Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all the Slugs


Sending best wishes to all past, present, and future Slugs. Over the past 20 years, You've brought a lot of joy to our hearts, and smiles to our faces. From the TSI Executive Council, Flatfoot Freddie, and myself... May God Bless you all.

Chief Slug Running Man
Phenix City, Alabama, USA

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Redeye 50k Trail Run

Sluggo's Alive and Well in the Commonwealth of Virginia !!!

January 1, 2009
8:00 AM
Triangle, VA

We will start at 8 AM. Real wussy. You can sleep in.

REDEYE 50K (13th Year) [NOTE: For many years, Team Slug, primarily Dan Grayson, Bill Sublett, and James Moore, put on the much-loved Redeye 50km on New Year's Day. Team Slug has allowed Gary Knipling and me to do it. So the Redeye is on. Unlike in the Team Slug days, the aid station will be totally unmanned and there will be absolutely no finishers awards. (Team Slug used to have creative, goofy finishers awards.) Otherwise it is the same. Remember that the tradition is to bring good, greasy food to share. --Anstr]

WHEN: 1 January 2009, Starting Time 8:00 a.m.

WHERE: Prince William Forest Park, Triangle, Virginia. Take the Triangle/Quantico exit (Exit 150-B) off I-95 (about 25 miles south of D.C.) and follow the signs to the park, which is just west of the freeway. Enter the park (right turn) and make the first left. Follow this road about 2 miles and turn left toward Turkey Run (watch for the sign). In about one half mile, turn right into Turkey Run Campground and follow this road to the parking lot at the end - this is the start/finish. You will need to pay the National Park Service entrance fee on the way out. We believe the fee is $5 for a car or $3 if you walk in unless you have a NPS pass. Note: If the weather bottoms out (Ice and Snow) and the Park Service closes the roads, we will meet in the parking lot near the park entrance by the visitor's center and work out a modified course so everyone can get some miles in.

More Info At:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fattest Butt UN-Postponed ???

Merry Solstice!

I have heard from some very unrealiable sources that there are plans for a Fat turnout at the Fattest Butt this year, even though it was officially postponed. I guess the call of the slug is strong in some or they are just way too crazy for words. I did my best to weave the tales of the pit viper, the hungry deer, even the stroeis of the pond monster cannot get them to turn away. I guess it would be futile to talk of the Blind Flying Squirrels, it seems they have made up their minds. I guess I will do my best to hold down the fort in your place. I promise to take down all the handrails on Saturday night, lay water down to make ice traps, and, of course, to taunt the pond monster. I am sure there will be some good stories out of this year's fattest butt. Have no fear, Down and Durty and I have plans to take the crazy horse and share the 2009 spoils.

Hope you have a great Holiday!

Prez Pokey Slug

ED: Some of our best memories have been made at Postponed Non-Events :) God Bless All da' Slugs at this Wonderful Tyme of the Year ... The Unofficial Black 100% Cotton TSI Shirt will be available for First Time Sluggos; Let me know what ya need, I'll diggem' out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

From Slug Candidate ... "Stick in Foot"

I will be there on the 4th at the Pond with bells on.
(to keep the snakes away and have Mrs Santa find me if I get lost)

But I will not be able to go to China.

I say we run this non-race, no leader event (with no directions) in formation in Honor of our Service Men and Women while our fearless leader is with his son.

Maybe wear something like camo or red white and blue bandana, M16 or carry a flag not that slugs have arms..after 31 miles.

Army boots and 50lb pack may be a bit much, but hey if you need a bigger challenge!!!

It will be kinda like that movie with Dan Murray only we will not have the Urban Assault Vehicle.

just an idea but I will be there if at all possible to attempt Slugdom.

Stick in Foot

ED: Of Course, all good Slugs know that bells attract the Diving Albino Pit Vipers ... Luckily, this time of year they're all Frozen!

The Unofficial unofficial Fattest Butt Non-Event('09 Version)

See Below; Derek reports that he will be on the Slug grounds on Saturday the 4th of Jan ... any attending first timers will receive the Official Slug Shirt, if Derek says you "earned" it. If you wanna alert him of your intentions, shoot me a note, and I'll forward it to him...Good Luck!

g'morning john,

yeah, i'll be there. i can promise that everyone there will be running faster than me--i'm shootin for an 8 hour finish (good aerobic basebuilding). maybe i should just curl up next to the hibernating pit vipers?
should be a good time. i think we'll have a nice collection of rabble rousers.

have a great time down in VA!

merry christmas and happy new years to you and your family!


Friday, November 28, 2008

Maybe the Grand Poo Bah is right ...

... and there is a conspiracy to rid the Ultra-world of Slugs .... I found this posted on a "Remove Unwanted Pests" site.

-Get rid of hideouts, like old pots, debris piles, and long grass, where slugs seek shelter when the weather turns sunny and warm.
-Break out the S.W.A.T. team! Squish slug eggs. Use a shovel to cut slugs in half or maybe you can even squash them barehanded. Or stomp on them.
-Drown the dastardly drunks in beer traps. Slugs will blissfully dive into partially filled cans of beer pushed into the soil, plunging to their deaths. Or cut a hole two inches above the bottom of a paper cup. Fill with one inch of beer and place near plants.

If we're pushed out; we'll turn to China. We've already infiltrated Beijing, and the National Chinese Slug leader estimates that the Inaugural Team Slug Marathon in Beijing will attract more starters than London. What this will do to T-shirt sales is unknown...However, we're definitely gonna need more volunteers at the Finish Line.

The Slugs and Barkley...

Good morning and Happy Thanksgiving Hitman!
Prior to my fun run at Masochist, I started toying with the idea of something really stupid--The Barkleys. I know there's NO way in hell I could ever finish the full monty, and highly doubtful that I could ever complete the 60 mile "fun run"...but the stories leave me intrigued, and I would really like to get a first hand glimpse of this mess in the next few years. Maybe one lap, maybe even two (let's not push it).

So I started following the links, and found the "entry form" which includes the following statement:

Requirements: Rigorous requirements must be met: NO women. They are
too soft. No children. They are too small. No Californians. This
race is not cool. NO soccer fans. Soccer sucks. NO marines. They
don't biodegrade. NO yankees. We don't want them buried here. NO
wimps, worms, slugs, or weenies. They don't got what it takes. And
most of all, NO Health Fascists. We encourage smoking during the

The yankee thing I might be able to get around. Maybe. I grew up north of Boston, and come from a strong lineage of swamp yankees (the worst kind). Not the pussy-footin', nail groomin' Boston Legal or St. Elsewhere Ed Begley Jr. lovin' types. I've lost my accent, and maybe lived South of the manson-nixon line long enough to at least file for ranks as a "Mid-Atlantic" denizen.

The Slug comment is kinda hard to get around. I know I'm on a list somewhere. Perhaps multiple lists. Worse, there's evidence in copies of UltraRunning that I've showed up at Slug events on multiple occasions. If they really decided to do a full background check, they'd know I'm actually a card carrying member with name AND title.

As long as this Mahoney guy is alive there's probably no hope of entry for me. So, I've gotta ask (and I know this is probably classified material)--how did da slugs get excluded from Barkely?

--Grand Poo Bah

Thanks for the nice note, Happy Thanksgiving to you / yours too! Really just Two Things....

1. I don't believe Slugs are excluded; in fact, I started a Lap there in '95, and I'm certain if ya review the rosters from years past, there's bound to be a Slug or Several squeezed in over the years. Don't ask about my personal experience "out there", and I respectfully will refrain from over-dramatizing the disaster that awaits any respectable "runner." However, somewhere on the Slug-site my Experience is Well-Documented.

2. Sometimes, when I'm Slugging-good, I get to thinking about it... About Barkley, the Lore and the Truth. After all, it is Do-able, and as I've heard Gary say, "All ya gotta do is not quit." So, Good Luck with That! If you are going; then, read all you can find about Frozen Head and past Dreamers, train until you bleed, and learn how to read a topographical map. With that behind ya, I'd say you've got a chance. But enter early, Gary don't like a Lot of Folks trampling around in his woods.

Happy Days!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fattest Butt 2009 is POSTPONED...

The TSI Fattest Butt is postponed. That weekend i will be accompanying my son back to Ft. Lee where he is stationed for AIT.
Of course the park is open; and any/all would still be welcome to come out and log the miles; i will award the Slug Shirt to any first times who decide to come. Happy Days, John.

CONGRATS JEREMY; graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Benning, Georgia on 12/13/2008.


Friday, November 07, 2008

King Slug Checks in....from Ohio :)

I am hosting first race. Because it is a "race" I did not see it fit to be a
true Slug event. I feel as though that there is some way to slugtize this
event and I am open for options of scaring away many of the runners when
they hear that King Slug is in charge. Check out the site and let me know. Love to place Team Slug as one of my
sponsors and to place the logo on the back of the shirt under logos section.
This will cost Team Slug one dried up bull frog from the pond so I can set
on my desk for future admiration. I figure when I get a real slug event I
will work with you on calling it the first Ohio Race.

But onto more important things:

But most importantly: I am prepared to offer Pokey Slug a comped entry to my
race April 19th, 2009 and would like to officially invite her if she is not
already signed up to run in Umstead again or some other adventure trail race
now that she has completed a 50 miler. This is only because she represented
the true meaning of a Slug in my humble opinion and after all she made UR
magazine. How cool was that?

