International Mosquito Feast Marathon June 30 (Read 1739 times)

Bushrat Runner

    My brother and I were hoping to run the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, but then we found we have a competing commitment...so what to do? Since he lives in Phoenix, and I live in King Salmon, we knew we weren't going to run a marathon down his way until next winter. Crazy hot down there. So we decided to have our own. He wanted it to have a proper name, and since we do live in what may be the most mosquito (and white-sox, and no-see-um) infested area on earth, we figured we'd name it appropriately. Now he is going to be flying across Canadian airspace to get to Alaska, so we figure that right there makes this an international event. We figured if any other fools...I mean runners...are interested we should encourage them to come help us feed the mosquitoes. 


    So here is the deal. On June 30, 2012, at 8 am, we are going to start running from the King Salmon Park, or thereabouts, and we are going to run 26.2 miles. We have drafted one potential course and put it on USATF's running routes site for a sense of what the course could be and where we are. We reserve the right to run any 26.2 miles course we feel is advantageous on that day, so it is within the realm of possibilities that we will instead run from Naknek Lake to the ocean or vice versa. This gives us a chance to identify a favorable wind and make use of it. 


    Of course normally, in the real world, that means running with the wind at your back. And in the winter, that is what it means here too. But in the summer, it means running with the wind in your face. The problem with the wind at your back is that you have a pocket of sheltered air in front of your face, and that is where the mosquitoes gather. That makes it hard to run, as you are too busy coughing, slapping, and choking. Anyway...as I was saying, we may adjust the route if needed. Any runner is welcome to make up their own course, provided they bring a gps watch to account for their run...


    Also, mosquitoes are not the only entertainment. The Yellowlegs are nesting that time of year. They sit up high on trees and look for critters that are too near their nests. When they see said critters too near their nests, they dive bomb, leading with their very long pointy beaks. Helmets are probably not the most comfortable item for running, but it might reduce the flinch factor. 


    Finally, there are the bears that are around all summer. They usually only come out at night, so we recommend finishing in daylight. 


    While the above is all tongue in cheek, it is also generally the truth...so if you are up for a non-PR event in a wacky place, come and run with us. We aren't going to certify our non-course, but as a consolation we will make it a qualifying event for the next year's version. We will still accept non-qualifiers next year as well, but returning qualifiers will have the bonus of knowing they qualified. 


    If we get some fools...I mean runners...to come help us feed the bugs, we will happily arrange pasta feeds or the like. The post-race festivities will probably not change regardless of who comes. The primary post-race celebration will be a really long nap. 


    There will be a roving aid station. If you are lots faster than me, you may not see the aid station as much, as it will be manned by my wife and kids. If you bring refreshments for the aid station to carry, I'll only kype them if they are lots better than my own, but there will be something for you to drink regardless. If you choose another course to run other than what we are running, then you really should bring a camelback. 


    At this point, with the two known entrants, we expect to have a 41 and under division and a 42 and over division. If we get more entrants, we will adjust the divisions as needed...my brother is designing the t-shirts by the way...so I have no idea what to expect...but if you want one you had best let us know you are coming...


    Inquiries can be sent to trhamon@yahoo.com or by PM at this site.


    I submitted this on marathonguide...any bets whether they will let it get on their official list? No response yet...

    Break on through

      I like the idea!  It's too far away for me, so I can't make it.  But it's great that you're making your own event when the existing ones don't match up with your plans.  I think it would be great to just wake up one weekend and decide "lets run a marathon today" - no medals, no entry, no prizes...  just runnning...    Keep us posted on how it goes!

      "Not to touch the Earth, not to see the Sun, nothing left to do but run, run, run..."

      Interval Junkie --Nobby

        The problem with the wind at your back is that you have a pocket of sheltered air in front of your face, and that is where the mosquitoes gather. That makes it hard to run, as you are too busy coughing, slapping, and choking.


        Huh, never thought of that.


        Your marathon sounds like a hoot.  Instead of a finisher's medal you should spray-bronze some flyswatters.


        Too far for me, but can't wait to read the race reports.

        Good luck!

        2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

        Bushrat Runner

          We have had some discussions about how to make mosquito medals, but the flyswatter is a good idea to throw in the hopper...


          I expect it will be fun. Hopefully some adventurous idiots...I mean runners...will come and help us celebrate the event properly with lots of laughs and inhaled bugs. The timing didn't work out for us, but maybe somebody headed to the Mayor's Marathon will feel like extending their stay and having a recovery run out here with us past the end of the road...

            That sounds like a hoot, too bad Anchorage is a bit farther than I could afford to travel right now.  

            Interesting about the wind, never thought about it that way when I'm coughing up bugs.  Although where I run in mosquito season is so limited for roads I can't really help it unless I feel like carrying a gun with me...  

            'No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everyone on the couch'


            "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"  - Peter Maher


            "Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run."  -Monte Davis

            Bushrat Runner

              Still no indication that the folks over at marathonguide have read, let alone decided to approve, the posting of this wild hair event. 


              I was reminded of another couple of items I didn't mention before...


