Monday, October 26, 2009

2009 North Face Challenge -Tony Cantrall's Race Recap

Well, its official! I completed my first Ultra!! Most of it went really well, other than taking a wrong turn and adding about 3mi before getting back on track - seems to be a common theme in this group.

Got to run with some really cool people - one of them joined me in my wrong turn early on. Also got to run with the first place female for about 5mi - until the 2nd to last aid station at mi 22, where I started to hit the wall a bit and she changed her shoes and took off like she had wings!! Finally caught a 2nd wind around mile 27and finished the last 4mi running pretty strong.

Course was in pretty good shape considering all the rain we got in the last few days. A few muddy squishy sections, and lots of horse-apples to try and avoid on the horse trail sections. Starting to feel better finally after an ice bath and a couple of beers (not at the same time!). Thanks to all the great training partners that I've gotten to run with over the last few months at Lapham - you guys really inspired me to complete this!! - Tony

Official Results at:

There were 200 runners competing in in the 50K and Tony finished 41st in a time of 5:16:39. Additional LPTR runners included Justin Kolster who finished his first ultra in 5:36:58 for 70th place and Chris Derosier, 5:42:44 - 82nd place.

In the 50Mile, Joel Lammers spent equal time on the trail and in the Porta-John over the first 35 miles before heading home to abuse his own facilities for the remainder of the weekend. Rough time to get the flu...

The Funk Road Fifty

WHAT???? To celebrate Jeff Mallach's 50th, Angela Barbera and I have organized a little run- All are welcome to join Jeff in running a 50K - The Funk Road 50 - A Half-century of ups and downs experienced in 50 kilometers...

When - November 17 - Tuesday night at 6:03 pm (that's the exact time jeff was birthed!)

Where - On the Ice Age Trail starting at Funk Road (directions will be sent out)

Complementary T-Shirts will be provided to all participants, please send me a message if you are planning on running and what size T-shirt you prefer.
The 50K is an out and back. Crew will be available around the halfway point to replenish your supplies and to take runners back to their car that cannot commit to running the full 50K.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Matt Patten Joins the 1/4Mile High Club...

Normally I wouldn’t post a report for a training run – but this was a bonus Wednesday night run as Matt Patten from the twin cities joined us for his inaugural black loop at the Peak.

I have seen Matt at nearly every race I was at this year including, Zumbro, Ice-Age, Kettle, Voyageur, and Superior. He is also the co-race director of the Chippewa Moraine.

We took him out on the Black Loop – a hilly 7mile trail that has been widened to accommodate cross-country skiers in the winter. It is not technical running, but the hills are significant and scenery is beautiful. One small detour onto the Ice-Age trail was taken so that we could show off the view from the observation tower, the highest point in Waukesha County at 1,233 feet (Hence the ¼Mile Club).

We only ran for an hour, but half of the fun on the Wednesday night runs occurs after the running stops… This was enhanced by the addition of a case of home-brew that Matt brought along for the occasion. The dark sweet stout seemed to be a favorite as we proceeded to fleece Matt of nearly all the beer he brought!

Lots of laughs and a little trash-talk made for a fun evening – Great guy - We hope to have him back when he rolls back through town again. You can keep up with Matt at his blog here:

Consider this an open invitation to any trail-runners out there to join us for a run any Wednesday night you are in the area. 5pm at the Evergreen Shelter is the time and place (often there are several people that come out early for bonus mileage before the 5pm run). Plan to stick around for a couple of hours afterwards if you are thirsty!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wild Duluth100K - Brad's Race Report

What Brad doesn't mention in his report is that he ran the Glacial 50 mile the previous weekend as well as tearing up the Black-Loop at Lapham with a 52 minute loop on the wednesday before Wild Duluth... animal.

...Once upon a time 16 hearty souls started 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning for the 1st annual Wild Duluth 100 K. The weather was cool but not really cold. Comfortable while running. I figured that because the race was so small it was going to be full day of alone time. I figured wrong. From the start there was a group of 5 that stuck together though the first 8 miles or so. Long enough for Julie to get their life history. But because we are so bad with names we referred to them as sweatshirt guy, Florida guy and North Dakota guy, then myself and Julie. (Of coarse we didn’t call them that to their faces).

