Category Archives: Upcoming Races

3rd Time’s the Charm – Team Virtus Takes on the Dirty Kanza 200 Again

I feel lost. I don’t really know what the hell I’m going to do with myself this weekend as my fellow Virtusans set forth on a mission to finish The Dirty Kanza 200. I will sadly, for various reasons with which I won’t bore you, not be in attendance this year. I feel like I should be there as part of the support crew, but I just can’t make it happen this year.

Buffalo Penis over Robby's head.

So many great memories have been made at DK over the last few years.

Finishing DK two years ago alongside Bob and Adam was one of the highlights of my supremely mediocre (at best) racing career. Last year, my heart wasn’t into it, and it showed when I pulled out at the 108 mile mark. I doubt I’d have finished anyway because the wind was horrible, but both Robby and Casey crushed it last year.

finish line of DK 200

I was so proud of Casey and Robby. What an unbelievable effort to have finished in that effing wind last year!

Unfortunately, Kate hasn’t quite been able to finish this beast of a race. Two years ago she made it 165 miles after getting into the race with just a few weeks to train for it. Last year she succumbed to the wind as so many others did. This year, however, she’s more than ready. Barring a serious mechanical or severe weather (both very real possibilities), Kate is going to finish this fucker this year. No doubt in my mind.

And to make sure Kate finishes, I apparently gave her some extra motivation a few months back. I don’t exactly remember how this all came about, but both Bob and Kate assure me that this happened. Somewhere in an email conversation or facebook chat or maybe even in a face to face conversation, I said if Kate finished the DK this year, I’d be at the finish line in…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

… Nothing but a jock strap.

What the hell was I thinking?! It’s not that I’m betting against her at all, because that would be a foolish thing to do. In fact, it isn’t a bet at all since Kate owes me nothing if she fails to finish (which ain’t gonna happen anyway).

It’s just that I know how much pleasure we all get out of embarrassing each other, and when the going gets tough – and it will get tough – Kate will keep going, knowing that my utter humiliation is in her hands. And I honestly can’t remember how those words ever came from my mouth or keyboard, but I guess they did. I’m such an idiot.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned before, I won’t be in attendance. So all of the wonderful people at the finish line will be spared from seeing me nearly naked. In lieu of being at the finish line in a jock strap, Kate has agreed to accept a photo posted to our facebook page instead. So, that’s gonna be a treat for everyone.

As much as I don’t want to have to post that photo, I truly want Kate to finish Dirty Kanza this year. I hope all of them – Kate, Bob, Adam, and Travis – finish the race and have a great time. I’m just bummed I won’t be there to see it all go down. And I’ll be even more bummed when I have to post that stupid photo.

So, to my Virtus brothers and sister, good luck, ride strong, and have fun! Strength and Honor to you all.

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Adventure Stuff to Read While You’re Pretending to Work – 4/18/14

That’s right! This is a new series here on the Virtus Blog. First, though, I have to give props for this idea to my favorite strength and conditioning blogger, Tony Gentilcore. He’s hilarious, entertaining, and super smart when it comes to fitness. And yes, I totally ripped the idea off from him.

This idea is simple. We’ll post some cool shit related to adventure that we think you should check out. This first installment will be focused on The Cedar Cross since it’s coming up quick, but there’s still time to register!  It is a gravel race in Mid-Mo that is the perfect tune-up race for Dirty Kanza, and it’s one that you don’t want to miss. The race director isn’t half-bad either.

1. One Month to Go and Heavies Ride for Free – Bob Fuckin’ Jenkins

The Cedar Cross is the shit for many, many reasons. One of those reasons is our very own Bob Jenkins. A couple weeks ago, there was an ad on facebook basically making fun of an overweight rider, and it was despicable. Bob was moved to write this post and make Cedar Cross even more awesomer. Read it and see just how fantastic this race is going to be.

2. Cedar Cross 2013 Video – thebikeweiss

Okay, so this technically doesn’t require any reading, but you should still check it out. I don’t know the guy who made it, but it shows some great footage of the race from last year.

3. Cedar Cross 2012 Race Report – Casey F. Ryback

Here’s a great race report from our friend, Casey, from Team Seagal. It’s from the inaugural Cedar Cross way back in 2012. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll sign up for Cedar Cross 2014 and join in on all the fun.

Let us know what you think of the new series. Do you like it or does it suck? Should we continue or shitcan it?

Running for (or away from) Tramp Stamps

In case you missed it over the last few weeks, Bob has become a runner.  Since coming clean about his current condition in one of this site’s most open and honest posts, Bob has turned a new leaf.  Sure he’s started over before and had ups and downs.  So have I.  Haven’t we all?  It’s called life, people.

