Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sitka High Cross Country

"One, two, three SUN" we all shouted today as our cheer after practice! The Sitka world was a happy world today. Working in the schools the smiles were a virus. That virus however has been on the Sitka Cross Country team all season despite the rain and extremely tough workouts. For the past 9 weeks we have been running and training together. This weekend hopefully all their hard work will pay off when the team heads to Ketchikan for the region championship! One thing is for sure... they are ready! If they place in the top 2 they will be on there way to Anchorage for the state meet, and I don't doubt them for a second!

Who knew when I started running pre-season with them earlier this summer the team was going to become my virus! It has taken me right back to my high school CC years, the adrenaline, competitiveness, blood, sweat, and tears! It is addictive! They are an awesome team and I've been honored to be a part of their season! Yay Sitka High School Cross Country!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Klondike - Sitkan Twisted Style

Team Sitkan Twisted doing the wave! Shari quit picking your nose!

There is not much more in the world that I like more than running and summer camp! And well the Klondike run combined them both. It was like summer camp because you are with your friends for an extended period of time in close proximity staying up way too late eating food that makes your stomach hurt...

And it was like running on crack! We ran 112 miles for crying out loud!

Here is the story:

The adventure started early Thursday afternoon. We arrived at the ferry terminal a little after noon to head to Skagway, a city also located in Southeast AK with a population of about 1,000. After arriving in Skagway around noon the following day (yes the ferry system isn't very fast and we actually had to overnight on Emily's college buddies boat in Juneau Thursday night) we checked out the town. Well that was over about a minute later and we needed lunch, a campers favorite was served PB and J with a little bit of smoked salmon just because we are in Alaska and salmon is what we do here. After lunch we decided dinner might be nice so we carb loaded and came up for our plan of attack. We were about to begin a 112 mile race into White Horse the largest city and capital of the Canadian Yukon Territory. Well the race actually didn't start until 10 pm at night so we still had about 5 hours to kill since we ate dinner at 5 pm, so we laughed, decorated our vehicles, sang, played some music, shadow danced in the street because THE SUN WAS SHINING until the start.

Here is where the excitement began. Shari, not Sherry, our CAPTAIN oh CAPTAIN who I miss organizing my life, (can I hire you? - will pay in cookies) started us off. Then I ran the second leg, and Katie the third. We finished our legs around 1:30 in the morning. We were finished but there still were 7 legs to go. It was time for Polly, Emily, and Ben to get their run on while we headed to bed.

Polly is a story in herself. Who was Polly was the running joke of the weekend up to that point. She lives here in Sitka but no one on our team hand met her until the race. She was going to fly in and meet us in Skagway the day of the race. However there were some complications. Due to bad weather she was rerouted to Anchorage to get to Juneau, making what would have been a 27 minute flight an all day ordeal. The plan was she hopefully would make it to Juneau in time to catch the slow ferry to Skagway at 4 pm which would get her to Skagway, hopefully if nothing went wrong, (and everything goes wrong here in Southeast) at 11 pm 1 1/2 hours before she was suppose to run. Somehow we were suppose to find her at the start of leg 4, her leg, not knowing what she looked like. Would she make it was the question. The answer: Barely. When we radioed in to Emily and Ben a mile and half from the start of leg 4 she wasn't there. When we arrived 2 minutes later she was. She had 5 minutes to go to the bathroom, put on her number and begin her 13.1 mile leg. Way to keep us on our toes!

Finally Shari, Katie, Lucas, (our alternate and Katie's boyfriend) and I set up camp and went to sleep. 6 hours later, after Emily, Ben, and Polly finished their legs they came back to our camp and woke us up so we could go and cheer for the rest of the team. Emily, Ben, and Polly ran 43 miles between the three of them. Emily experienced Aurora Borealis on her run, Ben the sunrise. They also experienced no sleep! Thanks for taking one for the team guys!

So now Shari, myself, Katie, Lucas, Polly, Emily, and Ben were all in the Sitkan Twisted mobile off to cheer on our friends. By the time we caught up it was about 10 am and Brea had already run her leg. We caught our Sitkan Twisted teammates at the tail end of Allison's leg, who "is the sexiest woman in the world." Right Shari? Then Gregory was off and the cheerfest began. Gregory was definitely the most supported teammate. We drove and jumped out of our vehicles on the mile every mile while he ran! Pictured above is Sitka Twisted Cheering for Gregory (minus Gregory and Katherine, Allison's mom and the team mom, and Katie). And finally Arlo brought us home into White Horse 112 miles later. He was rocking his knife and had the hot sun beating down on his back. We finished in about 16 hours! Go team!

The drive was beautiful, the sun was high, and the fall colors were everywhere! As Emily put it "She just wanted roll around in the colors." A bike trip along the same trail might be necessary. Emily? Ben? Heang? Mal? Are there any biking friends out there?

Summer camp is good but this trip took the Carrot Cake (Ben that was for you)! See you there again Klondike 2009, Team Sitkan Twisted hopefully will remain intact!