Category Archives: RCI

Guest Review: Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon

This is a guest review from fellow Anderson runner Wray Jean Cornwell. She and friend Kathy recently completed the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon. The race site says “not fast. not flat. not certified. flying monkey attacks.” The race is near Nashville, TN. Thanks Wray Jean for the review!

Pre-Race Thoughts

At packet pick-up we got two race shirts. One long sleeve tech, tan with brown sleeves made by Patagonia. A performance base layer, $38 retail. Then we got a cotton short sleeve one, tan with a picture of a stick figure runner on it, with only one leg and one arm. There are two monkeys flying overhead with is body parts. The packet of course had a Monkey sticker.

We decided to drive the course. We hit the wrong park first. Why have two park next door to each other with very similar names?

We stopped a mountain biker and asked if this was Percy Warner park…no, this is Edwin Warner Park…..we mentioned the marathon and he told us it’s the next park down the road. He also said, “Good Luck with that one”……whoops, that didn’t sound very positive.

So…on we go to the next park….. Well, we quickly find out what his comment was all about. Talk about “hills”….yep there’s one right after another one….with downhills stuck in there….and very, very few flats.

We come upon a runner name Johnny…..and talk to him and ask all the questions about surviving this marathon…..he continues talking to us all the way up and around a hill……doesn’t miss a beat or lose his breathing. He’s ask our PR time…and then says add 30 to 40 minutes more. That would put us around 5:30 or so. We laugh out loud….. We talk a good five minutes or so…..very nice guy.

Race Day

Very foggy morning…..very foggy. Good thing we are only 10 minutes away from the race and that we had been there before. So…we knew what we were looking for in the fog. Weather conditions 41 at start high of the day lower 60’s, foggy at the start.

The first .3 and the last .3 are cross country. It was runable….. I hate CC running. Just don’t do well…, I’m glad that this is short and sweet.

The course was amazing….just down right beautiful…..the changing of the leaves…..the rock formations on the sides of the hills……the winding/twisting uphills/downhills…..just a wonderful place to run. The sun shining in the trees here and there….no wind to speak of…the fog was even beautiful. Very little flats …..we ran most of the rollers and walked when the hills got a little hard. Which didn’t take very long…. Legs were showing signs of wear by the halfway mark……we knew it was going to be pure survival to finish this.

18 aid stations….one station with three porta johns…. Aid stations had plenty of stuff to drink, some had pretzels/orange slices… had clif blocks….we hit some aids stations twice.

We did the first 10 miles in 2 hours….. mile 15 was around 3 hours….. Our goal was to finish in 6 hours.

I hit the wall around mile 17, 18. I remember doing this…but Kathy said it differently. On the way home we were talking. She said that when I hit that wall and just stopped walking….in her mind she thought “crap”….she can’t stop now… I can’t go on ….she’s done….what am I going to do? How am I going to pull the both of us through this.

Well, I remember stopping for a moment…than I just started back running….and telling myself that we can do this…. walk/run…. walk/run….

The downhills were brutal….the hills were painful. My butt hurt/my feet hurt/my hammies hurt/my quads hurt……just keep going forward.

For me the worse time is between 14 and 18 miles. You just have so much further to go…you can’t get the miles in perspective….but once you get to 6 miles, 5 miles….you know you can do it….you start thinking about where you run and your 5 mile, 3 mile course….and you just start clipping those miles away….

The last few miles were a test of faith. Starting to run again was slow…but once you got going it felt ok….just it didn’t last that long before another hill….or a downhill that was very painful.. I remember wishing for a hill when even running some flatter areas got to be too long….and the pain would start hurting pretty badly…at that point. I wanted a hill so I could walk!!!

Our last mile…we walked some areas that we could have ran…we were over it by then. And two girls passed us. They had went out too fast or whatever…we didn’t see them in the beginning of the race…than at about 9 miles to go..there they were. We passed them and stayed ahead until that last mile area. One of the girls, had a great monkey call that she did upon arriving at every aid station… was great. We’d hear it from time to time before passing them…and would think, what is that?? Can it be a real monkey???

So….we come up to the last .3 miles. The girls pass us….it’s ok. Really….we are ok with it. We can see the finish line below us…..we take off from there.

Running side by side around the pine tree and down the hill (little hill)…..I feel great. Legs aren’t hurting now….I’m almost done. Woohoo, we both keep picking up our pace….side by side….we hit the finish line….DONE!!!!

5:32 was our time….extremely pleased. Never would have expected doing under 6 hours.


What a run….it truly was an awesome day for a great run…..and I was so HAPPY that it was over. Just wanted to get off my feet and take my shoes off.

At the end….there were homemade goodies of all kinds….and door prizes, tons of them.

Awards were shortly after we arrived…..the winners also got a stuffed monkey of some kind.