But this time, Bob seems different.  He seems ready to make lasting change.  In mid-June he set a goal of running 50 miles by August 15th.  But that bar was set way too low.  He completely smashed it by hitting 50 miles on Monday, July 15th (congrats, Dude!).

Instead of celebrating his victory and going back to his old ways, though, Bob upped the ante by doubling down, so to speak.  He vowed to run a total of 100 miles by August 15h.

 Stretching before running

Bob stretching before his run. Who knew excessive running leads to hair loss?

Bob’s confidence must have been quite high when he wrote that post, because he said he was willing to take on a bet.  It probably comes as no surprise, but Bob and I have a hard time turning down bets like this.  And I’m sure you all know how our last bet turned out:

Gold Speedo

Kate looks creeped out, Bob looks terrified, and I look like I’m so happy I’m not wearing a gold Speedo.

I was truly happy that Bob was achieving so much success, and after reading about Bob’s new challenge,  I was very inspired as well.  And I knew exactly what I had to do.

So without thinking, I said I could double his mileage.

Between July 14th and August 15th, I will need to run twice as many miles as Bob does.  After agreeing to some rules (all runs have to be posted so the other person knows the total at all times being the main one), we were all set… Except we didn’t know what the stakes were.  So we turned to all the Virtusites on Facebook for some ideas (yet another reason to like us on facebook – you get to play choose your own adventure with idiots).

So right now, the loser of this bet will have to get a Henna Tattoo on his lower back.  The tattoo will contain the winner’s name worked into a design chosen by the winner.  That’s right, one of us will be sporting a temporarily permanent Tramp Stamp, and I can guarantee you there will be photos… And video.  So stay tuned for that.

And to add insult to injury, Bob didn’t think that was enough.  After throwing around some ideas (one of which would have been awesome but too offensive even for us), we settled on having the loser race in Pink Panties at the Thunder Rolls Adventure Race on August 24th.  You know, to show off the beautiful Tramp Stamp.

If you want to track our progress, you can follow along right here.  Bob is taking this shit very seriously, and I’m pretty sure I’m doomed.  But it will be great motivation for both of us, and it will help get me ready to pace my brother Zack at the Leadville 100 Trail Run on August 17th!!!  How cool is that?

So… Tell us who you think will win?  Me?  Or Bob?

Come Run With Us! – The Ava Brown Memorial 5K

Hello once again to all of you Virtusites out there!  I’ll keep this one short today (no, seriously).  In two weeks, on April, 13th, The Ava Brown Memorial 5K is being held here in Jefferson City, MO.

Ava Brown

For those of you who don’t know why this race is so near and dear to us, please go read this post right here.  Every time Spring rolls around, I go back and reread that post, and every time I read it, I break down and cry a little bit.  It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever written.  You should also read all of the comments on that post to see how amazing our friends and families are.

Two years ago, Team Virtus raised over $1000.00 for this great event!  ***WARNING! – the previous link contains a photo of me half-naked.  You’ve been warned.***  While we aren’t doing the same type of fundraising this year, we’d still love to see you at the race.  If you can’t come out and run or walk but you’d still like to help us fight SIDS, you can donate here.

Benjamin Lamb

Rumor has it that Kage has been training for a 5K PR.  Will she get it at the Ava Brown 5K?  If you know Rage Kage, then you wouldn’t bet against her.  And the good news is, she’ll be in a new age group this year!  She will hit the big Five – Oh about a week before the race, so even if she misses her PR, she has a good shot at placing in the top three in her new age group. 🙂

So, we hope to see you out there in a couple of weeks.  I’ll be running for Ava and for my nephew Benji.  Will you join us?

So Fun Soda Mile (and Trail Running)

First, I’d like to say happy New Year to all of you Virtusites out there!  I hope it’s the very best year for all of you.

We’ve been a little quiet here on the blog lately.  Well, we’re going to try to fix that.  I need to finish several race reports, and I need to write a couple of posts about upcoming events (like the SHITR on Saturday and the MLK2 Ride the Saturday after that).  But to whet your appetite, I thought I’d do a quick post on yesterday’s goings-on: The Soda Mile followed by some trail running.

Soda Popinksi

Obviously Soda Popinski would have won the race had he been there.

After yesterday, I can proudly say that I have surpassed Kage with the highest miles-driven-to-miles-raced ratio.  Her previous best was driving from Edwardsville, IL to Jefferson City, MO for the Kicks in the Sticks race.  That’s roughly a 150 mile drive to run 7.5 miles for a ratio of 20 to 1.  Well yesterday, I drove from Jefferson City to Edwardsville for a ONE mile race for a ratio of (for those of you who are mathematically challenged) 150 to 1.  That’s gonna be hard to beat.

Why would I drive that far for a one mile race?  To support a friend of course.  But also because it sounded like a blast.  It was a soda mile to benefit a friend’s son dealing with cancer.  I had never even heard of a soda mile, but once I understood what it was, I knew I had to go.

