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Moab 2010

Posted Mar 31 2010 4:12pm
Main image
written by Charlie

Just got home from Moab, Utah.  It is an annual thing with an internet group.  These guys are some of the very best people I know or have met!

We had a lot of fun.


I drove “The Mighty YJ” to Moab with my friend, Tom.  The first day was Friday, April 16.  It was devoted to the 6 1/2 hour drive, getting some food, checking in to the cabin (Morris Last Resort – Try ‘em!) and then meeting the rest of the group for dinner!  Everyone knew Molly (the Aussie) and knew that she died soon after last Year’s Get Together.  Everyone met Sami, the new trail dog!


We had a great meal at Fiesta Mexicana on Main street.  We agreed to meet at 8:30 AM Saturday morning to run the “Cliffhanger” trail.


Tom and I are training for the Seattle Marathon on June 26th.  Marathon training requires some running.  So, Tom, Sami, and I headed out for a 4+ something run from the cabin and then back.

Showers, then off to the “City Market” in town for the meet up.

Most of us were there on time.  Some of the Colorado Contingent were running late and wanted to meet us at the trail head. 

Cliffhanger is a great, but technical trail.  Take the Kane Creek Road (by the McDonald’s) out to the trail head (Cliffhanger is associated with the Amasa Back trail system).

Cliffhanger is tough!  It starts out with some technical steps, then simmers out some, but there are a lot of technical areas out there that take time and make this a challenging trail.

Somehow, I became the “Spotter” for this run.  A Spotter is the individual that guides a driver over an obstacle.  I don’t feel really comfortable doing it, but I am told that I am good at it, so I did it.

TMYJ Cliffhanger

This is the Mighty YJ on the steps at the entry to Cliffhanger.

Here are a few members of the group!

Andy CHH C CFR A CFTerry Cliffhanger

Cliffhanger is a 9 1/2 mile out and back trail.  Along the way are some great scenic views. There are areas where the trail is just a bit wider than the jeeps are. 

CH ott 1CH ott 2

2/3 of the way in, you find this obstacle.  Easy to negotiate, but the driver can’t see a thing except blue sky out of the windshield.  When she or he can, the news ain’t good.  Keep your rig all the way over to the passenger side, take it slow, and you’ll be OK.

Just between you and me, I ran ahead of the group to photograph this for the group (but mostly for me).  I actually slipped on one of the rocks to the driver side, then fell off it to the cliff side.  I did stop my slide, but there were Mountain Bikers that were ready to step in and catch me before I went over.

TMYJ CliffGroup Cliff

At the furthest point out, we took a break for lunch.  You find yourself out on the edge of a cliff that makes for great conversation and lots of getting nervous at people going near the edge!

End View

This one of my favorite running trails.  I had the togs on and after lunch as everyone else was packing up for the return trip, I took off for a run down the trail. I had a bottle of water and the iPod Touch and had a great time!

This trail is popular with everyone and all of us tend to keep an eye on each other.  I was well on my way when two of the mountain biking people stopped me concerned.  “Where’d you start from?” “Did you stash water somewhere?”  “Will you be OK?”

I explained that I was actually with a Jeep group and they were close behind me.  They accepted that and I moved on after thanking them.  I thought that there concern was nice.

By the way, I passed another contingent of jeeps, a contingent of PowerWagons, and another group of two Jeeps.

At the bottom, again at the steps at the entrance, I waited a few minutes then headed back up to meet the group again 1 mile back up.  Phew!  Tiring but fun!  It is good to be able to do that kind of running!

Stay tuned for more!   

PUNishment -

From the BearCrawling Nation!

The latest PUNishment!



written by Charlie

The Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon is officially sold out.

That’s OK, though, as I am in!  Tom, my best friend, is also registered for the full marathon!  I also hope to meet my friend, Lizzie Lee!

Are you going to run the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon?  Let me know!  Let’s have a Tweet UP!  I am @cewtwo on Twitter!  My Facebook page is at


I have worked on my speed since January.  I don’t train well outside, but I do train well on the treadmill.

