Archive for the ‘Running’ Category


Puerto Rican Festival 5K

August 6, 2010

Kyle really wanted to run a race last weekend since he hadn’t run any races since the Boilermaker. I looked around and the only race I could find locally was a 5K that was part of the Puerto Rican festival. It was inexpensive to enter, so he decided to run it. It was a gorgeous morning for running as well as spectating.

Typically, in a race, a bicyclist or police car goes in front of the runners and leads the race to the finish line. This race was, however led with style by a guy on a Harley (there was also a police cruiser that hopped in somewhere near the start).

After the race began…

…Erin and I headed down the street and around the corner to find a spot to watch the finish. On our way, we passed this cool bench, which is part of  “Benches on Parade.”

We found a curb to sit on that offered us a nice view of the street leading up to the finish line, as well as both the finish line and the clock.

This young man, from Syracuse, was the overall winner of the race. He also happens to be Puerto Rican, which I and many of the other spectators, thought was fitting. It was rather amusing to watch him though. He was still running around the block near the finish line after Kyle finished and we were leaving. We figured he had probably run the equivalent of a marathon by that time, lol!

Notice the footwear on this guy? Or should I say lack of footwear?

Barefoot runners always amaze me. I am uncomfortable walking outside on asphalt in bare feet, I can’t seriously imagine running on it!

Kyle had a pretty good race, especially since he hadn’t run any races since the beginning of July.

The race was fun, as this was its inaugural year so it was fairly small, only 128 participants. As we were getting ready to go, several of the vendors at the festival began cooking and the food smelled awesome. Erin wanted to go into the festival, but it was getting warm and I was ready to go home. I was disappointed to learn that there was some violence that followed the close of the festival. I guess this is an ongoing problem each year. The problems this year occurred after and away from the festival, but those involved apparently had come from the festival and created quite a noisy disturbance across the city ending in violence on the opposite side of the city. Hopefully the organizers, along with the city PD can come up with some workable solution to prevent such things in the future. The race is one that Kyle intends to run again next year.


Boilermaker 15K

August 1, 2010

I don’t think I ever recall being as busy as I have been this last month or so. I had intended to post some more stuff from June, but time has slipped away and I have so many interesting things to tell about July, that I am going to forget trying to catch up and just move forward. The next several posts will summarize the month of July. Since we returned from Florida, in late June, we have had something going on every weekend and I don’t see much relief in sight since hockey starts in a couple of weeks. In addition to hockey, Jeff is returning to school at RIT to pursue his Master’s degree in Information Technology, Kyle will be attending MCC for business administration, and Sarah’s dance classes will resume in September. I don’t even want to think about how busy we will be!

On July 11, Kyle ran the Utica Boilermaker 15k, that’s 9.33 (hilly) miles. He had heard about the race and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. Utica isn’t exactly in our backyard, so we knew we’d need to spend the night nearby in order for him to make the 8 (ish) AM start. We quickly learned that all the close, good hotels fill up as soon the hotels make them available after the race from the previous year. That left us with two choices, stay further away or stay in a hotel that may have rentals by the hour. We opted for the further away choice.

We wound up staying in Rome, about 25 minutes away from Utica, in a reasonably nice motel.  The motel happened to be situated across the street from Fort Stanwix, so we wandered over to check it out. We checked it out on Saturday, after they had closed, and found out that admission is free, so after the race on Sunday we went back to the motel so Kyle could shower, checked out, and went to the fort for a brief visit. While we were there, a gentleman who worked there allowed us to go into a couple of buildings that had been roped off. One of them was a trading post, where he let Kyle pick up a coyote pelt. We also got to feel the pelts of several other animals. It was a brief, but interesting visit to the fort.  The pictures that follow are from both the race and our visit to the fort.

It was a beautiful day for a race. It started out almost chilly, then warmed to a reasonable, pleasant temperature.

I missed Kyle as he ran past us, so I guess it was a good thing that I took a “pre-race” picture.

Incidentally, the headphones he was wearing in this picture did not come home from Utica with us. After he had left us to catch a bus for the starting line, I got an annoyed phone call from him asking me what to do because a race official told him he couldn’t wear that style of headphone. They apparently only allow earbud style phones. I told him not to stress over it, and to just leave them somewhere. Apparently they were a pair of $5 headphones he had picked up ages ago, so he just threw them out. Fortunately the race is a very well put together one and they had bands playing all along the race course so he had music even though he couldn’t use his mp3 player.

