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Sunmart Survival

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  • HM Klaff
    I had a plan. Admittedly, actual training wasn t a very big part of that plan. Al ong layoff after Headlands in August with shin problems and then a slow
    Message 1 of 19 , Dec 7, 2008
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      I had a plan.  Admittedly, actual training wasn't a very big part of that plan.  Al ong layoff after Headlands in August with shin problems and then a slow ramp up back into running [not ultra] shape.  Leading up to the Thanksgiving break, I was running well, just not particularly far.  I may have done a "long" run of 18 miles in there somewhere, but that's it.  Then, the week before Thanksgiving, I come down with a case of the shingles (which, by the way, sucks monumentally).  Fortunately, I was able to keep running through my recovery and race day dawned with the legs feeling good and a positive mental attitude.

      Oh, and a plan.  A brilliant plan.  Run loop 1 in 2:20-2:30, loop 2 in 2:30-2:40, and basically hold on for dear life the rest of the way.  And, what do you know, it worked.  But not without a lot of things breaking the right way.  First, the weather.  Yeah, I couldn't feel my fingers for the first mile, but this is my favorite weather, cold start & cool day throughout.  Second, the company.  I'm pretty sure I saw nearly every trail running friend I know out there.  Started with Julie (and the annoying Yankee guys making stupid jokes:  "Can I get by?"  "What, you're bi?"  "Who are you calling bi?"  By the time we got to the single-track, I managed to move up and pretty much out of earshot.  Thanks for making me run a little faster, Yankee doofuses. Saw Kim multiple times (trailed by Les each time).  Richard & Paige, not once, not twice, but three times.  Kathryn (late in Loop 2, I think).  Lynnor gawking at the shirtless twins and their annoying six-pack abs.  God, I hate young people.  Michelle was there, chatting with gal friends.  Even saw Larry and Kevin O. (in much appreciated cheerleader role).  And, what, was that Wiley?  Yes it was.  And he was hauling - for a while (I think painful neuroma issues probably cut his day short).   And then there was Mary (with Denise on Loop 4).   These things are so often about the motivational mind games you play.  For the first half of the day, my game was - How Long Can I Stay Ahead of Mary?  Answer:  long enough to get me out for Loop 3 (where she caught me on the fire road & left me behind for good). 

      Third:  music.  For me it's a drug used sparingly.  Left the iPod in my drop on purpose for the first two loops.  By the last 4-5 miles of Loop 2, when I started to hit a low spot, I really found myself looking forward to it.  And some Boost.  And Advil.  Sweet, sweet Advil.  Big-time carrot & stick going on then.  Back at the S/F between Loops 2 & 3, got all my goodies in tow, I knew this loop would be the crucible - what happened in the next few miles would determine if I finished or called it a day at 37.5 (bagging a good Bandera training run, but throwing any hopes of the Texas Trilogy out the door).  Felt blah heading out on the roadside trail for the first mile, but as I hit the singletrack, I fired up the iPod and let it work its magic.  And it did work.  Along with the calorie "Boost" & Advil, the music picked up my pace and took the edge off my pain.  Most importantly, it turned my sour mental state into something much more positive.  Onto the fireroad out and back, I found myself running more than I expected.  Not quite enough to catch Mary, but enough to bank plenty of time for Loop 4.  Ah, yes, Loop 4.  I wasn't debating whether there would be one or not.  It had gone from a longshot 5 miles earlier to a done deal. 

      Final thing to break my way, coming off the fireroad & onto the singletrack just after Amy's, I ran into Ryan Valdez (RD of El Scorcho & all around good guy) and a first-time 50 miler, Bill Choppa.  They were moving at an agreeable pace and we stuck together for the rest of a strikingly painless Loop 3 and beginning of Loop 4, until Ryan took off, not to be seen until the end.  Bill and I roughed out the icky section between the dam and the boardwalks (and at one point were passed like we were standing still by some sort of creature with ungodly speed--later identified as Julie running for beer) and then started tossing around the idea of pushing for a sub-11 hour finish.  It sounded good.  Then it didn't.  Then it did again.  Then it didn't.  When a couple of chicks in pink passed us right as we came to the Interpretative Center and the final mile, it sounded good again.  Real good.  And we put the hammer down.  Notwithstanding the fact that I had been chicked like 100 time throughout the day, it wasn't going to happen on this final stretch.  Alas, the sub-11 finish was not to be, but I honestly couldn't have cared less.  It was a fun day out in the woods with friends.  Couldn't have asked for much more. 
    • lynnor matheney
      Hey was that group of loud guys singing Led Zeppelin too? I ran with a pack for a couple of miles, couldn t get past them and wasn t slowing down but they were
      Message 2 of 19 , Dec 7, 2008
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        Hey was that group of loud guys singing Led Zeppelin
        too? I ran with a pack for a couple of miles, couldn't
        get past them and wasn't slowing down but they were
        full of crude jokes and cussing more than I do..that
        was along the lake section, first loop.

        During the out and back I saw two young guys w/o
        shirts, wearing shorts that looked exactly alike. I
        could swear I just saw that kid and then saw him
        again. I couldn't believe how little some people wore
        actually, but I guess you get away with that if you
        maintain a 6 minute mile pace?

        When I got back to Joe's tent after loop one and told
        Robert Heynen I almost fell in the lake on one of the
        boardwalks, he laughed his head off and said he wished
        he'd been there to get a picture. ha!

        Lynnor
      • Hardy Lee
        What does everyone think about Roger Soler charging for Sunmart blankets at the finish line?
        Message 3 of 19 , Dec 7, 2008
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          What does everyone think about Roger Soler charging for Sunmart blankets at the finish line?

