It’s been a while since I have put together a running workout. As I was brainstorming on what to do I kept coming back to the Homewood Hillcrusher segment. I decided to put it to the PAX via Twitter poll. The choices were Hillcrusher Repeats or the Gut Check. Originally I was thinking the Gut Check would be 10 burpees at the bottom of the hill, a sprint to the top, then 10 more at the top and it would take place mid-run. As the votes came in there was a tie. Guiding Light suggested why not do both? That got my thoughts spinning on what the gut check should really be. By morning, the Gut Check had come out on top in the Twitter poll and it was no longer going to be just a part of the run but rather the main event. I arrived early and put out some cones in the Gravel Pit parking lot in case we made it back too quickly with the thought that we could finish with some sprints. That was wishful thinking. Here’s how it went down:

The PAX:

Cupcake, Graffitti, Nancy, Golden Corral, Guiding Light, Pocahontas, Tammy, Valentine, Gilligan, WKRP, Big Sky, Footloose, Lynda, Rooney, Jingles, Drizzle, Thor, Hermes, Muller, Ricardo, Nutmeg, Smog, Mall Cop – QIC


  • SSS
  • Imperial Walkers
  • Windmills
  • String Rippers
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Merkins

As we finished the merkins I heard rumblings of, “you know this is a running workout right?” Too late. Our fate was decided.

The Thang:

Mosey Out:

We moseyed as a group from the park up Beverly to Madison for the first stopping point. Once the six was in and a 10 count completed, the next segment was a sprint to West Avondale. We then had two 10 counts before a recovery mosey to Edgewater. The PAX knew where to go next. Everyone’s favorite hill, Homewood. We assembled at the base of Homewood for the Gut Check.

Gut Check:

I explained what the Gut Check would be. We would perform one burpee at the bottom, run up the to top, do two burpees, run back down and do three burpees, then back up … continuing until the hill had been run five times with a final set of 10 burpees at the top after which we would recovery mosey back to Madison. I immediately received an evil eye from some of the PAX. Clearly I had broken protocol by adding burpees to a running workout, so I offered up a modification – just run hill repeats until we all finish. With that, we started OYO.

In my opinion, the first three hills weren’t so bad. The fourth was not enjoyable and the fifth downright sucked. I heard a few choice comments on the workout as it progressed. But I also heard a lot of encouragement from everyone for everyone.

I had forgotten my watch and asked Graffiti to let me know when it was 0600. We hit that time as we headed for our last downhill. We completed our Burpees and called Omaha on the way back up.

Mosey Back:

While waiting for the six to come in Graffitti notified me that I was not very popular at that moment. I decided that giving the PAX a choice of the route home would help make amends. We could go back up Madison or down to Green Valley. Green Valley was overwhelmingly chosen so we headed that way. We passed the Gravel Pit without stopping on the way back to the Shovel Flag. There was no need for sprints. Time was nearly up and our legs were spent.


Body Destroyer in cadence followed by 1 American Hammer.


Two PAX raised up prayer requests for friends who had family members that had untimely deaths. There are a lot of people around us each day that are carrying burdens they can’t handle. I asked Sky Q to help is watch out for them and use our strength to lift them up.


This definitely wasn’t a standard Starmount Stampede. 3.5 miles and 50 burpees! It pushed everyone outside of their comfort zone which is the only way to accelerate. I am impressed by everyone’s effort. Special thanks to Graffiti for helping me stay on time and to Footloose for picking up the cones I had forgotten!