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WHAT IN THE HELL?

A bunch of text could go here and say
things about what we do as a team
but I don’t know what to say.

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WHAT’S NEXT?

Races, Centaur Conclaves, Heckling dog owners without leashes? Find out what’s in store next.

WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

Langsam aber stetig zum #halbmarathon! Die Temperaturen sind viel zu hoch für lange Strecken 💨 aber schön wars trotzdem! #runner#nikerunning#run#nike#nikezoompegasus#fitfam#runninggirl#laufen#11k#fitgirl#long#sun#summer#too#hot#but#fun#laufenmachtglücklich#laufliebe#fitspo#sweat#happy#tan#nikeplus#nopainnogain#instarunners#worldrunners#soon#hallfmarathon by medi_runner http://ift.tt/1TU4dkr

It’s that time again! Register today for the best underground 10k race in Atlanta on July 3rd. Register here: peachtreeroadrage.com by htp66 http://ift.tt/1TKW924

It’s that time again! Register today for the best underground 10k race in Atlanta on July 3rd. Register here: peachtreeroadrage.com by htp66 http://ift.tt/1TKW924

Door’s open for the 2016 #PeachtreeRoadRage! Register: peachtreeroadrage.com by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1skp6N1

The design I made for 2016’s #PeachtreeRoadRage t-shirt! Yes–that’s “Rage.” Open to 60 runners this year, so it’s guaranteed to be 1/1000th the fun! Stay tuned. *
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#blacklines #blackworkers #deathpeach #ink #acrylicpen #skull #peach #rottenpeach by hilarykart http://ift.tt/1qNq9U5

SOON. #PeachtreeRoadRage (DeathPeach by @hilarykart) by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1VOOXsG

Summer has arrived in LA and these legs need some sunlight. Guess it’s a good day to start training for these 1/2 marathons. #run #thesweatlife #summer #legs #hallfmarathon #spotify by jackiemkoch http://ift.tt/1raQZ9u

#Training for #Tinkerbell #HallfMarathon #PixieDustChallenge #IERC #SaturdayRunday #RunningDoesABodyGood #CorreleGordis #ChinoHills #InlandEmpireRunningClub #Family by aguilerahl909 http://ift.tt/1qe2PPK

We got dressed in different neighborhoods, and yet. #peasinapod #secondtimeintwoweeks #QuadQamp by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1U97U83

Through the panting, sweat-streaked sea of shambling humanity that is the #GeorgiaMarathon came a hirsute fury, with fist flung high and a slavering monster as his herald: the #PeachtreeRoadRage Rowdy Peach! Attend: this is not John, as I twice bellowed in excited cheer, but Chris Fox, who graciously demurred when we met later on, and let my faulty memory off easy with only self-imposed shame. In recompense, anyone sporting this shirt hence forth, even my beloved @hilarykart, shall be called Chris Fox. #meaculpa #memoryloss #RowdyPeach by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1q02S1j

#GeorgiaMarathon demotivation, inspirational quotes and Shakespearean sonnets courtesy of cowbell, megaphone and these two princes. #CentaurRacingTeam #roadsideassistance #curbappeal #megaphonehome by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1T3MVm0

@theruncommuter blazing a 3:14:30 hellstorm of fury down upon the #GeorgiaMarathon! #CentaurRacingTeam @teamspindle by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1T3hnN5

Sooo little time left for the Malta Half Marathon! Malta Yarı Maratonuna çoook az kaldı!
#teamrunbo #runbo #hallfmarathon #vodafonemaltamarathon #vodafonemaltahalfmarathon #malta #soon #verysoon #comingup #comingsoon by teamrunbo http://ift.tt/1RcjrBr

Keep running up that hill….this is my new running route, last 2.5 miles are all uphill (accompanied unhelpfully by THAT Kate bush song on Sunday and carrying the Sunday Times, the heaviest paper in the world). Beautiful though….#running #hallfmarathon #training by la_russell75 http://ift.tt/1o31jyH

8k run after last week #hallfmarathon#nikeplus จิอบคุณรูปจาก IAMRunningThai & Sport นะคะ by katesri http://ift.tt/1RxU2CH

#tbt @theruncommuter won his age group and all resultant honors at the Nov. 21 Hill Country 15K. Yonder, an awkward teen girl looks on as his award is presented. #CentaurRacingTeam #theruncommuter #awkwardadmirer by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1ZdPKBM

