The Blerch [Day 2081]

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the blerch

Photo-a-Day: Year 6, Day 255 – Total Days: 2,081

Canon 6D | ISO 400 | 80 mm | f/5.0 | 1/125 sec

This weird little thing in my hand is “The Blerch”. It’s the creation of cartoonist Matthew Inman, a.k.a. “The Oatmeal”. Much like me, Matthew is a runner. Except he’s a bit more advanced than I, in that he’s what’s known as an Ultra-runner. Ulta-runs are technically anything over the marathon distance, but they’re typically in the 50 or 100 mile range. Pretty extreme, eh?

In any case, since he’s a cartoonist, Matthew explained his love of running via a great comic titled “The Terrible & Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances”. One of the parts of this comic is about “The Blerch”. The quick story about The Blerch is that it’s a fat little cherub that’s always telling you to slow down, quit, eat some cake, and so on.

But to fully understand it, you should go read the comic. It’s ok, I’ll wait.

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

Ok, you done? Great, isn’t it?

Well, to share his love of running, Matthew ended up creating a “Beat the Blerch” running event that’s happening the weekend of September 20th and 21st in Washington. It sounded like a totally awesome event, and right up my alley, but unfortunately, that’s kind of far to go. Plus it sold out in minutes.

But then, Matthew decided to do something super-smart and fun, which was to put on a Virtual Beat the Blerch event. The basic idea is to get people running these distances in their own home towns at the same time as the official event. There’s even a Virtual Race Kit that includes all sorts of goodies, like the race shirt, medal, racing bib, stickers, Blerch Stress Ball, and more. It was just too cool to pass-up, so I ordered the race kit and told my local running friends group about it.

And sure enough, they were excited by it and now a bunch of us are getting together to do our own local Beat the Blurch race. But since one of our top runners is out of town on the official event weekend, we’ve ended up deciding to do two races on two different weekends. On the official race weekend, we’re doing a 10K, and then the weekend after, we’re doing a half marathon. Routes are being planned and some rudimentary race support is being put together. It’ll certainly be different not having the crowds and support of a “real” race, but given how much running I’ve done now, I’m not too concerned about needing that. Without the motivation of the crowds, these will probably be slower than my current race pace, but they’ll certainly be some excellent training runs in preparation for the upcoming “City to the Sea” race in October.

And today is when my race packet arrived, hence the photo and this post ;-)

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