the hazel project

planes, Trains, Carpool and Thrillrunning

April 25th, 2008

Part 4

THRILLRUNNING:

Some of you know I work in Valencia California. A nice suburban place that used to be filled with orange groves and onion fields. Quietly nestled in the Santa Clarita Valley, it’s one of the last stops for abbreviated places. ‘SoCal’ turns into the ‘Grapevine’ shortly after Valencia.

Noted places in Valencia are Cal Arts -(see)- and Six Flags Magic Mountain. The latter I see everyday on the ride to work. When I make my daily walk to the FED EX store I stare down Avenue Stanford at the lookout tower and the tangled coaster track wrapped around it. There it is, in all it’s suburban, Clark Griswold glory; Six Flags Magic Mountain; like a matte painting.

Shortly after running the L.A. Marathon in March, probably at Chipotle Grill, a DVP favorite; I suggested to my good friend and colleague, Memphis, that we should run to Six Flags, experience a thrill ride and run back during our lunch break.

Thus the concept of Thrillrunning was born. The term coined by Memphis, is bound to become a movement. We already have t-shirts designed.

So, after 2 calibration runs, and LOTS of planning and google mapping, I’m happy to announce we completed our third Thrillrunning expedition last Tuesday in 1:39 minutes!

Our first run was a challenge. The route we chose actually went THE OPPOSITE direction from the park. We figured instead of 3, it was actually 4.8 miles!

We learned a lot from that first run that took 2:15 minutes.

Since then we’ve adopted a shorter more rugged route.

Sometimes this requires us to resepctfully forge our way through rocky, weeded places that have yet to be marked by a path. Hmmm, we have to cross a dry creek bed on a bridge that’s still under construction too. This is considered to be part of the thrill.

Our route has now become part street, part dirt, part bridge, part construction zone, part parking lot, part sidewalk!

THEN we get to participate in the “Conquering All Fear” aspect of Thrillrunning. That my friends is to literally run on to the platform of ONE roller coaster - ride it - and then begin our run back to the studio.

We have bought special passes that allow us to skip to the front of the thrill ride line. Very important since we want to spend a maximum of 15-20 minutes in the park. Our goal is to get the entire Thrillrun down to 1:15. Then depending on the day and the route, and the ride, see how many more minutes we can shave off.

Our first ride - The hang-down coaster Batman - went well but we miscalculated how long it would take us to get to it. A ten minute walk to the back of the park. Next time we’ll have to run to this ride.

Our second ride was Tatsu- This ride locks you in as if you’re flying. That means you’re face down the entire time. This ride malfunctioned two trips before our turn. This was a time sieve and we ended up spending 50 minutes in the park. Lessons learned. We have contingencies in place the next time this happens.

Our third ride, just last Tuesday, was Goliath. I think they use this ride to train Astronauts because I almost blacked out. The adrenaline rush afterwards was more than satisfactory.

And so my friends and family, the most un-athletic perrson you know has collaborated on the invention of a new sport! Go forth, Thrillrunning!

I wish you could hear my FM radio voice right here:

Excercise, Entertainment and Therapy all in one!

(void where prohibited)

Thanks for checking in.

Stephen A. Thomas

Planes, Trains, Carpool and Thrillrunning

April 25th, 2008

Planes, Trains, Carpool and Thrillrunning

April 24th, 2008

Planes, trains, Carpool and Thrillrunning

April 22nd, 2008

on the path…Betty and Herb Do Rome

April 2nd, 2008

on the path…fixing comments

April 2nd, 2008