Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can't Stop, Won't Stop

Ain't no race like a Falls Road race cause a Falls Road race don't STOP.

If Celtic Solstice were put on by Howard County, this race would have been canceled on Monday on the threat of snow. This time, however, Mother Nature made good on her promise and blanketed us with a whole bunch of the white stuff (no, not cocaine) overnight. With all the fresh powder it looked like we were in Vail, or, some White Trash version of it.

After fielding a plethora of texts and emails at 5 in the morning, I made my way down 95 through the tunnel to pick up Zero and Jen in Fed Hill. Roads at this point were not crowded, obviously, but also hadn't been plowed. We made our way north to pick up Chrissie, and headed down the backroad of Fallsway to get to the race. After a near-death incident involving a skidding car and two oncoming snow plans on a blind turn, we were back in business.

We parked, and met Ben and Kip and assumed our volunteer parking duties. With the winds whipping to 1000 (that's right, just 1000 - no need even for a unit of measurement), the snow was blinding. Most wondered if the race would even happen, or if anyone would even show. Well, a few hundred hearty souls braved the conditions to participate and we made the best of it.

The traditional procession to the start line commenced with the bagpipers and Celtic warriors leading the way, and the gun went off shortly after. Runners took to the somewhat steep incline of the first half mile rather tepidly, as in I was able to keep up with them (I ran up the first hill with the racers). I waited around mile 1.5 and watched as the leaders separated themselves. It looked miserable but most of the runners were making the best of it.

After the last of the runners had gone by, I jogged down to the finish, where I was able to watch a spiked-up Brian Godsey hold off an out-of-towner by a narrow margin. This is BG's 2nd win at Celtic Solstice. In 3rd came Cheese, back for the weekend (but coming back soon for "good"). Tom Stott had an amazing performance, taking 5th, outpacing Dave Berardi and Pat McLoughlin. There were a few other dudes who raced, including OJ, Brian Desmond and Barf (among others). For the ladaaays, Julia Rudd endured a miserable night just to make it to the start line. She was almost here last night when she realized she forgot her wallet. She drove back to Herndon and was not going to come back - but then, at a late hour, she decided what they hay, I'll come up anyway. So she made it up, wore a ridiculous outfit and easily outran any other female competitor. Other chicks running were Christine Trzcinski and Molly Hyde.

Following the completion of the race, the party was ON in the enormous tent. The tent was a perfect size for the number of people that were in attendance. The cookies were bountiful. The wassel and spiked hot chocolate were in full effect. Pete ran the show like a seasoned emcee, and the playlist was full of hot jams. In light of how this event could have turned out, the Falls Road staff put on a terrific race. I don't know if anyone else would have even attempted it.


scotty doesn't know said...

seriously RESPECT for the falls road crew - mad props for putting on a logistical nightmare of a race

thanks to all of those who helped volunteer!

Ben said...

ryan - that might be the best race report ever in the history of blogging.

Collin said...

Holy crap. That weather must've sucked. 376 runners? That's what, 15% of last year?

Rebs said...

this just further solidifies why i wish i still lived in baltimore :( i really really really really wish i could have been there. sorry i wasnt confident enough to brave 95. merry christmas!