For whatever reason I had to be the one to lead this pack through the woods. Maybe it was because when Florida guys finally got off my heels and sped up he would be coming back up the trail with his hands in the air wondering where the trail was. Or maybe it was because after one of the aid stations we left before North Dakota guy, only to find him ahead of us looking for the right trail. Sorry saps must have thought I knew what I was doing. Whatever the reason it was nice to have the company.

The race started right in town. We actually ran through city streets to catch the Superior Hiking Trail. It was crazy because we would be running on some technical single track and come out into a neighborhood, run down the street and get back on the trail again. It was like this for the first 4-5 miles until after a lot of climbing we came out to a clearing to have an unbelievable view of the city, lit up like gigantic christmas tree.

Sweatshirt guy was oozing newbie. Running with his hooded sweatshirt, white cotton socks, long basketball shorts and running in the dark without a light, he was the first to drop off. We saw him later in the race running and talking on his cell phone. Maybe a call to his buddy to bring him a flash light for later use.

Somewhere before the 20 mile aid station Julie decided to scare the crap out of me by falling down hard in front of me and nearly

rearranging her face on a huge rock. She pretended to be doing some push-ups, laughed and got up. After scolding her to not do that again we were on our way. Of course stepping aside so I could get in front.

The sections from the 20 mile aid station to the turnaround were beautiful. Very runable and fast trail. Because of this I decided to try and pick up the pace. Was feeling good so why not. This meant it was my turn to go down hard. Only it wasn’t my face about to get rearranged, it was my right shoulder that came, lets say unattached. Again! Me and my right shoulder have a history of becoming dislocated. I’ll spare the details of the site and sounds. Well because my arm was stuck in an outward and up position, Florida guy, who was still on my heels, thought my arm was up asking to be helped up and decided to reach for it. After a quick NO, NO, NO, DON’T TOUCH MY ARM! I was able to get up and put it back into place. So after my surge and sudden stop the four of use were together again. Florida guy, North Dakota guy, me and Julie.

The aid station at 26 miles is where Florida guy decided to call it a day. Claiming some knee pains. Then there was 3. Julie, myself and North Dakota guy. This section to the turnaround was still very runable and we had a good pace going.

Halfway point and we were still feeling good. Aside from the fact that I couldn’t get my pack off because I couldn’t move my arm. Some help from the friendly volunteers, we were fueled up and on our way. Shortly after the turnaround North Dakota guy said that he was going to slow down and try to catch up on his electrolytes. Then there was 2.

The way back went well. Kept fueled up, ate at every aid station. Even Julie who usually goes 100 miles on a pretzel and a bottle of water. Coming back into the rocky sections became a bit uncomfortable when we literally had to climb up some rocks.

The mile 45 aid station is where we picked up our lights for those final miles. We still had some daylight left so we kept moving to get as close as possible without lights. Coming out of the woods and into some neighborhoods again meant we were getting close. I’m not much of a big city guy but when I saw the city lights of Duluth it was a beautiful sight. Just a couple of odd things on those last couple of sections. All the deer we saw was at night, closer to town and not out away from town. A bunch of them even scattered when we came out to a clearing over looking the city. Must have been a deer inspiration point. Watching the submarine races you know. Then there was that kid wearing camo and carrying a bow and arrow in the dark with no light. Okay whatever.

The celebrating started when we finally came out of the woods and onto the city streets back to the park and the finish line. A look back to make sure know one was coming from behind and we were there. 100K in 14hrs 45mins in 4th and 5th place. With Julie taking top spot for the women.

Andy and Kim Holak were great hosts along with the volunteers. Yet another one to add to the must do list. Damn that list is getting long. O’well, do it while you can, I say.

Just keep moving.