              The course may range from comfortably fast to uncomfortably slow depending on how long it has been since the road was graded. When ungraded, the road develops potholes in some areas, but they don't disrupt running. The packed down surface tends to be nice and smooth but not as hard as pavement, and it can feel pretty fast on those days. But if the potholes have got to the point where somebody decides the road needs graded, then it is at least five or ten days of rough, loose surface to run on. It is good for conditioning, as the lateral stability muscles in your legs will get a bit of work. But not so good if you were hoping to feel fast. So perhaps it is best to assume this is a marathon length event that can be used to supplement conditioning rather than wow people with fast times.


              The other factor I forgot to mention is the horse flies. In late June, horse flies have set up territories in the open space over the road. When you run through, they often find that somewhat impermissible, and will start circling your head plotting their bombing runs. Often times they grow weary of this fun after you weave around the road for a couple hundred yards, but some enjoy this sport for over a mile. Some might enjoy the sport for more than that, but usually by that time I've run out of tolerance myself, so I have to say that if they are still with me by then I generally stop until I have neutralized the little beasts...


              Really, another runner or two would be a great assist...my brother doesn't really know what he's getting into, he's going to need some moral support. King Salmon ain't no Phoenix, AZ...

              an amazing likeness

                The other factor I forgot to mention is the horse flies. In late June, horse flies have set up territories in the open space over the road. When you run through, they often find that somewhat impermissible, and will start circling your head plotting their bombing runs.


                Mount a red Solo-type plastic hat on your head... 


                I've done my best to live the right way. I get up every morning and go to work each day. (for now)

                Bushrat Runner

                  I love the hat prototype...I may have to try that. I've thought of that for the yellowlegs as well, it could serve both purposes...

                  Bushrat Runner

                    Well, at this point it is noteworthy that I put in 14 miles today, which suggests I probably will at least be able to finish the feast...which is only 9 weeks away...

                    Bushrat Runner

                      May is always a bit crazy here with seasonal employees arriving and all sorts of training and logistics to get ready for the summer field season. But I made it through May running more than I had in the previous months. So progress. But I did not get in any runs longer than the 14 mile run I had previously attempted. So I could be more prepared. There are only four weeks until doomsday at this point. But my discussions with my brother were starting to be a little disconcerting. Most of them went something like this...


                      "Been running much?"


                      "No, haven't done very well. It's tough running in the heat."


                      "You do realize we have only 7 weeks left right?"


                      "Yeah, I'll be ready, I'm just having trouble getting started."


                      He has some experience undertraining for marathons...having done an epic undertrain for his first one. I have been back and forth for work getting stuff done and am finally home, so I decided I better check in today. I sent him a text in the morning. 


                      No response...


                      I sent him another text this evening and he called me back. Right when I was thinking maybe we were going to be doing a marathon length drive...


                      It turns out he has been getting some miles in, but absolutely nowhere near marathon lengths. He remains completely undeterred, so he is working on the T-shirts. If anybody wants to particpate in this madness, the T-shirts are in progress, better let us know so we can order you one. I expect at this point the aid station buggy may be transitioning to a roving barbecue pit. We may do a special version of the run/walk combo. Maybe run 2 miles, walk 1 mile, run 2 miles, walk 1 mile, take a break to barbecue some salmon, run 2 miles, etc...


                      But we're going to do it. Probably set a personal record for me. I haven't done a marathon in over 5 hours before. I see one on the immediate horizon. 


                      I might be kidding about the barbecue wagon. But then again...

                      Bushrat Runner

                        I was thinking that I had a good chance of running slower than 5 hours. Now I'm going to go out on a limb and say we might be looking at 6 hours. My brother is still game. He of the 11 mile long run. But he went and played ultimate frisbee the other day, and now his hamstrings are so sore he can hardly move. Apparently after a consult it was determined that there is no serious injury, just serious ouchery. And he's still determined to run. I have a feeling that will be more like determined to run when we are not walking...


                        So I was thinking about putting in another long-ish run, since last weekend's 16 miler is my longest so far. But at this point maybe I'll just stay healthy and enjoy the next couple weeks of moderate running. I only have to finish to qualify for the second annual episode, so no need to overdo it.

                           We figured if any other fools...I mean runners...are interested we should encourage them to come help us feed the mosquitoes. 



                          I've been told that it is not good to donate blood before a marathon but nobody has ever talked about donating during the marathon.

                          Bushrat Runner

                            I guess I haven't heard people talk about donating during a race either...but we talk about donating during each run when it is buggy enough here. What is mostly irritating is when they start swarming in your face. I don't really care otherwise.

                            Bushrat Runner

                              Okay, we are less than two weeks out and my training has been fit in and around the crazy summer training and prep season. But all I needed to do was be in better shape than my brother, and that is a piece of cake because even he has trouble running in Phoenix in summer. But now, it appears I am too far ahead. He went off and played ultimate frisbee last week. He shouldn't have done that. His old whiny hamstrings didn't like that treatment. He is now making ominous noises that sound a lot like backing out of this adventure. I keep telling him to get better compression shorts and get some miles in...we'll see what happens. He might end up riding the paddy wagon.

                                Dang! Somehow I neglected to get this race on my calendar and now it's too late. Being devoured by mosquitos while running on ankle-twisting gravel sounded like so much fun.