Sunday, September 29, 2013

Providence Rock & Roll Half Marathon Providence, Rhode Island Sunday, September 29, 2013 My hip has healed enough to allow me to do the Providence Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Providence, Rhode Island on Sunday, September 29, 2013. The temperature varied from 47 to 65 degrees with sunny skies and very little breeze. The entire course was on paved roadways that were completely close to traffic. There were security personnel stationed at every intersection with police also stationed at key spots. The course was half relatively flat and half hilly with two of the hills being somewhat challenging. There were water/Gatorade stations at approximately every 1.5 miles that were manned by plenty of enthusiastic volunteers the handle the needs of the approximately 6000 participants in this third year event, making it somewhat of a small field for a Rock & Roll event. There were numerous spectators spaced throughout the course. As with all R&R events there was live music played at approximate one mile intervals. The whole event was very well organized and fun to do. It was nice to be able to do this event after sitting out three in a row. For my wife, Gerda, this race marked the 199 half marathon that she has completed.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bismarck Half Marathon Bismarck, North Dakota Saturday, September 21, 2013 My hip is still injured and Gerda completed the Bismarck Half Marathon in Bismarck, North Dakota on September 21, 2013. It was a cold morning for the event as the start temperature was 36 degrees and it climbed to near 50 degrees by Gerda’s finish. The skies were sunny and there was a little breeze. The course consisted of two loops connected by an out and back section that saw one challenging hill from mile 5 to mile 6. The next two miles were a little up and down followed by a mile back down the hill. The rest of the course was relatively flat. The course utilized approximately 9 miles of paved bicycle paths, 3 miles of the shoulder of a highway, and 1 mile of little used roadway. Roads had to be crossed in only two places that were controlled by police and volunteers. Turns were marked by arrows, signs, and volunteers that made the chance of going the wrong way near zero. There were plenty of water/Gatorade stations that were located at less than 1 mile apart and had plenty enthusiastic volunteers. The three deep, five year age group awards consisted of nice embroidered jackets. The event was very well organized, friendly, and fun to do. This was half marathon 198 for my wife, Gerda.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kickin’ Assphault Half Marathon Great Falls, Montana Saturday, September 14, 2013 I still have a hip injury; however, my wife, Gerda, completed the Kickin’ Assphault Half Marathon in Great Falls, Montana on Saturday, September 14, 2013. It was a wonderful day for a half marathon as the temperature ranged between 55 and 65 degrees with partly cloudy skies and a 5 to 10 mph breeze. The course was completely on paved bicycle paths that went along the Missouri River where the Great Falls are located. There was one long, somewhat challenging uphill between the start and mile 1.5. The rest of the course back down that hill and then up and down gradual hills, mostly where the bicycle path was laid on an old railroad bed. There were 5 water/Heed stations spaced out throughout the course which were manned by two enthusiastic volunteers at each station which was enough help to tend to the needs of the 55 participants in the half marathon. Because the race was so small there were only finisher’s medals and no age group awards. There was a couple of places along the course where the route could have been better marked as many competitors missed the actual turn to cross the river and went the wrong way to a water station that was on the return route where their mistake was pointed out and they had to return to the actual turn which added about 1/3 mile to their journey. The same area caused problems on the return journey. Because I was not doing the race, I made sure that I was at this area each time Gerda came through and made sure that she did the proper route. I wish that I would have been able to do this event because it was the type of course and day that I usually do very well. Gerda and I had a nice time in Great Falls and have been enjoying our three week journey through South Dakota, Montana, and North Dakota.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sioux Falls Half Marathon Sioux Falls, South Dakota Sunday, September 8, 2013 I have a hip injury and was not able to participate in the Sioux Falls Half Marathon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Sunday, September 8, 2013; however, my wife, Gerda, completed the event. The temperature started at 70 and reached 80 degrees by the time she finished which made the event a little hot. The skies were mostly sunny and there was only a little breeze. The course was a point to point journey that utilized half roadways and half bicycle paths. There was quite a bit of up and down that made the course of medium difficulty with no challenging hills. There was a very large number of volunteers, police, and firemen. The police and firemen controlled the traffic completely at every intersection. The volunteers did the rest of the duties, marking the course and manning the 9 water/Gatorade stations, spaced about every mile and a half. The volunteers were very enthusiastic and there were many spectators throughout the course. There were about 4000 participants in the three events, 5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon, with the majority entered in the Half Marathon. For the most part the event was very well organized; there was a little difficulty in finding out results when compared to most events. The one major short coming was the transportation back to the start line, which consisted of only one bus and 2 vans. If I had been able to do the event also, Gerda and I would have had to wait a very long time for transportation back to our car at the start line. I was able to drive the car to the finish area. Overall the event was fun.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Grand Teton National Park grizzly bear on August 27, 2013

Grand Teton National Park bull moose on August 28, 2013

Grand Teton National Park baby moose on August 28, 2013

Grand Teton National Park cow moose on August 28, 2013

Grand Teton National Park bull moose on August 28, 2013

Yellowstone National Park pronghorn antelope on August 25, 2013

Yellowstone National Park bull elk on August 27, 2013

Yellowstone National Park bison crossing the Yellowstone River on August 26, 2013

Teton National Park white pelicans on August 28, 2013

Teton National Park raven on August 28, 2013

Teton National Park horses on August 28, 2013