        • Julie Garcia
          Lynnor & Miles - the really foul-mouthed trail runners from Chicago group full of crude jokes and cussing and the annoying Yankee guys were all one in
          Message 4 of 19 , Dec 7, 2008
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            Lynnor & Miles - the "really foul-mouthed trail runners from Chicago" " group full of crude jokes and cussing" and "the annoying Yankee guys" were all one in the same group. At first it was *kinda* funny, but when the discussion turned to necrophilia, it got old. Really old. I had to stop all together just to get rid of them. Good riddance.
             
             
             
            -----Original Message-----
            From: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com [mailto:h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of lynnor matheney
            Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2008 4:44 PM
            To: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [h_t_rex] Sunmart Survival

            Hey was that group of loud guys singing Led Zeppelin
            too? I ran with a pack for a couple of miles, couldn't
            get past them and wasn't slowing down but they were
            full of crude jokes and cussing more than I do..that
            was along the lake section, first loop.

            During the out and back I saw two young guys w/o
            shirts, wearing shorts that looked exactly alike. I
            could swear I just saw that kid and then saw him
            again. I couldn't believe how little some people wore
            actually, but I guess you get away with that if you
            maintain a 6 minute mile pace?

            When I got back to Joe's tent after loop one and told
            Robert Heynen I almost fell in the lake on one of the
            boardwalks, he laughed his head off and said he wished
            he'd been there to get a picture. ha!

            Lynnor

          • lynnor matheney
            Hey weren t those two little boys at that aid station right before the out and back cute? Just reading Julie s post about the loud mouths reminded me of them
            Message 5 of 19 , Dec 7, 2008
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              Hey weren't those two little boys at that aid station
              right before the out and back cute? Just reading
              Julie's post about the loud mouths reminded me of them
              b/c I was so grateful my kids weren't at the race to
              hear those guys..

              Lynnor
            • h_t_rex
              $90 bucks to run a 50K/50M and he started charging for the Afghans? Was that for an extra Afghan or if you just wanted one instead of the same old jacket? Did
              Message 6 of 19 , Dec 7, 2008
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                $90 bucks to run a 50K/50M and he started charging for the Afghans?
                Was that for an extra Afghan or if you just wanted one instead of the
                same old jacket?
                Did they have the new jackets?
              • Hardy Lee
                The jackets were new compared to the last time I ran Sunmart (5+ years ago) but the afghans were the same. That s right, $90 for the race and they try and make
                Message 7 of 19 , Dec 7, 2008
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                  The jackets were new compared to the last time I ran Sunmart (5+ years ago) but the afghans were the same. That's right, $90 for the race and they try and make you pay for blankets that were all probably paid for 8 years ago. At least the bag you get and some of the shwag was new.
                   
                  I think attendance was down this year. It makes you wonder about the future of this race. I realize that Sunmart is a big production in the ultra community but it seems like many of the organizational decisions are based on profit more than enjoyment of the race. (Another example being packet pickup at the Sheraton)

                  On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM, h_t_rex <h_t_rex@...> wrote:

                  $90 bucks to run a 50K/50M and he started charging for the Afghans?
                  Was that for an extra Afghan or if you just wanted one instead of the
                  same old jacket?
                  Did they have the new jackets?


                • HM Klaff
                  I have mixed feelings about Sunmart. Sure, having to pay $40 for the same afghans seemed excessive at first, but I think they ve probably decided to forego
                  Message 8 of 19 , Dec 8, 2008
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                    I have mixed feelings about Sunmart.  Sure, having to pay $40 for the same afghans seemed excessive at first, but I think they've probably decided to forego blankets as a prize in the future and are just trying to move the last of the old merchandise.  I don't necessarily think the $90 is too insane given (1) the increasing fees for a lot of other races these days, and (2) the quality of what you do get at Sunmart.  The swag is plentiful (if not always particularly useful), the organization is very good in a lot of ways (tons of porto-johns, a huge heated tent with flat-screen TVs, hand wash stations, etc), and the food is very good, as race food goes. 
                     
                    But "big production" is right.  In a lot of ways, Sunmart is more like a big road race than a trail ultra.  Parking is a pain (even for early-arriving 50 milers).  The course is crowded, particularly when the 50K and 50M merge early in the race.  Aid stations are just okay.  Frankly, I'd rather have fewer aid stations (a waste of manpower to have some aid stations less than 1.5 miles apart).  But, on the whole, it works.  It's also a nice opportunity to see lots of folks from around the state, and can be a good chance to watch some elite runners (most were chasing the big bucks at the North Face championship this year).   
                     
                    Just my two cents. 
                     
                    Miles

                    On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:22 PM, Hardy Lee <loveitsouth@...> wrote:

                    The jackets were new compared to the last time I ran Sunmart (5+ years ago) but the afghans were the same. That's right, $90 for the race and they try and make you pay for blankets that were all probably paid for 8 years ago. At least the bag you get and some of the shwag was new.
                     
                    I think attendance was down this year. It makes you wonder about the future of this race. I realize that Sunmart is a big production in the ultra community but it seems like many of the organizational decisions are based on profit more than enjoyment of the race. (Another example being packet pickup at the Sheraton)

                    On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM, h_t_rex <h_t_rex@...> wrote:

                    $90 bucks to run a 50K/50M and he started charging for the Afghans?
                    Was that for an extra Afghan or if you just wanted one instead of the
                    same old jacket?
                    Did they have the new jackets?



                  • lynnor matheney
                    What Miles said. I have only run Sun Mart twice, and do it b/c its conveniently close to where I live. The frequent porta potties are probably my idea of a big
                    Message 9 of 19 , Dec 8, 2008
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                      What Miles said. I have only run Sun Mart twice, and
                      do it b/c its conveniently close to where I live. The
                      frequent porta potties are probably my idea of a big
                      perk, although after ingesting a few salt capsules I
                      never have to go again..if I lived closer to Bandera
                      I'd go to Bun mart. I'm all about the shortest drive.
                      If its going on just up the road I'll be there. I
                      didn't buy a blanket, probably never will.