In March, I ran 26 runs for a distance of 121.9 miles at a pace of 9:05.

In February, I ran 20 runs for distance of 106.5 miles at a pace of 9:44.

In January, I ran 21 times for a distance of 105.4 miles at a pace of 11:49.

The overall for 2010 is 67 runs for a distance 333.8 miles at an average pace of 10:09.

So, there is measurable improvement for me!


Why The Title?

I want to get my treadmill time down to a regular 9 minute mile.  I am almost there or very close to it.  My figuring is, based on very little research, is that time will translate to a 10:00 minute mile outside.

My best 5K time in a race is 27:15.  Since January, I have run a 27:10 5K and today I ran a 26:58 5K (Both were in March).  As a barometer to my training, I think that is a great thing for me.

But then…  Who knows?  Do let me know what you think!





written by Charlie



Last week, I ran 6 runs.  That was a distance of 28.11 miles at a pace of 9:08.


For the month of March, I ran 18 miles.  That was for a distance of 83.3 miles at a pace of 9:06.


For 2010, I’ve run 59 miles. That was for a distance of 295.2 miles and a pace of 10:18.


That brings me into my discussion this time around.



My Training -


I have been working on my pace time.  Lately, although I have been running, I have been running casually.  I ran the Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon on December 6th – I finished in 2:36:12 making my pace 11:39. I ran the PF Chang’s Phoenix Rock and Roll Half Marathon in 2:38:12 making my pace for that event 12:05. When I ran my Marathon in Las Vegas in 2008, I ran it in 6:04:22 making my pace for that race 13:54.


In past races, I have done better – My first 5K was run at 27:15 or an 8:46 pace.  My best half marathon time is 2:20:41 with a pace of 10:45.


I have gained weight back I am now at 230 or so.  Yes.  I am working at that actively. Two months ago, I weighed 241 at the Doctor’s office.


What does that mean? I know that I can run a half-marathon (or a Pikermi as it is becoming known – Google Pikermi) in under 11 minutes per mile.  That has been my project for a future marathon. 


I have been training on the treadmill.  I was not inspired to run outside, but I tend to train very well on the treadmill.  I have been pushing the pace and the elevation since I got the treadmill repaired.  This is a graph from Buckeye Outdoors –

Pace Graph 03222010

Can you tell when the treadmill was finally repaired?  Yes, I have been working on it.


The plan?  I am hoping to head outside soon as the weather is finally becoming spring-like. Last Saturday?  8 inches of new snow.  Nope!  Not yet!





I have a few scheduled for the rest of the year.  They are:


South Suburban Parks and Recreation Highline Canal Fun Run 5K on May 8th.


Kaiser-Permanente Colfax Marathon on May 16th.


Seattle Rock n Roll Full Marathon on June 26th.


Will I see you at any of them?

written by Charlie

Running -

As you know, I am in training for another marathon. I feel to be in good shape and I am feeling healthy.

I’ve just started the training.  I am in week 4 that just happens to be a bi- week.  So far my training has had me run 88.92 miles.  I will be doing most of my training on the treadmill (as I prefer it).  I am attempting to get my pace on the treadmill to just under a 9:00 minute pace.  I figure that should get me a marathon pace of around an 11:00 pace.

Marathon of Choice?  Seattle Rock and Roll on June 26th!

Why one of the Rock and Roll?  Bling!


Around my neck are 3 medals.  One is for the Vegas RnR half, run in December of 2009. One is for the PF Chang’s Half, run in January of 2010.  The third is a customer appreciation medal for running the both of the half-marathons.  Called the “Desert Double Down” it is a nice thing to get for just running.

Next race?  Probably the Colfax Marathon (Half) in Denver!


Life, Entertainment, and What I did About it! -

Television entertainment can cost a lot of money.  I was a DirectTV customer for over a decade.  I liked and appreciated their service for a long time, but recently I haven’t liked them.  They are expensive, but are willing to drop the price if you call and complain.  The latest price hike was 9%. That would have placed my monthly bill at about $80.  I called to complain and was offered $200 off for 2010. It would have required a new commitment.  I didn’t want that so I cancelled their service.

