Archive for the Running Category

Mom’s Visit, Half-Marathon, Vigor Bumper Refinish, Future Classic Car Show & Special Guests

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Legend, Running, Vigor on January 21, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  558,577

Odometer (Integra):  245,989

My guest room is fully booked this month — if it seems I’m light on travels, it’s because I’m hosting all sorts of company.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Now if only I offered free breakfast & a fitness center.

Mom flew down from southern Utah for an annual tradition:  The Rock & Roll Half Marathon which starts & ends in Tempe, near Arizona State University.  We have the whole routine down to a science:  Where to have brunch the day prior, what to wear, where to park the car, and even where to meet at the conclusion of the race.  Because – let’s face it – we already knew that mom was going to beat me to the finish line by a solid half-hour or more.  And she did.

I missed out on the North American International Auto Show this past week.  In case you missed it too, there were some big announcements from Acura with the debut of the all-new 2019 RDX sport utility vehicle.  AND – drumroll please – the Type-S name is coming back!

That same day, I had “Ultimate Finish” – a mobile bumper repair/repaint operation – come over to the house and re-shoot both bumpers on my 1994 Vigor GS.  I must say, for having been a driveway job and completed from start to finish in a matter of 6 hours, it turned out phenomenally.  They charged me $300 per bumper.

I attended the third annual Future Classics Car Show on the upper parking deck of the Scottsdale Quarter shopping center.  It was quite the grab-bag of vehicles, but that’s what makes the show interesting.  James took his 1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS, Kyle his 2005 Pontiac GTO, and Scott his 2012 Mini Cooper.  I was in the 1992 Integra GS-R.  None of us went home with any awards but we enjoyed hanging out with fellow gearheads for the evening.

The following evening, I had a couple of special guests arrive.

Peter Cunningham, President of the NSX Club of America (NSXCA), and Donald Osborne, auto appraiser extraordinaire, came over for a VIP visit to my humble car collection.  We went to dinner nearby at a Casa Añejo.  Meanwhile, my roommate picked up my friend Chris from the Phoenix airport.  A few years ago, we started the tradition of Chris visiting Arizona each January for a several-day visit which centers around attending the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  I’ll have more on that in a dedicated next post!

Chris put a few miles on my cars while I was at work the next couple of days, including taking an 800+ mile drive to southern Utah and back in a single day.  He’s a little nuts, but I guess that’s why we get along so well.  Destination #1 was Monument Valley, one of my favorite places.  He also hit up Four Corners and spent a little bit of time in Colorado and New Mexico.  As in, probably a footstep’s worth of time in each!  My car was dirty so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon today getting it cleaned up.  I decided to film a walkaround video since a few had asked for a current one.  Ask and ye shall receive.

Below are a few more photos of the last few weeks’ activities.  Have a great evening!

Picking up mom at the airport

Pasta prep

Dinner crowd at my place

Saturday morning in downtown at the marathon expo

View from the patio at our brunch spot:  FEZ

Tyson, Kevin, Adam, Jon, Tia, Rob, Julio at brunch

Doing a little yard sale-ing with mom (she’s in the sideview mirror proudly holding up a new red dress she purchased for $5)

Mile 10 of the marathon on Sunday morning, with the clock already showing just under 2 hours elapsed.

Finished!  And headed home.

Departure back to Utah, dropping off mom at the airport

Peter Cunningham signing my guest book at the house

Donald Osborne, Chris, me

Airport run in the Legend sedan to pick up Kevin from Georgia

Tyson, Kevin, Chris

Chris’ post to the 5,000-member “ALOE” group on Facebook.  It stands for Acura Legend Owners & Enthusiasts.

Breakfast at Zookz on Camelback

Chris heading out to Carefree to see the world’s largest sundial.

Chris and Kevin enjoying a relaxing evening in my backyard.

More to come, soon!

Rock & Roll Marathon Weekend – Future Classics Car Show – & Special Visitors

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Running on January 22, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  550,387


Odometer (ILX):  190,476

It’s been a full house at Hotel Hugie this week.  I’ve had company cycling in and out for the past week or so and I’m happy to play host!  Visiting from Palm Springs, California was my friend Scott who came to town on business AND to market his bright yellow 1977 Honda Civic which went up for sale at a collector car auction later in the week.  It brought $14,000!