                      Lynnor Matheney
                      the Woodlands
                    • rlynntx
                      Way to go Miles, so glad it all went well for you and you had an enjoyable day... The hard part (Bandera) is still to come; just get your mind in gear; deep
                      Message 10 of 19 , Dec 8, 2008
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                        Way to go Miles, so glad it all went well for you and you had an
                        enjoyable day... The hard part (Bandera) is still to come; just get
                        your mind in gear; deep down you know you can do the Trilogy...

                        In h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com, "HM Klaff" <hmklaff@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I had a plan. Admittedly, actual training wasn't a very big part
                        of that
                        > plan. Al ong layoff after Headlands in August with shin problems
                        and then a
                        > slow ramp up back into running [not ultra] shape. Leading up to
                        the
                        > Thanksgiving break, I was running well, just not particularly
                        far. I may
                        > have done a "long" run of 18 miles in there somewhere, but that's
                        it. Then,
                        > the week before Thanksgiving, I come down with a case of the
                        shingles
                        > (which, by the way, sucks monumentally). Fortunately, I was able
                        to keep
                        > running through my recovery and race day dawned with the legs
                        feeling good
                        > and a positive mental attitude.
                        >
                        > Oh, and a plan. A brilliant plan. Run loop 1 in 2:20-2:30, loop
                        2 in
                        > 2:30-2:40, and basically hold on for dear life the rest of the
                        way. And,
                        > what do you know, it worked. But not without a lot of things
                        breaking the
                        > right way. First, the weather. Yeah, I couldn't feel my fingers
                        for the
                        > first mile, but this is my favorite weather, cold start & cool day
                        > throughout. Second, the company. I'm pretty sure I saw nearly
                        every trail
                        > running friend I know out there. Started with Julie (and the
                        annoying
                        > Yankee guys making stupid jokes: "Can I get by?" "What, you're
                        bi?" "Who
                        > are you calling bi?" By the time we got to the single-track, I
                        managed to
                        > move up and pretty much out of earshot. Thanks for making me run
                        a little
                        > faster, Yankee doofuses. Saw Kim multiple times (trailed by Les
                        each time).
                        > Richard & Paige, not once, not twice, but three times. Kathryn
                        (late in
                        > Loop 2, I think). Lynnor gawking at the shirtless twins and their
                        annoying
                        > six-pack abs. God, I hate young people. Michelle was there,
                        chatting with
                        > gal friends. Even saw Larry and Kevin O. (in much appreciated
                        cheerleader
                        > role). And, what, was that Wiley? Yes it was. And he was
                        hauling - for a
                        > while (I think painful neuroma issues probably cut his day
                        short). And
                        > then there was Mary (with Denise on Loop 4). These things are so
                        often
                        > about the motivational mind games you play. For the first half of
                        the day,
                        > my game was - How Long Can I Stay Ahead of Mary? Answer: long
                        enough to
                        > get me out for Loop 3 (where she caught me on the fire road & left
                        me behind
                        > for good).
                        >
                        > Third: music. For me it's a drug used sparingly. Left the iPod
                        in my drop
                        > on purpose for the first two loops. By the last 4-5 miles of Loop
                        2, when I
                        > started to hit a low spot, I really found myself looking forward
                        to it. And
                        > some Boost. And Advil. Sweet, sweet Advil. Big-time carrot &
                        stick going
                        > on then. Back at the S/F between Loops 2 & 3, got all my goodies
                        in tow, I
                        > knew this loop would be the crucible - what happened in the next
                        few miles
                        > would determine if I finished or called it a day at 37.5 (bagging
                        a good
                        > Bandera training run, but throwing any hopes of the Texas Trilogy
                        out the
                        > door). Felt blah heading out on the roadside trail for the first
                        mile, but
                        > as I hit the singletrack, I fired up the iPod and let it work its
                        magic.
                        > And it did work. Along with the calorie "Boost" & Advil, the
                        music picked
                        > up my pace and took the edge off my pain. Most importantly, it
                        turned my
                        > sour mental state into something much more positive. Onto the
                        fireroad out
                        > and back, I found myself running more than I expected. Not quite
                        enough to
                        > catch Mary, but enough to bank plenty of time for Loop 4. Ah,
                        yes, Loop 4.
                        > I wasn't debating whether there would be one or not. It had gone
                        from a
                        > longshot 5 miles earlier to a done deal.
                        >
                        > Final thing to break my way, coming off the fireroad & onto the
                        singletrack
                        > just after Amy's, I ran into Ryan Valdez (RD of El Scorcho & all
                        around good
                        > guy) and a first-time 50 miler, Bill Choppa. They were moving at
                        an
                        > agreeable pace and we stuck together for the rest of a strikingly
                        painless
                        > Loop 3 and beginning of Loop 4, until Ryan took off, not to be
                        seen until
                        > the end. Bill and I roughed out the icky section between the dam
                        and the
                        > boardwalks (and at one point were passed like we were standing
                        still by some
                        > sort of creature with ungodly speed--later identified as Julie
                        running for
                        > beer) and then started tossing around the idea of pushing for a
                        sub-11 hour
                        > finish. It sounded good. Then it didn't. Then it did again.
                        Then it
                        > didn't. When a couple of chicks in pink passed us right as we
                        came to the
                        > Interpretative Center and the final mile, it sounded good again.
                        Real
                        > good. And we put the hammer down. Notwithstanding the fact that
                        I had been
                        > chicked like 100 time throughout the day, it wasn't going to
                        happen on this
                        > final stretch. Alas, the sub-11 finish was not to be, but I
                        honestly
                        > couldn't have cared less. It was a fun day out in the woods with
                        friends.
                        > Couldn't have asked for much more.
                        >
                      • Kevin Walker
                        They used to allow a pick of one or the other. You could purchase additional finisher s awards if you wanted to. Now they have a new finishers jacket and you
                        Message 11 of 19 , Dec 8, 2008
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                          They used to allow a pick of one or the other. You could purchase
                          additional finisher's awards if you wanted to. Now they have a new
                          finishers jacket and you can purchase additional finishers awards.
                          The Tyvek was $10, the blanket $20. Seemed reasonable to me but I
                          didn't buy anything.