This is the line, near the finish line, of runners waiting for the bus to take them to the start line. It was about 1.5 hours before the race and the line wrapped around the corner and to the next cross street.

This race is such a part of Utica that there are permanent mile markers along the race course and the finish line is a permanent structure right near the Saranac brewery. It was incredible to be a part of such a thing, even just as a spectator. It almost makes one want to throw on the running shoes and join the festivities….almost. Kyle had a great time, despite the headphone dilemma. In fact, we already have rooms reserved, near the finish line, for next year. Oh, I guess I should mention that his time was a respectable 1:15:13.

When we visited the Fort Stanwix site on Saturday, it was that magical time of day when the sun was low in the sky and the lighting was perfect for making my pictures glow.

This tunnel was apparently designed for the vertically challenged. Kyle is only about 5’9.”

What we toured is a reconstruction, in the same location, of the original fort. All that remains of the original, are a few crumbled bricks that had once been part of a fireplace.

The coyote fur on top is the one Kyle was allowed to pick up.

We had an enjoyable, if somewhat rushed, trip. Next year we will stay two nights, so we shouldn’t feel quite so rushed.


Still Catching Up: Youth Harmony 5k from June 4th.

July 5, 2010

Kyle ran a race last year that had a name that was quite the oxymoron, Fight Against Violence 5k. This year, thankfully, they renamed it something long about youth harmony, much better name, but too long to remember. I had just gotten my lens back and decided to try it out.

Erin had a hockey thing the evening of the race, so I dropped Jeff and Erin at the rink, then Sarah and I took Kyle to the race. Having only Sarah with me was nice as I could stop and photograph things that the rest of the family gets impatient about. Such as…


…and a duck.

As the race participants were assembling for the start of the race, I snapped a few pictures.

These two tots had the best positions in the race, if you ask me. All the fun and none of the work!

Kyle normally has his MP3 player for races, except for those that specifically forbid them, and his Garmin. He has specific race tunes that he likes, so I guess he was getting ready with them in this picture. The young man standing next to him (mostly out of the picture) has got to be about a foot taller than Kyle so it was amusing to watch as they were talking before the race. Kyle’s head was tilted way up to hear. Apparently the guy is kind of quiet. I would have needed a ladder to talk to him, lol!

These two young ladies had run in two races that Kyle had also run the previous weekend and they are FAST! They were the top female finishers in the two previous races.

Little did I know, when I took this picture, that these would be the top 3 female finishers of the race! The woman in the background, with her hand to her face, was the top female finisher, while the two youngsters in front finished 2nd and 3rd for the ladies.

Here is the top male finisher. Kyle was chatting with him and some of his friends just before the race and them seemed pretty sure this guy would win.

Kyle in the finishing stretch.

Here are the “easy riders” again. They were smiling and waving as they passed by. Unbeknown to me, until the stroller passed, I was sitting next to the mother of one of these youngsters.

Here is a much better picture of the young woman who took the top female spot in the race. I suspect she is, or was, a college athlete. I seem to recall that she was around 21 years old. The other two young ladies, I believe, are 10 and 12.

I enjoyed snapping pictures of all the runners as they passed by, but there were waaay to many photos to post them all, so I chose the best representations of the evening. Kyle didn’t run his fastest time, but he definitely enjoyed the race.



May 11, 2010

Where has the time gone? I have been meaning to post for days, but there always seems to be something else that needs my attention. The last week or so I’ve had something going on everyday and I just haven’t had the energy at the end of the day to post.

Last Saturday, May 1st, Kyle ran a race in a nearby town. This was a new race this year, so there was a fairly small field of, only about 80, runners. For the first time in the three years he has been running, Kyle won first in his age group. He was rather pleased, so it was pretty cool!

Before the start of the race, the runners were getting some instructions about the course.

This is the timing company that was timing the race. They are an incredible group of people. The owners also own a running store where they sell running shoes and apparel. They also host weekly running workouts and workshops on various topics that are important to runners. They are great people!