Here are the rules:

  1. Drink an entire can of soda.
  2. Run one lap around the track.
  3. Repeat 3 more times.
  4. Try not to barf but if you must, do NOT barf on the track.

I was up in the first heat, and there were some young, thin, fit high school runners in my heat.  Although I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near the podium, seeing these young, fast dudes confirmed it.  But there was something else I could do better than these young whippersnappers.  I could out-chug them.  My only goal was to slam my diet 7-Up, get the hole shot, and be the leader through turn one – just like Bob does at every cross race.

Getting ready for the soda mile

This is how you should warm up for a Soda Mile. (Photo Credit: Diane Dudding)

Taking the early lead was so easy I almost felt bad for the young bucks.  I pounded the soda, smashed the can in my hand like a man, threw it down, and took off running.  For a brief second, I thought about trying to run the mile as hard as I could.  Then my right calf tightened up, and I reigned it back in.  Not that it would have mattered.  The other guys were much faster than I was.

As I was belching my way over to the straight-away on the track, I heard some monstrous burps behind me.  It was a young guy who went on to be the overall winner with a time of 7:48 or something like that.

I finished lap one, grabbed another soda, and chugged as much as I could.  It didn’t go down as easily as the first one, though.  The third and fourth sodas went down a little more slowly as well.  The first 100 yards after each soda was always the worst.  I tried to open up my gut and throat to let as many belches out as possible.  Every time I hit the straight-away on the other side of the track I would be burp-free, and I could actually run full-speed again (although I wasn’t exactly crushing it since I wanted to save my calf for the trail running later in the day).

I passed a couple of younger, faster guys on the side of the track barfing.  It was hilarious.  I finished in 10:49 or so.  It was one of the slower times in my heat, but that’s okay.  That’s not what this event was about.  It was about helping a friend and having fun.

Finishing the Soda Mile

This and other shots prove that my running form is improving. I have a LONG ways to go, but I’m no longer a heel-striker. (Photo Credit: Kage)

Kage was up next, and she was not really looking forward to drinking the soda and possibly barfing.  But would that stop her?  Absolutely not.  We all knew that Kage was going to step up and chug 4 sodas and run the fastest mile of the day.  And here’s a video to prove it:

Kage finished the first lap with no problems.  There was no barfing.  I know…  Disappointing.  Before Kage started her second lap, Patrick and I informed her that she had not actually finished the entire can.  Well, here’s what she thought about that:

Kage Middle Finger

I don’t think she cared about what Patrick and I thought.

Kage probably drank half of each can (if we’re being generous), and she finished her mile in 25 minutes.  Okay, that’s not true.  I actually don’t know what her time was, but I think it was around 9 and a half minutes or so.  And it didn’t really matter that she didn’t drink all the soda.  The spirit of a soda mile is all about fun.

Our friend Sara – who broke out of prison with us – was in the last heat of the day.  I think she actually drank all four of her sodas and successfully completed the mile without barfing.  She rocked it!

Sara at the Soda Mile

She’s WAY too happy to be on her fourth Orange Soda.

The soda mile was a lot of fun.  It was very laid back, and no one took it too seriously.  The top three runners received their awards: Six-packs of soda.  We later found out that the event raised $2,511.00 for our friend Lindsay’s family.  And that is very cool.

After the race, Kage and Patrick (of 100+ Project fame) were nice enough to take me running on their local trails.  The trail through the Big Woods was fantastic.  The other trail was great too, but I really enjoyed the Big Woods.  I won’t bore you with the details, but here is a synopsis followed by some photos:

  • The trails were great.
  • The company was even better.
  • The bridges were super slick.
  • Wild Running is way too much fun.
  • We spotted Sasquatch.
  • I learned about (and ran through the ruins of) the Mississippi River Festival from the ’70’s (Here’s a cool video that shows some of the trail and relics).
  • We had some great conversations and laughed a lot.
  • We covered 9.75 miles (with just a bit of walking at the end).

And now for the photos:

SIUE Trail Running

The beautiful trails were practically right on the SIUE campus.

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Remnants of the Mississippi River Festival at SIUE

Although it looks like I’m trying to poop, I was actually trying to lift an old cable left behind from the Mississippi River Festival.

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Patrick the Future Failure

The SIUE campus has lots of different sculptures to keep us entertained. Here we see Patrick the Future Failure.

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Kage in a cage

No, she wasn’t trying out for “Showgirls 2: Maw Maw in Vegas.” Patrick noticed this and said, “Hey, we should put Kage in a cage.” So we did.

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Sasquatch on SIUE campus

While Kage was taking care of bidness, Patrick and I spotted the elusive Lukesquatch.

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Don’t forget about the SHITR on Saturday and the MLK2 ride next Saturday!  I hope to see you there!

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