Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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Nice effort Mr. Bus… but we beat you… AGAIN!

Chilly on the starting line

6:00 pm July 11, 2012 – Myself and #1 assistant Kevin arrive at the intersection of Cervantes and Fillmore Street. Just minutes later a women in running gear walked up. I greeted her, ask if she was here to run with the bus and before she could say  “yes,” a spandex clad herd emerged. Within minutes there were 80 some people standing at the intersection. Holy cow!

As I attempted to meet and greet the racers, Kevin and Sally of Athleta managed the paperwork. Looking around I was stunned by the massive group, were they wondering  WTF was going on and when could they start running…?

Driver of our victim

6:20 I asked Jenn Pattee of Basic Training to wander across the street to where the busses deploy. Her mission, to find and make friends with our impending victim. It took a couple of trips but eventually Jenn managed to ascertain, befriend and photograph the man who would drive our target. A job well done.

6:28 pm, shockingly on time, the janky bus started sputtering toward the start. I went into hyper drive attempting to run through the rules of the race. Just as I spit out my last word the bus pulled up at the bus stop, aka: starting line.

My last words were…“When the light turns green GO!”

The second the light turned green 80 some pair of legs were off and running as the bus sputtered off down the road behind them. At the Chestnut Street bus stop, the bus was forced to stop and pick up passengers. This allowed the runners to break away, make their way across Lombard and eventually up the hill. At this point the bus had been dropped by the entire field or runners.

It wasn’t until the second block of 15% grade on Steiner Street that the bus managed to close the gap and catch the back of the field. By this time many of the racers were just blocks away from crossing the finishing line at Sacramento.  As the bus turned to make it’s way up the final climb on Broadway I did my best to block for the remaining field. My trusty SEVEN (bike) and I made every effort to detain the bus by slowly grinding up the climb in front of the coach. That’s when the bus softly tooted its horn, put the hammer down, attacked and sped past me on my left. As I crested the top of the climb and passed the bus at the stop on the corner, I head the driver yell out his window, “nice try!”

Making my way down Fillmore toward the finishing line I noticed shop owners and bystanders cheering the runners on. It was amazing to see the racers sprinting toward the finish line while dodging pedestrian traffic to the cheers of strangers on the busy shopping street.

By the time I reached the finish line most of the runners had come through and were enthusiastically cheering on their fellow racers. There were folks of all shapes and sizes, women, men, dogs, strollers, young and forever young.  Everyone had smiles on their faces. It was thrilling.

While not every person managed to beat the bus the majority of the field did. And frankly, it seemed to me as though the bus was moving a little faster than usual. Do you suppose the driver took our challenge to heart? Or maybe Muni learned of my advice to start working on it’s climbing. We’ll never really know…

Party time!

Post race, we were off to the Athleta store for snacks, congratulations and awards. A good time was had by all and the excitement was flabbergasting.

Special thanks to Athleta on Fillmore for their bountiful sponsorship, of prizes, snacks, cheerleaders, promotion and general excitement for the cause! Thanks to Hint water for keeping the racers hydrated, to Lisa and Sports Basement for their prize contributions. To Jenn Pattee and her Basic Training crew, thank you for helping to make this the best Run with the Bus ever! To Kevin and all my friends who came out to support.

Lastly… THANK YOU to everyone who showed up, raced and had a good time. That includes The Bus! This event would not have been possible without every last one of you! Stay tuned… this is just the beginning…

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Allez! Allez… it’s Run With The Bus day!

The 22 Fillmore

Yippee! The very first Motion Starved Run With The Bus competition is here. In case you haven’t been following, we’re racing the 22 Fillmore Muni line from The Marina to Geary Street, here in San Francisco. The course is only 1.5 miles but includes a half-mile of climbing at about a 15% grade. “Ouch” is the word that best describes the climbing in this event.

At approximately 6:30 this evening runners will take on the janky electric bus. There will be spectators along the route as well as supporters on bikes to cheer us on. We have top finisher prizes and my pal Earl has built us a winners podium to insure top-notch photo ops. This is a pro operation folks, no messing around here!

With that, I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few hill running tips:

  • First of all, think “soft eyes, soft mouth, soft shoulders” when running/riding/doing yoga etc… A tense face/body is not an efficient use of valuable energy. Relax!
  • As you run, hold your arms so that your thumbs brush by, or just below your hip bones with each step. Most folks hold their arms too high.
  • Your arms should not cross your body. Think “cheek to cheek” (face cheek to butt cheek).
  • On a hill shorten your stride and pick up your knees pushing off with each step. Think, “push, push, push.”
  • Running uphill, lean into the angel of the hill. Thrust your elbows back hard as you run. Run with power and conquer!
  • Never, ever, look up the hill. Look straight in front of you about 50 feet. When you look up and see where you’re headed you panic. Don’t do that!
  • Breath! Holding your breath is dumb for all sorts of reasons that I’ll go into another day. Just remember to keep breathing.
  • Lastly, make friends with the hill. Most folks hate hills and panic when they see one. If you decide that the hill is your friend then you’ll have an easier time going up than the folks that are busy freaking out about it. Get me?

With that, we’re off. Good luck to all those participating in our Run With The Bus race tonight. I bid you a safe and speedy pursuit.

P.s. Official race report will be posted on Friday. Stay tuned…