Erin had been under the weather the week prior to this race, but was starting to feel better, and wanted to go watch. I figured the sun would do her some good, so we sat and waited for Kyle to finish. She still looked a little pale, but she enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine on her.

Here’ s Kyle finishing eleventh overall, first in his age division.

On Thursday, my in-laws called to see if I wanted to go to the park to check out the lilacs. I, of course, couldn’t pass up an opportunity to take some pictures… I took an awful lot of pictures though, so I think I’ll put them in a separate post.

After a crazy, busy week, I had a chiropractic appointment on Friday. I was a bit ahead of schedule, so I went down to the lake to see if I could find the swans. Not only did I find them, but they were right on the shore preening, so I got some great close ups!

This swan was cracking me up. If I tried to stand on one leg and crane my neck around, I would be on the ground. This silly swan spent a very long time on one foot…pretty impressive!

There was also a goose.

We had planned a trip on Saturday to Canada to visit our favorite hockey store. I was going to take Joe to the dachshund parade in the morning, then we were going to leave at noon to go to Canada. Since we were supposed to have 50+ mph winds over the weekend, the parade was cancelled. I suppose the organizers were afraid we’d have dachshund kites… It turned out that it was a good thing that we left earlier than planned, since the owners of our favorite hockey store are in the process of closing the business and don’t keep their regular hours. They have been selling hockey equipment for 40 years and are now ready to move on to the next chapter in their lives. It was a bittersweet visit. These people are amazing. They just love helping people and we will very much miss them. Erin, although having never been there before, loved the place and said she was very sad that they were closing. Since they are closing, we got rock bottom pricing. She got a HUGE discount on a pair of very high-end leg pads and she also got a great glove and blocker. In the end, she got all 3 for less than the original sale cost of the leg pads. Kyle also got a new pair of skates. He had been wearing a pair of Jeff’s skates that are about 2 sizes too big for Kyle.

Erin was just a little excited…

A close up of her awesome blocker.

As we were waiting to cross the border, back into the US, I took a shot of the flags. I think they show fairly well how windy it was.

Since this post is now ridiculously long, I’ll post the rest of my pictures from the week in a separate post.


Sure signs of spring…

April 24, 2010

…include road races every weekend. Kyle takes the winter off from running, then picks it up again around March. He’s been running regularly since mid March and our weekend race season has begun. He ran his first race of the year 2 weekends ago, but I wasn’t able to go because Jeff, the girls, and I were in Hamburg with Erin at a hockey tournament.

Today was the Northstar Christian Academy (NCA) 5 Miler. This is the second year they have held this race and Kyle was excited to run it again this year. All 3 kids went to NCA for 2 years, so they like to see some of the kids they went to school with, as well as some of their former teachers. The church with which the school is affiliated also hosts a race annually, so Kyle always runs that race as well. There were not a lot of participants at this race, so Kyle finished 15th, with a time of 39.18. A full four minutes faster than last year’s time!

Here are all the runners as the race began.


Here is Kyle starting out, adjusting his mp3 player.

While we were waiting for the first finishers, I took some pictures of the girls.

Mr.  Boshnack, the kids principal from NCA, ran the race in good time (he finished 2nd). He also announced several names as people finished after him, then he handed out the awards at the end. He was very busy, but stopped a moment to congratulate Kyle on a good race and tell us that he is running in a marathon tomorrow.

Some of the kids watched the 5 mile race, while waiting for the kids fun run to begin.

As Kyle came around the bend to the finish, there were 2 other runners with him. Once he could see the finish line though, he began his finishing sprint and left them behind.

About 20 minutes after Kyle finished his race, the kids race was underway. Erin opted to start on the outside edge of the group. She often feels claustrophobic whenever she finds herself in the middle of a group of people.

Running is definitely not Erin’s forte, but she likes to run whenever Kyle goes to a race that also has races for the kids. When she reached the halfway point, I was afraid she might give up.

As she passed the half-mile mark, she walked for a couple seconds, then picked up the pace into a jog. I thought for sure she was going to collapse across the finish line. She was moving pretty slowly by then and her cheeks were flaming red.

After the race she enjoyed a juice box, a carton of chocolate milk, 2 slices of pizza, a granola bar, and a shortbread cookie.