Last Sunday, I ran the 14th annual Rock & Roll Half-Marathon in Phoenix with my mother who had driven down from Utah.  Race day weather couldn’t have been better:  even though the forecast had called for a 30%+ chance of rain, things stayed dry and the overcast skies kept it from getting too warm.  In the end, I somehow pulled off a 2 hour, 22 minute finish time with mom sneaking past the finish line at 1:58.


Darn it mom, I’ll beat you someday.


On Monday evening I attended the second-annual “Future Classics Car Show,” sponsored in part by, Hagerty, as well as other names in the collector car industry.  It was open to all years, makes, and models, but I opted to take my 1994 Legend GS sedan since it hadn’t seen the light of day in a few weeks.  The car didn’t exactly fit in — most vehicles in the show were more of a ‘tuner’ variety, with big wings, decals, and racing wheels.  But I was happy to represent the all-stock Japanese luxo-sedan.  Parked next to me was my friend Kyle in his 2005 Pontiac GTO, which incidentally ended up winning a trophy in its class.  Congrats, Kyle!


On Wednesday, I made a trip to the Phoenix Sky Harbor airport to pick up my good friend Chris who’d just flown in 5 hours from Baltimore to spend a few days with me.  Chris and I have been ‘car friends’ since the late 1990s when we were both dabbling in Honda Prelude circles.  This week, he became the first of my friends who has driven all 6 of my cars.  There you go Chris, the proof is in writing!  You win the grand prize!


It was an action-packed few days complete with highs and lows.  Mother Nature dished out lots of rain which put a damper on Chris’ travel plans, but it didn’t keep him from taking a trip to Sedona in the Legend sedan and hiking 7 miles in the mud to Devil’s Bridge.  Getting there was an adventure in itself.  He’d intended to take the NSX but only made it 15 miles north of town when the car left him stranded thanks to a faulty ignition switch.  A $195 tow and $101 (parts & labor) repair later, the car was back on the road the next day thanks to Science of Speed in Chandler.  First time that one has seen a tow truck in the five years I’ve owned it!


On Friday, I telecommuted and supervised Chris while he did some ILX maintenance for me, including replacement of rear brake pads, the engine air filter, and the serpentine belt.


I introduced him to my favorite Mexican place, “Lose Dos Molinos,” on Camelback Road later that evening to compensate him in part for his labor efforts.  A couple of other special guests made their debut at my home including Mark McCourt and Jeff Koch from Hemmings, then Jonathan Klinger from Hagerty.  Talk about friends in high places.  I was honored to have such automotive elites checking out my home and garage.  I thank them for helping keep the car collecting community alive.


Speaking of car collecting, you’ll soon read more about my trip to the 46th annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction which was our source of entertainment all day Saturday.  Watch for an upcoming post on that.

Which brings us to the final chapter of Chris’ visit, in which we took a 250-ish mile round trip to Tucson & back in the Legend coupe to tour the Pima Air & Space Museum, a collection of hundreds of retired aircraft.  My favorite was getting to see the Douglas VC-118A that served as Air Force One for Presidents Kennedy & Johnson during the early 1960s (pictured below). On the way back, I introduced Chris to In-N-Out Burger, a favorite fast food chain in this region.  He said the shake wasn’t half bad.



That puts a wrap on what you’ve missed during the last couple of weeks.  Now, make the most of the few minutes of the weekend that remain!  I know I will!  Until next time.

Interior of Scott’s 1977 Civic.


Some literature my friend Richard sent me.  Love this old stuff!


Scott gave me a huge “A” for my garage.  It used to adorn an auto show display booth.


Also had a visit from my friend Ryan and 3 of his 4 kiddos.  The guest book is filling up nicely!


Not to mention this crowd of troublemakers I hosted for pasta dinner the night before the half-marathon.


Another shot from the Future Classics Car Show


Grabbing a bite with Sam and Kyle


Headed to pick up Chris from the airport and my friend Lance happened to be right behind me!  He snapped this shot!


Chris’ arrival.  He’s come out at least 3 times now from Baltimore to visit.


Shots Chris took with the Legend sedan on the Red Rock Scenic Byway in Sedona, Arizona.



Maintenance underway!


Mark from Hemmings gave me these awesome VHS promotional tapes from the 1990s!  I can’t wait to put them to use!


