Calendar of Events

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Phantom Hogs Scavenger Hunt- Results!

First, let me apologize for the slight delay in posting these results. This has been necessary due to some controversy regarding an item one of our competitors ALLEGEDLY scavenged. After careful consultation with Phantom Hogs Scavenger Hunt officials, it has been decided that a stadium does not constitute merchandise as it is not freely available for purchase by a typical fan, even if the team is so bad that it is unlikely to have such fans. Furthermore, Matt, as you pointed out, the team is not actually last in its league, only last in its division. For Phantom Hogs Scavenger Hunt purposes, this has been deemed a distinction of material importance. Therefore, your request to count the stadium of the Brooklyn Cyclones has been denied and, as a consequence, no points will be awarded. 

Now that we've got that out of the way, I'd like to kick things off by thanking Jen Koury for starting off the competition with this ABSOLUTELY EPIC photo of her posing with a small pile of goose shit (fig 1). Jen, I hope you turn this thing into an NFT and retire off the proceeds.

Figure 1

While we're at it, let's all congratulate Jen on finishing strongly in third place in the competition with seven points. The more eagle-eyed (apex predator pun not intended) competition auditors among you will notice that this includes points for a summit marker that doesn't actually appear in Jen's photos, but the judges decided to give her benefit of the doubt on this because the summit was closed at the time. Those wishing to file a formal protest with the contest's governing body should write a strongly worded letter to the judges, then place it very carefully into a large envelope to avoid creasing, seal it with both adhesive and hot wax bearing their family's seal, drop it into the closest dumpster, and light the entire thing on fire.  The judges are not interested in dissenting opinions and Jen would finish in third place regardless of whether these points were awarded to her or not because she beat the fourth place finisher by three points.

The competition for the win in this contest between Matt and Vanessa was fierce. I think we can all agree that there were a couple exchanges between the two of them where the shit-talking was so intense it was almost scary (fig 2).

Figure 2

They scavenged chäirs. They scavenged bones, balloons, social media influencers, and bottles of urine.The results were remarkably close, but there could only be one winner and that winner was Vanessa!  Some may say this makes Matt a loser (fig 3), but I don't think this is fair.

Figure 3

At the end of the day, Vanessa beat Matt 17-16 even though the judges awarded him two points instead of none for his failed attempt at getting a selfie with some woman's dog in a stroller. The judges said that they liked how he actually approached the woman and asked to take a selfie with her dog instead of taking the easy way out and doing it incog-creep-o.  This is how we will ingratiate ourselves with the general public and grow our ranks, folks!

So by now you've got to be wondering, "How did Vanessa pull off the come from behind one point win? What was the difference maker?" Answer: creativity. Vanessa's key find that put her over the top for the win was bones.  Kind of. It was actually a discourteous restaurant-goer's discarded chicken wing (fig 4).  In this case, one person's trash really was another person's treasure.


Figure 4

Additionally, both Vanessa and Matt won multiple additional awards. Both were able to win the "Murder Mystery" award for their bone finds, a feat that's even more impressive when you consider that they both found their bones on road runs! The judges were definitely anticipating that only trail runners would be coming across corpses. Both of them also won the coveted "Influencer in the Wild" award by capturing a stranger taking a selfie. Sick. But Matt was able to come out on top in the competition for consolation prizes by winning "Gold Strike" award when he located a Bai bottle filled with the urine of what we can only assume is an uncharacteristically health-conscious trucker.

Please join me in congratulating Vanessa for winning, Matt for finding a bottle of human piss,  Jen for submitting a wonderful photo of her posing next to pile of goose shit in the middle of a park full of confused and horrified on-lookers, and everyone else who took part in the hunt!

Friday, April 30, 2021

Phantom Hogs Scavenger Hunt


That's right! Finally a way to get rewarded for all the photos of weird stuff you see while running! Will you be the only one to find a Birthday Cake flavored Gu wrapper to get the automatic win? Will you be able to find page 63 of any random discarded book to win the coveted "Basically just finished the Barkley" award? Will anyone "strike gold" by locating a roadside bottle of urine? -That's gross, don't touch that. 



The Rules:

1. All items must be found and photographed. You must also appear in your photograph. Items which belong to contestants will not be counted. If it doesn't look like it's spent some real time outside, don't even bother submitting it.

2. Bonus points will be awarded for photos proving that you actually picked up any trash items you found and properly disposed of them. (1 bonus point per item)

3. All items must be located and photographed between 12:00:00 AM on May 1 and 11:59:59 PM on May 16th.

4. All runs must be in Strava and have "Phantom Hogs Scavenger Hunt" in the title for any found items to count toward the results.

5. The winner of this contest will get an actual, real life, tangible prize.  None of that Strava virtual badge bullshit. We're bigtime now.