Kyle had finished 4th in his age bracket and we didn’t realize they were giving out prizes to the kids, so we were getting ready to leave when Sarah spotted her third grade teacher. She wandered over to say hi and eventually the rest of us followed her. As we were talking, they began announcing the winners of the kids races. Turns out Erin won 2nd place in 9 – 12 year old age bracket, so she got 2 tickets to a laser tag place. She was pretty excited and I was glad we stayed.


Jensen Stables XC 2009

October 18, 2009

I can’t believe it has been an entire month since I last posted!

Kyle had his insane XC race today at the horse stable this morning. This is the second time he has run the 12k. Last year he got lost and was nearly the last finisher. We were just hoping he’d finish without getting lost this year, which he was in fact successful in doing. I took over 600 pictures of the event, but I will only share a few of them here, lest I bore all (5) of my readers and scare them away, lol!

Kyle, as the race began.

Kyle, as the race began.

Very steep hill near the beginning of the race.

Very steep hill near the beginning of the race.

Just after the messy, muddy marsh...

Just after the marshy, muddy mess. Notice the muddy feet?

Still smiling. Last time we saw Kyle until the end of the race...

Still smiling. Last time we saw Kyle until the end of the race...

Even though these guys weren’t in the race, I couldn’t help but snap a few photos of them. It was pretty funny to watch them running up and down the pasture as the runners went past their paddock.

horse 1

Good day for a roll...

Good day for a roll...

...and a good chin rub on the grass...

...and a good chin rub on the grass...

Feet up...

Feet up...

Kyle with one last obstacle before the finish line.

Kyle with one last obstacle before the finish line.

Just before Kyle finished the race, the kids 2k race began. Erin decided this morning that she wanted to run the kid’s race, so we signed her up when we arrived.

Erin, shortly after the start of her race. Erin, shortly after the start of her race.
Erin, finishing her race. Erin, finishing her race.
All in all, both kids enjoyed themselves, my mother-in-law and I froze, and Kyle finished without getting lost. It was a good morning!

Busy Week Running

September 18, 2009

Kyle had a rather busy week running. On Sunday we all arose at the crack of dawn to go to the Rochester MVP Healthcare Marathon and Half Marathon. It was a perfect day for running. I don’t think the temperature got much over 70 and when the races started around 7:30, it was only in the imd 60’s. I had never been to such a large running event. There were hundreds of runners, over 2300 actually!


The above picture shows just some of the many people there for the races. This was taken about 1/2 an hour before the full marathon was to begin. The 1/2 started 15 minutes after the full. There were a lot of people!


We took Kyle to Frontier Field, where the race headquarters were set up, then we walked with him to the starting line a 1/2 mile away. As we were waiting for the races to start, I glanced down at his feet and noticed he was wearing his old, very worn out shoes. He had gotten a new pair about 3 weeks earlier, but had neglected to grab them for the race. We had planned to meet him in a couple places along the course to provide Gatorade, water, and (for my sanity) to check on him to make sure he was okay. I suggested that we could run home, grab his shoes, and he could change at the first meeting point. He thought that was a good idea, so off we went.

We decided to leave before the start of the race to ensure we could stop to get the coffee I bribed promised Jeff for getting up so early, run home for Kyle’s shoes, and buy Gatorade at Walgreens by our first meeting point. Kyle made good time and we gave him his shoes and a Gatorade. The whole change took about 3 minutes. I suppose in a 13 mile race, 3 minutes isn’t too long…

After he changed and ran off again, we hopped back in the Jeep and went to the next point, a nearby park. I was impressed by the number of people along the course cheering the runners on. I am sure it was encouraging to the runners. Kyle made excellent time to the second point and only had about 4 more miles to go. We jumped into the Jeep one last time and hurried back to Frontier Field. Parking was a little nutty, but we managed to make it to the finish line with about 10 minutes to spare. His official time was 1:52:20. He had planned to finish in around 2 hours, 20 minutes, so he was quite pleased with his time! I wonder what his time would have been if he hadn’t had to change his shoes during the race…

The finish line was a flurry of activity with medical people observing the runners as they finished, the always cheerful Ellen was calling out as many names of finishers as she could, and finisher medals being handed out. I was so caught up in the commotion, I only took one picture and it was horrid…fuzzy! Oh, well! The finish chute ended in a large fenced area where they had a medic tent, massage tent, and food tent. I was very impressed by the organization and the dedication on the part of the volunteers. They all seemed to know exactly what to do and everything ran smoothly…no pun inteded!