P.S. There was also a 50K going on, but I don’t know what went on with that one. Other than Wynn Davis winning in a sick time of 4:11.

Results at:

photos by Zach Pierce of course!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Glacial 50 Race Report

The 2009 Glacial 50 went off on Sunday with a full one dozen LPTRunners included in 50 mile and 50K events. Cold temps left frost on the course and a skin of ice over some puddles deep into the morning. That didn’t stop the group from posting some hot performances…
The 6am start time for the 50mile ensured that the beginning of the race would require lights. The course starts out on the streets for about a half a mile – but that changes dramatically as the balance of the race is on the Ice-Age trail. Though less hilly, the northern unit of the Kettle Moraine State forest boasts more rugged trails than those of the Southern unit where both the Ice-Age 50 and Kettle 100 are held.
The tough terrain took its toll on some of the race favorites as Julie Spencer (2:44 Fox Cites Marathon and 3:34 Mad City 50K) and Albertus Rohling (the defending John Dick 50K champ) both DNF’d after falls on the course.
The attrition helped LPTRunner Kevin Grabowski (that’s me – it’s so weird to write in the third person!) to bring home first place over-all in 7:44. Ron Bero and Brad Birkholz cracked the top ten with 8th place and 10th place respectively. Brad dropped nearly 40 minutes from his 2008 time! Craig Swartwout placed 14th and Jeff Mallach finished in 16th to put 5 LPTRunners in the top 20.
The 50K results get confusing as several runners managed to add distance to the course late in the race by taking a wrong turn. Joel Lammers was one of them, but he managed to hold on to second place and record a 4:17 in the process. Todd Egnarski showed well as the next LPTRunner across in 9th place. Bruce Udell (10th) and Brian Seegert (11th) were both hot on Todd’s heels. Chaz Heckman jumped into the 50K only a week after posting a 2:52 Lakefront Marathon and finished in 27th place. Deb Vomhof was the lone female LPTRunner entered on the weekend, posting 44th place and Jim Blanchard cruised to a 49th place as well.
The LPTR flavor wasn’t just restricted to the participants: The race director was our very own Robert Wehner and Julie Treder & Angela Barbera also both volunteered at aid stations along the course.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

2009 Grindstone 100 Race Report

Thought I'd post this race report forwarded from David Ruttum - Dave grew up in the area but has temporarily relocated to Pittsburg. He ran well at Kettle 100 this year and I have seen him out at Lapham cranking out loops on the black trail. Great showing at Grindstone and an entertaining race report too!...

The race started at 1800 on Friday, 3 October 2009 with the prerace meeting held at 1300. My crew, Jan, my best friend from growing-up in Milwaukee, arrived in Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon and we drove the 4.5 hours to spend the night in a hotel in Staunton, Virginia. We drove through Berkeley Springs, WV, home of the Cheat Mountain Moonshine 50m as well as Massanauten (sp), VA home of the eponymous spring 100m race.

I managed to sleep twelve hours overnight and we arrived in Swoope, VA at the Shenandoah Boy Scout camp about 1100. The camp was about 30min outside Staunton population 70k), but may as well have been a million miles away. In no time, you quickly move from a populated, confederate city to redneck, highly rural south. The boy scout camp had a nice setup with a large field for everyone to camp, a lake (will get to that), and a large meeting hall. As we arrived many others did too and I started introducing myself to the other racers. Most seemed to be from the east coast, but the race attracted people from the west too including Washington state, California, Utah (Karl), and Oregon. As I checked-in I met David Horton (vice director) and Clark Zealand (director). What a nice, welcoming duo. The two knew my name instantly and acted like we had been friends for ages. I have nothing but high regards for their hospitality and organisational skills. Lunch and the prerace meeting commenced promptly at 1300 and Horton regaled us with course stories and suggestions. He made the highly questionable statement that the outbound loop involved more climbing, steeper climbs, and was far more difficult than the return. At the end of the race on Sunday, the runners’ public

opinion was totally opposite! Clark also talked about minding the black bears on the course and recommended that Karl not have another incident with an animal a la the famous moose incident. The prerace meeting finished at 1400 and I retired to the tent for a wonderful, 2.5h nap. The pre-race pictures started at about 1745 so everyone moved to the starting line at that time. The starting weather was perfect, low sixties with no humidity and slightly overcast. I wore my headlamp and handheld flashlight in hand along with my Nathan race-pack. Everyone had the same idea as darkness ensued at 1900 and the aid stations were relatively far apart.