This postcard was inside one of them.  “The question isn’t whether to lease an Acura, but rather which Acura to lease.  We understand what a difficult decision it is, and we recommend you seek professional help.  From your professionally helpful Acura dealer.”  Love that!  I’ll take one of each!


Visit from Hagerty’s main man in Traverse City, Jonathan Klinger.


Hitting up a mecca for airplane geeks


The SR-71 Blackbird, this example from 1964, maxes out at over 2,100 miles per hour and flies at 85,000 feet.  This is a serious aircraft.


Double-double, animal style!  If you know what that is, you’ve been to In-N-Out Burger.


Mexico, A Marathon, A Milestones, & Miscellaneous

Posted in ILX, NSX, Road Trip, Running, Utah on October 2, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  106,150


Trip Distance:  424 Miles


Hey, that odometer below can’t be real can it?  Sorry Gabe, I think you’ve tampered with it!  Though the number sequence makes me think of a catchy tune I once heard.


Seems one of my cars has been doing some road tripping without me in recent weeks!  Whilst I was enjoying myself on my travels to and from Atlanta recently, my friend Kyle took the ILX south of the border on a little weekend trip to Mexico.  His destination was called Puerto Peñasco, or, in English:  Rocky Point.  It’s a small beach town on the shores of the Gulf of California in Mexico that can be reached in about 4 hours drive time from Phoenix.  It is, in fact, our closest beach (getting to San Diego’s Pacific shoreline takes about two hours longer).

Thanks to Kyle’s contribution to the ILX’s adventures, the car has now traversed every country in north America this year.  You’ll recall that back in May, my friend Jason and I drove our cars to the Arctic Circle north of Fairbanks, Alaska.  If you plot a route on Google Maps from the Arctic Circle to Rocky Point, it comes in at just fewer than 4,000 miles one-way.  Heck of a road trip!


Kyle took a few photos to share with me, including shot of a fuel-up at “Why” just before crossing over the international border southbound.  You can read more about my visit to Why from 2013 at the hyperlink.


Arrival at the beach


Crossing back into the U.S. of A:


And getting a foam bath.  Thanks Kyle!


I have a couple weeks’ worth of miscellaneous news to catch up on here, I guess.  I had to hit the ground running at work after having been gone for 5 business days on the Atlanta trip.  Luckily, my coworkers were patient with me while I got caught up.  Last weekend was a nice relaxing time at home.  I hit the yard with my new Honda lawnmower on Saturday morning and washed cars that afternoon.

Thanks, Mark, for sending me the November 2016 issue of Automobile Magazine with a feature on the 1992-93 Integra GS-R!


My buddy Mirel bought a new car that I helped him transport.




I’ve had lots of company at my house, including Jenn & Tiffany:


And Brian:


The cars got a bath in the backyard.


And Jeremy and I took the Legend sedan to brunch.


This past Friday morning, I buzzed up to St. George, Utah in the ILX for a family visit and a marathon event.  Yesterday, I took a swing at my tenth full 26.2-mile marathon run.  Having run only a few 3-milers this entire year, my training was lacking to say the least.  But I committed to this back in April and as I boarded a school bus in the morning at 4:00 a.m. to drive me up State Route 18 to the start line, I thought to myself, “Am I insane?”  I think many of the people on the bus had the same thought process.

It became painfully clear at about the midpoint in the race that I was not adequately prepared, but I pressed on, using a jog / walk alternating method to get me through the course.  I never came to a complete stop or took any breaks, but just rather kept moving forward at a semi-consistent pace.  Luckily, the St. George Marathon is primarily downhill in nature so I was able to let gravity help me along.  My finish time was 4 hours, 54 minutes which is on the slow side for my competitive age bracket, but I was just grateful to finish in one piece!

A few more pics from my weekend follow here.  First, checking out grandma’s old Quasar video camera.  We dug it out of storage.  The date of manufacture is June 1985.  Anyone remember lugging around one of these?



Visiting with my nephew Beckam:


And my niece Viv.  That’s her kitty “Marie” but we call her “Pizza.”  You’ll have to ask Viv why.


Race morning!  With mom at the start line.


Start line with our friend Jed.  My shorts (no, not a skirt!) look highly reflective.