Ok Ok, I need to clarify a few items of business. I have scraped and skimmed
enough pennies from my couch and drank one lass beer per week to save the

3 Jan 09 PHUNT50K Trail Dawgs in MD

4 Jan 09 TSI Fattest Butt 50K in DE
Suppose that I was to come and try to do two doubles will I be valued enough
to get a trucker hat if I drink a beer of your choice in my slug coffee mug
the last loop around the pond or maybe just drinking beer and not starting
the race....? So may options. If I planned such an adventure would there be
fear that the great state of DE would blow the bridge if they heard that
some Ohio Slug was venturing back into the 1st state?

Prez of Ohio Sluggos, (me and don)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Team Slug Field Trials in Beijing, China

Dr. John Coulter, recently elected Emperor of All the Chinese Slugs, shown in recent photo in Beijing. While he failed to qualify for the Olympic Marathon, he represented Team Slug very well in his valiant attempt.

Happy Days to All the Slugs, All OVER The World.
da' Hitman


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Mighty Empress Speaks...

from the Great Pacific Northwest;
and remember; no matter what she says...we'll write whatever we want. mostly, it will be partly true...

Hey Slugs-

how is it going......? well, the President of the Geoduck Slugs and I attempted to do the simultaneous 50K on your birthday. we even got up at
4:30 am....ate some poached goose eggs on toast...and headed out the door;

runnin' here on the west coast is much easier than the famed slug grounds on the eastern shore. how anyone ever finishes in delaware is beyond me. did anyone get bit by a rabid woodchuck this year???

Anyhoot- we stumbled / bumbled / and ginger brandied our way along...until finally, the Great Geoduck President said, " screw it ".... and finished at 18 miles only because we
got lost in "woodpecker" alley (Really) for 3 miles.... otherwise we
would have been right there with Pokey! damn Flicker Woodpeckers I
have the photo to prove we were on Flicker lane.... which very well
may have been.... Private Property !!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!

anyway, when I get a chance I will send the Flicker lane pics, and the cool
black slug I avoided smashing on my bike....

we miss all the sluggos except for Hitman; don't mention it too him, but i think he may be a trouble-maker.

From Washington State,

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Hey All...and Carl...

...if ya read this, shoot me an email at
i recently had a computer issue / involving mail and website...
and lost a lot of contacts.
Carl; Sorry bout missin' the 100; it went right over my head...
i wanted to be there!
Talk to ya Soon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hallelujah! January 3 & 4 ... a "Ring in the New Year Doing Something Really Dumb" weekend!

You know, it is nobody's fault but your own that people keep showing up, John...

TrailDawgs may run "fancy pants" events but -- we don't give away Trucker's Hats. And, the Triple Crown coffee mug is nice but not exactly a beer mug. And now that the Chief Delaware Slug declared (to guvmint officials, no less) that the runs are church fellowship events, you run the risk of attracting a better class of people.

See y'all on the trails,

Insane Pete

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fattest Butt set for Sunday, January 4th, 2009

Dear Hunt, Phil, Insane Pete...

Team Slug has chosen to quit advertising runs in the First State; we've already done the same in Florida, South Carolina, and Virginia.
We're not trying to expand operations; or entice more runners. In fact, we attempt to discourage participation at every opportunity.
Still, a handful of the Deranged continue to show. I understand coming once; the Shirt is Cool; but why anyone ever comes back is beyond me.

So we're not committed to any particular day. I've gone ahead and posted Sunday, January 4th on the site.

Keep in mind; The Fewer the Better. If it's Pokey, Me, Derek and Pete; and a bottle of Ginger Brandy...So it is.
More Booze for us.

And, remember TSI doesn't run "fancy pants" Trail Dawg events. No. We're basically just gonna line up and go. We're highly disorganized, and not likely to improve in the near future.
There will be No Aid, No Whining, No Fee... I might not even count the Laps right if I don't want ya back.
Even more; I might get drunk on Saturday and not even show up... But, the Run will go On.
There will be no application; because this will be a non-event; Ranger Rick really don't like Slugs.
I am not making this up; Just ask Pete...or John S...or Carl....We Are very difficult to Work with.

Finally, this is a Very Easy Run. Ten laps around a Pond. Mostly All Downhill. There is really No good Reason Not to Finish.
We keep it goin' fer the fifty staters; and those who just want to finish an "ultra"...and i use that term loosely.
Please tell any of your folks doing the PHUNT50K on Saturday, wanting to finish the Double to e-mail me at ....

Happy Days,

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Congrats to 2008 RBC 50K Finishers...


RBC 50K, Dover, DE, 9/27/08
11 Starters

1. A.J.Johnson 4:44
2. Ryan Setlock 4:59
2. Jason Setlock 4:59
4. Derek Hills 5:50
5. John Lysinger 5:52
5. Pat Starkey 5:52
7. Jim Simpson 7:01
8. Jeff Holloway 7:20

A.J. Johnson once again led the field through the driving rain, muck, and disorder on this swampy day in the Central Forests of the Great First State. While the Tree-Diving Pit Vipers appeared to be on hiatus; the Hornets were not. We had three runners stung, and several others chased to new PR's.

Special congrats to Ryan Setlock and Pat Starkey for completing their first ever ultramarathon. They each held their own, smiling and enjoying life, on a very messy day. Representing Russell B. Cheney himself; and hailing from the State of California, Mr.Jim Simpson ran a steady even pace. Immediately following the non-event, he grabbed a rain-soaked cheeseburger and pointed the landcruiser directly for Vermont, where he'll enjoy another 50K tomorrow morning. Jeff Holloway fell behind early; and was never challenged as he nabbed the coveted Crazy Horse Award.

Life is good in the First State, and we're thankful for the continued friendships that we share. Be patient with us as we navigate through Team Slug website issues. It's a well known fact that Slugs are Techno-Impaired. May be time to call in the Professionals. Hope to see some of you the first weekend of the New Year; as the Slugs again step into the Forbidden Forest in pursuit of a Fattest Butt finish...

Happy Days,


Monday, September 22, 2008

RBC 50 K on 9/27.

OK, we're here again; and nearly back to our roots. Expecting just a handful of hearty souls, and some wet weather. Appears a coastal storm is bearing down on our little part of the world; and Kent County has a bullseye on it. It's all good; Slugs LOVE Water!

Remember, this is not an organized, or official event; is not measured and will not qualify you for Boston. What it will do is give you a nice long run, with a few good folks; and if you're headed to JFK, a good buildup outing.

Please be at the Killens Pond Main Gate at 800 AM. Drive all the way into the back parking lot, and look around. Ten laps on the pond course will give you the opportunity to earn a Team Slug trinket; first timers a t-shirt. Will start by 830.

Aid will be sparse; please bring any food / medical stuffs / rain gear that you need to finish. Last Slug-Duck Wins!

Hope to see ya on Sat. john.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jeremy is at Basic Training;

If any of the olde folks would like to send him, or one
of his new best friends a postcard...

i'm sure he'd appreciate it. Most of you all remember the
fun of Basic.

Address is:

Harper, Jeremy 221
E. Co. 1/329th
5550 Leonard Drive
Fort Benning, Georgia


Nine Days to Go...

...til the RBC50K; and the entries aren't pouring in. But it's OK;
the Show Will Go On. Tenative Reports are surfacing that "The Great One"
is harassing the Hitman. This could be a very good year.
More details shortly.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Countdown is On...

The TSI 20th Anniversary Beer Steins are Ordered! Race information will be posted on this site in the next week to ten days. Lookin' forward to seeing a few of the Sluggos.
Happy Days,
flatfoot freddie

Sunday, August 31, 2008

NJ Sluggos present and accounted for...


Please sign up AJ Johnson of Seaville, NJ and Jeff Holloway of Marmora, NJ for the RBC 50K. We know we shouldn't come and dare the pond monster, but the lore of the stein is just too strong. Besides, I want to go back to the scene of my mishap about a mile into the 2008 Fattest Butt. To this day I look at the scar on my left knee and wonder what type of trail monster could inflict such a wound; and to think I was worried only about Flying Blind Squirrels, Rancid Hoofed Bovinian Deer, and the Great Striped Delaware Pit Vipers. We just have just one very important question: what special elixir do you request to anoint 'The Stein?" Looking forward to seeing you and all of the Slugs on the 27th.

AJ Johnson

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pokey appears in UR magazine...

...following in a long tradition of guest slug appearances.
check her out in the July issue on Page 16.


CONGRATS to the Top Slug in the First State!!!

happy days,

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

from my FAV empress :)

I started thinking OMG what if flatfoot freddie posts all I wrote.....???? NOOOOOOOO!!!!! SO I checked.... and was relieved.... I think I better put a label on the emails I am not sure I want to be shared with the entire world wide web :) Thank God for Flatfoot Freddie's quick review and block...

I am a slug.... and my legs will never allow me to be anything but a slug...... nor will my thoughts.... as I hate serious competition.... and all that that implies.... too friggin serious... and if you watch..... people are far too serious about the activity that is supposed to be for "Fun" and I cringe to know I spend money to run while people have no money for food, shelter, and safety..... seriously, I get quite upset and never want to take it too seriouslly, I am always internally battling with these thoughts.... I am pretty much on the boycott of paying to run unless the money will specifically benefit someone less fortunate.

Take care and we will send our new address..... it is a gorgeous house (we lucked out--- banana slugs and Geoducks were all there to make it happen).... you and Mary will have to come visit..... it is in Kingston, just 2 miles from the ferry.. from the house you can see the cascade range, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier! We have an open home to all our friends and when we say you are welcome to visit we mean it!

ED note: no matter what you send; ff will post whatever he wants (whether you wrote it or not :)...p.s. we absolutely WUV debbee, and always will...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I know, I know, I know...

