Well summer has finally begun to make it’s presence felt, with temperatures soaring into the mid-90’s this week.
What better time than to start planning for the second annual Highlands Hashers 100 – a hundred miles of running throughout Morris County at the end of July.
2016 saw the inaugural edition of the HH100, when the gang got together to run a friendly relay, in the spirit of River to Sea, a relay-race across our home state of New Jersey, in which the club had participated in for many years.
While good times were had by all, this year’s run has evolved into a two-team race, seven on seven, with two HH teams grinding it out and vying to earn a year’s worth of bragging rights and a night of free beer.
To that end, the 2017 HH100 draft was held last night to great fanfare.
The draft began with
a chorus of boos and shit-talking some good natured ribbing, as Juicy failed to produce a New Jersey quarter for the coin toss.
The group weighed the merits and demerits of different types of coins, before deciding that, in fact, a quarter was altogether proper for the coin toss.
Next, various quarters were examined to decide whether it would be acceptable to use one with another state’s emblem on the reverse, or if a standard quarter would be more suitable.
The chatter and anxiety grew, until Juicy, a veteran member and respected group leader quieted his critics by declaring that “we’re using this [redacted] one because it’s the one in my [redacted] hand!”
Juicy then established the ground rules for the coin toss, ensuring that captains Butters and Chef understood the process. Chef would have “Heads,” while Butters would have “Tails.”
It should be noted for the record that Butters was all business, having consumed nothing but water all night, ensuring that he was clear-eyed and clear-headed, while his counterpart Chef had already consumed five to six adult beverages, taking the Maverick approach to Butter’s Iceman.
Next, the quarter was passed to Wrecking Ball, a neutral party, making a rare appearance as he contemplates coming out of semi-retirement, to make the coin toss to get the event underway.
The quarter was fixed in position and ready to be flipped, when at the very last minute Blowhard interjected to demand that the coin toss be conducted NFL style – so that the coin would hit the ground, and come to a complete stop before a “heads or tails” call was made.
Wrecking Ball stated that he preferred the old fashioned “catch it in the air, then flip it onto the opposite hand, then make the call” approach.
The sides were not coming to agreement, and the matter had not been fully decided when Wrecking Ball flipped the coin, which, on its downward trajectory, somehow landed up his sleeve, his arm having still been held into the air.
Would this doom the coin toss process once and for all?
Before objections could be shouted, he flipped the coin again. The coin was in midair, and everyone held their breath and wondered which coin flip approach would prevail.
Suddenly, the question was answered as the coin was allowed to proceed uninterrupted, falling to the deck below and coming to a rest under a table, which, by then, had three empty pizza boxes and two pitchers of beer on top of it.
“HEADS!” was the official call.
Chef had won the coin toss!
Would he make the pick? Would he defer to Butters?
After several minutes of silent contemplation, weighing the pros and cons of each strategy, shouts of “decide already!” and “hurry up!” coming from the group, Chef came to a decision.
With the bold action that he is known for, he decided to seize the opportunity to pick first overall.
With the first pick of the 2017 HH100 draft, Chef selected Miyagi, a great all around runner and a grinder who puts up big miles, and who is also known for his ability to run hard through the heat and bring his “A game” at all times.
Butters now had a golden opportunity to solidify his team with back-to-back picks of top-tier talent, and he quickly decided on Blowhard, an accomplished and explosive runner with some diva-like qualities, and an unknown, S. Lange, Blowhard’s friend who may be the fastest of the group. Butters went all in, hoping the x-factors result a boom, rather than a bust.
With the pick back to Chef, he decided to think strategically, and selected a hard-nosed, workhorse runner, Liability, who, as his name may ever-so-slightly imply, might come with some “off the field issues.” But there is no doubt that he is a strong runner, and will likely pull some tough and hot segments without complaint. Chef, in a brief moment of anxiety, turned to Wrecking Ball and whispered, “Christ, I hope you two don’t go out the night before.” Like going to the library or church is such a bad thing…
Chef then took a gamble on a relative unknown, friend of the club Eric A. While his 2017 numbers are solid, Chef took on some risk with a runner he does not know well, hoping to catch some lightning in a bottle to match Butter’s second pick.
The wrap-around picks may have been complete, but nonetheless the draft shifted back to Captain Butters, who all but ran this pick to Commissioner Juicy. Donde Es, perhaps the best all-around runner in the club, had somehow pulled an Aaron Rodgers, and fallen down the draft boards as unknown rookies were selected in front of him. Donde brings a history of epic performances in all conditions, and may not be physically able to feel pain and heat. This could prove to be the pick of the draft, and from a value perspective, this pick is an A+, provided he allows himself to heal from years of abuse to his knees and ankles.
Chef was on the board, and chose Mousehand, the quiet man of the club who is capable of putting a serious hurting on the competition with his no-nonsense, let’s push this faster and faster approach to running. The silent assassin, who had also slid down the draft board, showing how deep this draft was, gives Team Chef a very, very dangerous weapon.
Back to Butters, Stone Cold was drafted, a hybrid cyclist-runner who provides solid depth as a proven racer, and who has the nicest car in the club, which offers Team Butters some race-day advantages.
Next, Chef drafted Commissioner Juicy, the resident Money Ball runner, who is guaranteed to bring HasherAnalytics into the mix to give the team race-day advantages of its own. Juicy is a vocal leader who brings a lot to the table on race day and provides the team with some serious depth.
Butters then selected Sherpa, who, as his name implies, is capable of some heavy lifting in extreme conditions. No doubt his moniker will be put to the test in the searing summer heat, but like Juicy brings solid depth to Team Butters.
With two picks left and the final round here, Chef faced a tough decision. Should he take Boulder Holder, a serious climber and good athlete without a lot of mileage in his legs. Chef says “yes,” and noted BH’s ability to “bring it when it counts” on race day.
And thus, Clippers became 2017’s “Mr. Irrelevant.” Clippers, a solid member of the club, likewise does not have a lot of miles in his legs in 2017, but has already set a 5k PR this year. A runner on the rise, a strong performance would go a long way to helping Team Butters achieve victory in ’17.
With the teams in place, and a little over a month until race day, the boys all have some work to do acclimatizing to the heat and humidity of summer and getting accustomed to running doubles.
So, which captain picked better? Which team has a better chance to win?
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or email us at email@example.com.
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