This marathon participant is a “legend” in her own way.  Deb Zockoll is the only St. George Marathon runner who has now competed in all 40 runs in the event’s history.  She is an inspiration to many!


Closing in on Mile 15 with Snow Canyon State Park in the background.


Looking surprisingly fresh when I ran past Grandma and Aunt Jodi around Mile 24.


Grandma’s sign:


Taking a minute during my run to greet a few of my younger fans, Vivienne and Beckam.


Best motivation ever!  This is what I most looked forward to at the finish line.


Final standings:


Quick pose with Tanya.


Thought this was pretty cool – an old Caddy parked at the “Field of Screams” haunted corn maze in St. George.


Sending congrats out to my dad who rolled 200,000 miles on his 2010 Hyundai Sonata this weekend!


He sent the picture to me and my two brothers.  He said he’s shooting for 500k.


My friend Jack described my garage as “spearmint gum”  I wonder why!


And today, I got to drive home in my 1992 NSX from Utah.  It had been since May that I last drove it.  The odometer turned 106,000 miles somewhere between Kingman and Wikieup.  I was reminded of how much I enjoy that car!  Best of all, it has a fresh leather interior thanks to my brother’s workmanship.  I’ll post interior pictures of it soon.


I-40 in Kingman, Arizona.


Turnoff at Burro Creek Campground along Highway 93.


That’s it for now!  You’re all caught up.  Have a great week.

2016 Arizona Rock & Roll Half-Marathon Weekend

Posted in Arizona, NSX, Running, Vigor on January 20, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  540,655


Odometer (ILX):  153,336


Over here, we enjoyed our 3-day holiday weekend with friends from New York and Texas, as well as family members from Utah.  January in Arizona is prime time for perfect weather, so for the next several weeks I’ll be hosting folks from around the country who want to bask in our desert sunshine.  Next on the docket will be a road trip to Sedona this coming weekend so stay tuned for that.  This past Sunday morning, I participated in the Arizona Rock & Roll Half-Marathon, sponsored by PF Chang’s restaurant.

Along with about 11,000 other finishers, I ran from University Avenue near downtown Tempe, Arizona, on a counter-clockwise 13.1-mile circle through Scottsdale and Papago Park, and then finished at Tempe Beach Park in front of thousands of spectators.  It’s always a rush to come around the final bend and see the banners and finish line in the distance, then dig deeply for every available ounce of energy and make a strong finish.  My so-so running pace put me in the middle of the pack as far as my age range was concerned.

My friend Lance summed up part of his weekend here in Arizona as “Acura Merry-Go-Round” because we rotated through some different cars during his stay.  The Arcadia Green Vigor was the vehicle of choice for primary transport to and from the marathon exposition at the Phoenix Convention Center downtown, to brunch, and to the race start line itself.


Fez on Central was a great place for some open-air dining.


The Vig at its parking space on race day in Tempe, Arizona.


I was able to host more than a dozen friends at my home on Saturday night with a carb-heavy dinner menu consisting of spaghetti with two types of sauces, grilled chicken, and all sorts of side dishes.  My mom and stepdad were nice enough to staff the kitchen and carry out most of the duties there while I was entertaining.  It’s the most use my appliances have had in the 7 years I’ve lived in the home.


On the race day itself, we met up at the start line (in “corral 3,” anyway) with seasoned runner Beau.


Post-race reception and runner recovery area at Tempe Beach Park.


Here were my standings.


Conor and I took the NSX out for a Saturday cruise to Papago Park.  It was his first time driving an NSX and he was sold!  His current S2000 satisfies his need for speed in the meantime.


Kyle’s GMC Sierra could have easily driven right over my hood.


Lance and I took the NSX to meet up with fellow road tripper James Lee for brunch at MacAlpine’s in central Phoenix.  Look at how a 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 dwarfs a 1992 NSX in size comparison!


The Vigor went in on Monday morning to Midas for a new muffler to replace the rusted-out original.  Peace and quiet again!


It also received an oil change this afternoon.


Thanks to Dana & the crew for the fine service as always.


That’s about it from this end!  Tune in next week.

