Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Not Very Super, Superhero Scramble ... Avoid this mudrun.

Back in 2012, I ran my very first mudrun, the Superhero Scramble in Waldo, Florida. It was a challenging, fun run and I was instantly hooked. Since then, I've run about 8+ obstacle/mudruns a year and repeated the Superhero Scramble in both the 5k and 8 mile versions, about 4 more times.

Up until this week, I was signed up (paid up!) for both the Superhero 8 mile Intimidator in January 2015 and the Waldo 5k Superhero Charger in November 2014.

This week I received 2 almost identical emails from the Superhero parent company announcing the postponement of each of these races with this message:

After whining about participation not being high enough to justify each of these two runs, the letter says..."We are arranging for compensation for our registered participants, and will send you information as soon as a determination has been made.
We are expanding our promotion activities as we move forward, to structure and strengthen our organization so that we can provide bigger events and other entertainment going forward. We look forward providing you with a replacement event for you to attend."

Now that sounds like they are not reimbursing our fees, but planning a switcheroo to another event. This disappointing email got me wondering ... hadn't I heard Texans fussing on Facebook a while back about Superhero cancelling on them and then being wishywashy about refunds?

So I Googled "Superhero Scramble cancellation" and found a slew of canceled/postponed runs across the country and irritated runners wondering online if they would be refunded their entry fee.

Also a Better Business Bureau (BBB) site with an interesting back and forth between customer and Superhero after a cancellation.

It pains me to say this because I've really enjoyed the Superhero runs I've done and they were my entry into obstacle runs ... but I would not buy any entry to a Superhero run at this time.
I have a feeling I won't be seeing my funds anytime soon for the two races that I am registered in.

Superhero needs to get it together and man up. There are too many well run and straight up mud runs out there like Savage, Spartan, Tough Mudder, FL-ROC and Rugged Maniac to waste time and money on a company that doesn't have their act together.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Horseshoe Crabaction

Trilobites and giant water scorpions, like Pterygotus, creep, crawl, and swim through my Devonian brain every time I see one of these critters.
Horseshoe crabs, (okay, you already know this, but it is obligatory), are not really crabs at all.

What they are, is a class of ancient relics that have apparently evolved to a perfect state of happiness, since they look today pretty much like they a hundred million years ago. 

I had to mess with this one while snorkeling in the Gulf recently ... I mess you know ... it's an interactive thing.
She wasn't feeling all that interactive, but I only bothered her for a few minutes to take a closer look.
The long tail is the "Telson" and it's a useful tool for flipping yourself upright after the waves have tossed you upside down with all your jiggly parts exposed to predators.
By the way, if you love shore birds, you love this animal too. The billions of eggs that horseshoe crabs lay at the high tide line on our shores are the fuel for the vast flocks of migrating shore birds arriving for the winter.

There's few things in the sea more harmless than a horseshoe crab, but they sure LOOK like a pointy, creepy, nightmare out of the movie ALIEN.

The flappityflopflappity parts in the upper part of this view are the horseshoe crabs book gills ... similar to the book lungs on Arachnids like spiders and scorpions ... a hint at the close relationship between this gal and truly creepy things like spiders and scorpions.

The jiggly parts on the ventral side include this awesome assortment of jointed appendages and those, along with that hard exoskeleton are what lump this animal into Phylum Arthropoda, a group that includes about 85+percent of all Earth species.

There are so dang many species of Arthropod...

If you were an alien biologist surveying the variety of life on Earth, you would probably conclude that there's one dominant primate species that builds lots of cool stuff and is highly intelligent, but this planet is really an Arthropod planet.

See ya around, little Limulus polyphemus.