Friday, August 28, 2015


I really loved XKCD's flow chart for Stop so I decided to do one for Hey! Click the image for the bigger version.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Putting the Fun in Running: Top 10 Bucket List Runs in the Cincinnati Area

When I mention that I’m a runner I often hear “Running is so boring”.  My reply?  You’re doing it wrong.  Sure training by yourself (and especially on the dreadmill) can be boring as hell, but the way to counter the boredom is to add fun and crazy events to your racing calendar.  If you’re looking to spice up you race calendar here's a list of races within a reasonable driving distance of Cincinnati that will definitely cure your running blues.

1. Mud Run/Obstacle Course

You have two options here.  You can go with the established Mud Run organizations, (Warrior Dash if you want a quick and fun 5K course, Tough Mudder if you want diabolical obstacles and 12 miles of suck).  But I’d suggest the second route, finding a crazy local group that maximizes the fun at reasonable prices.  I’ve done a Warrior Dash and I’ve done a Tough Mudder but the most fun I’ve ever had in a mud race was the now defunct TAC Force Challenge in Springboro, OH.   Rather than trying to market themselves as the MOST EXTREME mud run and charging you over $100, they focused on making fun obstacles at a reasonable price.  Check out the videos!

Though the Tac Force Challenge is no more, I have high hopes for the Gem City Gauntlet which should provide an awesome time for under $50.  A 200’ long and 12’ wide slip and slide?  Hell yea!

2.  Costume Race

Few things in life are as humbling as being passed by a man in a Sponge Bob Square Pants outfit.  But nothing is quite as invigorating as yelling "What are you gonna do when Hulkamania runs wild on you" and "The Hulkster's been eating his vitamins brother" as you pass someone.  The Halloween race you’ll probably hear the most about is Run Like Hell, but I’d travel a little bit north and hit up Dayton’s Ghost and Goblins 5K for a better race experience.

3. Get Nekkid! 

So what’s more invigorating than running in costume?  Running in nothing at all!  A short 90 minute drive to Centerville, Indiana this August will bring you to the Sunshower 5K, a clothing optional 5K that takes place on the grounds of the Sunshower Country Club Nudist Resort.  I cannot express to you how crazy it is running through the woods butt ass naked while a bunch of naked people cheer you on.  Be sure to get a warmup in to identify chaffing areas, load up on the sunscreen, and prepare to have the most surreal time of your life!  For you shier folks, hit up Cupid’s Undie Run.

4. Conquer the Skyscraper

I’ve always loved Cincinnati’s skyline.  There’s nothing quite like it when you are on 75N and you come around the curve on the cut in the hill and all of a sudden Cincinnati is there. Towering over all the other buildings is the Carew Tower, whose 45 floors and 804 steps await you in this event designed to raise money for the American Lung Association.  Be prepared to have your quads scream as you reach the halfway point and marvel at the firefighters ascending with all their gear.  You’ll need at least $125 ($25 registration fee and minimum $100 donation) but it’s for a great cause and such a unique event that it’s totally worth it. 

5. Urban Adventure Race

Topo Adventure Sports puts on The Amazing Race in your city without the douche baggy reality TV elements.  Best done with a buddy.  They’ll have you racing across the Ohio river, kayaking down the Licking river, solving clues (the year I did it required us to make it to the Carew Tower observation deck and find a specific billboard through the view finder on the south side), and making the ascent up to Eden Park. Warning:  It can be a bit difficult getting the kayak to the river.


6. Donut Dash

Here’s my dirty little secret.  I run mainly so I can eat.  I love food.  Especially donuts.  So why not combine the two? The Donut Dash is a 5K race with two donut stops where every donut you eat takes 2 minutes off your time.  It’s time to put those 4:30 milers in their place baby!  If you'd rather ride a bike, check out the Tour de Donut.


7. Crush the Mile

Are 5Ks just too damn long?  Ever wonder how fast you could run a mile?  Now you can find out! The first time I did a mile race I had planned to run a few more miles afterward.  Instead I crossed the finish line, immediately feel to the ground, and coughed for about 3 hours straight.  But now I know!  You can too at the Harvest Home One Mile Race or the ORRRC 1 Mile Dash.

8. Spouse Carry

Take racing with that special someone to the next level by carrying them through the course!  I'm not sure if this Columbus event ever took place or not but the next best thing in the area is this Valentine's Day themed race, where you and your partner are tied together.  Can your relationship survive when one of you can't keep up?  Luckily the race is only 2 miles and the divisions are great: Married, Mother-Son, Father-Daughter, Blind Date (random pairing at the race).

9. Relay
Ever wonder how bad a van full of 8 sweaty runner smells?  Well now you can find out with the Market to Market Relay, a 76 mile 19 stage race from Cincinnati to Dayton.  Sure it’s expensive as hell ($475) but it’s probably something you and your buddies will always remember.  Be sure to pick a good theme for your racing outfits and hope it doesn’t rain!

 10. Add a Sport

Adding a different discipline to a race is always a great way to spice things up.  Like to bike?  Try a duathlon.  Like to swin?  Check out the ORRRC Splash and Dash series.  Like to bike and swim? The Greater Cincinnati area is a hot bed for triathletes.  Hell, even if you don't like to swim you can still get in on the triathlon action with the Little Miami Triathlon which substitutes a 6 mi canoe in for the swim.