...and the complaints continue to pour in regarding the block "flatfoot freddie" has put on blog comments. and most of the one's that get through, never see the light of day. slugs, it has to be this way; you have no idea who/what we're dealing with here. wrong-way charlie is still being closely watched by the cia/fbi/foreign services, and most everything he writes to tsi could easily be construed a threat to national security. the man has issues. and he's one of the more sane slugs; except for the time he was peeled off the white house (yes, the Real One) fence in his slug shirt (unceremoniously, losing his running shorts in the process)....very, unfortunately true, story... and, i have hundreds of those stories...though not all are absolutely true. but all are exactly as i remember...and i've lots of pics to prove it.

so life and time passes by. i get lots of emails ( from olde sluggos. most have become very goode at finding something else to do (besides slogging) on slug non-event days. and, i agree with them. i can think of no good reason to come back after you get the shirt. it's a widely known (ultra-world) secret that Team Slug is not really a running club. though we have put on a lot of non-events, and we have a lot of "Unofficial Chapters". rather, we're a philosophy of life. one that says, "slow down, walk a little, be nice, enjoy your days; smile some damn time, it ain't gonna kill ya." and once in a while, someone gets "it." they understand what we're saying, and feel how deeply we believe. maybe TSI would better be described as a CULT. a religion where one understands how incredibly precious each moment is, and one that believes in the goodness of all...particularly fellow Slugs :)

so are we losing dear friends john and debbee??? not really. rather, they'll take their pink flamingos and black Slug gear; load'it into a giant u-haul and point it west. and they'll always remember the slugs. always. and, some day; if they get lucky and get olde... they'll be out on a trail somewhere; creeping, bumbling, and stumbling; barely moving, aching from every joint, a little too fatt ... and realize, dang, da'hitman was right. we are slugs. we are ALL slugs...some us just didn't get their yet.

good luck getting there,

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coded Message for the Emperor...

...of all the Geoduck Slugs ....

MIT is looking for you! they're sending Rocky Beaver!
PACK FASTER, and head WEST...

over and out,
da' hitman...

Friday, July 11, 2008

From the Rise Up Runners...

Many thanks to the Delaware Slugs for their hospitality, enthusiasm, encouragement between laps, and for the lunacy to host a 50K event in the middle of June on the longest day of the year. If you ever get a super secret invitation to join in a Team Slug non-event, give it a go. Some great folks!

First FIVE Entrants for TSI's 2008 RBC 50K are:

1. Pokey, DE
2. The Grand Poo-bah, MD
3. Jim Simpson, CA
4. Annie King, GA
5. Kathy G, DE

Finishers will receive TSI's 20th Anniversary Beer Stein...
Register Soon; Slots will be limited to the "Whim of Flatfoot Freddie"

Happy Days,

da' Hitman

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I know some of the olde sluggos...

...are shaking their heads and rolling over in their graves. flatfoot freddie advertising a FIVE K on the slug site??? what in da' sam b.haile is goin' on. did da' hitman finally snap??? we all knew it was gonna happen :) listen up, olde and new friends and sluggos, we'd support anything the straubs decide to do. as they say out west, "they's good folkes."

if they wanna booze it up with dozens of delinquents, and some g.brandy on a sunday mornin' in the first state, while carrying plastic pink flamingos through an upscale neighborhood, pizzing off most of the neighbors, and requiring a guest appearance from barney the can bet your sweet arse i'll be there...

anywho, the Empress of the Geoduck Slugs sends along the following pic for all to fer sure, more pics of flamingoes will follow...


happy days,

flatfoot freddie

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Flocking Flamingo Farewell 5K

Hey all-
As you may or may not know we are moving back to Washington State. We will
leave at the end of July. So to bid farewell for now.... We thought it would
only be appropriate to throw a 5K farewell... The flocking flamingo is ,
well... I will explain that on Sunday.... You must run with a flamingo or in
pink..... Be the flamingo... Be the flamingo...

Here are the details.....
A Flocking Flamingo Farewell 5k and BBQ POTLUCK on Sunday at 11 am... Walk
or run the 5k followed by food and hanging out.....

We will have some burger and hot dogs.... Some drinks
You pick a dish and bring some of your favorites...

We will miss you all!

Run on

Debbee and John Straub
Empress and Emperor of TSI, Geoduck Division

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Let the madness begin...

Editor's Note: This essay pirated from Michael Valliant's website (The 4-1 Run) without permission. It was definitely Derek's fault.

Let the madness begin...the start of the Team Slug Booty Rumble 50K around Killens Pond in Delaware. Derek Hills (dual citizenship with Team Slug and the Rise Up Runners) leads the charge wth RUR's Lori Callahan and Mike Valliant in the mix. Photo courtesy of Team Slug.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN...this contest will be for ten rounds with each round lasting 3.1 miles of runnable singletrack. The heat will climb to around 88 degrees and the humidity will make it seem worse. If it any time you become unconscious or your corner throws in the towel, you will probably be offered a beer, but you will not have completed the Booty Rumble 50K.

ROUNDS 1 through 5

Bob and weave...the first loop around Killens Pond we get our bearings, learn the course, as first Derek Hills leads the way, then relinquishes the lead after a re-routed trail stymies him. Beautiful course, open trail, some roots, some wooden bridges through muddy spots, running by some cabins, then by a boat ramp and a 1/4 mile of road before looping back to the check-in and aid station.

The Delaware Slugs are great people--ultra runners and ultra running enthusiasts, who have battle scars and stories from various races, and are friendly, gracious, and encouraging on the trail and at the picnic tables.

Pace seems easy, speeding up at times, and finishing each 5K loop in under 30 minutes. 10K in 55 minutes or so. Runners are spread out, but there are still a few of us running around each other. I start thinking greedy and say to Lori, "You know, if we keep this pace, we might finish in under 5 hours..."

Lori is more reasonable (and right), "And if we don't, that's okay too..."

Of the Easton/Rise Up Runner contingency, Derek has moved ahead a bit, and Lori and I zig-zag through the first three loops or so, with her quicker through the aid station, and me catching up to her on the trail. We're in the aid station at the same time after three, and I run four at a good clip to catch up, but wind up catching up to Derek, who says his legs feel like bags of cement. I'm feeling good, so I move on ahead. Turns out Lori had lingered a bit longer at the aid station to adjust gear. Finish loop 4 (20K) in under two hours. As I am leaving the aid station to start loop 5, I see her heading in.

Loop 5, still feeling strong, coming in under 2:30 for 25K. Half-way there. The shoes I am testing for Trail Runner mag have been rubbing funny, so I switch to a more trusty pair of Inov-8s I have at the aid station and my feet feel lighter. Legs feel good, stomach is intact, in the back of my mind, the 5 hour 50K is still whispering.

ROUNDS 6 & 7

Loop 6 is more of the same, though my mind begins to feel like it's in the rinse cycle--lap-happy and on auto-pilot, but still functioning and not screaming at me. Finish 30K in under 3 hours.

Loop 7 has me a little dizzy. Still running, but not strong. Man, it must be getting hot or something! Got some Shot Bloks down, but stomach isn't happy any more. Shuffle in for 35K, fallen off the pace of the previous six loops, but, hey, it's another loop in the books!



How'd I end up on the mat? The Killens Pond's Pondside Trail doesn't pack a wallop. It doesn't have a knockout punch. More of a glancing blow. What's going on?

Tank is empty. Stomach is on strike. Legs are not cramping, but the mind/body no longer wants to make them run. So I walk...most of the loop. I expect Lori will be coming by me this loop, and she does. She's fairing a bit better, steady, working with a 10:1 run/walk cadence. She's got momentum and pushes on ahead.


Dizzier. No desire for food, stomach won't allow any. It's a casual race. Most folks were doing a few loops, or the 25K. 40K is all I've got in me today. It's a fun run...and I am relegated to walking. I'll just walk the rest of this loop and call it a day. Drink some water, chill on the picnic table, wait for my stomach to feel better. Is it really a DNF on a fun run? I'm okay with a it's hot...I'm done. I'll just get around the loop. Pick it up to a shuffle.

I pull in to the aid station and I'm done. No will to keep moving. I sit on the picnic table, grab some ice for the back of my neck and sit down. I drink a little water.

Fella comes over who'd run a few loops. Just ran the Skyline 40 miler the weekend before. Had to powerhike the last section because of stomach issues. Had thrown up for 35 miles at the Massanutten 100-miler before dropping. Didn't want two DNFs in a row, so made himself finish Skyline. Before that had ran well at the Umsted 100, but hadn't been able to get his stomach right since.

"Just two more loops," he says. "You can just walk 'em to bring it home if you have to."


I'm up. Sitting helped. The ice helped. Water for the last loop has calmed my stomach. I take an S-Cap and drop a NUUN tablet and ice in the water bottle, to make sure cramping doesn't become a factor. At some point while sitting, my legs found there way back. I'm running again leaving the aid station.

ROUNDS 9 & 10

For the second five loops walkers, campers, fishing folks have been laughing, shaking their heads seeing me go by again. Must be a sight! My legs are working again and I'm able to run. For less than another 10K now, I know my stomach will cut me some slack. A little trail weary, but passable. I finish loop 9 and tell the good folks at base camp I better do a "cool down" loop.

As I'm leaving the aid station, I see Derek coming in. "Last lap?" he asks. "Last lap." "Alright!"

