Monday, October 14, 2013

My Favorite Medals - My Favorite Race


2013 MYSTERY MOUNTAIN MARATHON


Well, it was that time of year gain.  July.  Yep, July,  Mama Kim and I started to talk about these medals in July.  Thank God, I thought, FINALLY I wouldn't have to scramble at the last minute like I have for the past couple of years.  I was wrong.  You could find me the Thursday before the race huffing fumes from polyurethane and black and silver spray paint in my garage workshop.  Oh the fumes.
So high.
I loooooove high VOC things.
Soooo high.
Brain? What brain?  Brain cells are all gone.

Where did the idea for the medals come from this year?
The race, is also known as m³, or m-cubed for the mathematically challenged.  So, being the cheese balls we are, we thought it would be fun to make the medals cube shaped.  Get it?
Why wood?  Because it was extra that I had in my garage that I couldn't wait to get rid of.  We chose to go with maple for the 12-milers and walnut for the Marathoners.  Personally I prefer the marathon medals, but that's not the race I ran.

At the end of the race last year I couldn't help but to think how happy I was to be able to spend half of the day hanging out with my friends.  If I ran the marathon, I would have finished late in the afternoon and most of the runners would have left.   So, this year I decided that if I ran I would do the 12-mile option instead.  AND, honestly, I didn't know if I was even going to do that until a couple of days before the race.  Mama Kim was really struggling for volunteers this year so I thought it would be a great help if I volunteered as opposed to ran.  Ultimately we got just enough people and I was sent out on the trail.


MEDAL MAKING - Back to the interesting stuff.

The medals started as 3 larger boards of 8/4S2S soft maple and 8/4S2S walnut.  8/4 refers to (8) quarters of an inch or approximately 1¾" since it was surfaced on two sides (S2S).

(1) Maple and (2) walnut boards, note that one of the boards isn't S2S. 

Once the boards were ripped down I brought them to their final dimension of 1½"x1½".

Final dimensioned blanks.

These boards were then cut into cubes using a highly specialized process which allowed for maximum yield from the original blanks.

Yes, that is a darkroom tray.


Then the blocks were rough sanded.

My poor sander's pad split in half.  I reckon it tried to commit suicide.

Then the blocks were final sanded.

I have NEVER used this much sandpaper before.

Then the blocks were drilled.  Now, this part was tricky.  Yes, drilling little holes can be tricky.  I quickly discovered, after splitting a dozen or so, that the orientation of the grain, the speed of the plunge and the RPM of the motor all played factors in making perfect holes.  Who would have guessed?  I didn't.  But I figured it out.

Holy Holes!

Now it was time for the clear coat x8 with some more sanding in between.  Also I had to upgrade my painting jig from last year.  This ended up taking up a lot of the floor space in my garage.

Major upgrade.  Any questions?

How the heck was I going to get the logo and the M and 12 on the blocks?  Through the use of some mega stencils.  Yes, hand made, hand cut with an X-ACTO blade stencils.  There was lots of pain and suffering here.  LOTS.  I have saved the stencils just in case we do these again next year.

Getting my stencil on.

And for the final touch, the cording.
It has become somewhat of a tradition that the afternoon before the race Anna, Greg & Tracy, Jim & Delane, and I sit on the grass somewhere drinking beer tying hundreds of knots.  And this year was just like those of the past.  What a fantastic afternoon!

Completed 12 Mile and Marathon medals.

 

PUMPKIN CARVING

I really didn't carve the pumpkins, but I did scoop out their GUTS and helped to make the stencils.  Here I can be pictured telling a story of the evolution of something and how fantastic whatever I was talking about was.

Punkin Carvin while sipping on some water.

RACE DAY

I took it easy.  Really easy.  I love these trails and just wanted to spend some time on them.  I had no intention of racing this race.  I really just wanted to get out there and run for 12 miles at a pace that would allow me to chat with people and take in the scenery.  
I stopped at every overlook.

Getting my overlook on.

I stopped at every waterfall.
I stopped at every aid station and thanked the volunteers and my friends.
I had a good leisurely time.

At the intersection of the Gahuti and 301 trails.

Anna?  
She ran the MARATHON, and CRUSHED her previous year's time!  I am so proud of her for what she is able to do.  I once teased her about having talent and luck, and got yelled at.  Rightfully so!
She works and tries really really hard to do what she does.  It's inspiring to know this.  She's freaking awesome!

Anna, at the same place, an hour ahead of me.

How did I do?  I took my time.  I did 12 miles in 3:38:40.  Man-oh-man I really did take my time.  But you know what?  I just wanted to spend some time on the trails, not racing, just doing whatever.  And I did.

4 comments:

  1. I think you had as much fun making the M'3's as you did running the 12 miler! Super appreciate all you do for MMM and glad I could yet again join in the knot tradition!

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    1. I may have had more fun making them...

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  2. Aaron, Aaron, Aaron....I loved these medals SOOOO MUCH! I can't believe all the labor and love that went into them. Thanks again for being so damn awesome!!!
    Holly

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    1. Thanks so much Holly! I am so glad you liked the medals as much as you did! I really truly enjoy making these year after year.

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