Yes, Runners Are Crazy (But Oh So Awesome)

Last night, I met up with my running group for our Wednesday workout. A little over 3 miles of hill drills. Fun, fun.

But what I was really looking forward to was our guest speaker afterwards–Jamil Coury, founder of Aravaipa Running (that’s our local trail and ultra running series). Jamil has done over 50 ultra races and this past March he attempted the practically impossible (no, really) Barkley Marathon.

Have you ever heard of the Barkley Marathon? Not many people have and I hadn’t until our running group cheered him  on when he started. Apparently, this 100 mile marathon is not designed for people to know much about it–which is exactly how it’s race director and according to Jamil, even the runners, like it. It’s not a race you can simply go to a website and register. You get information only by word of mouth and there is a secret application involved. Jamil wouldn’t (couldn’t?) divulge the specifics of how he got in.

The Barkely Marathon takes place every year during spring in the mountains of Tennessee–the high point being 3300 feet with total amount per loop of 12,500 feet and temperatures that range from freezing to sweltering. Jamil recounted how the first day was non-stop rain. The 100 mile race (which really is more around the 130 mile range) has a 60 hour time limit and participants are not given a course map nor are the trails marked. The runners do not know the exact start time but must camp out the night before and wait for the start signal–the race director lighting up a cigarette.

The race consists of five 20 mile loops, the first two clockwise, the next two counter clockwise, and the last loop with different runners going opposite directions. Those completing 3 loops, under a set time limit of 40 hours, accomplish what’s dubbed the “Fun Run”. Jamil was one those people this year. It took him 13 hours to finish the last loop.

There are no aid stations, runners carry with them their own food and water and whatever equipment they can carry (although, no GPS are allowed). Throughout the race, to prove runners are not cheating, the runners search for 10 books hidden along the way. Once found, they must tear out the page number that matches the number on their bib. (ETA: There were 13 books this year)

Jamil's bib

Jamil’s bib

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The book titles reflect the conditions of the course (and/or perhaps even some of the thoughts of the runners?).

During our question/answer session with Jamil, one person asked what the winner got–you know, what were you running for?

Nothing.

That was Jamil’s answer. You weren’t running to win anything.

Yet, people who’ve been unsuccessful in finishing the Barkley Marathon return again and again and again. Of course,  Jamil’s plan is to return.

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–Have you heard of the Barkley Marathon? (It’s funny because when you look it up, you get the same information every place you go. It’s like people only divulge certain things. It’s this mystique I find so intriguing.)

–Would you ever do a crazy race like this? (In a different lifetime, yes.)

This is a great site with pics from the race.

 

Holiday Traditions–Cascarones (Confetti Eggs)

A non-running related post today friends

I was chatting with my friend Amy the other day and we were discussing holiday traditions we are trying to continue with our families. I mentioned how when I was little, my grandma would make “cascarones” for our Easter egg hunts. What are “cascarones”? They are hollow eggs filled with confetti. Amy was intrigued and suggested I blog about it and share how to make these confetti eggs with my readers.

As a child, I loved cracking and smashing the eggs when I found them and I always tried to find these eggs rather than the regular, boring, hard-boiled ones. I’m not the most creative person out there, but I knew I wanted to carry out this tradition with my own kids and knew that they’d love them as much as I do did 🙂

This is also a really inexpensive project–a great plus!

Step One:

Tap the top of an egg to create a penny-sized hole. Drain the egg and rinse the inside with water. Let dry.

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I typically start saving eggs about two weeks before I’ll need them. So every time I make pancakes, scrambled eggs, or any recipe that requires an egg I make sure to drain it this way so I can start collecting them. I then store them in an old egg carton until I have my desired amount.

Step Two

Once you have enough eggs and you’re ready to start turning them into confetti eggs, take out the necessary supplies.

1. Eggs
2. Confetti (I used a three-hole puncher and newspaper ads)
3. Glue
4. Tissue paper (I reused saved tissue paper from past gifts)
5. Scissors

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Step Three: 

Decorate the eggs as you like. You can still dye them like you’d normally do to a hardboiled egg. For this post, I just wrote a little something on it 🙂

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Step Four:

Fill the egg with a small amount of confetti (or however much you want).

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Step Five:

Cut the tissue paper into squares large/small enough to cover the egg’s hole. Spread glue around the edge of the hole and place the square on top, pressing so that it sticks.

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Place finished confetti egg in carton to dry and voila! Repeat the steps with each egg until you’re done with all of them. Simple right? And trust me, “cascarones” are definitely kid approved 🙂

My daughter's first confetti egg experience

You can throw them, crack them on someone’s head, or stomp them. Guess which one my daughter chose?

You can throw them or stomp them. Guess which one my daughter chose?

She’s a stomper!

Hope you liked the project! If you don’t celebrate Easter, there are many other festive holidays where you can have fun with confetti eggs 🙂

–What are some holiday traditions you remember as a child?
–Do you carry on any traditions now as an adult?
–Have you heard of/seen “cascarones” before?