I had to think about it first.  I looked at what I actually watched on their service.  I used their HD service. I watched mostly local TV channels. I did watch a lot of BBC America, some ScyFy channel, some History, and some Discovery channels. I had their program guide and DVR service and used it.  That was it.

About a year (or so) ago, I shared a build on a HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer).  If I was going to get a program guide, HD and a DVR/PVR, I’d have to look at it again.

The HTPC was in an entertainment center type of case.  It blended in well with the other components of the entertainment center.  But to do an up grade, I would need to find additional or replacement cards in a low profile assembly.

I started out with just adding an additional gigabyte of system memory. I added 1GB of DDR2–667.  That brought the system up to 2 GB. I’d have liked more, but it is an HTPC system without the demands of a gaming system.  I also added an outside UHF TV antenna for digital TV broadcasts off of the air.

The basic build was a micro ATX motherboard (MSI K9VGM-V) with an AMD Athlon 3800+ Dual-core CPU in an Antec Minuet case.  The graphics card was a Nvidia 9400GT. I couldn’t use the old tuner card as it is not a low profile.  So, I added a Hauppage USB 950Q tuner card, and an ATI TV Wonder PCIe (1x) card. Those would bring in HD off of the HD TV antenna.

I used the SageTV software that I already had.  That provided a DVR/PVR and a program guide. It also provided a media server for music and household videos, and access to some online media sharing websites (YouTube, Google Videos and the like).  It also provided new HD content from other online providers.

I had Mozilla Firefox on board to provide yet more services, such as, and the like.  I would use the household 7mbps DSL service to access the Internet with.

I assembled the revised system.  It worked!  I could record TV shows and even translate them into portable player modes, so it could be taken with.  It looked and ran like a provided service. I thought I had everything I needed.

Practical use proved otherwise, though.  The video/graphics card could not keep up with the signal.  I needed a new video/graphic card.

More research was necessary.  I wanted to make this change with the least amount of hassle possible.  HD video is not as demanding as gaming, but it would need more than I was giving it.

Most SD (Standard Definition) video is easily viewed using a 256MB card.  Win Media HD (High Definition) requires 512MB card. Those are the 2 basic standards that had to be met.  I also wanted to use an HDMI connection with 7.1 surround sound audio pass through.  Further research showed that the ATI graphic system chips are being used in Samsung TV systems.  I had an AMD CPU, an ATI tuner, and a Samsung LCD TV.  It made sense to go with an ATI graphic card. So, off to the store!

I explained what I wanted to a sales representative in the “peripheral” section.  I bought an HIS HD 4350 PCIe 16x DDR2 512MB graphic card with everything I wanted except the amount of GPU memory that I wanted

I got it home, put it in the machine, and turned the HTPC on!  Amazing, colorful HD video ensued!  I had a system that does exactly what I want it to!

A definite plus is that I rebuilt the HTPC with the updates at less than I would pay in a normal month for the satellite system that I dropped.  All input was free and working great at this point.

The splurge!  I have to admit that I did get the Netflix streaming video service at the lowest rate it was offered at.  I don’t necessarily want the DVD sent by mail, but the option is there.  The streaming service is amazing on the revised HTPC!

The only trouble is…  There is often times that there is just nothing on TV to watch!  (But that was always true!)

 How About Some “OK GO” Fun Now?


written by Charlie

Marathon Training Schedule Color 01312010

Working toward the Seattle Rock and Roll full marathon!  June 26, 2010.

written by Charlie

I have been!  It was a whirlwind trip that lasted 26 hours.

I ran as Elvis at the Vegas Rock and Roll on December 6th.  It was a fun race, but you can read about it elsewhere on this blog!

I traveled to Vegas with my friend, Tom.  Tom is a great guy and a great runner.  He is much faster than I am! He ran his first half-marathon since High School and set a start over PR of 2:02!  Congrats, Tom!