The race began at 1800 and we were off on approximately a one mile loop around the camp and then started climbing. Karl Meltzer took-off, like the Speedgoat that he is, and I stayed in the second pack of
about 6 runners. Little did I know, but the first 5m to the aid station were well representative of the rest of the course. The operative words are relentless, technical, and no quarter. The first five miles had
rock gardens on the flats, climbs, and descents. The rock gardens involved dolls-head, loosely packed rocks that fresh legs could traversed at a slow jog, but necessitated walking with tired (ie return legs). Many of the climbs were so steep that one had to use their hands. The no quarter meant the course had no recovery sections. Up was followed by technical descents and any flat was short lived and usually involved a technical rock garden.

One must look at the course elevation profile to see how in the first approximately ten miles one climbs from about sea level to 4800feet to the summit of Elliot Knob. We arrived to the base of the significant
part of the climb as darkness had firmly set-in. This was fortunate in that one could only see a few metres ahead and could not be intimated by the relentless nature of the climb. I gauged my progress by the density of the ascending fog. By the time I got to about 5min below the summit Karl was blasting his way down the mountain through those dolls-head rocks as if nothing was in his way. I summited with Mike Mason and we could barely find the glowstick-illuminated orienteering punch to prove that we had summited. The weather had changed rapidly with the climb as the summit was in the thirties and highly moist in the fog. We then descended for about 10min and then started another series of climbs and descents over numerous rock gardens. At this point I lost contact with Mike in that he too was Speedgoat like and descended the rock garden sections like a kamikaze. From here on I was alone and running solo for about 21h out of 23h was very difficult- especially when night encompassed about 12h of the race.

Until daylight the race unfolded in a predictable pattern. One would climb relentlessly up varying grades of steepness: from hands-climbing to somewhat “runnable” terrain, then run along a ridge line for a roller coaster effect of ups and downs, and then descend to a creek bed that would hold an aid station. Each aid station was about 1.5-2h apart for me and I would quickly replenish my food and drink and then take-off. I minimised my aid station time to perhaps 10-15min over the entire race. Apparently last years’ course was actually about 99m so Clark and David added a few climbs to increase the distance to 100.75m and approximately 25,200 feet of ascent and then 25,200 of descent. This required summiting another climb, Reddish Knob. This summit served as the West Virginia, Virginia state line and involved the only tarmac surface running on the course. This section was perhaps two miles in length-
otherwise the rest of the course was off road on trails. In general, the trail surface varied from the occasional soft grass single-track to short jeep trails, but was mostly dirt single-track with plenty of
rocks and roots! While I have never run Superior, I now understand the idea of a “runnable” and “non runnable” course. KM100 is entirely “runnable” and this course was 66pc “runnable” with the caveat that you must be in damn good shape to climb some of the sections (due to steepness, not
necessarily technical terrain). Just get on the eco-x blog site and watch some of the postrace videos'- even Karl talks about the technical and relentless nature of the course.

Anyway, I digress. My lowpoint in the race was between miles 35-43 where a series of "bebop" (Horton's words) climbs occur. These were rough climbs that seemed like forever and with relatively fresh legs I chose to run the majority of them. I continuously bonked and quickly ate through my bars, water, and electrolyte tabs. It did not help that I crossed paths with a black bear during this time and was scared silly (or was that the hypoglycaemia?) for the next few hours. I told the people at the next aid station and they just laughed off the idea of a bear eating a stinky, skeleton sized ultra runner. Whatever, my hypoglycaemic and tired brain definitely did not buy that line so I spent the next few hours yelling "Hey Bear" every few minutes. Whatever, it made me feel better.