Quick Weekend Roady: 2015 St. George, Utah 26.2-Mile Marathon

Posted in Road Trip, Running, Utah on October 4, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  101,908


Odometer (ILX):  142,582


Trip Distance:  854 Miles


Sometimes, when you take ibuprofen, it’s for a specific pain point in your body:  a headache, a sore hip, whatever.  When I popped a pill at mile #18 of the 2015 St. George, Utah marathon, I told that little thing:  “Pick a muscle, any muscle.”  I was dying, everywhere.  But 8 miles later, I finished my 9th full marathon and even achieved my target finish time.

I’m definitely a little out of my mind.  With all these travels in recent weeks, do you think I’ve had time to train for a marathon?  Not even close.  A few miles here and there in the evenings, and that’s it.  As a matter of fact, the longest distance I’d run since the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in June was a measly 3 miles in one stretch.  You can imagine my sense of apprehension when the shuttle bus dropped me off at the starting line for this race.

Ready or not, I had a long way to go.  But, as I’ve shared before, I compare a long-distance run to a long-distance drive:  You just have to slice it up into manageable “chunks” and convince your brain that it’s achievable in small bites.  So, in my case, I looked at the race as just running three miles.  Over and over again.  This year’s race was a family affair:  Mom, stepmom, uncle, aunt, and cousin were all running it.  The chances of (literally) running into ANY of them among 7,000 total runners was slim-to-none.  But right before the biggest hill in the 26-mile stretch, the dreaded “Veyo Hill,” I saw my uncle Jeff and we chatted it up.  We had car talk for a few minutes, until I panted and said, “You have a better pace than I do; go on ahead!” and he left me in a cloud of dust.

Meanwhile, mom was already miles ahead of me and I had a lot of time to meditate while pounding the pavement and listening to some thumpin’ music to keep me motivated.  I downed a Five Hour Energy and a couple of “GU” energy gels along the way.  And, of course, a few ibuprofen as already stated.  Thank goodness for those.  Around mile 24, Grandma was seated alongside the road in a camp chair at the same place where she always does.  That was just the push that I needed to go those next couple of miles to the finish line.  I also saw my dad, brother, sis-in-law, and niece/nephew spectating.  And FINALLY – as the course rounded the corner to 200 South and headed east, I could see the Finish Line sign & balloons in the distance and gave a little extra push to have a strong completion to the race.

Two chocolate milks chugged later, I was feeling better about the decision to give this whole thing yet another try.

Start line with mom and with our friend Jed


Cousin April & Uncle Jeff


Gatorade & water cups all over the place!


Sign on the roadside alerting runners:  If you don’t get to “X” point by “X” time, you’re done!  They have to open the road back up to traffic!


My favorite part in the race – at about mile 15, when we skirted along Snow Canyon State Park on State Route 18.


Grandma with her traditional sign!  Thanks for your support, Doce!


3-year-old nephew, Beckam, totally airborne and running with me at an impressive sprint.


Anddddd, the weary runners.  Tia, Tyson, Tanya


My final standings – a 4:55 finish time in my age bracket is nothing to be proud of, but I was just glad to get in under the 5-hour mark.  I thought it was interesting how my minutes-per-mile pace was a consistent 9:40 to start and then slipped to 10:31, 10:53, and finally 11:16.  I was crawling!


Clearly, my mom has better calves than I do.


Speaking of legs: The first leg of my trip was that ho-hum 400-ish mile drive in the ILX that I’ve done so many times before.  I got to my mom’s place around midnight.  On Friday morning, we went to the marathon “Expo” where I had to retrieve my bib number, goodie bag, and a few supplies.

Afterward, I stopped by my brother Bentley’s workplace to check out his latest project:  a 1990 Ford F-350 4×4 dual cab, long-bed pickup truck that he restored as a “project truck” for my dad.  If needed, I’m sure it could have monster-trucked (is that a verb?) right over the top of the two Acuras sitting alongside it.


Let’s take a look at that interior.  Twenty five years old!  And still looking pretty fresh.  That red color is eye-popping, but I love it.


Don’t get carried away with the need for speed here.  Note that A)  The speedometer maxes out at 85 miles per hour, and B) the odometer only has 5 digits.  This truck has 126,000 miles on it but shows only 26,000.


Bentley went all-out on this rebuild, including a complete “undercoat” of the bottom of the truck in fresh black paint and some new shocks.