While there, his brother and Tom agreed that while Don ran the full marathon at PF Chang’s in Phoenix, Tom would run the Half with his niece, Julia. So Tome was committed to the Phoenix competition.

Now…  I’m selfish.  With Tom’s first 2 half-marathons, he would get 3 medals (one of the medals would be for completing both the Vegas and Phoenix competitions in a 6 week period.  That would give Tom 3 pieces of bling.  I had 3 prior to the Vegas run. With the Vegas bling, I would end up with 4.  It was just too close!  I ended up signing up for the Phoenix competition.  That would give me the greater edge.

It also gave me an additional 5 weeks of training (I took a week off after Vegas).  Unfortunately, I also decided to take a week off to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate) after a debilitating left calf muscle injury.

So, I trained for 4 weeks.  It does get cold in Colorado. 3 of those weeks were outside in the cold.  I did finally get my treadmill fixed for the last week of training.


I start most of my morning runs between 9 to 9:30 AM.  Saturday morning, both Tom and I ran at 8:00 AM. I was a short run of 2 miles.  Then it was time to get showered, get Sami (the yellow labrador dog) to the kennel, park the car (off airport) then get to the airport.

We got to the airport at 1:30 PM. We got through security quickly and headed for our gate.  We were there earlier enough to get some lunch. Why isn’t airport food healthy?  AND why do they charge so much more at the airport than on the street?

Soon enough, we were back at the gate and loading on the plane.  The flight took two hours with no troubles.

As each of us had only a backpack, it was easy to escape the airport. We went outside and Don was just driving up with his family.  We got in after much hugging and all of us headed to the Health & Fitness Expo.

We found out that a family friend was dying.  Nancy, Don’s wife, was absent due to that.  She had her hands full with that situation.

The Expo was good. It was fairly large and well-attended.  I did get myself a new running shirt from a past Vegas competition. I also got some “26.2” socks for Don.  Didn’t give them to him yet.  After all, he did have to earn ‘em!  How much did it cost to park? $20!  Hmmm…

After that?  An Olive Garden for dinner!  It was great! Then off to the house, a viewing of “Spirit Of The Marathon,” prepping the clothes and gear for the race, and then I fell out!

Both Tom and I looked forward to this race.  We trained in very cold weather with snow, ice and other on Winter surfaces.  This race was going to be run in shorts and short sleeves!  Won’t that be wonderful!

4:30 came early…  The coffee was ready.  I had one cup.  After all, you have to think about pit stops along the race route.

Don’s race marathon attempt would start in 3 hours.   I had some oatmeal and slowly prepared for the race.

Slowly, Tom, Nancy and Julia stirred!  We were getting ready to go out the door.  Of course, it was close to 6:20 AM before I got out the door.  It was a long drive to the starting line. 

We let Don out with enough time to get to his start line.

After Don got out, Nancy got a saddening call.  Their friend had died.

Even though it was expected, the news is still a shock.  Nancy asked if she could go to the hospital.  All of us said, “Of course!”  Off to the hospital we went.

We were all left with our thoughts for a while.  We played some games.  There was a restroom call and then a visit.  Nancy met Tom and Julia in the hospital lobby.  They came out to the car.  It was now 8:05 AM.

Nancy and Tom negotiated the closed streets to a runner drop off area.  There were a lot of people coming in as late as we were.  I think that both Tom and Julia were getting tired of me pushing a hustle out of them.  The sidewalk was busy with pedestrians and runners warming up.

We passed the start line and saw both Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor being interviewed prior to the race.  Deena did a phenomenal run and finished first in the women’s race. Ryan came in 2nd in the Men’s.

I was in corral 17.  Tom and Julia were in corral 16. I finally entered my corral with one minute to spare (to the gun).  They released the corrals slowly but evenly.  It was .28 miles and 33:28 minutes for me to cross the start line.

At the start line was the Mayor of Phoenix and Senator John McClane.  Interesting things to see!

The start was slow and it took a while to break from the crowd to run at a comfortable pace.  I set my mind to an 11 to 11 and a half minute pace.