Flash forward to about 0700 and the sun finally rose. As the temperature had dropped to the high thirties over 0200-0700,I had been wearing arm warmers, gloves, and a hat for the past five hours so I was relieved to feel the warmth and unload the lights. I had a wonderful breakfast burrito with
sausage, cheese, and egg at mile 60 and unloaded the lights. The daylight running was highly scenic and interesting in that I had run the sections the evening before, but had no idea what everything looked like. The back 50 involved more technical descents that oftentimes had to be walked, and consequently felt more difficult. As I said before, everyone agreed the back fifty was more challenging-
even if you were on fresh legs. The climbs may have been less steep on the return, but the descents were steeper and consequently involved more heel braking and less momentum-carrying.

Throughout the race I moved between eighth and sixth places and, in eighth place, at mile 88 I caught-up with two other runners. I saw them walking, smelled blood, and decided to run a few climbs to put
some distance on me. As I passed them I heard them say they were "done" and just wanted to finish. Music to my competitive ears. I ended up "killing" the last sections and in those twelve miles put
over 30min on them! I felt strong throughout the end and focused exclusively on a strong finish. You should look at the eco-x website, specifically the blog, and watch the youtube links- I think there are three or four videos of me finishing and talking at the end. By the way, at the end you must hug the boy scout totem pole and I did not even have to use it as a crutch! The website is:

At the expense of sounding like a jerk, yes I am competitive. Even so, I asked every runner I passed if they needed help and was impressed that most everyone else did the same. The travellers ethos of always helping those in need is something that I find distinguishes us as a group from the marathoners or ironman groups that only care about themselves.

After the race I took a nice, long, cold swim and my legs thanked me the next day. Whilst I have some lower extremity oedema, I am the least sore I have ever been after a 100. Moreover, the boy scout camp had very warm showers so I could do-it Finnish style and alternate between the hot and cold water.

One of the highlights of the post race was talking to Karl Meltzer. Before I proceed, what a humble, gracious, inviting rockstar! He managed to finish in 18:46 and minimised the significance of his time. I was honoured to hear him praise my time and be impressed that someone coming out of nowhere did so well. Yeh! We proceeded to talk for an hour or so about running, Utah, and the science of bonking. I feel like a little kid in that it was so cool to meet an idol and then have him confirm every positive thought you had about him. I look forward to meeting him at future races.

Well, what did I do right? Before the race I did plenty of leg-strength drills, hill repeats, and the occasional track work. I would add more leg-strength drills to be able to climb more of the steep sections and descend faster. I was also happy with my idea of using baby bottles to store gels so I did not have to tear open twenty sachets. As an aside, Karl does 48 gels over the race and keeps them
in his short pockets. He uses hiking shorts and keeps the full sachets on one side and the empties on another- interesting. Also, I was disappointed that I had to collect 10 or so items of rubbish along the course. As ultra runners, we should be more cognisant of rubbish disposal and carry everything with us.

I proved to myself that I can do the climbing, and difficult trails and now would like to add altitude to the mix. Perhaps Leadville or Wasatch next year? I need to talk to Geoff Hansen and see what we can work-out. We shall see.

In the end, I had a blast, met great people, and have nothing but good
things to say about Clark and David Horton- what an event!



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Angeles Crest 100 - West Coast Tour

Julie Treder, Angela Barbera and Brian Seegert headed west anyway when the AC 100 got cancelled... Here's a report of what went down...

The Angeles Crest 100 came into view shortly after Western States 2007... just long enough for the memory of the difficulty of a mountain race to soften. Ralph agreed to run another California race, not the following year, but when he turned 60. Sweet!! AC100 2009, it was!! Unfortunately, those plans never had a chance to materialize like we hoped. I still wanted to stick to the plan and I can't tell you how happy I was that Angela agreed to run too. The first day the registration opened, we were ready to sign up... one year in advance. Flash forward one year, when Mother Nature and an arsonist had other plans for us. Fires scorched over half the course, causing the race to be cancelled. That didn't stop Angela and I though... we were off to CA to get our 100 miles in.

