Saturday, September 19, 2015

QuickSilver Club: we run, play and (trail) work!

First, our complete name is the QuickSilver Running Club of San Jose so, for sure, we run, that's the main purpose! But we do many other things together and, with a sport which is fundamentally individual, it's key to add and rely on the social connections and support which a running club can bring to its members. If you live in the South Bay, are an adept of trail running or what this is about, please consider joining us, we welcome members of all ages: Coach Marc takes care of our Youth team and Jim still brings us points for our Ultra Running Team by running 100-milers at close to 70!

So, what else can we do apart from running? Well, among other things, we eat and drink for sure (some even enjoy a few beers from time to time, not just water or GU2O! ;-), play, mingle, volunteer, crew, pace, recognize, encourage, coach, learn, help, cook, serve, network, organize, speak, listen or even argue (over Jim's procedural motions! ;-), strategize, plan, recruit, cheer, motivate, entertain, direct (races), participate, relate and sympathize, give back, pay (our club dues for sure! ;-), dress (occasionally, for the Pacific Association USA Track & Field annual award banquet, or in costumes at the Western States aid station at Duncan Canyon), drive or fly (many miles to many places) and inspire. Oh, and above all, we enjoy: the company, the outdoors, the local trails, the competition, the trail, road or ultra challenges, heck, we enjoy life!

But, again, we also work hard. On our running and fitness, but also on the races the Club organizes, and the trails of our local backyard and playground: the Almaden Quicksilver County Park.

This morning, 7 of us joined our CTO, Paul Fick, who wears many hats in our Club. After running many ultras himself and directing our popular Quicksilver ultra races in May for years, Paul serves as our CTO and CBO. CBO for Chief BBQ (if not Banquet) Officer in May, and Chief Trail Officer all year round. Paul reminded us this morning that we have adopted the New Almaden trail back in 2003 and he pointed out a few of the major improvements that we brought to this trail.
Today's project consisted in removing a few stairs and lowering a section which was plunging into a creek crossing. It was one of the hardest job I had done on this trail, we'll see how I feel tomorrow to race the hot and hilly Ohlone 50K tomorrow! We removed a lot of ground, sculpting a sort of gully, a couple of feet deep. With the drought, it was quite dusty and I'm sure we ate quite some dust this morning.
Our crew today was composed of Ashley, Scott, Paul K and his son John-Paul, David, Paul F of course, and I. Here are David and Paul K wearing our Club racing top.

Back to the other fun things we do, 3 weeks ago we had our Club picnic in Los Gatos, a nice way to reconnect with teammates and their families, outside of the race context and rush.

Again, if you live in the South Bay, we'd be delighted to have you join the fun. You can visit our website for more details. I just realized that our membership has grown significantly as part of USATF, we even passed the 100-member barrier this year!

And for those reading from far away, I hope you also get such a support from a local running club: there is so much to give and receive from club mates, don't miss this part of running, and ultra running in particular. "One for all, and all for one!" as they say! ;-)

PS: like we are blessed with many hills, trails and races around the Bay Area, we also have many other clubs, so let me mention the first one I joined, almost 15 years ago, which taught me so much about trail and ultra running: the Stevens Creek Striders in Cupertino. In particular, please check out their upcoming trail races on September 26 (50K, 30K, half-marathon).

And a few more pictures of these two Club events...

############# TRAIL WORK

Receiving the instructions from the Park Ranger.

Meeting another groups of volunteers, the Sheriff's Search and Rescue team, doing their fitness test.

The trail as we arrived:

And how it looked when we left, 3 hours later:

Back to the Mockingbird entrance parking lot, with our tools, and today's trophies, 5 wooden stairs:

############# CLUB PICNIC

El Presidente, Greg, introducing the Board
 Our Ultra Racing Team Captain, Loren:
 Greg, praising Coach Marc's amazing work with our Youth Team (Marc in red):
 An attentive audience!

 Jim's traditional opportunity to remind us about the long history and origins of our Club:

I even got highlighted for my 4 hours of volunteering in May, right after placing 4th at our 100K! But, really, with 118 ultras over the past 10 years, and despite a few events/opportunities a year, I'm seriously in debt with regard to volunteering. Here is the introduction from iRunFar's great article on an ultra volunteer, Stan Jensen:
One of Stan Jensen’s mentors, Dick Collins, once said, “One of the key principles in this sport is volunteering. You cannot just show up, pay the entry fee, and run. You have to give back.”. 
A really wise ultra advice to make our sport sustainable...

(Photo: Frédérique Garderes)

1 comment:

Lorenski said...

Great post, Jean. All so true! Sorry I missed trail work today, but I was bound to domestic detail after a weekend away racing last weekend. But I just got a pass for next weekend, so see you at the Stevens Creek Striders events!