as Umstead State Park. I decided to hit the trails yesterday. I had about two hours so I chose one of my favorite routes, the Double Company Mill Trail. Company Mill is a lollypop trail, an out and back with a loop. When I do the double I run the loop once in each direction before climbing back up the spur for about a 10 mile workout.
The weather was once again near perfect, about 59F. One great thing about running on a weekday afternoon is the lack of crowds in the park. And when you are on the trails there are even less as the Mt Bikes are not allowed. This day the trails were practically my own. I only encountered a pair of hikers walking their dog on the first loop and a lone runner on the second. Although I do enjoy running with friends it is these runs that satisfy my soul. Just me alone with my thoughts and God to keep me company. I was feeling very good yesterday and with the cool weather I could just relax and have fun enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the forest in Autumn. More than once a big smile came across my face as I played in the woods. To top it off, I set a new course PR without even trying. No , the photo isn't Company Mill. This is the trailhead to the Loblolly Trail. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Picasa Web Albums - Joey - Leadville 2006

I have posted my Leadville photos on my Picasa Web Album page now. I have added some photos I took on the way to the race. There are also some pictures that Joe and Hannah Lugiano sent me along the course and the finish. I am very grateful to them or I would not have a finishing photo. The ones from the Lugianos were scanned from prints so the quality might not be as sharp as the rest of the album.

Picasa Web Albums - Joey - Leadville 2006

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Karla's last chemotherapy infusion

Friday Oct 13th was a good day this year. After 29 weeks Karla was finally getting her last infusion of chemotherapy. It was an emotional day for her. On one hand was the happiness of putting this phase of her treatments behind her. On the other hand there was a bit of sadness. Over all these weeks the wonderful staff at the UNC-Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center had taken special care of Karla and close relationships had been formed. Saying good-bye would not be easy.
Karla and Frank had invited our friend Jerry and myself to join them in saying good-bye and thanking the staff as well as celebrate the end of this phase of Karla's treatment. It also happened to be Frank's birthday. You can see in the picture the tube inserted in a port in Karla's chest delivering the last infusion.
Here are several of the caring staff that have done a great job of treating Karla. Here she is receiving her purple heart certificate for completing all the treatments. They waved the magic wand over her and sang goodbye.
The timing worked out great as far as my fundraising in Karla's honor. I let Karla choose which of several cancer charities that she would like for me to use the donations for and it was decided to give it to the Patient and Family Care Center as a thank you.

After the infusion was over we went down to their office to make the presentation. I was very happy to hand over all the checks and cash that was so genorously donated by you, our friends and family. The majority of the money came from the running community which was most appropriate since I raised the money running to honor my training partner and your fellow runner and club member.

This is Tina Shaban, the Patient Education Resource Coordinator. Pam Baker, the Program Assistant was also present. Hopefully I can get a picture of her posted soon. Due to your generosity I have now received $1,563.44 to give to them. I want to once again give out a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that made a donation, no matter how large or small. It is very hard for family and friends to watch someone they love battle something like cancer. This was just my way of showing my support for her in the way I know best.
Karla's fight against this terrible disease is not over yet. She still faces 6 weeks of radiation before she will be able to put this behind her. In the meantime she remains strong and determined. We just ran the Autism 5K in Raleigh together this morning and she did very well as we were smiling and talking the whole time. This was her best run since we finished Boston back in April. Hopefully on Nov. 12th she will find the strength to finish the Outer Banks Marathon. And I will be there to share the day with her and celebrate life and a special friendship.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Here is the "DirtyGirl" Xy Weiss, talented ultrarunner and the maker of dirtygirlgaiters. When I first started running ultra's 4.5 years ago I was aware of what gaiters were and their purpose, but never felt the need for them. Besides, I didn't care much for what I saw out there available. After a couple of years and getting tired of emptying trail debris from my shoes I started thinking maybe I should look into finding some gaiters.
So, last August while having a wonderful day on the Laurel Valley Trail sweeping with the Dummar's, I noticed both of them were wearing DirtyGirls. I had seen them earlier at the Vermont 100, which is also the place I saw Xy. Fred had been running alongside Xy when one of the horses came running by. Xy was startled and fell into the river. I think she was just looking to cool off since it was in the 90's and humid that day. Anyway, Fred and Susan both raved about how they loved their new gaiters so I decided to order a couple of pairs for myself and a gift for my training partner.
And they are great. Once you put them on you will forget you have them on.( Unless you have on blinding Hot Pink ones) They perform well and it's a snap to just roll them up to change shoes or socks if you need to.

I ordered the Hot Pink-Iron Butterfly design for my cancer fundraiser to draw attention to my cause. It worked. There was some serious gaiter envy going on at Hinson Lake so if anyone is looking to get some really cool, functional fashion trail running accessories I can highly recommend Xy's. She was kind enough to donate mine and also gave a genorous donation to UNC-LCCC in Karla's honor. Xy obviously has a lot of fun with the whole dirtygirl thing but she also has a serious side. Her job is a District Attorney in California helping to put away some dispicable characters. She is a great advocate for the victims and has donated the proceeds from her side business in gaiter making to charity.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Picasa Web Albums - Joey - Hinson Lake 2...

Below is a link to some more photos taken at last weekends Hinson Lake 24 hour. These were taken by Karla using her camera.
Frank and Karla have been using Picasa to organize their digital photos and introduced me to the program. It is in my opinion a wonderful tool and makes downloading pictures and organizing and editing easy for a former luddite like me. Just recently Picasa added the web sharing feature . I was glad to see this option because now I can do everything including uploading photos to my blog all in one program. There is a link to Picasa (google photos) in the sidebar of my blog now if you would like to check it out. It is a free program and downloads in seconds if you have hi-speed internet.

Picasa Web Albums - Joey - Hinson Lake 2...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hinson Lake 24 hour Report

Here is my report on the Hinson Lake 24 hour race held the weekend of Sept30th/Oct 1st.

Click Here to go to Mike's ncultra website.

Here is a link to some photo's Karla took with my camera.

Go here for the photo album

Monday, October 02, 2006

Flickr: ncultra's photos tagged with 24hour

Here is a link to some photos Mike Day took at this past weekends Hinson Lake 24 hour run.
It was a great weekend for running and there were many inspiring performances. I hope to have my report and some more photos posted later

Flickr: ncultra's photos tagged with 24hour

It takes a "real" ultraman to wear Pink!
Certainly got a lot of attention for my fundraiser