Kathy and I both got a door prize, within the first 10 to 15 names called. Each of us took the race poster…it’s very cool. There was bags/water bottles/socks/gloves/hats/wine/energy powder/sticker/3 pair of Fila shoes and a few other things to choose from….. and yes, we both choose the poster.

Kathy did an amazing job today, she held on and pulled me through some tough times. It was great running with my best friend. I’m even more happy that she didn’t quit at some point. I know she truly thought about doing that. I’m so glad that she didn’t. I would have finished without her, but it would have taken me an hour longer for sure. Thanks girl!!

So everyone….if you don’t mind a “few hills”, this is the perfect race to do. Totally a “must do” marathon, great race director, plenty of good humor and great freebies.

Thanks Wray Jean!! Don’t forget to send me race reports if you’d like them posted!

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Race Review: Drumstick Dash

First, Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope you and your family have a wonderful day of giving thanks.  I know I am thankful for much, includes my wonderful wife, friends, running, and you my fellow runners and blog friends!

In my first-ever Thanksgiving Day race I completed the 4.5 mile Drumstick Dash hosted by Tuxbro in Broad Ripple (Indianapolis). According to their website over 5,000 signed up for this 5th annual event. 

I traveled to the event with the Rayl family (Brian, Kelly, and Logan), all three of them completed the race! We all ran good races and had an excellent morning together!

The race began at 9am between Broad Ripple High School and the shopping plaza with the Running Company (event sponsor).  The high school’s electronic sign said the temperature was 32 degrees, the car thermometer read 38, and the official temperature from Tuxbro says 37.  So it was somewhere in the mid-30’s with gusting winds at the start.  Due to the wind I wore tights and a long-sleeve shirt and other runners were wearing as little as a singlet or shorts all the way to a guy in a parka and pants! It spit rain a few times and afterwards there was some white stuff falling too!

This race includes a turkey chase so we watched the 6 foot tall turkey ride through the crowd, high-fiving everyone, before he got about a minute running head start.  His captors (female and male) later finished the race 39th and 83rd (respectively), but their sprint from the start netted them some type of award. There were also some great costumes!

I ran with Logan for the first mile which ended in a neighborhood but included some of the major thoroughfares of Broad Ripple. We took it out at a comfortable pace and kept it relaxed while the large crowd sorted itself out.  They had people holding signs with pace times at the starting line so that you could line up in some type of order, which made for a pretty decent starting pack. We came through the first mile at 6:22.

The entire course was on roads, so nothing too exciting happened.  There were some people along the streets cheering, but not a lot.  The streets were a little wet from yesterday’s rain which caused some puddles in little dips and the side of the road.  One concern was that we were all taking the turns pretty close to the curb and there were leaves collected in the gutters which made it a little slippery.  Logan pulled away from me and I came through the 2nd mile at 6:28.

A water stop was available at about 2.5 miles which was also at the top of a hill.  Nothing real serious here, but just something to make you think about your stride and pace.  I took it in stride and I don’t think it bothered me too much.  Throughout the race I was continually passing people while only occasionally being passed as well.  Right after the water stop was the turn off point for the short course.  They offered two distances the 4.5 (which was timed and scored) and a 2.6 mile course which was not scored (they had a clock so you knew your time).  I came through the third mile at 6:36.

This next mile wound through a neighborhood circle.  Going into the neighborhood I could see the runners coming back out.  They were probably the back of the first packs. During this 1/2 mile loop.  I threw in a surge to try and catch the next pack in front of me. I continued passing groups of people as we turned onto Broad Ripple Ave and came through the 4th mile in 6:38.

The last 1/2 mile had a slow downhill, a quick uphill, and then a nice downhill finish! The finish line wasn’t marked overhead with a banner or anything so I wasn’t sure exactly where it was.  At the top of the hill two, what appeared to be, college runners took off for a sprint finish.  The first guy took off and the other one yelled at him and then chased him down.  It was funny to see, but didn’t really inspire me to try and sprint to the finish! I did pick up the pace and passed a good amount of runners in this section to finish the half-mile at 3:08.  My overall time was 29:14 (6:30).

I’m completely fine with that time, I had no expectations and haven’t done much running or any speedwork for a few weeks.  It would have been nice to beat Logan again (I beat him at Pop Weaver 5K), but oh well!! There was lots of food and water at the finish area.  Starbucks, the Noodle Company, and the Sunflower Market were all giving products away.  The Running Company had an amazing sale, but most of the stuff had already been picked over. The event shirt was a very nicely done black, Brooks Technical shirt!

All proceeds from this event benefit the Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis. The race slogan was Move Your Feet So Others Can Eat!

Overall this was another great event by Tuxbro.

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Race Results from Nov 17 and an Upcoming Race!

Race on November 24th

Christmas in the Park (Brazil) begins at 10am at Forest Park in Brazil, IN.