Dad was thrilled about the pickup when he arrived!  It rides pretty much as you’d expect it to – like an absolute tank.  Speaking of tanks, let’s talk fuel economy.  The truck has TWO fuel tanks, at what I believe are 16 gallons’ capacity each.  Why so much fuel?  It’s thirsty.  Power for this rig comes from a 460-cubic-inch V8 motor.  We’re talking fewer than 10 miles per gallon here.


But as an around-town workhorse, it’ll sure beat my dad having to haul lumber out the back of his 2010 Hyundai Sonata (and yes, that really has happened).


Another car in Bentley’s garage was begging to be taken for a walk around the block:  This 1968 Chevy Nova SuperSport.  It’s fully engine-swapped and mechanically updated from 1968 spec, but it’s a really REALLY fun car to drive.  There’s nothing quite like the roar of a V8.


Bentley demonstrated that when pulling it out of the garage for us.  Watch until the end.

With stepmom Tanya.


And with dad taking the wheel for a little bit.  Chris M says I make this face too much.  He’s right.


ILX calling it a night out in front of mom’s house, as did I at an early hour.  Pooped.


I put a few miles on a family friend’s Porsche tonight.  It’s a 911 Carrera “4S” model, and was a hoot to drive – minus its lack of a clutch pedal.


Have a great week!

200-Mile Run in Utah: “Wasatch Back” Ragnar Relay Race

Posted in ILX, Road Trip, Running, Utah on June 22, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  533,769


Odometer (ILX):  132,222


Trip Distance (Drive):  1,434 Miles


Trip Distance (Run):  194 Miles

You’ve got to be kidding me – 200 miles?  Who would be crazy enough to run that?  Not me.  Well, unless I had the help of 11 other people to slice up the distance into smaller pieces.


That’s the concept behind the Ragnar Relay Series.  First launched in 2003, the Ragnar races have expanded to include 15 different events in various locations across the country.  This past weekend, I joined forces with some friends and family members to compete at the 13th annual “Wasatch Back” Ragnar Relay which started on Friday morning in Logan, Utah, and ended Saturday afternoon in Midway, Utah near Park City.  The race’s name comes from the fact that the course runs along the back (east) side of the Wasatch Mountain Range, a section of the Rockies that borders the Salt Lake City area.


I took yet another jaunt to the Beehive State aboard the ILX for this occasion.  In the 10 years I’ve lived in Arizona, I’d guess I’ve taken the drive to Utah at least 7 times per year.  So, this is a well-known route for me.  I left the car at my friend Jeremy’s place in Sandy, Utah and carpooled with my mom & stepdad the rest of the way to the race’s starting location in Logan, a couple of hours north.


My mom and aunt Jodi acted as team captains for us.  Our team was code-named “Athens 2 Sparta” in a tribute to the first marathon – undertaken by a guy named Phidippides in 490 B.C. during the Persian/Greek War.  He was sent as a messenger due to his running speed and endurance, often completing distances of 140 miles or more.  He eventually died from exhaustion after one particularly taxing route!  We hoped for a dissimilar fate.


There were 946 teams registered.  At 12 people each, that’s 11,352 people.  Plus two drivers per group, so that’s another 1,892 people.  We are talking about over 12,000 people engaged in this craziness.  Although, I guess I should mention – not all teams chose to go out with 12 participants.  Any team considered “ultra” had 6 or fewer people on it.  In other words, the people in those groups were running twice as frequently (and therefore, twice as far) as “normal” participants.  I can’t imagine what would compel anyone to do such a thing!

Race Time

Due to the volume of people involved in this event, start times were staggered in waves.  We reported at 9:30 a.m. as instructed on Friday, June 19th, checked in, showed the race administrators that we had appropriate safety gear, and watched a short instructional video.  My mom was our first runner for our 10:30 a.m. start.  We had to send our all-star out first to get us off on the right foot!  It was perfect weather for a run and she took off in a flash.


My three assigned legs were as follows:

  • Leg #4:  4.3 Miles, Net Elevation Gain 127 Feet, est 2:00 p.m. Friday
  • Leg #16:  5.9 Miles, Net Elevation Loss 922 Feet, est 3:00 a.m. Saturday
  • Leg #28:  2.7 Miles, Net Elevation Gain 320 Feet, est 1:00 p.m. Saturday

When the rest of us we weren’t running, six of us (5 runners + our driver, Mark) rode along in a rented black 2015 Chevy Suburban (“Van 1”) and provided “support” to our team member who was on deck.  I spent most of my time in the back seat trying to avoid motion sickness as we frequently did U-turns and re-routed to find our way around.  A second Suburban (“Van 2”) carried the other six members of our team and started after Van 1 members had each completed their first leg.  Logistics confusing enough yet?  As a first-timer to this event, I was amazed at how seamlessly it worked.