Thursday, 9/17
The clock to get the 100 in started Thursday afternoon. Angela and I went to Wrightwood to check out the race start... me driving and Angela flat on her back in the passenger seat, stricken with a 24-hour bug. We were denied access to the starting line since all the roads leading to it were ripped to shreds from the fire-fighting machinery. Off to the hotel we went... to Arrowbear. We caught an awesome deal and went to the room next to the office, as the hotel owner said. We soon realized that room was connected to the office. The good deal on the room finally made sense. After realizing our room was the NEXT one down, we breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed before our first big day of running.

Friday, 9/18
Day one started at Keller Peak in the San Bernandino National Forest, one mile from the hotel. I ran the trails to the top of the 6000' mountain. The trail wound all around the side of the mountain, giving you views of the ski hill adjacent to the park. Beautiful views of the mountainside could be seen... for miles. All you could hear was the sound of your footsteps... and your huffing and puffing. It was exhilarating to have the trail to yourself... what a great way to get the odometer running. Luckily, Angela was feeling better enough to walk up the roadway to the peak. Not quite what she expected, but miles nonetheless.
Onward to pick up the third of our trio, Brian. Our plans to get an afternoon run in was thwarted since the whole Angeles National Forest was closed down due to the fires... and the Ponoma College Science Dept never answered our call to request entry onto their trails. The only decision was to hit the road toward San Francisco... and Montana de Oro State Park. The night was spent in Morro Bay, where the restaurants close at 9:00 (except one, thankfully!) and the sea lions congregate on rafts in the marina and roar all night long.

12 miles for the day = 12 miles total

Saturday, 9/19
As we drove to the parking lot in Montana de Oro Park, we saw a couple of people running on the roads. Why, with all the beautiful trails in the park, would people run the roads? We found out when we started off on the DUNES TRAIL. Can there be trails tougher to run on than those consisting of loose sand?? Luckily, the trails on the other side of the road were packed dirt and were runnable. Not a half mile up that trail did we encounter another runner saying she spotted a mountain lion near the peak. Suddenly the road sounded like a good option, but we continued on the trail. We ran through eucalyptus forests, up gradual inclines, along the sharpest switchbacks I have ever seen, and through sand traps. We spotted lizards and horses... but no mountain lions or unexploded ordinances which the signs in the park warned about. Unfortunately, any view we hoped to have of the ocean were blocked by the thick fog that rolled in and out. We were not denied our ocean experience though. After running, we stopped at the beach, watched the surfers attack the huge waves, and cooled our ankles (and unexpectedly our hips!) in the chilly waves that came upon the shore.
17 miles for the day = 29 miles total

Sunday, 9/20
What better way to see a trail than with a personal guide. Lucky for us, fellow speedy Wisconsin ultrarunner turned educated Berkeley student, Casey Schutte, agreed to show us the trails outside Berkeley. We ran along the trails in Tilden Regional Park... where mountain lions weren't the feared animal, but encounters with grazing cattle were. Where else can you expect to round a corner in the middle of the woods to see a wayward cow in the middle of the trail. Deer, yes... cows, no. We ran along creeks, through more eucalyptus forests, across open fields, dodged countless cowpies... all while capturing wonderful views of San Francisco and surrounding suburbs. Beautiful place to run!
For R&R in the afternoon, we headed toward Stockton... where my aunt and uncle have a boat docked at a marina. We had the chance to relax on their boat, take their new jet ski out for a roll along the Delta (cruising along at 51 mph!!), tipped back a drink or two, and watched the sun set as stories of my childhood were shared. I couldn't ask for a better way to spend the day... well, except for all the childhood memories.
16 miles for the day = 45 miles total