Loop 10 is like 9--running, not fast, but running most of it. The road around the pond, past the public ramp is a welcome landmark, knowing it's pretty well finished. I find enough foot speed to make myself look like a runner again down the stretch to finish. Some cheers and a whole lotta smiles. 50K (31 miles) finished in 5:48. Lori is in already (and much quicker to recover), clocking in at 5:40, and not five minutes after I sat down, the cheers picked up as Derek came across the proverbial line in 5:52.


A little unorthodox for a race report, but I'm not sure what is orthodox about running 31 miles in the middle of June :) Team Slug, Delaware welcomed us with open arms and gave us everything we needed to gitterdun' on a hot day. An exceptional (and exceptionally funny and kooky in a good, ultra running way) group of folks, who know how to have a good time.

They've got a more holistic race report, and a bunch of pictures that sum up the day in images over on the Booty Rumble 50K race page. There's also a quick shout-out of thanks and congratulations to Lori and Derek on our Rise Up Runners blog.

Mentally, the Rumble was one of the more difficult runs I've done, not for the difficulty of the course, but for the ease of stopping at the end of every loop once you get tired! For me, point-to-point, out-and-back, and even a bigger loop, make for an easier race, even with tougher terrain.

Having said that, the experience was great. The people were fantastic. And I've stretched out the soul again to see what's in some of the corners that don't get used until/unless you push yourself past where you are comfortable.

That said, when ultra running and I cross paths, I think I prefer it to be in the spring, fall, or winter. Isn't summer supposed to be for vacations? ;)

Michael Valliant

Friday, June 27, 2008

Western States Cancelled.

35th Western States Endurance Run has been Cancelled.
Dear Western States Runners,

It is with deep regret that we announce today that the 35th running of the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run has been cancelled, due to the unprecedented amount of wildfires that have struck northern California in recent days and the health risks that have been associated with these wildfires. The Board of Trustees of the Western States Endurance Run has consulted with many of our local and state race partners, including the U.S. Forest Service and the Placer County Air Pollution Control District, in coming to this decision. We apologize to our runners for any inconvenience this decision has created.

The race's organizers are currently working on a revised schedule of runner activities for Thursday and Friday in Squaw Valley, and these details will be made available soon. Although there will be no race for the first time in our 35-year history, we still wish to make this experience as meaningful as possible for our runners. Activities will include annual events such as runner check-in for goodie bag pickup on Friday morning, the pre-race briefing and raffle on Friday afternoon, the showing of Western States documentaries on Friday night, and a special gathering of runners commemorating the race's start on Saturday.

Since the beginning of more than 840 wildfires statewide, 312 wildfires in northern California and more than 3,200 lightning strikes in the Tahoe National Forest alone on June 21, the race's organizers have worked closely with a variety of local, county and state agencies in determining the best course of action for our race. It has become apparent that given our race's paramount concern - the safety or our runners - holding this year's race would pose too great a risk to our runners, to our aid station personnel and to our volunteers. Given the close proximity of at least two fires that are within two miles of our race course and a critical access road, as well as the deteriorating air quality stretching from our start in Squaw Valley to Auburn, Calif., the board has determined that cancellation, rather than postponement or the use of an alternative course, represents the safest and most prudent decision for our 2008 event.

Our decision was based on three factors:

1. Proximity of the fire to the race course, which has the potential to impact the safety of runners, aid station personnel and volunteers at any point during the race.

Fire projections indicate that the Westville Fire has the potential to reach the Foresthill Divide Road by the weekend; in addition, the Peavine Fire could reach Last Chance and Mosquito Ridge Road, possibly compromising access in and out of these areas. In a statement, Jan Cutts, District Ranger for the American River Ranger District, said, "In addition to the potential direct impact by the fires, (the race's cancellation) is based on safety concerns surrounding the increased number of vehicles on the road and congestion associated with the Run. We see hundreds of vehicles on the Foresthill Divide Road and Mosquito Ridge Road for this event each year. That's just too many additional vehicles when we've got fire-fighting equipment and personnel using the same roads for fire suppression operations. … Safety is our overriding concern and we felt we could not provide a safe environment for this year's Run because of the unprecedented fire activity in the area."

2. Air quality deterioration.

Placer County Air Pollution Control District officials have issued an air-quality advisory. Air quality specialists with Placer County are advising individuals to reduce their exposure to the unhealthy air, and that includes vigorous outdoor activities. Medical representatives from the Western States Board have consulted with several physicians regarding their expert opinion on running a 100-mile trail race through rugged country through such unhealthy air; the consensus has been that such an activity would not be recommended, with the potential for serious health risks - even for the most highly trained of athletes. As a point of reference, a high level of pollution is 35 micrograms of material; in Auburn on Wednesday the level was 10 times that amount, according to figures from Placer County. In addition, Placer County Air Pollution Control District officials have characterized the air conditions as extremely hazardous and the worst recordings the area has had in more than 10 years.

In a statement, the Placer County Public Health Officer, Air Pollution Control Officer and Director of the Office of Emergency Services, all concurred with the decision to cancel this year's run:

"The current situation in Northern California with respect to poor air quality and active fire danger is unprecedented. Within Placer County there are three active fires burning in the American River watershed, two of which have potential to impact the Western States Trail directly. These fires, as well as ones burning outside of the American River watershed to the west and north are creating unhealthy smoke concentrations throughout the foothills. This has necessitated county public health officials to issue advisories recommending a curtailment of voluntary outdoor activities that include strenuous physical exertion. These recommendations include reducing exposure to smoke." Added Tom Christofk, Placer County Air Pollution Officer: "The widespread smoke throughout Northern California is forecasted to remain as long as the wildfires continue to burn and the weather conditions do not substantially change. The poor air quality conditions being experienced in Placer County are expected to persist through the weekend and impact elevations from the valley to Tahoe. High particulate matter concentrations affect respiratory and cardiovascular systems negatively, and I concur with the decision to cancel the Run from a public health perspective as we have been issuing health advisories recommending the limiting of outdoor physical exercise until conditions improve."

3. Safety of our runners.

For 35 years, the Western States 100 has been predicated on our runner's safety. As stewards of the race, the Western States Board has always recognized that running 100 miles over snow, through high elevations, into infernal canyons and through the dark of night can pose great challenges for even the most skilled of runners. Couple the challenging nature of our run with the existing combination of close proximity of wildfire, potential volatile fire activity that could cut off key access points to the course as well as some of the most unhealthy air the region has seen this decade, and the decision was made in recognition of our preeminent goal - the safety of our runners.

For all of you, today's news is disappointing. Since the lottery was held in December, you have trained with remarkable diligence and focus to get to this day. You have dreamed big and made countless personal sacrifices to prepare for one of the greatest days any trail runner can ever have. As a group, the Western States Board would like to commend you for your dedication and devotion not only to the preparation that is required for our race, but to the community of trail runners of which we are all a part. You are members of a special group, one that relishes challenge, constantly strives to improve the limits of what is believed possible, and seeks the special kindred spirits of others who revel in the beauty of our sport. We have been honored to have your name as part of our race's start list this year.

We would be remiss if we did not publicly thank the men and women of the American River Ranger District, particularly Jan Cutts and Ed Moore, for their consultation and constant flow of updated information regarding this very challenging fire situation. The City of Auburn, City Manager Bob Richardson, and officials from Placer County, in particular Tom Christofk, Placer County Air Pollution Control Officer, and Dr. Richard Burton, Placer County Public Health Officer, have also been invaluable sources of information and advisement. Thanks to all of these trail partners.

In the coming days, we will announce details regarding entries for next year's race, which will be determined in a fair and equitable manner. It should be noted that per our race rules, all race entries are non-refundable.

Thank you again for your participation and interest in the Western States 100. We hope that we will see you in 2009.


Tim Twietmeyer
Western States Board President

Greg Soderlund
Race Director

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hey Slugs...we can't make this stuff up...

Or, Reflections from Saturday's Booty Rumble Slug Run...

from race winner Dave "The Viper" Groff....

"I've heard it all before. The pre-race briefing where the RD warns you about all the hazards of ultrarunning and the dangerous flora and fauna that may be encountered on the course. Delaware Striped Pit Vipers? Yeah, right. Extremely agressive? Sure, okay. Only lost 3 runners to them over the years? Okay, okay (those estimates are always high anyways). Lets go already.

Being my first run with the slugs I was a bit skeptical about the over-dramatic briefing but let me assure you Delaware Striped Pit Vipers are real! Oh woe to the Unbelievers!

About half way through the second lap a DSPV in search of a snack launched itself from a tree and landed squarely on John's shoulders. He was wearing the thing like a boa and screaming like a little girl until he saw me coming up the trail so he grabbed the beast by the tail and flung it to the ground and did his best impression of a war dance. The serpent came at us with fire in it's eyes and it's fangs dripping venom. Now instead of just a snack he'd have a nice meal.

Now it's a well known fact (apparently not known by yours truly though until after the horrific encounter) that DSPVs are attracted to unsuspecting ultrarunners wearing white. Damn my luck!

But it's also a well known fact (but again not by yours truly) that DSPVs are mortally afraid of tie-dye. As I reached for a twig in a futile effort to defend myself from certain doom the hideous creature caught a glimpse of my ever-present trusty tie-dyed bandana on my right wrist. Immediately the beast wilted, all fight gone, and took off in the other direction like it had grown a set of legs (not slow Slug legs though, more like roadrunner legs). We were saved!

Every runner has their superstitions - mine is my trusty worn bandana. DSPV repellant, emergency shelter, fine cloth napkin or snot rag, tourniquet or doo rag, I never run an ultra distance without it."