6. Unless noted below, all items are worth 1 point.

The List

1. Birthday Cake Gu wrapper (automatic win)

2. Page 63 of any discarded book (Basically Just Finished the Barkley award) 2 points

3. Discarded roadside bottle of urine (Gold Strike award) 2 points

4. Chäir- Either at the side of the road with a "free" sign, or along a trail. Only chäirs designed for interior use will count. 3 points

5. Apex predator specific to your local geography- Shit like alligators, mountain lions, bears, wolves, sharks (might be difficult on a run), eagles, or whatever you guys in the UK have (maybe a fox or a badger?). 5 points

6. Mylar balloon (these are the foil ones that stay inflated for a long time)

7. Bones- antlers don't count (Murder Mystery award) 

8. "THANK YOU" bag (the white bags that say "thank you" over and over on the outside)

9. Poop- can be literally any poop. Bonus point for catching the perp in the act. Additional sympathy point if you've stepped in it.

10. Hot air balloon, glider, paraglider, or other unconventional aircraft capable of sustained flight without powered forward propulsion.  

11. Animal in a stroller- (Your own animal does not count, Suni)

12. A cyclist clearly running a red light

13. A cyclist clearly stopped at a stop sign (no, you are not allowed to jump in front of them or otherwise influence their behavior to make them actually do this.  Good luck.)

14. Truck nuts (bonus points if they have an American flag motif) 2 points for Americans, 15 points for non-Americans.

15. Any sign advertising the health benefits of Guinness

16. A fish and chips shop

17. A taxi (NOT an Uber or Lyft) 

18. Anyone with a mullet. 2points

19. Stranger taking a selfie (Influencer in the Wild award)

20. Flag of a nation that does not share any land or sea border with your own country

21. Merchandise of any professional sports team that is currently occupying last place in their league. 2 points

22. A photo of you running during the course of the scavenger hunt event with another Phantom Hogs member. (Recruiting new members is allowed! Both members must submit a photo and be taking part in the scavenger hunt.) 3 points

23. Vomit - Hint: Try the parking areas near your local bars on weekend mornings (Down With the Sickness award)

24. A summit marker- This can be a plaque or a USGS medallion with peak name and elevation 3 points

25. A USFS Wilderness boundary sign. 2 points

Thursday, April 15, 2021


There comes a time in the development of every gang when when it matures from a collective of like-minded but disparate souls on parallel paths winding their way toward a vague set of goals over a distant horizon, to being more like a bad-ass pod of orcas working together toward a common goal of scaring the ever-living shit out of literally anyone they come across (fig 1).  

Figure 1


But where does this unity of mind and purpose come from? How can we mature as a gang into the unstoppable force that we're meant to be? Orcas at least have geographic proximity working for them, but we're scattered all over the globe. Well now thanks to our new merch store, Hogs and orcas now have a couple things in common- SoCal housing that's WAY too small, and a unified appearance that engenders feelings of both fear and admiration in all who see us.

It's often said, good merch doesn't make a good gang, but a good gang does make good merch.  And besides, what's a gang without a racket? Just some kind of club? Freemasons? (fig2)


Figure 2

I mean, even the Girl Scouts sell merch. Come to think of it, they're are absolutely ruthless! They've even been known to post up a table of cookies outside of pot dispensaries! (fig 3, fig 4)

Figure 3


Figure 4


Talk about preying on the helpless... I would never suggest that we should be as savage as the Girl Scouts, but wearing and promoting our wares helps  the gang in multiple ways:

1. The more people see our logo, the easier we can grow our community. Wouldn't you rather share a run on your local trail or sidewalk with a fellow Phantom Hog than just another person from your local Fleet Feet run club?

2. More funding = more fun-ing. Building the gang's coffers allows for things like actual race medals, trophies, belt buckles, race shirts, and even (hopefully) subsidizing in-person club rallies and meet ups (fig 5).

Figure 5


3. Intimidation- I've been wearing some of the samples around and I must say, I've been getting a lot more respect out there in the streets.

4. Security- When was the last time you walked into a biker bar and punched a guy wearing gang colors? 

5. Um... it's called fashion. Have you even seen how stylish these designs are? (fig 6)

Figure 6

So why are you still reading this? Go check out our new merch store by clicking the "Merch!" tab on the Phantom Hogs home page! 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Not Your Grandma's Motorcycle Gang

Did you know that 59% of men, 64% of women, 83% of non-binary individuals, and 94% of parents secretly desire a life of gang membership (fig. 1)? If you didn't, I wouldn't blame you.  The fact is that this information is pretty closely guarded by those in the know.  This is likely due to their assessment of the danger we would face as a society if everyone decided to go out and live their dreams of lawless, drug-addled, rage-filled pillage and plunder.  Just imagine the feeling of empowerment everyone would get knowing that they were taking action within the safety of a group of like minded and stylish fellow dissidents. You want to cut off that mattress tag? Get the scissors! You want to swim right after dinner? Maybe still wear a life jacket. You want to use your cell phone before the plane lands? Get that Uber! No one can stand in your way! If they mess with one of us, they mess with all of us!