As is my style, I like to interact with the spectators.  I encouraged them to encourage the runners.  I asked them if they’d run it next year.  I high fived and fist bumped a lot of people!  It needs to be said that I think the people of Phoenix are great, and there were a lot of them watching us run!  Yay, Phoenix!

The run reminded of East Colfax in Denver.  In areas, it was a path of buildings and streets that had seen better times.  The race is a joint venture between Phoenix, Scottsdale and the city of Tempe.  The objective was to run from Phoenix through Scottsdale to Tempe.  It had to be a course that featured all three cities.

I though it was funny because in tow places we ran around little city parks.  It was explained to me later that the route went there to provide some additional restrooms.  Makes sense now!

Most of the course was flat! But from about mile 8 to mile 10 was a slow, gradual upward incline. The we went down for a mile and then slowly up again.  We ran through one University parking lot.  There was a climb out of there that assisted you knowing exactly where the quads are!

The longest miles were the last 2, for me. Finally, though, the bridge that crosses the Salt River just prior to the finish line came into view.  The down side? There were two musicians carrying their cases that I had to run over to and ask them to slow down so I could pass them running.

Finally, there was the crowd at the finish!  I can do this!

Another mile, and I crossed the line.  I ran across the line and started to walk.  In a daze, I missed my friends as they congratulated me from the sidelines! There were water bottles and I grabbed one, opened it, and slugged half of it down.  Ahead of that, was my medal  My bling.  One of the reasons for doing this race!  The lady who was handing them out gave me mine. I told her that I have a tradition of hugging the medal giver!  She told me to go right ahead.  We hugged and she thanked me.  I thanked her, too!

I walked through the finishers area, collecting energy bars, green banana (Green Bananas?), oranges and crunchy munchies!

I found Tom, Julia and Nancy. Is there time to watch as Don finished the full Marathon?  But we’ll talk of the soon!

I cross the Finish Line!

(Look to the right, the count timer actually covers me as I finish!)

The Bling!

Phoenix Bling!









written by Charlie

Just a quick update to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.  I missed Hannukah, I apologize for that!

I am supporting a life long friend in his first marathon attempt.  Don, Nancy, Julia and Mitch are a super family. They provided me great support when I completed my first marathon in Las Vegas last year.  I want to support him in his first marathon!  So, I’m flying out to Phoenix on January 16th, running the half on Sunday morning, then waiting at the finish line until my friend, Don, crosses it!  They were doing their best to get me to come out but I wanted to surprise them (Now I just hope they don’t read this blog until AFTER Christmas!)

In November, I ran 21 runs.  It was for a total of 118.1 miles at an 11:04 pace.

In December, I’ve run 10 runs.  They’ve been fo 58 miles at a 12:18 pace.

I hope to sign up for the 2011 Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge right after the first of the year.  That sets the sights high for training near the end of 2010.

January 17th, I will be running the PF Chang’s Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  I’m there, I’m going to run.  I just hope that I can beat the first-timer to the finish line.

Nancy is going to walk the half-marathon, and their daughter, Julia, is going to run the half!  She is 12 years old and it will be her second half-marathon!

Of course, there is also the Rock And Roll Competitor bling. Vegas RnR haf medal, PF Chang’s half medal, a Desert Double Down medal for completing both Vegas and the Phoenix half.

I put a corkboard up in the living room behind the couch.  I put a RnR mylar blanket as a background and we are placing our race numbers and our medals on it now.

Picture?  Later maybe!

So, remember…  Get off the couch, get out there and run! 

Something for a friend that is far from home at Holiday Time!

Hang in there, Mate!  Wanted you to know that people are thinking about you and missing you!  Keep a stiff upper lip! And enjoy the holiday!



written by Charlie

I trained for this competition with a good friend, Tom Martin.  I saw a T-shirt during the race that said, “This was a good idea 4 months ago!”  And it was, and it also was good in application!

In 2008, I ran the the Las Vegas full marathon.  I had seen the Runnin’ Elvi then and thought that they were a classy bunch that motivated both the runners and the spectators! 

Elvis! and the Running Elvi!