Dave (insert slug name here) Groff

Saturday, June 21, 2008

TSI Booty Rumble 50K


Ms. Pokey, President of all the Delaware Sluggo's, is pleased to announce that the Inaugaural TSI Booty Rumble was held today in the Central Slug Swamps of Delaware. Eleven Starters toed the line; led home by David Groff of New York in 5:11. On the women's side, Lori Callahan of Maryland led the pack in 5:40. It was Ms.Callahan's very first ultra-distance run. Congrats to all Starters and Finishers; full results and pictures are posted at

Please register early at for the Fall Run.
Slug finishers will receive the 20th Anniversary Team Slug Beer Stein.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Team Slug International Booty Rumble 2008

Confirmed Victim's for 2008 Booty Rumble
Team Slug Supersecret Training Grounds
(The Swamps of Central Delaware)
June 21, 2008

At least 25K
Da’ Prez Dover, DE
Linda Gallagher Port Matilda, PA
Heather Valochvic Vermont
Andrea Berninger Elizabeth City, NC
Debbee Straub Townsend DE

Grand Poo-Bah Easton, MD
Eddie Joe Chester Springs, PA
John Straub Townsend, DE
Landy Cook Easton, MD
Lori Callahan Easton, MD
Michael Valliant Easton, MD
Dave Groff Erieville, NY
Anthony P., NY

Esteemed Race Director “The Motivator” Lisa Whazzup Walton
Super Secret Special Guest- Well it wouldn’t be a secret if I told you!


Monday, June 09, 2008

Last Call from Sista Pokey...

Last Call for the Booty Rumble- Haven't nailed down a final count, but looks to be about 12 possible victims... Orders for the Xtra special booty rumble shirts are going out June 10th, I am sure you wanted one. What size would you like? I'll get you a list of names and locations of the brave souls. Looking forward to seeing you, I hope all is well-Sister Pokey

p.s. Official Slug e-mail .... ....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Team Slug in Europe...

We know nothing, and even if we did, we wouldn't post it...


Slugs in Europe ROCK !!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For the Record; TSI denies ....

any official involvement in recent "illicit moon pie activities" in Illinois. Article below refers to olde Slug that was ex-communislimed in 1995. TSI declines to go into detail, but it is a fact that this feller was involved in the infamous Coconut-covered marshmallow attack on Ranger Rick at Seashore State Park in the Fall of 1994.

King Slug
Columbus, Ohio.

Slug held in alleged Moon Pie attack

May 26, 2008


GALESBURG, Ill. -- Police in Galesburg say a homeless man is spending the holiday weekend in jail after allegedly attacking an 74-year-old man with a box of Moon Pies.

The elderly man told police he was on his way out of a dollar store on Friday when he felt something striking him repeatedly in the back. He said he turned around and saw that 59-year-old Michael Wojcik, wearing only a black Slug-shirt, was hitting him with something inside a yellow plastic bag.

The victim went back inside the store, and Wojcik followed him, whereupon the staff called police. Officers determined that the weapon was a one-dollar box of Moon Pies, which they confiscated as evidence before taking Wojcik to the Snail County Jail on a battery charge.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sluggs 1st and 3rd at Keys 100...


Big congrats to Alisa Springman (23:02:23) and Yen Nguyen (26:32:53), each olde sluggos; who went to the Florida Keys 100 Mile Run, and came away with First and Third Overall . Absolutely incredible!!! Check it out at;

Key 100 Results

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Law Enforcement Memorial Run

All Slugs;
Hope all is well with you. Just wanted to let you know that I sent you a souvenir from an upcoming Law Enforcement Memorial Run that I will be doing next week. We start in Philadelphia on Monday, and end in Washington DC at the Law Enforcement Memorial. We will be running down Route 13 in Delaware sometime on Monday I believe, we have to stop in Wilmington first. Anyway, I just wanted to send you a shirt from the run. Hope to see you and the rest of the Slugs soon. If you scroll down on my blog you can read about last years run.
AJ Johnson

ED: AJ's Blog link can be found on this page in the Sluglinks. Please read about a great run and a great cause, from one of New Jersey's finest Slugs.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Pond Water is Tastee...

Pokey Slug,

I have to officially protest the timing of your fine event. I am rather upset that I was not able to utilize my god given talent of developing illogical excuses of why I can not be there. Normally, TSI events are held on dates that I have absolutely nothing going on and I have to plan reasons to hide my fear of being one of those missing runners, forced to eat cake, drive across a freaking large bridge or even to drink that pond water The Hitman calls aid station materials.

While I will be attempting the Mohican 100 I wanted to make sure that is is well advised that I will do my 50k in Ohio slug style.

King Slug

Editor's Note: Just a quick liability disclaimer (TSI is not responsible). Drinking the pond water, or eating Hitman's cake is done at your own risk. While some have tried it; and miraculously gone on to finish, it is usually accomplished with severe, or even dangerous complications. You drink this parasitic stuff and you'll be prayin' for giardiasis. In fact, rumours remain that "Wrongway Charlie" continues to suffer DT's related to some First State Swamp Water. Additionally, The missing runner claim is probably not fair. We've not actually ever lost anyone...but, there is a fair chance that some may tried to wade through one of the sucking muddholes; lost a shoe, a major article of clothing, or a body part, and chose not to finish. Then they hop in their buggies, and limp on back to from where-ever they came. Naturally we never hear from them again.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

TSI Booty Rumble...approaching quickly!!!

June 21st, 2008 8:30 am Delaware's World Famous Slug running grounds. Gates open at 8am and the park closes at Dusk.In staters it'll coast $3.00 to get in, out of towners $6.00.

We have 7 confirmed victims, leaving us 9 slots for other takers. There is a 25K and a 50K, only 50Kers will be able to purchase the world famous Black Slug Shirt. All participants, however, can purchase, a one of a kind Booty Rumble Shirt that is being designed by a famous street artisit, Scrappy McG. Those who want shirts will have to pre-order no later than June 1st and the cost of those shirts will be 12 dollars. Remember that this is a toal nonevent, so don't go saying anything to Ranger Rick about a "race".

Also, we don't want any fancy fast runners, so don't break 4:00 for the 50K, we will release the hungry blind squirrels on you. No complaining or we'll throw you to the pond monster. Please confirm your victim status to Prez Pokey Slug at . A List with names will be posted shortly.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Never give up on Anyone ... Never !!!

Many of you know that I'm working as a mental health counselor, and spend most of my days talking to others about their lives; their thoughts, dreams, and issues. A vast majority of these folks are chronically mentally ill, and often cast aside in the sleek, ultra-modern, fast-paced world that we share. They are often confused, distressed, or even outright psychotic. Wandering through their days, lost in the confusion of our modern existence. And yet, through all this despair, I'm often confronted with joy, peace, and love. Pure hearts, sharing wonders that most of us take for granted. A sunny spring day, or an afternoon thunderstorm. Small snippets of wisdom, giant desires to be heard; and believed in. Such is my life today. Keeping the faith, in all of humanity around me. Sharing time and space with so much beauty, so much kindness. I love this season, a time of change. For friends, olde and new; I treasure each of you, and hold for all a special place in my heart. Enjoy your days, time is precious. j.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pokey's First Fifty-Miler !!!

Friday night was a big blur of seeing everyone, meeting some new people, and being a little nervous for my first 50. I was in luck, my two best friends come down to NC to help crew for me. It really would make a difference during the race.

The start of the race came way too soon. One minute we were laughing and joking, the next the gun went off. I started off walking and was quickly passed by many people. I walked a good portion of the first 3 miles, out to the airport spur, although my legs really wanted to run. After the 3 mile point, I started running the flats and downhill, saving the walking for the uphill. I made my way through the muggy morning and found myself at Aid Station 2. They were whipping up some wonderful PBJs and I had half a sandwich. I got out quickly and was moving well. Towards mile 9, I met up with two guys, one who was running his first 50. I quickly fell into pace with them and we continued our first loop.

I had discovered around mile 10 that my socks were getting holes in them and knew I needed to change them before I got a blister. As we came into mile 11 area, I saw a lot of friendly faces Meri, Down and Durty Slug, Ethel, Keith, John, Rob, and Carl to name a few. Down and Durty Slug told me that I was moving faster than I had thought, which was good, so I slowed it a bit. I came into the cabin area and my crew cheered me along. I yelled to them that I needed socks and the blister guards. I made my way up to the timing station, stopped into the aid station. I quickly made my way back to the cabin to change the socks and do some pre-blister care. I could feel a hot spot on my heel from the hole, so I wanted to take care of it as soon as possible. That done, I had some coke, got lots of encouragement from my friends and I was off!

I started out on loop two and caught up with the guys and we made out way out on the airport spur. I might mention that we didn’t even make it through our first loop before we were lapped by some of the leaders? It was really motivating and nice to get to see those frontrunners. We continued on a run the downhill and some of the flats, but call slope when it goes a little uphill. The loop was filled with good conversations and we made it to the aid station where I had some more PBJ, some bagels with cream cheese and some snickers.