                          When you compare what you get at Sunmart vs any other race, there is
                          no way they are making money. I'm sure Roger is well paid to run the
                          race but Sunmart, Chevron and Texaco have to be putting in huge
                          sponsorships. I was told the the guy that owns/runs Sunmart is/used
                          to be a runner. I don't think it can be justified as a legitimate
                          advertising expense.

                          Don't get me wrong. I prefer the Rocky Raccoon's and Hogs Hunt. I
                          think they are run better and I like the fact that they are so low
                          key. I don't need all the hoopla.




                          On Dec 7, 2008, at 4:54 PM, Hardy Lee wrote:

                          >
                          > What does everyone think about Roger Soler charging for Sunmart
                          > blankets at the finish line?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                        • Hardy Lee
                          You don t think Roger makes a bunch of cash off Sunmart??? Come on! Why do you think that every year everyone has to drive to the Sheraton for the race expo?
                          Message 12 of 19 , Dec 8, 2008
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                            You don't think Roger makes a bunch of cash off Sunmart??? Come on! Why do you think that every year everyone has to drive to the Sheraton for the race expo? You don't think Roger gets kick backs from the Sheraton? It surely isn't held there out of convenience to the runners. Think of what that is like for racers coming in from out of state.
                             
                            They gave away the same swag for YEARS -- all those POS sunglasses and daily organizers are bought in such bulk so they can give them away year after year after year. Something I used to look forward to which I actually found useful were those nail clipper sets. Unfortunately they are no longer included. But I did get a three color long sleeve Sunmart shirt that Roget screen prints in the back of one of his stores in San Antonio to save money.
                             
                            Sunmart charges $90 and has sponsors with deep pockets. Deep enough to shuttle in their employees to run aid stations (while smoking and getting wasted) and set up cool booths to provide hot food to runners. (Or so I heard, they were all broken down by the time I crossed the finish line) We pay similar money to run similar races and they don't have anywhere close to the financial backing this race has. How much money do you think Sara Lee contributes to Bandera or the local Harley dealer kicks in for Rockledge? Those races are not put on for profit. They are put on the for runners, to promote our sport and provide us with a venue to enjoy ourselves. Sunmart is all about turning a profit. Do the math.
                             
                            All I am saying is that there are races that I feel cater to the runner. Bandera, for example. Hog's Hunt, Rocky, Rockledge, Palo Duro. These are races with Race Directors that actually go out and run other ultras. These are the races that I look forward to each year. These are the races that are put on by people who really care about this sport and care about the people running their races. These are the races with growing attendace.
                             
                            Am I being a bad sport? Possibly. I'll appologize in advance.

                            On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Kevin Walker <kbwalker@...> wrote:

                            They used to allow a pick of one or the other. You could purchase
                            additional finisher's awards if you wanted to. Now they have a new
                            finishers jacket and you can purchase additional finishers awards.
                            The Tyvek was $10, the blanket $20. Seemed reasonable to me but I
                            didn't buy anything.

                            When you compare what you get at Sunmart vs any other race, there is
                            no way they are making money. I'm sure Roger is well paid to run the
                            race but Sunmart, Chevron and Texaco have to be putting in huge
                            sponsorships. I was told the the guy that owns/runs Sunmart is/used
                            to be a runner. I don't think it can be justified as a legitimate
                            advertising expense.

                            Don't get me wrong. I prefer the Rocky Raccoon's and Hogs Hunt. I
                            think they are run better and I like the fact that they are so low
                            key. I don't need all the hoopla.



                            On Dec 7, 2008, at 4:54 PM, Hardy Lee wrote:

                            >
                            > What does everyone think about Roger Soler charging for Sunmart
                            > blankets at the finish line?
                            >
                            >
                            >


                          • Julie Garcia
                            I just make sure I eat $90 worth of orange candy slices... ... From: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com [mailto:h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of HM Klaff Sent:
                            Message 13 of 19 , Dec 8, 2008
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                              I just make sure I eat $90 worth of orange candy slices...
                               
                               
                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com [mailto:h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of HM Klaff
                              Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:31 AM
                              To: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [h_t_rex] Sunmart Blankets

                              I have mixed feelings about Sunmart.  Sure, having to pay $40 for the same afghans seemed excessive at first, but I think they've probably decided to forego blankets as a prize in the future and are just trying to move the last of the old merchandise.  I don't necessarily think the $90 is too insane given (1) the increasing fees for a lot of other races these days, and (2) the quality of what you do get at Sunmart.  The swag is plentiful (if not always particularly useful), the organization is very good in a lot of ways (tons of porto-johns, a huge heated tent with flat-screen TVs, hand wash stations, etc), and the food is very good, as race food goes. 
                               
                              But "big production" is right.  In a lot of ways, Sunmart is more like a big road race than a trail ultra.  Parking is a pain (even for early-arriving 50 milers).  The course is crowded, particularly when the 50K and 50M merge early in the race.  Aid stations are just okay.  Frankly, I'd rather have fewer aid stations (a waste of manpower to have some aid stations less than 1.5 miles apart).  But, on the whole, it works.  It's also a nice opportunity to see lots of folks from around the state, and can be a good chance to watch some elite runners (most were chasing the big bucks at the North Face championship this year).   
                               
