Friday, August 1, 2014

Limberlost and Lumberlabour

Okay, this RR is late.  I know, I'm retired, so what the hell could be my excuse?  You're not going to like hearing this again, but I've been busy!  Read after the RR if you care to find out why.

The Limberlost Challenge

The Limberlost Challenge ranks as one of Ontario's finest trail races, a big part of which is the most excellent course.  Even in a wet and muddy year such as 2014, it ranks as a favourite among many of Ontario's trail aficionados.  TLC and Creemore have a special connection, that grew out of a need to address the perceived problem of holding 2 Ontario ultra (OUS) races on consecutive weekends.  Due to logistics, it would have been problematic to change the date of either race.  Instead, Neil (RD for TLC) and I decided to make a challenge for those who ran both the Creemore Vertical Challenge and The Limberlost Challenge.  Hence the birth of the (what else!) Ultra Challenge Challenge.  Those completing both races would be presented with a coveted UCC finishers medal.  The top 3 M/F would also get prizes (pottery) and a plaque.

The above is a fairly lengthy explanation that I needed to help Neil with the UCC; calculating and tracking the times, and presenting finishers with the UCC medal.  There's no way I'm going to be at TLC without running the course!  Running the 28K would give me time to help with the UCC after my race was complete.

Since I'm about 2.5 hours from Huntsville, I drove up the morning of the race.  TLC boasts one of the greatest venues for staging a race, with plenty of parking, space for a big tent and a lake to cool down in after my 28K shift was done.  Races start every 20 minutes, so that all 4 races begin between 8:00 and 9:00.

My running is starting to progress in 2014.  I think this has to do with more physical exercise (retirement does not translate to leisure, in my case), losing some weight and no injuries.  At TLC, I decided to push the pace a little, for the first time in 3 years.  I stayed slow during the first 5K, to make sure there were no hidden issues, then gradually upped the pace until it became "challenging".  I was not rocketing the course by any means, but finished the first 14K in  1:44, which is very respectable for me.  Fatigue and being unused to pushing during a run meant that my second loop was slower.  I was happy with a sub-2 hour second 14K and a finishing time of 3:43!  It has been a while since I was in the top half of the finishers, so I was surprised to see that I placed 5th of 13 in my AC.  This helps tremendously as some days, I wonder if I will ever be able to run fast again.

After the race, I enjoyed the lake (okay, in case someone reads this who saw me in the lake, I went up to my shins), had a shishkabob, then hung around chatting and handing out UCC medals.

Great race!


I am helping my son-in-law Daryl to build a house in Toronto.  Daryl and Lily (my step-daughter) bought a bungalow near Park Lawn and during the winter, Daryl and I demolished everything but the exterior walls and part of the floor.  After a few delays (this becomes significant later on), Csaba (pronounced Chubba), a master carpenter, started framing the new house.  It would be a 2 story modern style house, loosely based on Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.  Daryl and I are the common labourers, while Ritchie, an experienced carpenter, is helping Csaba with the construction.  

Csaba, who is lightening quick at his normal speed, has been going gangbusters to complete the framing before he heads to Hungary for a vacation to visit with family and friends.  Trying to keep up with his requests for lumber and plywood is killing me!  Is the house over-engineered?  For the roof, we are talking 2x8 20 foot lumber for the rafters, strapped with 2X4 on edge, then 3/4 inch plywood for the decking.  A typical comment from Csaba:  "Hey Pierre!  Please hand me 4 sheets of 3/4 plywood".  Csaba means for me to haul the 4 sheets up through a window to the roof peak.  I might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the picture...

The house will be impressive once complete.  From just inside the front door, it will be 26 feet up to the peak.  The house will be clad entirely in metal.  More pictures to come!

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