The rest of the loop was uneventful and I felt pretty good coming into the start finish. I had a cheeseburger, went to the cabin and had some coke, and some encouragement. The girls were wonderful and had news that Down and Durty Slug was running well and looked strong. I started out on loop 3 and was moving at a good clip. The rain started during this loop, but it was warm and a light drizzle, so I didn’t grab my rain gear yet. The guys caught up to me on the airport spur and before I knew it, we were at aid Station 2. I had some more bagel, another burger, and some dew. Then off into uncharted water for me, more miles than my longest run was on the horizon. Much laughter and a good pace later, I was back at the start/finish, having a hot dog, getting a picture with Tiney Broken Hiney slug (Andrea) and then to the cabin. I changed my socks again, new shoes, and got on some night garb. Out for Loop 4

I caught up to Down and Durty Slug while he was coming out of the airport spur. He was moving fairly well, and seemed to be in good spirits. My group was slow going, but we were moving. Around mile 44 my mental wheels started to come off. I really felt like quitting and was thinking that the aid station had chairs I could sit in. I was having some serious motivation issues, which the guys tried to talk me out of. I was just exhausted and mentally shot. Every step took an iron will and I had to constantly fight the urge to stop and fall over.

During this time we come upon Down and Durty Slug, who was moving slow and was very hurt. He let us know he was dropping due to calf/it band issues at the aid station and for us to keep going. I expressed my total dislike of my situation at the time and pressed on. The sight of the aid station was somewhat of a boost, but the pizza and mountain dew was the real treat. The pizza was magic and a few minutes after wolfing it down I felt revitalized. We were still moving slow, but the end was near. At one of the water points, I stepped off to the side to water the plants. I felt something stinging on both of ankles, but figured it was mosquitoes and kept moving.

Before I knew it we were at the last water stop. I was so excited, I couldn’t believe I was really going to finish. I had several Kitkats and peanut butter cups and up the hill we went. We finally made it to the 11 mile marker and I was ready for the finish. The last 1.5 miles seemed to drag on forever and I was never happier than seeing the gate to turn into the final .5 mile stretch. I reached that point and started moving faster, the end was in sight. I told the guys I’d see them at the top and went through the deep mud. I mustered up everything I had and made a dash to the top of the hill. There were cheers, hugs, and it felt good. Scratch that, it felt great. I finished in 17:20 and some seconds. While it wasn’t the fastest time, I thought it was close enough to a crazy horse that I can still keep my Pokey slug name.

Oh and the “stinging” on my legs? Fire Ants, that’s right, got lit up by the fire ants.

Pokey Slug

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dawgs / Slugs Crossbreeding ???

...say it ain't so; thanks to John Straub for the Umstead update; still awaiting Queen Pokey's comments; happy days, hitman.

Just a quick note to congratulate everyone who was down at Umstead, whether they finished the hundred, finished the fifty, just started the race and decided to call it a day early, or were just there to pace and support the rest of us fools running around in the rain…

There were several people down there with ties to Delaware (TrailDawgs and Team Slug – but with Delaware being so small there appears to be some cross-breeding going on…) that I want to point out:

Carl Camp – another 100 mile finish for one of the toughest runners you will meet. Even hypothermic (from what it looked like to me…) he just kept going and going and going, this guy is a machine…

Pete McLaughlin – His first 100 miler! As Stumpy pointed out, an inspirational movie could be made about him, and to see his family down there supporting him through the entire thing was great. He was even able to scope out a potential son-in-law for 50 miles (talk about a way to get your girlfriends, uh, I mean, “friends”, Dad to like you – that is dedication), maybe this can be elaborated in the blog too! Pete was one of the first people I ran with in Delaware at the Phunt Run in 2006 and it was great to see him finish!

Pokey Slug (a.k.a Ann Thrax) – A great first 50 mile finish! Battling all the way, but was able to enlist a couple of helpers to try and Crazy Horse the finish…

Down and Durty Slug – A solid 50 mile finish just, even with still having a tan line from the cast on his leg…

King Buckeye Slug – A quick 50 mile jaunt to sandwich between two 100’s – Mohican will be fine!

Scott Hodukavich - cheering, pacing and supporting everyone of us down there – Now that you have had a taste of the madness which one are you doing this year???

Also, I had a great pacer from NC:

Banker Boy – thanks for pacing me the last two laps and keeping the adrenaline going!

As for my run, the planets must have aligned and it was just a good day, with great people. I have been able to learn from everyone I run with and apply these lessons on every run I do . Specifically I want to thank Sniper for his advice on how to run Umstead – thanks again Dave.

And for anyone who is interested in running South of the Canal (I know a bunch of you will be at BRR 50 on Sat…) this weekend – there are two opportunities:

1. Saturday - Appoquinimink River Association 5K trail run at St. Andrews – registration and info at: ARA 5K Registration - Active or Appoquinimink River Association

2. Sunday – FREE Marked 5K or ~20K Townsend run from my house (mostly road…) BBQ following the run…

See you on the trails soon,

John Straub

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Pokey finishes fifty @ Umstead.

Just received a phone call from Pokey.
She finished the 50 in a sweet 17+
I am so VERY PROUD of her;
what an incredible accomplishment...

No doubt, more details / pics are coming.
Huggs from da' Sluggs,

Monday, March 24, 2008

Team Slug E-Mail Change

Sluggs and Sluggettes;

Please be advised that the Team Slug e-mail address has been changed. I'm not gonna post it on here; because, it appears the "bots" found it when it was posted on the TSI Website; and filled my inbox with all kinds of gobbledygook. However, most of y'all remember what it was, it had been the same for nearly ten years...The "only change" is take the "One" out! Hope the spring is going well for all.

Happy Days,

Monday, March 10, 2008

Congrats to Sistah "Poke"

Dear Bro "Da,"

Hoping that all is well with you in the flats of central Delmarva.

I am well, although disappointed that travel overseas caused me to miss
both the Geo Washington's Birthday Marathon and the Seneca Greenway
Marathon/50K. I am especially chagrined by the latter, since I was not
there to run with Sistah "Poke" and congratulate her coming over the
finish line.

I have since tried my best to redeem myself by completing the Lower
Potomac Marathon, paying my penance by running a good part of the
distance with a head-wind as stiff as the drinks quaffed by some of our
fellow bros and sistahs in Slugdom. Whether that suffering will carry
any weight with Poke, I cannot say.

Since I do not have her email address (and don't know whether she will
even communicate with her bro for not being there at Seneca Greenway),
please pass along my Sluggish congratulations and promise that - one of
these days - we'll actually COMPLETE the same race. Regrets and
congrats (to Poke) and regards to you both, Bro "Sir SC"

Monday, March 03, 2008

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail Marathon/50K

Hope all is well with you. had a great time at the race and tried to crazy horse the marathon, but had some stiff competition. It was like racing Eugene "Bring it" or Miguel "last one standing" Gomez. It was a fight, but in the end I just wasn't able to hang on. So I had a beer and some ribs and called it a night. It was a great race, highly recommend it for all. Plus it had some mud and you know how much I love mud!

Friday night I made my way over to Montgomery County Maryland to settle in for my first time running this event. I used to live in this area and would run on parts of this trail sometimes. It was a different time in my life then and I can't believe I was back running form where I used to live, to about where I used to work. 4 years does change a lot of things.

5:35 am comes way too soon and I get my gear on and prepare to drive to the finish area and meet up with Down and Durty Slug, aka Durt, so we can ride the bus to the start together. The temp isn’t too bad, but the wind is fierce. I was glad I had plenty of layers on. We are dropped off to registration and the start line and get our numbers. While in line I her someone Yell “turtle” which is one of my many monikers. It is KC from Kickrunners who recognized me from an incident at JFK involving a certain “knighted” slug and pictures of said slug’s, ahem, cheeks. I then saw the NJ Lawyer clan who made quite a Splash at TSI Fattest Butt who were in great spirits.

Line up for the start came and off we went. D&D slug hung with me for a bit, but true to Wrong Way Charlie’s teachings, I quickly found my way to the back of the pack. I ran with KC for a bit and finally was left to my own slug devices at the back of the pack. I found my slogging pace and quickly found myself oozing through mud and such. The trail was quite pretty and I enjoyed my time on the trail. After a few miles, I started to catch up to some other runners, one being the Lovely Miss C from Colorado, two weeks after her Tokyo Marathon finish. I started to run and chat with her, enjoying these moments that only seems to happen on the trails. Those fun times with new friends who have wonderful tales and great insight.

As we headed over one of the road crossings, we came upon a runner who had an unfortunate run-in with a deer. She was a bit bloodied from the encounter and was talking to a volunteer. I offered my firefighter experience to check her out and suggested she have her shoulder checked out and hand cleaned up at a Local ER. Deer are very powerful and she had a lot of shoulder pain. Once they were getting her on her way, I left out onto the trail, searching for the Lovely Miss C. We made it to the 11 mile marker and I had the most wonderful Girl Scout cookies and refilled my water. I took off a bit ahead of Miss C, but she was not far behind me. There was a time when we came out of the woods and the wind picked up, giving me quite a chill. It slowed me down considerably and Miss C caught up to me. We were making okay time, but as we made our way to the 15 mile marker, we started to hear the trail sweep behind us. I picked the pace up a bit and made it to the 15 mile marker with about 2 minutes to spare.

Miles 14 and 15 are always a low point for in any race for me. I tend to question my sanity and desire for finishing at this point. I have found that some Coca cola and m&ms seem to cure this mental block and I push through. I found both at the 15 mile marker and took off, in hopes of a finish.

I must take the time to note the signs advertising Peeps everywhere. At first I thought maybe someone was hiding peeps in the woods where one could “hunt” and find them. I started to get a little mad at the fact there were no peeps hiding from me. It was when I finally saw a sign with “Peep Show 2 miles” did I realize it was going to be an Aid station with peeps. I was stoked, to say the least. With some Coke already on board, the thought of peeps was energizing. I quickly found my way up the hill next to field, then down towards the peep station. There they were, those mythical beasts of sugary perfection, I gave a pat to the stuffed “Peep” on my way into the station. I called out my number and they said good going Amanda…. It was great to hear someone cheering me on. I was even more excited by the two peeps ,one purple and one green, they handed to me, neatly impaled on a stick. This was no marshmallow fluff on my shoe (long story), but real, slightly stale, peeps on a stick. I was in heaven. I had a Pb&J, two peeps (marshmallow goodness), and some more coke. I filled up my water bottle, sucked down some lava salts and went on my merry way.