                              Just my two cents. 
                               
                              Miles

                              On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:22 PM, Hardy Lee <loveitsouth@ gmail.com> wrote:

                              The jackets were new compared to the last time I ran Sunmart (5+ years ago) but the afghans were the same. That's right, $90 for the race and they try and make you pay for blankets that were all probably paid for 8 years ago. At least the bag you get and some of the shwag was new.
                               
                              I think attendance was down this year. It makes you wonder about the future of this race. I realize that Sunmart is a big production in the ultra community but it seems like many of the organizational decisions are based on profit more than enjoyment of the race. (Another example being packet pickup at the Sheraton)

                              On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM, h_t_rex <h_t_rex@yahoo. com> wrote:

                              $90 bucks to run a 50K/50M and he started charging for the Afghans?
                              Was that for an extra Afghan or if you just wanted one instead of the
                              same old jacket?
                              Did they have the new jackets?



                            • rlynntx
                              Dont also forget the evening pasta-load meal, breakfast at the park, snacking all day long at the aid stations and lunch/dinner after your run - that s a lot
                              Message 14 of 19 , Dec 9, 2008
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                                Dont also forget the evening pasta-load meal, breakfast at the park,
                                snacking all day long at the aid stations and lunch/dinner after
                                your run - that's a lot of food


                                --- In h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com, "Julie Garcia" <julestx96@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > I just make sure I eat $90 worth of orange candy slices...
                                >
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com [mailto:h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com]On
                                Behalf Of
                                > HM Klaff
                                > Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:31 AM
                                > To: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [h_t_rex] Sunmart Blankets
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > I have mixed feelings about Sunmart. Sure, having to pay $40
                                for the same
                                > afghans seemed excessive at first, but I think they've probably
                                decided to
                                > forego blankets as a prize in the future and are just trying to
                                move the
                                > last of the old merchandise. I don't necessarily think the $90 is
                                too
                                > insane given (1) the increasing fees for a lot of other races
                                these days,
                                > and (2) the quality of what you do get at Sunmart. The swag is
                                plentiful
                                > (if not always particularly useful), the organization is very good
                                in a lot
                                > of ways (tons of porto-johns, a huge heated tent with flat-screen
                                TVs, hand
                                > wash stations, etc), and the food is very good, as race food goes.
                                >
                                > But "big production" is right. In a lot of ways, Sunmart is
                                more like a
                                > big road race than a trail ultra. Parking is a pain (even for
                                > early-arriving 50 milers). The course is crowded, particularly
                                when the 50K
                                > and 50M merge early in the race. Aid stations are just okay.
                                Frankly, I'd
                                > rather have fewer aid stations (a waste of manpower to have some
                                aid
                                > stations less than 1.5 miles apart). But, on the whole, it
                                works. It's
                                > also a nice opportunity to see lots of folks from around the
                                state, and can
                                > be a good chance to watch some elite runners (most were chasing
                                the big
                                > bucks at the North Face championship this year).
                                >
                                > Just my two cents.
                                >
                                > Miles
                                >
                                >
                                > On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:22 PM, Hardy Lee <loveitsouth@...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > The jackets were new compared to the last time I ran Sunmart
                                (5+ years
                                > ago) but the afghans were the same. That's right, $90 for the race
                                and they
                                > try and make you pay for blankets that were all probably paid for
                                8 years
                                > ago. At least the bag you get and some of the shwag was new.
                                >
                                > I think attendance was down this year. It makes you wonder
                                about the
                                > future of this race. I realize that Sunmart is a big production in
                                the ultra
                                > community but it seems like many of the organizational decisions
                                are based
                                > on profit more than enjoyment of the race. (Another example being
                                packet
                                > pickup at the Sheraton)
                                >
                                >
                                > On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM, h_t_rex <h_t_rex@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > $90 bucks to run a 50K/50M and he started charging for the
                                Afghans?
                                > Was that for an extra Afghan or if you just wanted one
                                instead of the
                                > same old jacket?
                                > Did they have the new jackets?
                                >
                              • rlynntx
                                No you re not being a bad sport, just a bad entrepenure. Commercialism is the American way of life isn t it - sell something and make some money; deep down I
                                Message 15 of 19 , Dec 9, 2008
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  No you're not being a bad sport, just a bad entrepenure.
                                  Commercialism is the American way of life isn't it - sell something
                                  and make some money; deep down I can't but cynically believe most
                                  sponsorships really work that way - good PR has a value! The option
                                  is always not pay and dont enter the race.