Sidelined by sickness, but @antihilary still crewed the #Penntathlon & #HallfMarathon (sic), self-medicating with frontier medicine and cooing, “Ooh, entrails!” as she watched a hawk turn its prey inside out. #wcforever by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1QuF7IX

Sidelined by sickness, but @antihilary still crewed the #Penntathlon & #HallfMarathon (sic), self-medicating with frontier medicine and cooing, “Ooh, entrails!” as she watched a hawk turn its prey inside out. #wcforever by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1QuF7IX

Pro course marking. #Penntathlon #HallfMarathon #BLVDSNAFU by tinkertownpies http://ift.tt/1Ybfj5Z

Pro course marking. #Penntathlon #HallfMarathon #BLVDSNAFU by tinkertownpies http://ift.tt/1Ybfj5Z

They will run up and over mountains with ease, a feat of trail mastery equal to their fluency in backcountry interpretive dance. Afterward: Taco Bell, by team mandate. Nature has exempted them from open container laws, and graced them with the confidence to wear shorts so short they might reveal a bit of nut, to your respectful delight. They might occasionally race in jeans, it’s possible they’ll podium, but they will never smile. Your #mcm are @htp66 and @theruncommuter, aka @centaurracing. #DFLDNFDNR #mancrushmonday #centaurracingteam by toroktoberfest http://ift.tt/1I528Ke

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(First, the race results, ’cause that’s what everyone wants. Then narrative and photos.)

Spittle tore from my mouth’s corners as I mashed my pedals, tearing south on Peachtree Street at more than 30 mph, crying out across four lanes of evening traffic to a string of runners, exhorting them to run faster, damn you, faster: pump them crazy legs.

Hoarse then, I turned to pump my own legs, anxious that the leaders of the inaugural Peachtree Road Rage would on foot reach the finish before I could bike there with the registration list, packed in my bag.

Such was the slapdash and rapid action of the Centaur Racing Team’s first unsanctioned race, July 3, 2014, in all its bonkers glory.

*ahem* "Rage" indeed. Look at these furious sons o' bitches.

*ahem* “Rage” indeed. Look at these furious sons o’ bitches.

(more…)

Sweaty and unsteady among the Yetis

The Centaurs’ better two-thirds arrived at my aid station, the first in the inaugural Yeti Snakebite 50/50, Sept. 1, 2013, drenched. Neither rain nor river-dip: sweating, yet with a spring in their step. When I saw them again more than 30 miles later, said steps would instead have a subtle but undeniably audible squish. Follows: an excerpt of an email Josh penned to his brother-in-law, Garrett (a GUTS member and sub-24-hour Leadville finisher). TAKE IT AWAY, Josh.

Not the best omen

The Snakebite 50/50 was a good, solid race. Billed as “easy” and great for “first-timers,” it looked to be a nice, simple training run. I had no expectations of placing high; I just knew I needed a race of this distance leading up to the 100-miler to help gauge where I was at. Hall and I were running, Kyle, still recovering from injury, was volunteering at an aid station.

We pulled in to Sweetwater Creek State Park around 6:10 am, well before the race start at 7:00. Many cars were there already and we were directed to park down one of the side roads. After we stopped, I got out and headed to the trunk of our Prius to open and get our shit out. As I put my hand on the latch, I heard a SNAP and then was hit on the fucking head by a falling branch.

The main beam hit the car, with one of the smaller branches thunking my head, before the entire thing rolled off the car and down the hill.

We didn’t disturb anything beforehand – it was just that we were at the exact right place at the worst possible time. I was fine, and the car took a small dent. Not the best omen before starting a race.

The race started and around 300 of us were off, 50K’ers and 50-milers, alike. We all ran the same route out to Mile 18. Thereafter, the 50K people would turn around and head back, and the 50-milers would continue to the 25-mile turnaround. All racers had the option to go up or down in distance, depending on how they were feeling.

Everything was fine up until the Mile 18 – the 50K turnaround at Oz pizza.

By then, it was 11am and the sun was beating down, with humidity at 97% and the temp was around 93. Many 50-milers were dropping down at this point. Hall and I were doing fine. There were 10-12 people ahead of us at that point and we felt we should probably slow down a bit. We left after sponging our heads off, eating some popsicles and refilling our water.

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Exposed fields aren’t he best with a cloudless sky.