I took some time to walk off the peeps and channel my inner slug. Miss C caught up with me (that woman is a POWER walker) and we stayed together for a few. She was told we were about a 10K from the finish. I knew I could make that in the time allotted, so I bid her farewell, since she walked faster than I did and I was running faster than her at that point. I quickly made my way to the last stop, where I had my water bottle topped off and some pretzels. I then told the volunteers I loved them when they told me 3 miles to the finish and I really meant it. I totally did love them. I made my way down to the second big water crossing and managed to only get one “turtle” foot wet. I then made my way up these huge steps that made my quads feel like they were being ripped off and up and up a hill.

About this time I realized just how important all the weight training I have been doing is. All the squats, plyometrics, box jumps, bosu, and wobble board work. I pushed myself up the hills with more speed that I would normally have at this point and when I hit the flats, I was moving fast. I made it off the trail and to the road where I made my way to the finish. Walking up the road on my way to the Finish was none other than the Boyfriend, his Uncle and D&D slug. I tossed my mittens to the Boyfriend with an “I didn’t pee on them” (long story) and D&D slug took off down to the finish with me. He had a good finish in the 50K and got some quality time in for Umstead. I finished the Marathon in 7:47(my last 10K was a 1:20 which is a good trail 10K for me after 25 or so miles), certainly not the faster time in all of history, but it was a great training run for me. Plus, I got to run with an amazing lady for a good portion of the race, which is worth more than any PR in my slug opinion.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Jimmy Buffett for President '08

Team Slug has Officially thrown it's Inconsequential Support behind the Jimmy Buffett for President '08 campaign. This has delayed da'hitman's return to the Eastest Coast, as he is currently in Parrothead Political Training in Key Largo. Upon his return, he will assume a leadership position in Mr.Buffett's 1st State effort. Sending huggs to all da'Slugs, flatfoot freddie...

One Particular Harbour
I know I don't get there often enough
But God knows I surely try
It's a magic kind of medicine
That no doctor could prescribe

But there's this one particular harbour
So far but yet so near
Where I see the days as they fade away
And finally disappear

But now I think about the good times
Down in the Caribbean sunshine
In my younger days I was so bad
Laughin' about all the fun we had

Most mysterious calling harbour
So far but yet so near
I can see the day when my hair's full gray
And I finally disappear

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Congrats Mister Crisman :)

Below note from Mark Crisman, who finished his 100th marathon/ultra in Austin last Sunday.
Congrats Mark! It's been a BLAST getting to know you.
Happy Days,


In the grand scheme of things what I'm about to share
with you pales in comparison with what truely is
important in our world today such as the gift of life,
family and friends.

I, like many of you, have relied on my love of running
to deal with the stresses that life challenges each of
us with. I've witnessed absolutely incredible mental
and physical feats by individuals who from at first
glance seem nothing but ordinary but in reality
possess unbelievable inner fortitude, drive and desire
that the common man will never achieve.

Last Sunday, I completed the Austin Marathon which was
my 100th marathon or longer. This was only possible
due in large part to my good fortune to be associated
with most of you. Your encouragement over the years
was the catalyst that enabled me to reach this
personnel goal.

I want to thank my wife Nikki and my daughter Calley
for understanding my sickness (running) and supporting
me even when I can hardly walk and limped around for
days like 90-year man after every run. Of course, it's
understood that I receive no sympathy for my
self-inflected injuries.

Dann, thanks for constantly pushing me past my own
perceived limitations and providing miles of good
conversation and friendship.

Phil and Stacy, thanks for promoting our sport and
giving so much for so little in return and always
having cold Coors readily available at the end of a
brutal run.

Chong-Pin, thanks for exposing me to the Korean
culture and sharing many miles of running. I can
never fully repay you for your hospitality.

Team Slug (da hit man), thanks for making running fun!
I wear the Team Slug truckers hat with pride! I will
return to the Delaware coast one day.

Paul and Tony, thanks for kicking me in the ass when
running just wasn't doing it for me.

Jared, thanks for sharing my 100th and walking up the
damn hill at the 25 mile mark. I look forward to a
flatter, faster Houston course next year.

Thanks to all and look forward to sharing the road and
trail with you soon,


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Congrats to Alisa Springman...

...of Mercersburg, PA; who won the 2007 RBC50K. She has been accepted into the 2008 Badwater Challenge.

Good Luck from all the Slugs.

Full list of entrants at:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Crazy Horse Ale being replaced???

Yes, the rumours are true! This is good stuff...with limes...
happy days from key west,
flatfoot freddie

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Somebody call the Guv-ner of Florida...

...because when da'hitman and i; end up in the same state, for any amount of tyme, nothing good can happen. it'll be a miracle if i don't up in the brig before the end of the month; especially with runnin' man ratcheting up the rhetoric concerning the resurgence of the boggy bayou stomp. there be alli-gators down here, and da'hitman AND runnin' man don't seem to understand that antagonizing alli-gators by slogging through their swamp is NOT a good idea.

anyway; jimmy buffet's taking the edge off, and 'dem grapefruits looking good, and tasting mighty fine fer breakfast, with a tad of rum soaked in. hope all in slug-land are keeping warm tonight.

keepin' da'hitman outta trouble, flattest foot freddie

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Asteroids, and The Planet Earth...

From the AP Wire Services:
The largest asteroid in more than 20-years missed earth early Tuesday
The asteroid, dubbed TU24, is two-thousand-feet wide and passed 334-thousand
miles from Earth a little after 3 o'clock in the morning. The city-block-sized asteroid
moving at a speed of 6 miles every second has 60 times as much energy as the
largest hydrogen bomb during the cold war. The next one that is expected to
pass as close or closer than TU24 will not occur until 2027 according to

Tonight I was out in the cool evening air. It was very dark, and as I slogged along the sky kept drawing my attention. It seemed more expansive tonight, more incredibly, inconceivably huge. Tonight running in the dark, i felt small, and helpless, and lonely. And I thought about this huge rock that just came hurtling by our little planet. And I started thinking about life, and time. You see there is a rock coming, the size of a city block, at six miles a second; that is going to hit our fragile Planet Earth. Life as we know it will change forever. This is a fact. The only question is whether or not we'll be here when it happens.

And so when I get to thinking about these things and looking at the sky, I start to consider actions I've taken in my life, and how I've treated my family and friends. I've made mistakes, and I'm sorry for them. Further, I know that I don't tell them often enough that I care about them, and love them.

So tonight my friends, I want to share how much I appreciate the kindness that each of you have shared with me over so many years. Life, and time is precious. Please, please, take care of yourself, your family and friends. Make sure they know how much you care about them. In the end, nothing else will matter.

Happy Days,

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wise Pokey Say,

" As with anything Team Slug, everything for us is a nonevent and as far as Ranger Rick is Concerned, we were never there."

Booty Rumble; Shake it, but don't Break it???

Okay guys here's what I came up with for the Booty Rumble nonevent in June:

Shake it, But don't Break it, it took 9 months to make it!
TSI presents the 2008 Booty Rumble 25K/50K Saturday June 21st, 2008

Team Slug is proud to offer a nonevent in the Delaware Heat in June. That's Right on June 21st, TSI is going to make history by bringing the Big, the Wide, the Flat, the Teenie, the Tiny, and Even the Broken Hineys to the first state for a Booty Rumble. For those desiring a fast trail run without going the full Ultra distance we offer the 25K and for those desiring a challenge and a crack at owning a world famous black slug shirt we will also have a 50K. Entry is limited to 15 or less. Remember this is a nonevent, Ranger Rick needn't know all the details. Cost is nothing for both 25K or 50K, although is you want a Rumble T-shirt and/or a teamslug shirt you'll need 10 US dollars a piece. Designs for the Rumble T-shirt will be made public sometime in the future, after consultation with Rumpshaker Slug to make sure we accurately capturing shaking it and having a good day. The course used is the same as RBC and Fattest Butt.
Pokey Slug...
e-mail threats to...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Congrats to All R.R. finishers!!!

And looking down the list,

  • 2008 Rocky Raccoon Finishers

    , I see da'slugs were well represented. Congrats to each of you, there's no doubt that finishing the hundred is an incredible athletic, and emotional, accomplishment. I don't want to go through all the names, as many of the slugs stay undercover (until the beer gets here), and i don't want to miss anyone.

    Special congrats must go out to TSI Exec Board member King Slug, who reports,

    When I started my last 40 miles I was nauseated. In fact, I was in Oh-No land. I made it 66 miles and was not able to keep anything down. I was a bit panicked but I just said that a 24-hour finish was not going to happen today. I pulled to the side and into the woods where no one could see me. I lay down and took a nap. I guess I slept about 25 min., I got up, and threw up for my 5th time and only had dry heaves from there out. I know this is strange and sick. Imagine being the guy or gal that heard this in the woods late at night. Blahhh Blahhh Blahhhh!

    p.s. Perverse, Unsubstantiated Rumours are that The King Slug borrowed Catra's sunglasses in da' middle of da'nite... It's good being King.