Race Results from Nov 17

Turkey Chase 7K was won by Jeremiah Vaughan, 18, in 23:56 (5:30) about 5 minutes ahead of second place.  Pam Mertz won the female division in 28:57 about a minute ahead of second place and 33rd overall.  171 completed this 4.35 mile race.

DINO Series Race #7 15K was won by Zach Eichel of Indianapolis in 55:45 (5:58) about 30 seconds ahead of second place.  Tracy Cahee, of West Lafayette, won the female division in 1:05:31 (7:01) about 3 minutes ahead of second place (who accidentally started 2 minutes late) and placed 24th overall. 164 finished the 15K event.  5K was won by Lance Nelson, of Indianapolis in 16:48 (5:24) about a minute ahead of second place.  Logan Campbell of Greenwood won the female division in 22:13 (7:09) 3 and 4 seconds ahead of second and third places and 36th overall. 164 finished the 5K event.

Vincennes Family YMCA Trotting Turkeys 5K was won by Scott Mullins in 16:23 (5:16) about a minute ahead of second place. It looks like Emily Brown won the female division in 23:19 (7:30) about 20 seconds ahead of second place and 17th overall. 101 completed this event.

Yesterday’s Run

I did an easy 5 miles yesterday at Mounds State Park with Brian.  I was still tight from Saturday and the ball of my foot is still hurting.  We ran it in 40:46, but it felt harder than that pace warranted.

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Upcoming Races Thanksgiving Day!

I’m going down to Broadripple for the Drumstick Dash. My wife is working on Thanksgiving so I’m kind of bumming around with other friends who are staying in Anderson! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you have lots to be thankful for!

Four Mile Foot Fest begins at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis at 8:30am. All proceeds of this Ken Long & Associates event benefits the Perry Meridian High School Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams. Cash prizes will be offered.

Sugar Creek Trail Thanksgiving Day Pie Run begins at 9am at the Sugar Creek Trail Rock River Trailhead in Crawfordsville. All proceeds from this 5K event go to the Trail Maintenance Trust Fund. There are cash prizes being offered.

Drumstick Dash 4.5 Mile event begins at 9am near the Running Company Store in Broadripple. Hosted by the Running Company and managed by Tuxbro all proceeds benefit the Wheeler Mission. There is also a costume contest.

Turkey Trot 5K begins at 8am at McDonald’s in Huntington. There is a cash award for this event benefiting Kids Kampus.

Thanksgiving Day Turkey Run hosted by the Anderson Road Runners begins at 8am at Shadyside Park (activity center). Food prizes and hot coffee!

5th Annual Thanksgiving Morning Fun Run at St. Mary of the Woods College. You can run between 3 and 5 miles. Walkers are welcome. Again, this is a FUN RUN, not an organized race. So come join us on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 7:30am and work up an appetite before your Thanksgiving Day meal! If you have any questions please contact Myra Please bring a canned good/nonperishable item. They will be collecting these and donating them to one of the local food banks.

Thanksgiving Day Food Drive Run – Matter Park, Marion (sponsored by Grace Community Church for the Grant County Rescue Mission. Entry fee is canned foods or donations)


Yesterday’s Run

I haven’t run since Saturday’s race. My foot felt fine all day Saturday, but began hurting again Sunday morning.

NOTE: I’ve changed the normal posting schedule due to the holiday. I haven’t figured it all out exactly so be sure to check back throughout the week!

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Race Review: DINO Series 7 Fort Harrison

On a brisk Saturday morning, the final race in the 2007 DINO Series was held at beautiful (and hilly) Fort Harrison State Park on the Northeast side of Indianapolis. The morning temperature was in the mid 30’s with a little wind but that did not deter almost 350 people from coming out for the 5K and 15K trail race.

The 15K course was an out-and-back along one of the horse trails in the park.  The course was rated 4 out of 5 for hills, but a 2 out of 5 for surface of the trail by race director Brian Holzhausen.  I would agree that it was a tough and hilly course, with some fairly steep hills.  The surface was pretty good, while the trail was cut wide, it had well grooved single track areas that were easier to run on.

Registration on the chilly morning was held inside a shelter house that was surrounded in plastic to help cut down on some of the arctic breeze that was blowing through the flat, open field where the race would start and finish.

I ran a 1:07:38 (7:17) which is a 15K (9.3 mile) PR.  I’m sure I can run them faster on a road course, but at this point all of my 15K’s have been DINO’s trail races. This was about a 5 minute PR for me, so I was very happy with that.  I was also shocked to have been first in my age group and 38th overall.  There were a ton of people in the 20-24 age group ahead of me!

Mile by Grueling Mile!