Despite only being 4 miles long, the fact that Leg #4 was a slight uphill and took place in the hottest point of the day made it a doozy for me.  I was relieved when I finally saw my team members at the next exchange and I happily chugged a chocolate milk after passing the baton (which was in fact just a 1980’s-esque bright orange slap bracelet) to Damon who picked up the next segment after mine.  Poor Damon ended up running 8.8 miles on an uphill, dirt road, while eating the dust of vans passing by!  Torture.


We got up over Avon Pass and back to pavement in the tiny town of Liberty, and then we made our first “big” exchange when Van 2 took over.  Meanwhile, Van 1 had about 6 hours to spare.  We traveled to our next starting point in Morgan, Utah and sprawled out on a grassy field near the high school while having our lunches.  I rolled out my sleeping bag and did my best to rest my eyes but it didn’t do much good.  Mom tried the same.


It was a little after midnight when mom took Leg #13 and started our van off again.  I was already exhausted when Jeffrey passed me the torch a little before 3:00 in the morning.  I had been standing at the summit of State Highway 65 near East Canyon Reservoir and trying to jog in place to keep the blood flowing and to keep from getting cold.  Once I finally got rolling, I’d forgotten all about the temperature.  I had a momentary emergency when my “taillight” clipped to my reflective vest fell off and lost its battery, but my van quickly came to my rescue when they drove past.  This was my attempt at a picture.


The next 6 miles were bliss:  Steady downhill grade, perfectly clear night with the brightest stars I’ve ever seen, good music, and refreshing temperatures.  A remix of the Cranberries’ hit “Zombie” was just what I needed for motivation at 3:05 in the morning when I took this screen shot.  Good song!


That was a refreshing way to spend the morning and it definitely helped wake me up.  Once again we filed through our segments and tried in vain to catch shuteye when we weren’t the ones pounding the pavement.  Soon, the sun started peeking over the horizon and Day 2 had begun.  We arrived in Coalville, Utah at North Summit High School for our next group break.  They were selling hot showers for $2 and pancake breakfasts for $4.  I gladly paid up!  After that, we rolled our sleeping bags out onto the floor of the gymnasium and shut our eyes for a little while.


My last leg was along Highway 248 where I awaited my turn to take the bracelet and run with it.  I was standing in parking lot at beautiful Jordanelle Reservoir and should have been enjoying the view, but instead my eyes were transfixed on a massive hill ahead of me — one that very soon I’d be attempting to run up.  It seemed like an eternity before Jeffrey came down to pass me the reins, but he finally did and I took off as briskly as my legs allowed me to.


Water bottle sloshing in hand, I did my best to keep a consistent pace up the grade, but I had to slow it down to a power-walk a couple of times to keep from overheating.  My van waited for me at the top of the hill and my mom threw a water-soaked cloth around my neck.  That gave me enough motivation to press onward.  It was an amazing feeling to finally crest the summit and be able to see the next exchange location within view.  I gladly passed Damon the bracelet and felt a huge sense of relief, having completed my last part of the relay race.


It was several more hours before our “Van 2” team members finished their parts, and I wasn’t able to stick around to see them at the finish line at dusk, but they shared the good news that our team, Athens 2 Sparta, had completed the 194 miles in 34 hours, 10 minutes. That put us in 278th place out of 719 co-ed teams.  Top third placement – not too shabby!

This was one of the most challenging physical things I’ve ever done, probably second only to the 26-mile Grand Canyon hike I did a few weeks ago.  But the neat thing about the Ragnar concept is that you’re a member of a team, and each person contributes something to the overall outcome.  It’s a lesson in working together to achieve a common goal, and feeling great about it when you’re done.  Huge thanks to Mark, Nicki, Jodi, Tia, Ben, Jarrett, Isabelle, Roxie, LaReen, Damon, Jeffrey, Muriel, and Jandi from my team for playing a part in this!


