Monday, January 29, 2018

The 2018 Fleet Feet ~ HTC Grand Slam of Huntsville

31.69 miles on November 18, 2017


Warm. Cloudy. Breezy.

Those were the conditions on Monte Sano Mountain at the 14th Annual Dizzy Fifties 50K: the first race of The Fleet Feet/ HTC Grand Slam of Huntsville (GSoH).

I published a race report three years ago introducing the series found here.

This year's Dizzy Fifties 50K (only) no longer offered the sparsely entered 40 and 50 mile distances of past years, and it introduced a new course.

My GARMIN Forerunner 910XT Dizzy Fifties 50K Data

The new course used many of the same trails used in past races, but this year they were run in different directions and instead of returning to the start-finish pavilion 6 times during the race, we returned only twice before finishing.

2017-18 Finisher Awards
The three 10.5 miles loops retained the hilly northern loop and flat southern loop and had one aid station at the halfway point. Owen Bradley from Birmingham, AL won the race with at time of 4:33:57 followed by Alex Clark, Timothy Pitt, and Will Crisp.

2017 Dizzy Fifties 50K Race Results

Dizzy is a guaranteed sell-out nowadays. You gotta be ready at the end of July to sign up August 1st or you'll be on the wait list. The race is better than ever with new RD Ryan Chaffin. The leaves are beautiful on the mountain and everyone is ready for the fall racing season to get under way, especially the Grand Slammers.

I published a report two years ago with pictures of the trails and leaves on a sunny day found here.

Huntsville Grand Slammers @ Dizzy Fifties
We take a Grand Slam photo before every race and I made it into three of them this year. I'm not sure if a picture was taken at the Rocket City Marathon. There is also a Facebook page for the Huntsville Grand Slam that we use to keep each other encouraged and to celebrate our finishes.

I have finished 3 Grand Slams (2013-14, 2016-17, 2017-18).

When we sign up for the Grand Slam and each individual race, and after finishing them all, we receive our Grand Slam finishers jacket at Mountain Mist.

This year, YoungSu Hoy made a very special gift for each finisher (pic at bottom).

The second race of the GSoH is the Rocket City Marathon.

Monday, September 25, 2017


Tough & Crazy Marathon (S. Taylor)
Some informative and entertaining race reports about the Mystery Mountain Marathon already exist from its ten year history:

Wilson Clemons (2012)

Trailcats (2013)

Ultra Kraut Running (2014)

I ran the MMM as a recon race for the Double Top 100 next April and to see what my big mouth had gotten me into. After running over 20 marathons, the MMM was a new experience for me in a few ways.

To take as long as it did (7h 25m), I never got down on myself. I stayed mentally strong the entire race, even after taking a wrong turn and running an extra 3/4 of a mile around mile seven.

Not losing my positive mindset was a boost of confidence that I would need, because this marathon course is no joke. It's a battle of technical and tight trails full of roots and rocks that rates among the best I've run.

Boasting 15,000 ft. of elevation change, my Garmin adjusted number was 6,035 ft. of gain, while my Relive Video came in at 5,784 ft of gain. Another Relive Video I saw had just over 5,000 ft. of gain. Needless to say, for a marathon distance run, that is a humbling workout in addition to the mileage.


At 2:39 a.m. Sunday morning I was east bound and down loaded up and hopeful I would be able to do what others said could be done and had done. I would have my doubts around mile 19, when the 2 mile climb I'd heard horror stories about reared it's ugly head. More on that later.

From Clemon's RR (above)
The 3.5 hr. drive to Chatsworth, GA was typical of many long drives I've made before races: the unexpected fog and fear of deer darting across the road... Wondering if it was too early in the morning (or late at night) to be pumping gas and become a crime statistic.

I  did not, however, have a nagging feeling that I'd forgotten something, and that made for a good start to my 15 hour trip.

I felt ready for the race except in two minor areas: volume of training mileage and hill work; but, hey, that's part of becoming more of an experienced runner: Who needs race specific training, right?

Efficiency plays a helpful, but also harmful role before races. The never ending quest to see how few miles can I run and still get away with it?

There would be a lot of faking it in this marathon, and also drawing from years of experience to use my mental advantage to overcome my physical laziness.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

"Flesh & Blood Cannot Inherit The Kingdom..." Does Not Equal Disembodiment

The acorn is not the oak tree, but both are physical.

In Corinthians 15:50-54, Paul writes:

"What I am saying, brothers and sisters, is this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet."

"For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and thus mortal body must put on immortality. When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body put on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled. "Death has been swallowed up in victory.'"

Concerning this passage, N.T. Wright states:

"Here Paul states clearly and emphatically his belief in a body that is to be changed, not abandoned. The present physicality—in all its transience, its decay, and its subjection to weakness, sickness, and death—is not to go on forever, that is what Paul means by saying “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”

"The term “flesh” (sarx) is seldom if ever for Paul a merely neutral description of physicality; almost always it carries some hint both of the corruptibility and of the rebelliousness of present human existence. What is required for God’s future state of affairs is what we might call a “noncorruptible physicality”: the dead will be raised “imperishable” and we—that is, those who are left alive until the great day—will be “changed” (1 Cor. 15:52)."

"As the parallel with 2 Corinthians 5 makes clear, Paul envisages the present physical body “putting on” the new body as a new mode of physicality over and above what we presently know. It is not the mere resuscitation of a corpse, coming back into the same mode of physicality it had before, but equally and emphatically it is not disembodiment."

"[In] the most complex part of the chapter, verses, 35 to 49, Paul speaks of the different kinds of physicality between which there exists both continuity and discontinuity. In verses 36 to 38, he uses the analogy of the seed and the plant: there is both continuity and discontinuity between the one and the other. The oak is, and is not, the same thing as the acorn. Then, in verses 39 to 41, he points out that there are different sorts of physicality appropriate for different kinds of creatures each enjoying its peculiar “glory” (doxa)."