 

Out of the next 7 miles, 5 of them were in open fields or completely exposed paths alongside suburban developments. The field trails were not really trails at all; they were cut with a brushhog a day or two prior to the race. And rather than just cutting straight through the fields themselves, they weaved and weaved along the length, most likely to add on mileage that couldn’t be found elsewhere. From 11:00am – 12:30pm or so, we baked in the heat.

About 2 miles later, we passed Skinny Jim, the leader of the 50-mile race, and veteran GUTS member, who smiled and said, “not much further to the next aid station.” He was the first 50-miler we passed who was heading back after hitting the turnaround.

Shortly before reaching the 25 mile turnaround, I was certain I was going down with heat exhaustion.

In the military, I had to give IV’s to fellow soldiers multiple times to bring them out of their heat faintings/comas. You pass the fuck out when too hot, and the IV’s bring you right back to reality. It’s weird. Once you have one heat injury, you are more likely to have another. I was thankful to never have suffered any of them. But now I was feeling on the verge of going down.

So, I did what I could to refresh myself at Mile 25; lots of water, S-caps, a banana (I wasn’t hungry at all), and changed shoes, socks, and my shirt.

Battling Wizards

I wanted Hall to continue on without me, telling him I would definitely finish, but I wasn’t going to be fast today, so if he wanted to do well, head on out without me. He wouldn’t hear it, so we left and did a lot of walking for the next few miles. My mind was gone. I told him to leave me again. I told him I was “battling wizards.”

About 3 miles later, thunderstorms moved in. But, the motherfuckers didn’t produce any much-needed, cool-me-down rain; just loud ass thunderclaps and lots of lightning. Did I mention most of this shit was in open fields/spaces? Yeah…

Two other runners met up with us as we were going along and we kind of leapfrogged for a bit, leery about the ongoing sky theatrics. As we nervously laughed off the storm, a bolt of lightning suddenly hit the goddamn trail in front of us. We noped in all different directions for a second, before hauling ass forward once again, hoping to find some cover soon.

The field trails changed to suburban development paths soon, and where we thought we would be safe (isn’t that why everyone moves out of the city to the suburbs, after all?), we instead found that the trail ran suspiciously close to lightning rods. Yes, lightning rods. The things that keep lightning from hitting other things, like houses. After the trails jumped back onto cul-de-sacs, Hall and I decided to sit on a porch for a bit until the lightning stopped.

We waited 5 minutes, saw a few more runners pass, and decided to get a move on. We had lost a lot of time already.

The rains finally came.

After about 5 minutes of running in a downpour, I was recharged, cooled down, and ready to fly. And, so we did.

Refilled, recharged, and ready

The 18 mile (now 32) 50K turnaround came quickly, and we briefly refilled and left again, still riding the rainstorm high. Everything felt right again and the woods had never felt more alive than it did now. The rains continued on-and-off for another 5 miles.

Around Mile 39, Hall started to feel loopy and sore. We had to walk again, but I was more than happy to return the favor. So, we walked for a bit. Just before Mile 42, we heard a familiar, bellowing sound fill the air: “CENTAUUUURRRRSSS!” (our team name). Kyle had wandered a bit down the trail from the 42-mile aid station where he was working and came to drag our sorry asses in.

Kyle had us refilled, recharged, and ready to continue after a brief stop, and decided to walk/run with us for the next three miles, as we made it through the “lollipop section”. His spirit uplifted us both and his coaching kept us from making mistakes. Mainly though, he kept our minds off the heat and soreness that were taking hold. That was a HUGE help. Once we made it back to the aid station (now 45 miles in), we left him and headed out on the homestretch, vowing to run nearly everything, and only walk decent uphill climbs.

We ran along the river for a half mile, then crossed the bridge over to Sweetwater’s Yellow Trails. At the other side, a volunteer directed us to the East, saying we had to run about a 3-mile loop and that she would see us again shortly. There was an ugly, sick-looking, hands-on-knees climb for about 300m, but the rest of the loop was decent. We waved at the volunteer again before heading back over the bridge.

On the other side, we headed West along the creek again, knowing this section was the last we would see of the water again before the finish line; knowing cold beer and rest awaited a mile away. We had a quick, climb over rocks, and through bushes at one point a half-mile from the finish. Apparently, there was a hornet’s nest somewhere in that mess, because as I followed Hall through it, one of the bastards landed on my face and another on my shoulder (not to rest, apparently). I hollered and brushed the one off my face with my handheld, but the one on my shoulder got me. Ouch. But hey, it sure helped me run fast on the way to the finish line…

We finished in 12:04:00.

