Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Had WAY Too Much Fun!

As I said, this weekend I enjoyed an all-expense paid trip to the Mini-Indy in St George, Utah. I apologize for this mostly non-running post, but I had way too much fun not to share. We flew into Las Vegas on Thursday and rode vans from there to St George. It was about a two hour drive through gorgeous scenery. But, before we hit the road, we stopped at In-N-Out and I had a double-double animal style (I'm going to let you google that one yourself). Then we continued our drive and checked into our hotel for some chill time before changing for dinner with our sister company team and company head mucky-mucks. I actually took the time to change and go out for a quick three mile run. I was instantly homesick for the runner friendly paths in Utah. Dinner was very good, with actually good wine being served (I was surprised we were served adult beverages, this being Utah and all).

Paved biking/walking/running trail I ran on.

On Friday, we headed out to the practice track to have our go-karts inspected and to practice our pit-stops and get used to driving the cars. The practice track was just a simple oval marked out in a parking lot. I was the fastest driver on our team! That evening we went to the convention center where we had all the teams display their cars, we had another fabulous dinner (complete with chocolate fountain) and finished with the pit-stop competition. A lot of the teams have the same people year over year and so their pit-stops are a work of precision wonderment. We had maybe 15 minutes of practice that day. But, we managed to avoid elimination the first round and our other team made it to the quarter-finals before being eliminated.

Chocolate fountain

Our car next to the winning theme car Animal House

Me decked out in racing uniform and helmet

Parachute jumper bringing in the American flag (we also had an American Idol contestant sing the National Anthem

Saturday was race day. The course was awesome, about a half mile (I'm guessing here) with some tight left and right turns, some uphill and some downhill, some slalom turns, and the obligatory hairpin turn that the fire department continually sprays with water. (This, of course, was the site of numerous collisions and spinouts) We had about 30 minutes to practice on the actual course, and I totally rammed into the tires at the water turn the first time through, it was awesome! After everyone had a chance to drive the car for 2 practice laps, it was time for the race to start. Each car ran four heats of 10 laps, then the top ten from each division (there were two) would race 15 laps for the championship. Although we had fast drivers, we really lost time doing our pit-stops (you have to change a tire and driver at least once each heat). So, even though we didn't make it to the finals, we all had a great time, and cheered our sister company's cars during the finals.

We did win one competition though and that was for best barbeque, our cooks cooked up bbq chicken, prime rib, and brats that delighted the judges.

Judges judging our amazing barbeque

In just a few minutes I'll be heading next door for some celebratory pizza and beer and telling of war stories. Monday, its back on the diet and training for my 50k.

Oh yea, I did manage to squeeze in a 5.6 mile run yesterday after practice and the dinner.


David Ray said...

No such thing as too much fun. Sounds like a really good time. Way to get some runs in too. That's always a challenge when traveling.

johnmaas said...

It sounds like you had a lot of fun in St. George. I had to chuckle a bit seeing the "Death Moblile" go cart - pretty cool. If I close my eyes, I can almost see it emerging from the "eat me" cake float.
Now it's back to reality for you. Good luck with the 50K training.

bigRahn ( said...

Years and years ago (when google wasn't around like today), I met a friend from California.
I had not lived in CA for about 10 years and missed In-and-Out, and I mentioned it to him.
And he said "do you order animal style?". "Uh, no. What's that?". (Gotta love secret menu's) he wouldn't tell me, and I was left to wonder for about 3 more years.

Then, one day, we found ourselves in Vegas, and so I ordered a double double animal style.
And it was good.
And I asked, what made it different? And they told me.
I don't remember what they said, but that's how I order them these days when I get a chance.

Okay, this had nothing to do with anything, but your post reminded me of this.