                                  --- In h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com, "Hardy Lee" <loveitsouth@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > You don't think Roger makes a bunch of cash off Sunmart??? Come
                                  on! Why do
                                  > you think that every year everyone has to drive to the Sheraton
                                  for the race
                                  > expo? You don't think Roger gets kick backs from the Sheraton? It
                                  surely
                                  > isn't held there out of convenience to the runners. Think of what
                                  that is
                                  > like for racers coming in from out of state.
                                  >
                                  > They gave away the same swag for YEARS -- all those POS sunglasses
                                  and daily
                                  > organizers are bought in such bulk so they can give them away year
                                  after
                                  > year after year. Something I used to look forward to which I
                                  actually found
                                  > useful were those nail clipper sets. Unfortunately they are no
                                  longer
                                  > included. But I did get a three color long sleeve Sunmart shirt
                                  that Roget
                                  > screen prints in the back of one of his stores in San Antonio to
                                  save money.
                                  >
                                  > Sunmart charges $90 and has sponsors with deep pockets. Deep
                                  enough to
                                  > shuttle in their employees to run aid stations (while smoking and
                                  getting
                                  > wasted) and set up cool booths to provide hot food to runners. (Or
                                  so I
                                  > heard, they were all broken down by the time I crossed the finish
                                  line) We
                                  > pay similar money to run similar races and they don't have
                                  anywhere close to
                                  > the financial backing this race has. How much money do you think
                                  Sara Lee
                                  > contributes to Bandera or the local Harley dealer kicks in for
                                  Rockledge?
                                  > Those races are not put on for profit. They are put on the for
                                  runners, to
                                  > promote our sport and provide us with a venue to enjoy ourselves.
                                  Sunmart is
                                  > all about turning a profit. Do the math.
                                  >
                                  > All I am saying is that there are races that I feel cater to the
                                  runner.
                                  > Bandera, for example. Hog's Hunt, Rocky, Rockledge, Palo Duro.
                                  These are
                                  > races with Race Directors that actually go out and run other
                                  ultras. These
                                  > are the races that I look forward to each year. These are the
                                  races that are
                                  > put on by people who really care about this sport and care about
                                  the people
                                  > running their races. These are the races with growing attendace.
                                  >
                                  > Am I being a bad sport? Possibly. I'll appologize in advance.
                                  >
                                  > On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Kevin Walker <kbwalker@...>wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > They used to allow a pick of one or the other. You could
                                  purchase
                                  > > additional finisher's awards if you wanted to. Now they have a
                                  new
                                  > > finishers jacket and you can purchase additional finishers
                                  awards.
                                  > > The Tyvek was $10, the blanket $20. Seemed reasonable to me but I
                                  > > didn't buy anything.
                                  > >
                                  > > When you compare what you get at Sunmart vs any other race,
                                  there is
                                  > > no way they are making money. I'm sure Roger is well paid to run
                                  the
                                  > > race but Sunmart, Chevron and Texaco have to be putting in huge
                                  > > sponsorships. I was told the the guy that owns/runs Sunmart
                                  is/used
                                  > > to be a runner. I don't think it can be justified as a legitimate
                                  > > advertising expense.
                                  > >
                                  > > Don't get me wrong. I prefer the Rocky Raccoon's and Hogs Hunt. I
                                  > > think they are run better and I like the fact that they are so
                                  low
                                  > > key. I don't need all the hoopla.
                                  > >
                                  > > On Dec 7, 2008, at 4:54 PM, Hardy Lee wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > > What does everyone think about Roger Soler charging for Sunmart
                                  > > > blankets at the finish line?
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • Hardy Lee
                                  ... I m sorry if I was overly negative.
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Dec 9, 2008
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    You're right. And rather than complaining about Sunmart and Roger, not entering the race would be a better option. Seeing that Sunmart race attendance is down, it seems that's what people are doing. I plan on following suit but until Joe or someone else offers a race of their own and it becomes part of his Texas Trilogy, I'm stuck with what I've got.
                                     
                                     
                                    I'm sorry if I was overly negative.


                                  • bob.i.botto@exxonmobil.com
                                    I highly doubt that Roger gets a penny from the Sheraton. Having organized a lot of these events myself in the past (up to 1200 people and the entire Adams
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Dec 9, 2008
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      I highly doubt that Roger gets a penny from the Sheraton. Having organized
                                      a lot of these events myself in the past (up to 1200 people and the entire
                                      Adams Mark for a week) I feel confident that he gets at most a couple
                                      complimentary rooms or just a smile - that's what I get.

                                      Bob

                                      Bob Botto
                                      Analytical Services Laboratory
                                      Baytown Complex Laboratory Department
                                      5000 Bayway Dr. Baytown, Tx 77520
                                      Company Mail: CORP-BSL-103
                                      Phone: 281-834-5133
                                      Pager: 281-439-1300
                                      Fax: 281-834-1775
                                      Join the ExxonMobil Corporate Track & Field Team!




                                      "Hardy Lee"
                                      <loveitsouth@g
                                      mail.com> To
                                      Sent by: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com
                                      h_t_rex@yahoog cc
                                      roups.com
                                      Subject
                                      Re: [h_t_rex] Sunmart Survival
                                      12/08/08 11:34
                                      PM


                                      Please respond
                                      to
                                      h_t_rex@yahoog
                                      roups.com








                                      You don't think Roger makes a bunch of cash off Sunmart??? Come on! Why do
                                      you think that every year everyone has to drive to the Sheraton for the
                                      race expo? You don't think Roger gets kick backs from the Sheraton? It
                                      surely isn't held there out of convenience to the runners. Think of what
                                      that is like for racers coming in from out of state.



                                      They gave away the same swag for YEARS -- all those POS sunglasses and
                                      daily organizers are bought in such bulk so they can give them away year
                                      after year after year. Something I used to look forward to which I actually
                                      found useful were those nail clipper sets. Unfortunately they are no longer
                                      included. But I did get a three color long sleeve Sunmart shirt that Roget
                                      screen prints in the back of one of his stores in San Antonio to save
                                      money.

                                      Sunmart charges $90 and has sponsors with deep pockets. Deep enough to
                                      shuttle in their employees to run aid stations (while smoking and getting
                                      wasted) and set up cool booths to provide hot food to runners. (Or so I
                                      heard, they were all broken down by the time I crossed the finish line) We
                                      pay similar money to run similar races and they don't have anywhere close
                                      to the financial backing this race has. How much money do you think Sara
                                      Lee contributes to Bandera or the local Harley dealer kicks in for
                                      Rockledge? Those races are not put on for profit. They are put on the for
                                      runners, to promote our sport and provide us with a venue to enjoy
                                      ourselves. Sunmart is all about turning a profit. Do the math.

                                      All I am saying is that there are races that I feel cater to the runner.
                                      Bandera, for example. Hog's Hunt, Rocky, Rockledge, Palo Duro. These are
                                      races with Race Directors that actually go out and run other ultras. These
                                      are the races that I look forward to each year. These are the races that
                                      are put on by people who really care about this sport and care about the
                                      people running their races. These are the races with growing attendace.