My desire was to run as Elvis (a costumed character runner) this year.  It involved some extra work.  I had to get a wig, sunglasses, and a costume to wear.  I started with a costume from a Halloween costume store, but it looked exactly like an Elvis costume one would buy from a store.  From the Rock n Roll website, I saw a way to order an Elvis athletic jump suit.  I followed that lead and ordered the jump suit!  That was the clincher!  I was actually going to run as Elvis!

Elvis! 12052009

I was looking forward to meeting a group of friends from Twitter that I knew were going to run it.  The meet up was set for 2:00 PM Saturday at the Expo.  I knew that there were Elvi activities that same afternoon, so I went to the Expo in the morning.  It was packed all day long.

When I showed up for the meet, I was in my Elvis persona.  I was found outside by other Elvi and never made it to the meet up.  That was depressing.  But seeing all of those Elvi at the half-marathon finish line was fun!  A lot of pictures and video was taken.

After the Finish Line activities, we Elvi went inside to the Expo.  It was very parade like with several stops in the Mandalay Bay convention center (for photos and showing off)!

We entered the Expo as a crowd, and worked our way through!  It was filled with stops for photos and fun.  There was a presentation at the end and all of us stood at or near the stage.

I wore the Leis around my neck.  At one point, I saw an older lady standing and watching us by herself.  I asked her if she was married or single.  She told me that she was single.  I placed a Lei around her neck.  I told her that, at least, she would not have to explain to anyone that she was lei’d by Elvis!

Many of the Elvi hung around for the Pasta Dinner, but I had friend and family obligations and couldn’t attend.

As you can imagine, restaurants and buffets were full all over town.  We ate at the Gold Coast.  It was very good.  All too soon, though, it was time to head back to the hotel and last minute preparations.

Santa just happened to be at the same buffet.  I stopped by and told him that I just wanted a completion in the morning.  He explained to me that you can wish and you can do. He said that he expected me me to DO my best and I would complete the Half.  Nice guy, and he was so correct!

Race Morning!

I slept better than usual.  I made it to bed by 9:00 PM.  I actually didn’t wake up until the alarm went off at a very early 4:00 AM.  I had one cup of coffee, one small bowl of oatmeal and a banana.  I checked the weather.  36 degrees with a wind chill factor making it feel like 31 degrees.  Very cold for Las Vegas (even in December).

I wore compression shorts, tights, tunic, heavy long socks, under the Elvis jump suit.  I pinned my bib number under the belt sash, pinned the sash to the jump suit and placed my runner’s wallet inside the sash!

In the lobby, Don, Tom and Julia were ready to go.  Julia just stared at me.  It took me a moment to realize that she had not seen me ‘in costume’ before.  We headed out and were the last ones on the hotel shuttle headed to the Start Line.  The shuttle took us to the front door of the Mandalay Bay.  On the way, I addressed the crowd (as Elvis) and introduced 12 year old Julia and the fact that this was her first half-marathon. She got a cheer and kudos!

We walked toward the Shark Reef entry. Shark Reef is an aquarium at the Mandalay bay.  The elvi were meeting there.

This was Tom’s, Don’s and Julia’s first half-marathon.  The event had sold out.  That meant that there were going to be 27,000 runners between the 2 events.  The Mandalay Bay was packed with runners.  There were 225 Elvi, and 95 couples either getting married, or renewing their vows, at the run-through wedding chapel (at the Paris Casino).  We talked about all the people, what to expect, what to watch for and all matter of things.  All of us were feeling the excitement of the event!

The Elvi were called together for the parade to the Start Line.  Imagine 200+ Elvi (Elvis and Elvettes) walking from the Mandalay Bay Expo Center to Russell Road, then around the corner to the Start line.  There we engaged in interviews, more videos, and some inspirational talk.  We saw Bengal tigers, show girls and the Band starting off the event.

After that, we walked back to Corral 14 that the Elvi and the Wedding Couples shared.  It was a fun beginning.