I enjoyed my 10 hours of reflection on that topic while driving home to Phoenix.  Now, if only I could’ve taken a team approach to the 256 unread email messages that were waiting for me at the office on Monday morning.  Sigh.


Here’s a short video with just a few scenes from the race.  Thanks for coming along for the run!

Rolling northbound with mom on I-15 in central Utah on Thursday morning


Drive-by at the Utah State Capitol while in the truck with mom & Todd


Decorating our rental Suburban with writing on the windows and our “Athens 2 Sparta” team name


Checking in on Friday morning at the Utah State University stadium in Logan


Watching a safety briefing video


Saddled up in the Suburban while one of our runners takes a turn


A friend sent me this screen shot shortly after we got underway.  This race is serious business.


My first leg, a 4-miler on pavement from Paradise to Avon, Utah


The exchange where I handed off the reins to Damon who was runner #5


Waiting for Damon to finish his leg on Avon Pass


LaReen taking her turn on the dirt road now


Back on solid ground, arriving Liberty, Utah


Photo-op with mom


Passing Pineview Reservoir while driving to our next exchange point


“Mormon Muffins”?  What would that be?


Here they are.  With honey butter!


My view upward while lying on the grass in Morgan, Utah and resting


“M” on the hill stands for Morgan


Daybreak the next morning in Coalville, Utah at North Summit High School


Pancakes never tasted so good


Next exchange, sitting next to Aunt Jodi


Isabelle, Jandi, Jodi, Jarrett – from our “Van 2”




I loved the clever names that some people came up with for their vans.

“Ready, Set, Sweat, Regret.”  “Kiss our swass.”


“Shitter’s Full.”  (name that movie)


“Run?  I thought you said rum!”  (and notice the tally marks below where they were marking their “kills” – all the people their runners passed along the way)




Near Park City, Utah, at the final exchange to Van 2


Finish line pics courtesy of my cousin Nicki


2015 Rock & Roll Arizona Half Marathon

Posted in Arizona, Running on January 19, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  532,391


Post-race conversation between my friend Rustin, and my mom, Tia:

  • Rustin:  So, you left them in your dust?
  • Mom:  No, the dust had already settled by then.

That pretty much sums it up!  Marathon Mom has done it again by showing the rest of us who’s boss.

When my return flight from Detroit landed in Phoenix on Wednesday morning after attending the North American International Auto Show, I hit the ground running.  I immediately had to commute to the office and catch up on 270 unread emails from being out of the office for two business days.  My mom & stepdad arrived from Utah that same evening, and we spent the last several days together.

The grand finale of mom’s Arizona visit was this year’s PF Chang’s Arizona Rock & Roll Half Marathon, which I’ve run with her a half-dozen or so times in the past.  The 13.1-mile race course starts and ends near Arizona State University in Tempe in the historic Mill Avenue district.  This year I competed alongside my mom (veteran of more than a hundred competitive running events), my step-dad Todd (relatively new to the scene), and my friend Beau (first-timer!).  We made our way to the start line around 6:30 in the morning on Sunday.

The cool thing about the Rock & Roll series races is that, true to its name, the entertainment comes with the experience.  At least a half-dozen bands were playing alongside the race course as 22,000 runners pounded the pavement.  By about mile 6, I had to shift to a run/walk/run/walk strategy to save myself from burning out.  My “training” for this event — if it can even be called that — had consisted of one, 3-mile, jog around my neighborhood last week.  That’s it.

When the finish line finally came into sight, it was a glorious occasion.  I chugged not one, not two, but three bottles of chocolate milk in the runner recovery area.  It hit the spot.  I’ll share just a few pictures with you today.  First, mom’s spy shot of me getting into the Legend after Saturday’s marathon expo.


Mom’s shot of me driving through my neighborhood.


And mom’s 2003 Lexus GS430.  Still looking good at 135,000 miles.  And what’s not to love about a torquey V8 and silky smooth transmission?


Early morning eastward view down University Avenue in Tempe, Arizona, just prior to race start.


Runners congregating in their assigned “Corrals” – 20 or so in total.


Running up McDowell Road through Papago Park.


Quick selfie with my mom around mile 9.


Getting close to the finish!


Mom’s spy shot of me approaching the finish.  She seems to be handy with the phone-cam!


And, the victors!  Beau, Tia, Tyson, with our medals.


Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.