                                      Am I being a bad sport? Possibly. I'll appologize in advance.

                                      On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Kevin Walker <kbwalker@...>
                                      wrote:


                                      They used to allow a pick of one or the other. You could purchase
                                      additional finisher's awards if you wanted to. Now they have a new
                                      finishers jacket and you can purchase additional finishers awards.
                                      The Tyvek was $10, the blanket $20. Seemed reasonable to me but I
                                      didn't buy anything.

                                      When you compare what you get at Sunmart vs any other race, there is
                                      no way they are making money. I'm sure Roger is well paid to run the
                                      race but Sunmart, Chevron and Texaco have to be putting in huge
                                      sponsorships. I was told the the guy that owns/runs Sunmart is/used
                                      to be a runner. I don't think it can be justified as a legitimate
                                      advertising expense.

                                      Don't get me wrong. I prefer the Rocky Raccoon's and Hogs Hunt. I
                                      think they are run better and I like the fact that they are so low
                                      key. I don't need all the hoopla.


                                      On Dec 7, 2008, at 4:54 PM, Hardy Lee wrote:

                                      >
                                      > What does everyone think about Roger Soler charging for Sunmart
                                      > blankets at the finish line?
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • bob.i.botto@exxonmobil.com
                                      For my bucks the race is really well worth it. If it cost any less it would be more painful. Bob Bob Botto Analytical Services Laboratory Baytown Complex
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Dec 9, 2008
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        For my bucks the race is really well worth it. If it cost any less it would
                                        be more painful.

                                        Bob

                                        Bob Botto
                                        Analytical Services Laboratory
                                        Baytown Complex Laboratory Department
                                        5000 Bayway Dr. Baytown, Tx 77520
                                        Company Mail: CORP-BSL-103
                                        Phone: 281-834-5133
                                        Pager: 281-439-1300
                                        Fax: 281-834-1775
                                        Join the ExxonMobil Corporate Track & Field Team!




                                        "rlynntx"
                                        <rlynntx@yahoo
                                        .com> To
                                        Sent by: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com
                                        h_t_rex@yahoog cc
                                        roups.com
                                        Subject
                                        [h_t_rex] Re: Sunmart Blankets
                                        12/09/08 06:20
                                        AM


                                        Please respond
                                        to
                                        h_t_rex@yahoog
                                        roups.com








                                        Dont also forget the evening pasta-load meal, breakfast at the park,
                                        snacking all day long at the aid stations and lunch/dinner after
                                        your run - that's a lot of food

                                        --- In h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com, "Julie Garcia" <julestx96@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > I just make sure I eat $90 worth of orange candy slices...
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > -----Original Message-----
                                        > From: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com [mailto:h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com]On
                                        Behalf Of
                                        > HM Klaff
                                        > Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:31 AM
                                        > To: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com
                                        > Subject: Re: [h_t_rex] Sunmart Blankets
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > I have mixed feelings about Sunmart. Sure, having to pay $40
                                        for the same
                                        > afghans seemed excessive at first, but I think they've probably
                                        decided to
                                        > forego blankets as a prize in the future and are just trying to
                                        move the
                                        > last of the old merchandise. I don't necessarily think the $90 is
                                        too
                                        > insane given (1) the increasing fees for a lot of other races
                                        these days,
                                        > and (2) the quality of what you do get at Sunmart. The swag is
                                        plentiful
                                        > (if not always particularly useful), the organization is very good
                                        in a lot
                                        > of ways (tons of porto-johns, a huge heated tent with flat-screen
                                        TVs, hand
                                        > wash stations, etc), and the food is very good, as race food goes.
                                        >
                                        > But "big production" is right. In a lot of ways, Sunmart is
                                        more like a
                                        > big road race than a trail ultra. Parking is a pain (even for
                                        > early-arriving 50 milers). The course is crowded, particularly
                                        when the 50K
                                        > and 50M merge early in the race. Aid stations are just okay.
                                        Frankly, I'd
                                        > rather have fewer aid stations (a waste of manpower to have some
                                        aid
                                        > stations less than 1.5 miles apart). But, on the whole, it
                                        works. It's
                                        > also a nice opportunity to see lots of folks from around the
                                        state, and can
                                        > be a good chance to watch some elite runners (most were chasing
                                        the big
                                        > bucks at the North Face championship this year).
                                        >
                                        > Just my two cents.
                                        >
                                        > Miles
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:22 PM, Hardy Lee <loveitsouth@...>
                                        wrote:
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > The jackets were new compared to the last time I ran Sunmart
                                        (5+ years
                                        > ago) but the afghans were the same. That's right, $90 for the race
                                        and they
                                        > try and make you pay for blankets that were all probably paid for
                                        8 years
                                        > ago. At least the bag you get and some of the shwag was new.
                                        >
                                        > I think attendance was down this year. It makes you wonder
                                        about the
                                        > future of this race. I realize that Sunmart is a big production in
                                        the ultra
                                        > community but it seems like many of the organizational decisions
                                        are based
                                        > on profit more than enjoyment of the race. (Another example being
                                        packet
                                        > pickup at the Sheraton)
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > On Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 7:05 PM, h_t_rex <h_t_rex@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > $90 bucks to run a 50K/50M and he started charging for the
                                        Afghans?
                                        > Was that for an extra Afghan or if you just wanted one
                                        instead of the
                                        > same old jacket?
                                        > Did they have the new jackets?
                                        >
                                      • Kathryn Vidal
                                        Just to add to all the chatter, even before Roger Soler got involved, and Norm & Helen Klein were the Race Directors, the packet pickup and banquet were at the
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Dec 9, 2008
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Just to add to all the chatter, even before Roger Soler got involved, and Norm & Helen Klein were the Race Directors, the packet pickup and banquet were at the Sheraton, and the race format was pretty much the same.  Plus, since many runners do come from out of town by plane, having the pre-race events at a hotel (with airport shuttle) was probably more convenient for them than for those of us who live in town, since they did not need extra transportation, etc.  They had everything available at the hotel, plus a shuttle to the park for the race.
                                           