Monday, 9/21
We started at the trailhead at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge... or so we thought. The bridge was blanketed in fog, but the fog horns gave the bridge away. A wrong turn off the bat took us down to the campground, then up past some old WWII bunkers. Very cool to see, but a little freaky with all the graffiti and dark rooms inside. Too many episodes of Cops, I guess. We did find a longer trail that took us along great views of many more mountains, the city of San Francisco, down steep canyon trails... only to dead end at a road. Lucky for us, two nice ladies walking their dogs gave us directions to the nearest connection to the trail. But after hearing we were ultrarunners, they had MANY other options of courses to try. Not really wanting to follow the 50+ mile course they offered, we took their first option and headed toward the Miwok Trail. We braved the heat and the climbs to get back to the car. Not wanting to pass up the opportunity of running on the Golden Gate Bridge, we continued on to run the bridge end to end and back... braving the high winds, the loud traffic, and the countless pedestrians/bikers. One more thing to cross off our bucket lists!!
23 miles for the day = 68 miles total

Tuesday, 9/22
Angela had to slave away at the office, leaving Brian and I to find some new trails. We found that at the Blue Jay Campground in the Cleveland National Forest (same forest that two local ultrarunners were lost for three days at... yikes!!). The Blue Jay Campground is pretty remote, outside of any cities and another couple miles up the parkway. With temps expected to top 100, Brian and I headed to higher ground and kept the mileage low. With a few sections of cover from trees, the rest was in the open. Our arms got scratched up by bushes encroaching the trails, the gulleys in the trails made the powerline section at Voyageur look tame... but did we get amazing views of huge rocks strewn along the mountains. The heat on this run turned the liquids in our bottles into what tasted like hot tea in no time. Something we didn't get in Wisconsin this year. Amazing!!
10 miles for the day = 78 mile total

Wednesday, 9/23
The heat was on again. Angela had the right idea of heading out for her fun at 5:30am, before hitting the office. Brian and I were scrambling to find a trailhead to run from, since our initial plan of Limestone Canyon Regional Park turned into a bust. We did find a trail along the Modjeska Grade, near the Limestone Canyon Regional Park. It was a wide, packed dirt trail that wound up and along the mini mountain. Near our turn around point, in the middle of nowhere, stood an American flag on top of a climb. Nice view!
Off we headed to Hollywood to catch a taping of the Jimmy Kimmel show. With a little spare time to waste before getting in line for the show, we decided to take advantage of the $7.00 34oz beer at the Snow White Bar. We downed our beer and headed to our line... only to miss out on getting into the studio by four people. Bummer!! It was still a good beer and we got to see what a movie premier looks like (for Zombieland)... as well as Chucky (scary!!).
8 miles for the day = 86 miles total

Thursday, 9/24
Our final day... boo hoo! We decided on Topanga State Park. We headed off on a trail that lead to a waterfall... how can you pass that up? Unfortunately, forest rangers were working on a fallen tree that blocked the path to the waterfall... so we continued on a different trail. Denied! We doubled back on the trail after it ended at the entrance to a gated community... and continued along to Eagle Rock -- one of the hugest rocks I have ever seen. Energy levels were waning, so we headed back to the car to refuel. Since there were no soda machines in the park, we decided to finish our miles at a different park after loading up on Mountain Dew at the nearest gas station we could find (which was extremely difficult!). The second park we chose was Malibu Creek State Park... the best park we could have picked to finish at. Not only did we get to pass through the site where MASH was filmed, we got to run through areas where Planet of the Apes was taped. Countless trails lead through this park... but they all finish at a creek (which was a blessing after the day's salty run) and a soda machine. Heaven on earth!!
We toasted our accomplishments in Calabasas, feasting on beer, sushi (thanks for broadening my horizons, Angela!), beer, pizza, and more beer (Brian too... there is photo proof!!). The perfect end to the perfect vacation!! Thank you Brian and Angela!!
20 miles for the day = 106 miles total

Ultra Advice for Rookie - Link to Article

Local Ultra vets, Ann Heaslett, Jason Dorgan and Kevin Setnes are quoted in this Milwaukee Journal article chronicling the first Ultra attempt by Tom Held. Good Read!