Cool horse at Frontier Field

Cool horse at Frontier Field

Now that the 1/2 Marathon is done, Kyle wants to get ready for what is probably his favorite race. Jensen Stables 12K is an insane cross country race through horse pastures, fields, woods, up steep slopes, down muddy slopes, through (or around) an icy pond, etc. Kyle ran it last year and got very lost. He finished almost last, but thoroughly enjoyed himself anyway! In an effort to prepare, I suggested that he run a couple “off road” races over the next few weeks. We found that the final race of the FF Dirt Cheap Trail Races was going to be run on Wednesday. Kyle decided to run it.

We arrived pretty early so Kyle went and ran a short warm up, then decided he was ready. Just before the start of the race, they described how the course is quite technical and a bit dangerous in a couple places…something about stairs and a steep drop… I got a little concerned, but figured he’d be okay. The course was about 4 miles, so I expected we’d see him in about 30 – 35 minutes. He finished in 37:55 and he was ANGRY as he crossed the finish line. Apparently about 5 minutes before he finished the race, he encountered a nest of angry wasps that someone ahead of him had stirred up! He had at least 4 stings by the time he finished. Kyle has never handled bee stings very well! We gave him some benadryl and hurried to my in-laws so he could shower and survey the damage. As we were driving there and asking him about the stings, he announced he had gotten stung again! Apparently one of the wasps went up his shorts, got caught in one of the folds, and when he sat and shifted just right, it stung him!

After a shower and some topicals, he was fine. I was impressed that he calmed down as quickly as he did. Normally something like that would make him very angry and he would stay that way for a long time. He was already talking about the next “off road” event he plans to run by the time he was finished treating his stings. He is definitely maturing!

Here are a few pictures of the event.

Irondequoit Bay

Irondequoit Bay

Race start and finish

Race start and finish


Sarah being silly!

Sarah being silly!

Registration tent

Registration tent

Runners near the end






I had planned to take more pictures of the finishers, but after Kyle finished and announced he’d been stung multiple times, I thought better of staying. The finish of the race was great because they came around a bend, then up the hill. I was on the side at the top of the hill, with a great shot of the bend. It was an ideal spot for photographing the race.


Fleet Feet Summerfest 2009

September 5, 2009

Kyle has been training, for the past couple of months, to run the Rochester MVP half-marathon next weekend. He participated in a distance training program run by the awesome folks at Fleet Feet Sports. Today, many of the participants in that program ran the FF Summerfest 12k. For these folks the race was not about winning, but about pacing; something they have been focusing on each Saturday morning during their long runs. Here is a picture of the distance training participants that ran the 12k today.


Kyle was definitely the youngest in the group, but that didn’t bother him. He still made some friends and really enjoyed running with these great people. I am always amazed at the encouragement and comraderie among the people in the running community here. It has really made me think that it is something I might enjoy trying…after I get better…

The FF Summerfest is quite the end of summer event! They had a 12k race, a 5k race, and 3 different kids races: 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, and 1 mile. Kyle ran the 12k and Erin ran the 1/4 mile. Kyle was shooting for a pace of 9:30/mile and ran almost exactly that. His time for the race was 1:10:23. When he finished he said that he felt as though he had just warmed up for a race. We decided that was a good thing since the 1/2 marathon is 5.5 miles longer than what he ran today. He feels well prepared, which is a relief to me. I told him he could only run it if he prepared for it and felt confident that he could run it without injuring himself. He has done a great job preparing with the help of Ellen and the other folks from Fleet Feet!

Here is Kyle nearing the finish. He doesn’t really look all that hot or tired!


Erin jumped into her race a little late, so she wasn’t in a good starting position, but she looks great as well. I think she might have run the 1/2 mile as well, except that she was starving. When she’s hungry, she is really hungry. While we were walking to the car she polished off a hot dog, 2 chocolate cookies, a pretzel stick, and most of a Pepsi. Here she is waiting for her race to start…


almost finished with her race…


and Erin and Kyle after they both finished. Kyle clocked Erin at 2:39. Not too bad after a not so great start.