Figure 1


I know how appealing that sounds, but gangs have a lot of drawbacks as well. For starters, there's the initiation process. Usually this involves the existing members putting you through some absolutely awful hazing rituals, making you perform menial tasks, unpaid manual labor, or even the commission of felonious acts to prove your trustworthiness.  Secondly, most gangs are also fairly unwelcoming to diverse viewpoints and tend not to be overly empathetic toward the plights of others, making their way through the world as if playing a zero-sum game. Phantom Hogs Motorcycle Club is a different kind of gang. We're a fake motorcycle gang- but don't take that the wrong way. The motorcycles may be fake, but the gang is very real.  Collectively, if you use very large font, our rap sheet might be as long as a small arm. Our group has very famously been implicated in a bounce house permitting scandal, a cowboy boot ownership dispute, annoying a herd of horses, cursing at mini-golf courses, and washing cars that don't even belong to us, among several other offenses (see our Instagram page @phantomhogs for further detail).  These escapades, however, take a back seat to our running. Not running in a figurative sense, like with drugs or weapons. No, I mean running in a literal sense- like with legs.  In fact, that's really our only requirement for membership, and we don't even care what kind of running you do. Seriously, this gang has EVERYTHING (fig 2.) 

Figure 2


We welcome everyone, including roadies, dirt jockeys, peak baggers, dirtbags, desert rats, and treadmill-enials. Hell, we've even got a coupla' Bri'ish blokes, a Patriots fan and a Florida Man.  Basically, we're inclusive AF. We don't really care what you're into as long as it involves a pair of running shoes or at least flipping your Crocs into sport mode (fig. 3).

Figure 3

We don't care if you're fast or slow, and we don't care if you run from fellow racers, your family, your problems or your municipality's law enforcement officials. Actually, you don't even really have to run. Walking (AKA "power hiking" if you're an ultra runner) is just fine.  Seriously though, if you're trying to get away from the cops you're going to at least need to start jogging pretty briskly. Some of those guys are faster than they look (fig. 4).

Figure 4


I know what you're thinking. Isn't the whole point of a gang to unite a group of individuals in trying to accomplish a common goal? How is Phantom Hogs a gang if it's full of people from all different backgrounds and who aren't even all chasing a BQ? Answer: Phantom Hogs share a sense of purpose. None of us are going to the Olympics. None of us are going to show up on TV turning left onto Boylston St. leading at Boston. But we're still out there getting a little better every day. Unless we're out there getting injured. That happens too. But mostly, we're getting better and we're having an awesome time doing it. We celebrate each other's successes, we commiserate with each other over our failures, and we call Craig Peterson on his bullshit.  There's no way, MN native or not, that anyone can be that positive all the time (fig. 5, 5.1, 5.2). 

Figure 5


Figure 5.1


Figure 5.2

"But why male models motorcycles?" I hear you asking. Phantom Hogs started back in 2018 when Georg Baerje, Tyler Lernihan, and I were sitting in the office talking about getting motorcycles and matching leather jackets. Sort of. Tyler wanted to get Vespas.  If you know Tyler, that's very much on brand for him. We quickly realized, however, that the likelihood of all of us being able to convince our wives/ SOs that this was a good idea just wasn't practical. We realized right away though that the appeal of a motorcycle gang is actually the gang- not the motorcycles. All three of us had running in common, so I started the Phantom Hogs group page on Strava and we had our first three members. We continued as a gang of three for a couple years, until Covid meant that we could no longer travel, race, or run with the groups we normally did. All of a sudden, a virtual running group like Phantom Hogs made a lot more sense. Before long (pretty much immediately, actually), we were the fastest growing internet-based fake motorcycle gang on the planet. Over the course of the last year, we've held fifteen virtual races and events, and multiple group happy hours. We've done streaking challenges, vert challenges, photo challenges, and we even teamed up to absolutely crush a 100 mile real-time relay in 17:52:58, 00:07:02 ahead of our team goal.

There's going to be a lot more to come in 2021, including races, team challenges, and social events. So by now you may be wondering how to join the gang and run with the Hogs. Well, the first thing you should know is that you should never pay Tyler any membership dues, no matter how convincing his argument is. Membership in Phantom Hogs is free.  Just search for the "Phantom Hogs MC" club page on Strava and request to join. That's it. Our only ask is that you stay active in the group, encourage other members, and make it absolutely RAIN with Kudos (fig.6).

Figure 6


Phantom Hogs Scavenger Hunt- Results!

First, let me apologize for the slight delay in posting these results. This has been necessary due to some controversy regarding an item one...