This Race report was copied directly from the website...
They said it was supposed to be easier this year with no snow. Mother Nature did not disappoint on race day. She must have had some solace for our attrition last year. Temperatures stayed relatively cool with mild overcast this year. The trail conditions were sweeter than a plate of pancakes with extra syrup. The trails were firm and particularly tasty for many runners who would be taking to their longest trail run on terra-firma that was not white in quite awhile. In factthe welcoming trails probably led to the robust pace that was set by the lead pack. We had both returning male and female champions in the race this year along with a record showing of 150 starters. Spectators are able to get a great view ofthe runners below the bluff of the interpretive center watching the action unfold and cheering on runners. At mile 26.5 it was John Storkamp and Andy Holak. They were closely followed by Chris Gardner and Matt Howard. They alllooked totally trashed from pushing the pace. Perfect! This is they style of racing I love. The question was who could hang on the longest as leads exchanged between the next two aid stations.
Meanwhile the women’s field was being dominated by returning champion Helen Lavin who would go on to retain her title and improve the CR she set last year. With two miles to go it was obvious that if Andy could hold on and make one big effort up the infamous hill I decided to throw in the year before the finish he would win the race and set the new CR doing the 40 and over crowd proud. After cringing up the climb it was looking like Andy could achieve my hopes of someone breaking sub 4hrs. A stiff upper lip and a last ditch sprint of the “septic” moraine to the finish line, Andy broke the tape. He was followed closely by Chris Gardner who made up ground on the final stretch. The boys from Duluth did justice this year. It was a great year once again filled with camaraderie, good eats and another beautiful run. This section of trail serpentines through over 55 different lakes and many runners caught glimpses of sand hill cranes. Race proceeds go back to the Ice Age Trail for maintenance, building, and land acquisition.