While waiting for Kyle’s race to finish and Erin’s to start, I took a few pictures of Mendon Ponds park, where the races took place. It was a positively gorgeous, cool morning; perfect for running.




While standing in the shade of a tree, waiting for Erin’s race to start, this dog caught my attention. I thought it was a pretty dog and it seemed friendly. When the owner laid down on the ground to stretch, I got a good laugh. The dog nearly jumped on top of him to play, then gave his face a good washing. The second photo is after the dog settled in next to him and finally allowed the owner to stretch…sort of!



What a great way to spend the morning. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves and Kyle is quite confident about his big race next weekend!


Perfect Day for a Race

May 2, 2009

Last night, while perusing the Rochester Running Page, we discovered that Northstar Christian Academy, the school where Kyle attended 5th and 6th grade, was having a 5 mile race today. Kyle decided he wanted to run in it, so this morning, we got up and headed out for what turned out to be near perfect running conditions. Kyle prefers running in cooler weather, so the just under 50 degree temps were perfect. There was no wind, and the sun was out as well, which I appreciated after standing there for nearly an hour.

As we waited for the race to start, we chatted with a couple of people that we knew. Then it was time for the start…


Pastor Grace and Mr. Boshnack getting ready to start the race.


The rest of the field…


Kyle prefers to start at the back of the race pack. It allows him to find his pace without being trampled by the fast starters.


As the race got underway, I sat on a nearby bench to wait for the finish and this tree caught my attention. As you can see from the sky in the background, it really was a beautiful morning.


While sitting on the bench, a perfectly charming young lady came over and sat down near me. She asked if someone I knew was racing and we struck up a conversation. She told me that she is home schooled and I found myself thinking that it was obvious. She was 15, and we had quite the interesting conversation about school, homeopathy, LEAH groups, running, music, and other interesting tidbits. It reminded me a lot of conversations with my own kids; conversations most kids wouldn’t be interested in…go home schooling! We passed the time waiting for the racers. Her brother, then her dad, then Kyle finished. Later she came over and asked Kyle about his time and congratulated him on a race well run. This young lady was quite impressive. I only wish I had gotten her name…

This last shot is a bit fuzzy, but here is Kyle near the finish line…


He always tries to sprint at the finish. His time was 43.31 and this was a 5 mile race, so his time was decent. This is his first race this year, so definitely not bad!


A little late

December 15, 2008

I know this post is late, but I did say I would post pictures of my birthday gifts. So here they are…


These are most of my gifts. Jeff got me the lens, Kyle got me the DVD, and the girls got me the Hot Diggity Dog, the cloth,  Danny and Doxie, and the fan. The flowers are from my Mom and the book from my mother-in-law. Jeff also got me a Dachsaholic sweatshirt with dachshunds on it.


Erin got my Danny and Doxie for my birthday, then I decided I had to have Roxie and Doxie as well. Now I just need to get Dottie and Doxie! I made the mistake of looking at the Bearington website. They have soooo many cute bears, I could collect them ALL!

Here are some additional pictures I have taken over the last few weeks.

This is the sky from December 2, when we had an absolutely gorgeous morning.


Kyle ran a race last weekend. Here are the racers awaiting the start of the race. I don’t remember the exact weather conditions that day, but I do recall that my fingers were numb by the end of the race. The temperature was low and the wind chill was bitter and I ALMOST wished I was running.


While waiting for Kyle to finish the race, this gentleman crossed the line and I thought his running attire was interesting! No, he was not wearing loafers, but sneakers, of course!

Kyle finally finished the race…warmth was near!


This lady was stretching after the race, so I snapped a picture of her “hitcher.”


On Black Friday I went shopping but only at a local feed store. I picked up a bird feeder and some seed, hoping that I could attract some little birds to photograph with my new zoom lens. These two were not at the feeder, but they certainly caught my attention.


Here is my little feeder with a little bird checking it out.


These next two pictures were taken into my neighbor’s backyard.


If you blow up the picture below, you will see a very naughty creature in the bird feeder.