It took me two days to finally get up the feeling to eat a meal again. I was just not hungry. I knew my body craved it, but I just couldn’t eat. It was the same on the trail, too. I had mostly gels, with the exception of two salty, half-potatoes, and two pieces of banana. It was a weird feeling. Not sure what I did wrong, or how to keep that from happening again, but I hope I’m not that way on the 100-miler.

Well-earned beers.

Well-earned beers.

The team’s been largely out of the game the last three months, owing to injury or obligations’ intrusions, possibly post-Georgia Death Race malaise, but now, in the horribly humid height of summer, we are from the dust returned!

I am just returning to action from three months of a busted foot (fractured sesamoid and torn plantar plate), restricted then to biking and aqua jogging. This is my first week running since late April and my legs are none too happy. SILENCE, legs! But Josh and Hall have been surmounting great challenges, the latest of which was the ASSault on Stone Mountain, or as Josh has dubbed this variant, the ASSault Prime. Yet in the manner of such pursuits, danger and injury lurk ’round every bend.

This communique from Josh on the ASSault on Stone Mountain Facebook group:

Terrorists struck early on Sunday. Was taken down 3 miles into a 40-mile day; elbow punctured, bloody knee, bruised shoulder. Team member fared well and remained unscathed and solid throughout. Patched up and continued on. 14.76 out/back, too loops of Cherokee with connectors (11 miles), and an up/down. ASSassins were using technology countermeasures, frying our speed and time recording devices. Only recorded a 1:02 for the ride out. Total time out was about 4.5 hours.

By way of explanation, the ASSault on Stone Mountain was devised by our friend Mike, a wonderful maniac long versed in the way of endurance adventures and activities — mountain biking; ultrarunning; snow bikes. He leads the Midnight Full Moon Ride here in Atlanta; is, I believe, the 2012 Georgia Singlespeed Mountain Biking champion; works at a bike shop; and is somewhere between 50-75 years old. You can’t tell. The first time I met him, Mike and his wife, Pam, were riding a tandem recumbent, honking on wooden train whistles. For fun and occasional profit, Mike operates a pedicab on the side. He has a bike trailer with a drum set.

Look at this fucking bicycle shaman.

Look at this fucking bicycle shaman.

The ASSault goes thus: ride from more or less Decatur, Ga., to Stone Mountain; lock up by the potties; run up the mountain to the Cherokee Trail, and follow that around the stone ’til you return; run up to the top; run down to the bottom; and ride back to your start. Honor system times are recorded individually, yet the intent is not racing, but for training, adventures, and anecdotes. Can your mission truly be a success without a debriefing?

We were fortunate two weeks ago to receive dispatches from the field as Josh waded solo into the heat of battle: “Trail is awesome today. Stone is invisible: probably cloaking device. Mushrooms abound.” These images were sent back to Centaur HQ.

"Up top: ghostly."

“Up top: ghostly.”

“On the trail: CHUPACABRA!” (Really a raccoon)

 

Anyway, Josh’s translation of his latest experience:

I have two deep, wide punctures on my left elbow which, even after cleaning, are black around the edges. My knee is missing silver dollar-sized skin patches. Even my shoulder is banged up (I didn’t know until I took my shirt off at home). I’m bandaged up, but still functional.

And Hall’s take:

It was awesome. Josh wiped out on the ride over, did a nice rolling dismount and took a chunk out of his elbow and a couple layers of skin off his knee but soldiered on. He got plenty of looks and comments about how he was basically hard as nails.

Photographic evidence:

Elbow or asshole? Who's to say?

Elbow or asshole: who’s to say?It all looks the same in the dark.

Josh likened it to a .22 caliber entry and exit wound: little on one side, bigger on the other. Also not unlike a domestic dispute stabbing, wherein a guy in his platoon entered into an argument with his wife, at which time the wife entered a knife right through his forearm.

Hall asked what happened to the string of fat that was hanging from this gaping horror. “I just stuffed that shit back in there with a pokey stick,” Josh said. “I can’t afford to lose any fat/flesh.”

Next time, Stone, vengeance shall be ours. In the coming weeks, Josh and Hall will Assault Prime, while I, recovering, will Assault, Jr., as we ready for the Yeti Trail Runners’ Snakebite 50/50.

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It’s time. It is, in fact, past time. But this is no past-time, this is a team. A competitive team. A team that races. A team of Centaurs. That race. And drink. There will be more. Plenty more. And longer sentences, too. But that’s for later. For now, suck on this.