    Hope all are well in Slug-Land,
    happy days from key west,
    flattest foot freddie
  • Sunday, February 03, 2008

    Permits, Parks, and Ranger Rick.

    For the Sluggos without access to the ultralist. Kind of long, but I believe all will appreciate it. Hey, enjoy the Super Bowl; and have some hot wings for me.

    This being Superbowl weekend and I've just recovered from a visit to Costco where everyone seemed to be shopping for eats for tomorrow's game and since I've been fascinated in the past here on the list by correspondence having to do with Barkley and park closures, I thought it would be timely to share the following correspondence. I did label it NUC so I suppose not too many people will read it, but it's funny.
    Jennifer Aviles
    The Dam

    This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania. This guy's response is hilarious, but read the State's letter before you get to the response letter.

    Dear Mr. DeVries:

    It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity: Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond

    A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued. Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the
    Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

    The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted.

    The Department t herefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31, 2006.

    Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further u nauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action.. We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter. Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.

    David L. Price, District Representative and Water Management Division.

    Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

    Dear Mr. Price,

    Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to.

    I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania.

    A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris."

    I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

    These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

    My first dam question to you is:
    (1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or
    (2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to
    said dam request?

    If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.

    (Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.)

    I have several concerns. My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer. The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed
    during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.

    If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

    In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond. If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment
    (Beavers' Dams).

    So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them.

    In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area. It is the bears! Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they dump!

    Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response toyour dam office.

    Thursday, January 31, 2008

    2008 Crowder's Mt. set for 4/26... Gastonia, North Carolina. Link to Race Application may be found at or on the Runner's From Hell homesite.

    RD Sam b. warns,

    RFH/Team Slug reserves the right to refuse anyone who they don't like from running in this race. You know who you are. If you are offended by this application then you are too sensitive to run this course.. It will probably be cold, raining, snowing, or something and you will probably fall. People fall and are killed yearly at Crowders. Usually it is a drunk trying to fly like Superman off one of the cliffs. I release all of those involved in this race from liability. I have been informed not to complain about the hills.

    I've known Sam for a long tyme; I'd take him at his word.

    Happy Days, Hitman.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008

    Mr.Cantrell on "Why they quit."

    Originally posted on the Ultralist, and republished here with permission of Mr. Cantrell. The Barkley is a special event, and for all who have been "out there" it holds an eerie, and dangerous attraction. happy days, john.

    "with apologies to those few who have finished the barkley 100,
    i dont really believe that it is the exclusive realm of the trail running gods.
    as a matter of fact, the fastest 100 milers who have taken to the course
    have seldom even finished a fun run.
    on the other hand, some of the most successful barkley runners
    have never made much of a splash anywhere else.
    about the only credentials that seem to translate directly into barkley success
    are multi-day trail "records".
    people with fast thru-hikes on the AT, PCT, etc, have done quite well.
    past & future winners of 100's like WS & Vt have had their difficulties.

    for the experienced trail runner, Barkley is a different sort of animal.
    the suicidal downhill speed that translates into fast times elsewhere is just
    suicidal here.
    the key abilities, instead, are a high tolerance for climbing and sleep
    this one is more geared toward an ultrarunning vito antofuermo than a sugar ray
    (yeah, people are lining up to become human punching bags. go figure?)

    unlike most ultras, the fast runners dont exactly run off and leave the slow
    people who hike up to the fire tower to watch the runners pass thru the 12 mile
    almost always comment on how close together everyone is.
    "i thought they'd be all strung out, like other races. but everyone is really
    the leader at 20 miles is usually around 8 hours and the laggards around 10,
    altho once a runner spirals into despair, with the attendant twenty rest breaks
    a mile,
    miles per hour turns into hours per mile, and the game is over.

    why is this?
    i think the answers are in the numbers.
    when a highway has a 3% grade, they put up signs warning trucks.
    when a highway has a 5% or greater grade, they have special speed limits,
    and runaway truck ramps.
    in 100 miles of barkley, 95 of those miles are on gradients of more than 5%.
    87 miles are on gradients of more than 10%.
    50 miles (fully half the race) are on gradients greater than 20%.
    there are even 11 miles done on gradients over 30%.
    some people love the thing, some hate it.
    i think they will all agree, it is hell out there.
    normal humans can only tolerate so much abuse.

    no one can go fast, but as long as you keep going, you can only go so slow.
    it isnt likely that you will exceed the time limit, until you have given up.
    the nastiness of the 60 hour limit is that, while attainable,
    it does not leave enough time for rest.
    once you figure in the night-time slowdown,
    there simply is no chance to dawdle anywhere, much less sleep.

    and this is why people quit.
    taking an endless hammering from the course,
    the clock constantly nipping at their heels,
    trying to adjust as the weather fluctuates wildly from hour to hour,
    staying focused every second, so they wont get off course,
    lonely, in pain, no chance to relax,
    the relentless pressure, all day and all night, day after day,
    sooner or later, something has to give.
    99% of the time, it is the runner.

    i can excuse people who want to try it once,
    it sounds so cool and exciting.
    but those who go back are very special people...
    only in the short-bus sense of the word special.
    because the reality is like being punched in the face for 2 and a half days."


    Monday, January 28, 2008

    Wrong-Way Charlie sends greetings...

    ...and no, I am not making this up. All Slugs eventually come home, All of Them. and there is no better slug out there than Charlie. he says,

    Hello 'hitman'?
    Long thyme Know sea?
    Sorry I missed the 18th annual fattest butt ... My black slug shirt has been in the ash bin of history for about ten years. Hope that you're doing well.
    charlie wojcik

    and in honor of charlie, we're reposting one of his greatest essays...

    How to Finish Last Anywhere/Anytime

    Are you considering running your first marathon or ultra and worried about coming in first, or even just beating another runner? Well, fast forward right past that, because it doesn’t have to happen. Not if you listen to me. This article will address the likelihood, however distant, that you will be last. This is an area in which I excel. I have had three or more last place finishes in each of the previous seven years. With the right training and preparation, or should I say the lack of such, you too can finish last. That is assuming you are not in direct competition with me. After all, I am the master.

    There is no steadfast rule to being last, and luck helps. To increase the odds of being last you must first visualize it in your mind. Believe it deeply and know it to be so. Prior to the race go around behind all the runners and look at the back of their heads. If it’s a track run, that’s all you should ever be seeing. If it’s a trail run, you’ll only see them once, and then their heads will slowly shrink, then quickly disappear. In a large group at the start line close your eyes, look skyward, spread your arms like an eagle, and begin chanting out loud. This will give you a lot of starting space and help to size up your competitors. Start slowly and ease off. This is an area where Slugs have a great advantage. They not only preach this philosophy, but they live and breathe it. Be in no rush out of the starting gate. If logistics allow, begin running in the wrong direction. As people yell for you to stop, just wave at them and smile. This most certainly will confuse the race workers and allow you to waste a bit more time.

    Finally however you will be forced to start. Pick up the pace ever so slowly. Watch the cutoffs; they are there to give prima donna race directors a chance to discredit the truly slothful. Remember if you get pulled, you will be unable to finish last. This defeats your goal. Maintain constant glacier-like speed throughout the run. Avoid “jack rabbit” starts and screeching stops. Take a break at the aid station. Relax, have a cup of coffee and make faces at the other runners at they roll by. Remove shoes to check for foreign objects. Tiny rocks do bad things to tiny toes. Ask for some Vaseline, and request assistance in placing it on your most delicate parts. Consume mass quantities of fuel and liquid. Instead of grabbing two Oreos, pick up the entire package and gobble them down. Shovel them in and chew. Get that good full feeling going. Remember watering the flora and fauna with blown pretzel chunks and bile is sound ecological policy and earns you bogus points in the standings. Ask the other runners and aid workers lots of meaningless questions. After asking, refuse to listen to their answers. Start humming profusely. Absolutely confuse them with your wit.

    Dehydration, boredom, and loneliness are the three biggest obstacles for the mental deficients drawn to running insane distances. Avoid running with friends. Even better, avoid having any friends. After all, you never know where one may appear. It will be hard not to resist picking up the pace during times of high spirits. If you feel good immediately stop running. Begin doing jumping jacks on one leg until you feel dizzy and sick. Then continue running. On the other hand, you will have no trouble going slowly when you feel lousy. And you will. Enjoy it, soak it in, and share your agony with anyone who will listen. Cry, moan, and howl out loud. The more noise you make, and attention you attract the better. On a track run, practice getting in the way of the real runners. If possible trip and fall over at least once an hour. That means in a 24-hour run you should trip at least 24 times. My personal record is 39 falls in 24 hours. Granted, it was raining. On a trail run, enjoy a hobby such as stopping to gaze at wildlife, or turning wayward turtles upside down. Don’t worry someone will put them back.

    If someone tries to get behind you, immediately lay down on the ground. I don’t care if you’re at an aid station or not. Just lie down and begin sobbing. Do not move until that runner gets back in front of you. This is your race to lose, your time in the sun. Don’t let some other loser take what’s rightfully yours. Stand up, be proud, and finish last. In conclusion, and most importantly, please make note of the irrefutable physical fact that it takes the same amount of energy to run slowly as it does to run quickly. This is the law. The Running Law and thou shalt not break it. Do not be concerned with being barred from the event. There are thousands of events. It would take 200 years to get kicked out of all of them. You’ll never live that long.

    In my next article, I will share helpful hints for failing in a 100 mile run. Those are going to take a lot more, or less, effort. Work hard on today’s lessons, worst of luck to you, and see you in the loser’s circle.

    Charlie “Wrong Way” Wojick