                                          As for the sales at the finish line, the program clearly stated that the "old" finishers' awards would be available for sale to finishers only and the prices were listed, so I just figured they were liquidating their stocks as "collector's items" or something like that.   We all complained about them for so long, I didn't figure that anyone would drop good money on one!   I still have 3 afghans at home, 2 of which are unwrapped and a tyvek jacket in its bag too.  I figure my cats can only work on one of them at a time.   Should I put them on Ebay to see how much I can get for them? 
                                           
                                          There are always pros and cons to the "big" events versus the smaller and more intimate ones, but I don't think Roger Soler should get a bad rap just for keeping the event alive in mostly the same format it's been in for the past 10+ years.   I feel quite grateful that we have lots of options close by to choose from in the trail format, even though we aren't really in the most scenic part of the country.    As Bob says, when you know how much work is involved behind the scenes, it's hard to be too critical. 
                                           
                                          Anyway, that's my 2 cents for today.  Power on, all. 
                                           


                                           


                                          To: h_t_rex@yahoogroups.com
                                          From: bob.i.botto@...
                                          Date: Tue, 9 Dec 2008 14:01:05 -0600
                                          Subject: Re: [h_t_rex] Sunmart Survival


                                          I highly doubt that Roger gets a penny from the Sheraton. Having organized
                                          a lot of these events myself in the past (up to 1200 people and the entire
                                          Adams Mark for a week) I feel confident that he gets at most a couple
                                          complimentary rooms or just a smile - that's what I get.

                                          Bob

                                          Bob Botto
                                          Analytical Services Laboratory
                                          Baytown Complex Laboratory Department
                                          5000 Bayway Dr. Baytown, Tx 77520
                                          Company Mail: CORP-BSL-103
                                          Phone: 281-834-5133
                                          Pager: 281-439-1300
                                          Fax: 281-834-1775
                                          Join the ExxonMobil Corporate Track & Field Team!

                                          "Hardy Lee"
                                          <loveitsouth@ g
                                          mail.com> To
                                          Sent by: h_t_rex@yahoogroups .com
                                          h_t_rex@yahoog cc
                                          roups.com
                                          Subject
                                          Re: [h_t_rex] Sunmart Survival
                                          12/08/08 11:34
                                          PM


                                          Please respond
                                          to
                                          h_t_rex@yahoog
                                          roups.com





                                          You don't think Roger makes a bunch of cash off Sunmart??? Come on! Why do
                                          you think that every year everyone has to drive to the Sheraton for the
                                          race expo? You don't think Roger gets kick backs from the Sheraton? It
                                          surely isn't held there out of convenience to the runners. Think of what
                                          that is like for racers coming in from out of state.

                                          They gave away the same swag for YEARS -- all those POS sunglasses and
                                          daily organizers are bought in such bulk so they can give them away year
                                          after year after year. Something I used to look forward to which I actually
                                          found useful were those nail clipper sets. Unfortunately they are no longer
                                          included. But I did get a three color long sleeve Sunmart shirt that Roget
                                          screen prints in the back of one of his stores in San Antonio to save
                                          money.

                                          Sunmart charges $90 and has sponsors with deep pockets. Deep enough to
                                          shuttle in their employees to run aid stations (while smoking and getting
                                          wasted) and set up cool booths to provide hot food to runners. (Or so I
                                          heard, they were all broken down by the time I crossed the finish line) We
                                          pay similar money to run similar races and they don't have anywhere close
                                          to the financial backing this race has. How much money do you think Sara
                                          Lee contributes to Bandera or the local Harley dealer kicks in for
                                          Rockledge? Those races are not put on for profit. They are put on the for
                                          runners, to promote our sport and provide us with a venue to enjoy
                                          ourselves. Sunmart is all about turning a profit. Do the math.

                                          All I am saying is that there are races that I feel cater to the runner.
                                          Bandera, for example. Hog's Hunt, Rocky, Rockledge, Palo Duro. These are
                                          races with Race Directors that actually go out and run other ultras. These
                                          are the races that I look forward to each year. These are the races that
                                          are put on by people who really care about this sport and care about the
                                          people running their races. These are the races with growing attendace.

                                          Am I being a bad sport? Possibly. I'll appologize in advance.

                                          On Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 11:01 PM, Kevin Walker <kbwalker@mylinuxisp .com>
                                          wrote:

                                          They used to allow a pick of one or the other. You could purchase
                                          additional finisher's awards if you wanted to. Now they have a new
                                          finishers jacket and you can purchase additional finishers awards.
                                          The Tyvek was $10, the blanket $20. Seemed reasonable to me but I
                                          didn't buy anything.

                                          When you compare what you get at Sunmart vs any other race, there is
                                          no way they are making money. I'm sure Roger is well paid to run the
                                          race but Sunmart, Chevron and Texaco have to be putting in huge
                                          sponsorships. I was told the the guy that owns/runs Sunmart is/used
                                          to be a runner. I don't think it can be justified as a legitimate
                                          advertising expense.

                                          Don't get me wrong. I prefer the Rocky Raccoon's and Hogs Hunt. I
                                          think they are run better and I like the fact that they are so low
                                          key. I don't need all the hoopla.

                                          On Dec 7, 2008, at 4:54 PM, Hardy Lee wrote:

                                          >
                                          > What does everyone think about Roger Soler charging for Sunmart
                                          > blankets at the finish line?
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >


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