Now for the wait for the start.  I could feel the cold.  Slowly, runners were ambling out to their corrals.  As the people came out, and we squeezed 27,000 people into all of the corrals, it got warmer and warmer. 

As the start time got closer, things started to happen.  There were fireworks and sky jumpers.

They started off the elite group.  We watched as they took off on the Mandalay Bay marquee.

Then came the gun for the rest of us!  More fireworks!  The corrals moved up individually (at first) and released.  By the time Corral 14 made it to the start line we just ran right past.  We were headed South to the southern boundary of McCarran airport.  Then we turned North for the famous Las Vegas strip.

I started my Garmin 205 watch at the gun.  It took me 23 minutes to cross the start line.  The first mile was 37 minutes. It was much more consistent after that.

I played the Elvis role to the hilt during the run!  If there were spectators on the sidelines that were quiet, I’d put my arms in the air and ask them to cheer the runners on!.  When they did, I’d point the Elvis point and say, “Thank you, thank you very much!”

At the 6 mile point, the young lady that made the Elvis jump suit that I was wearing, saw it and told me who she was! I ran over to her and gave her a great, big, sweaty, Elvis hug!

At mile 7, I saw Nancy and Mitch (Don’s wife and son).  Mitch got a kick out of my costume (and a handshake from Elvis!)  Nancy got a hug!

One pit stop on the way, I had to wait in line for a couple of minutes.  I finally got in and when I left, I just couldn’t resist.  I had to say, “Elvis has left the building!”

It was an interesting course this year.  We were able to run the Las Vegas strip both North and South.  It made for an interesting way to track yourself as you ran.  Where are we?  Oh, yeah! There’s Treasure Island!  Oh yeah!  There’s Excalibur!

The miles did tick down.  Soon I was passing the Excalibur on the way back.  I could see the 13 mile mark.  I picked up speed as I neared the Finish Line.  I told my co-runners that a costumed Elvis was passing them!  (There is the unspoken rule – NEVER let a costumed runner beat you to the finish line!).

I pulled off my gloves and stuck them in my belt.  I saw the finish line and raised my hands above my head.  I put a big grin on my face as I crossed it!  Elvis has left the race!

The Numbers

They used the same timing chip this year that was used in last year’s competition.  It is a plastic mounted RF chip that can be read along the course.  It can be saved as a souvenir or just thrown away.  The shoe chips were read at the start line, 5K, 10K, 10 Mile and at the Finish line.  My times were:

Charles White  #14681

Age: 56     Gender:  M

Distance: Half-Marathon


  5 KM                35:00

10 KM             1:10:19

15 Mile             1:59:10


Clock Time:     3:02:41

Chip Time:       2:36:18


Pace:                  11:56              

Tom finished at 2:02:18

Don and Julia crossed the Finish line together holding hands and smiling!  They finished in 2:28:19.

Now for the bling!

LV 2009 Medal

LV 2009 Bling


The Aftermath

Once everyone was in, we had our pictures taken with show girls.  Don, Julia and I all joined the poor show girl together.  That way, Don and Julia got a picture of them with their favorite Elvis…

We got our refreshments (bananas, oranges, sport bars, bagels, Cytomax, water, pretzels, Spicy chips, and gobs more). We wandered about the finish area and watched people and things.

Many people asked for a picture with Elvis!

Then, all too soon, it became time to leave.  We made our way over to Russell Road.  We were waiting for our ride to show up.  Two people walked up and the lady touched my arm.  She asked if I was one of the Running Elvi.  I said that I was.  She asked if she could interview me.  Then she said, “On camera.”  I was about to get interviewed for television!

The interview was fun and I just answered a few basic questions…  Who I am, where I was from, why I decided to run as Elvis, and similar.  I, of course, expounded way beyond what was necessary.

It lasted for a few minutes.  They saw Julia and asked about her.  Her Mother (Nancy) explained that Julia was 12 and this was her first Half-Marathon.  Julia was put through a similar series of questions.  She did much better than I did at it, I thought.

About that time, our ride arrived and we were off.  It took about two hours to get to our hotel, but that is a story best saved for another time.