The start was in an open area and went alongside the tree line before cutting through the meadow and hitting the first major hill at about the half mile.  The course went up a steep hill (perfect for sledding), ran along the top and then back down.  Cutting through a swath of woods, we ran a short bit on the road and re-entered the woods.  I came through the first mile at 7:14, which was a little faster than I had expected but it felt like a good pace.  The miles were marked on the trail, they were a circle of cleared leaves with orange paint.

There was a lot of up and down, most were fairly short hills and I don’t remember there being any other major steep ones at this point.  I decided that I would take it easy up the hills on the out portion of the race and see what I had left coming back through the course.  It was a very winding trail and I came through mile 2 at 7:01.  I still felt really good and was just cruising along with a small group of people.

I recognized some of the other guys and felt comfortable with being around them place and time-wise. There was a water/Gatorade stop around the 2.5 mile mark (strategically placed to serve both the 5K  and 15K runners). The course continued to meander through the woods, not really staying flat long enough to get into a strong stride.  I came through mile 3 at 7:09.

I was still feeling pretty good and ate one Clif Shot Blok, per my race strategy.  At this point our group had kind of spread out and I was trying to stay with a guy who passed me.  This part of the course began to have some steeper hills and some stretches of wider trail.  We were running along near the park’s boundary lines.  After a steep descent we came to a creek crossing.  It had rained several days during the past few weeks so there was probably 3-4 inches of water in the 6-10 foot wide creek bed.  I was able to almost one-step through it, barely getting my left foot wet.  The guy I had just passed hit a rock while jumping and kind of twisted his ankle (he was able to work it out and seemed fine later when he passed me!).  The 4 mile mark was on the bank of the creek and I came through in 6:45, very surprised to have been under 7 minute pace.

This last .65 of the out segment presented some of the steepest hills of the day.  Maybe some of the longest as well.  I was just under a mile behind the leaders and they came back at me. The course finally flattened out for the last quarter mile into the turn around point (where they were checking numbers and providing water/Gatorade).  Coming back I was able to see all the runners and where different people were behind me. Crossing the creek again I got both feet soaked! I ran the 5th mile in 8:10.  Part of me thinks that the 4 and 5 mile marks may have been a little off because of the major time swing but I also know that the 5th mile was tough.

I got back into the groove of running the hills, which became a little trickier now that there was oncoming runners to deal with.  The course was definitely wide enough for us to be running beside each other, it was like I mentioned earlier that in sections the course was significantly easier (and had less leaf cover) over a worn single-track area.  I continued running with the same group of guys, but we were also getting passed by individual runners occasionally, some of whom seemed to be flying by.  I went through mile 6 at 7:18 and was starting to feel it a little bit.

At this point I kept saying to myself that I had less than a 5K to go, it isn’t that far.  I took another Shot Blok and focused on catching/staying with the runners ahead of me.  I was slowly able to pass some runners and began to feel a little cramping.  It wasn’t too bad and I tried to run through it, but it did affect my stride and pace a little bit.  I took some water and tried to fight through.  At this point I started saying, this is shorter than Shadyside (2.64 miles), which is a piece of cake. I came through mile 7 at 7:15.

I had enough strength to charge up some of the hills, well at least charging up them faster than some of the others! It probably didn’t look too pretty as I continued to fight through the side cramp (it did go away, but I don’t remember when!) At one point I ran with a guy for a short while as he tried to pass me, letting him go when I caught the next guy. Somehow I missed the 8 mile marker, but knew that we were getting close to the end (which is the beauty of an out and back course) and started trying to pick up the pace a little. We ran back along the road and then back up the grueling hill that started it all.  Running across the top section I started picking up the pace for the final stretch. At the base of the hill (around 1/2 to go) my wonderful wife cheered me on.  I knew that Brian shouldn’t be too far behind me (we have a friendly rivalry at these races) and listened for her to cheer for him, so I could judge where he was. He seemed a safe distance back but then I began hearing the heavy breathing of someone and got scared.  I began stretching it out, knowing this was a long distance to try and kick. I crossed mile 9 at 14:54 which is a 7:27 pace for the 2 miles.

The runner who passed me wasn’t Brian, it was Patrick McCartney who I’ve met several times.  He pulled away from me a bit during this straight stretch and then I decided I wanted to try and beat him.  We began pushing the pace, ultimately running the last 100 yards or so at or near 100%.  This was an all out kick to the finish.  I tried switching on the afterburners and was able to pull out the “win.” I clocked the last .3 at 1:46 which is approximately 5:54 place, beating Patrick by 2 seconds and Brian by 10.

I am very pleased with my time and overall race.  We waited around for the awards and was very surprised to have won my age group.  Other Anderson runners did well in their age groups also. We weren’t able to stay around for the awards banquet which was being held to honor those in the fall-sub series and overall DINO race series.  I received 2nd place in my age group for the fall sub-series and 44th overall  in the standings.

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