About 2:00 PM (or so), I got a tweet from one of my friends in Vegas.  “Um, did I see you on TV?”

I tweeted back that I had been interviewed.

I later learned that both Julia and I made it to the news show on TV8 KLAS. What could be a better end for an Elvis?

The Special Treat

Most runners plan on something special to eat or drink after a competition that they have trained for.  Tom and I did the same.  What was our special meal?

Canter’s Deli in Treasure Island casino.  I love their Reuben sandwiches.  2 Reuben sandwiches, fries and a soda was $31.50 and very worth it. It is a huge, delicious sandwich.  It did take me a while but I was able to finish the whole thing!

AND…  Just so you know…  I did not bet or wager any where this year.  I had enough to do to not even worry about that!




written by Charlie

Vegas RnR BC 12012009

I am having some fun on this run!

This event lets us run the famous Las Vegas strip from South of the Mandalay Bay up to Fremont Street and then back again!

I’ve called myself the Hawaiian Elvis.  I’ll be wearing 17 leis around my neck and on my person.  I’ll had one off to a young lady as I complete each mile.  Included with the lei will be one of the Elvis cards (above).

The extra ones? One for the person that hands me my finisher medal, one for me as a souvenir and the others for people that supported and cajoled me through training for this event!

Want to find out more about the Las Vegas RnR inaugural event?  Go here !


written by Charlie

There is a lot of discussion on running.  There seems to be 2 sides (basically).  There are competers and there are completers.  I am a completer.


I love to experience the excitement of a planned running event.  To stand in a crowd of thousands of fellow runners is an excitement that is difficult to describe.  It is exciting to experience and exciting to get there.  I do put in my training.  I am faster now and can go a lot farther than when I started the training.  That alone is pretty exciting.  I also know that Plantar Fasciitis is a surmountable injury.


Some people say that if you are not in it to compete and win, then you are wasting your time.  That implies, more importantly, that I am wasting my fellow runner’s time.  If you follow that philosophy, then there would be 15 to 20 runners in any event.  Those are the people that have the chance of being able to win, place or show.  Why would anyone put on an event for that amount of people?


Slacker Finish

I agree with John Bingham ( ), though.  He has said (I’m paraphrasing here) that there are competers and completers.  AND…  There is plenty of room for both. 


I remember my first 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon.  My very first was a half-marathon.  I knew that I could do it and I did.  There were doubters out there and in my pack, but they were wrong.  I completed that half-marathon!  I am a better person for it.


My roots in personal running was all based on concerns of friends and family.  I was 52, weighed 275 pounds, was lazy and lackadaisical. I was accepted in a medical trial.  I had gone through some tests at a cardiac clinic.  It was interesting to see the results of that test.  I knew that I had to change my ways.


I found a new Doctor that showed an interest in treating me. He was concerned for my condition.  I thank him every day for getting me into running.  I am definitely healthier, happier and far, far better than I was before.


That does not change the fact that I run near the back of the pack. 


Many people have asked me why I chose to run the Vegas Rock and Roll Half-Marathon on Sunday, December 6, as a member of the Running Elvi.  I completed my first marathon in Las Vegas last year.  I’d never run in a competition that had a mascot of any kind.  I found the Elvi last year to be funny and motivational.  When running the race is difficult enough, why make it harder?


The real answer for me is that it adds a twist to the competition.  Maybe I can motivate someone. Maybe I can get a laugh out of someone.  Maybe I can get someone to think that if I can run it in costume, then they can finish.  I also think it will be fun and get me some of that 15 minutes of fame stuff!


If you see something on the news about all of the Elvis impersonators that are running this year (They are trying to set a world record with this run), think of this half-marathon completer.  Give a wave and say Hi!  Because one of those many Elvi is me.


Remember…  There are people that love and care for you.  If you find yourself on the couch too much, try a run.  Its worth it!


Running –


Last week, I ran 30.3 miles including a 12.52 mile long run, a tempo run, intervals and maintenance runs.  I know that I can finish this one!


In November, I ran 21 times for a total of 118.1 miles.

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