Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dances With Dirt - Devil's Lake: Race Report by Marcel Uttech

What a great race this turned out to be-with scenery second to none. I ran the 50k at Devils Lake on July10th while temps pushed their way into the mid 80’s…a hot and humid day which left many people deciding 50k was enough for them.

The race started at 5:30 am, shortly after zero dark thirty. Starting so early was nice knowing the heat was coming. It was nice to see some familiar LPTR faces there, although I believe Bruce and I were the only ones running the 50k. Everyone started together, which was fine until were led into a ‘bottleneck’ of sorts entering the woods which slowed everyone to a near walk. It didn’t take long for everyone to find their pace and their space, and the run was on. We started by heading up the ski hill at Devils Head Resort, and then down the slopes alongside the lifts- very steep here! Could have easily turned it into a slip and slide and rocketed down on backs or bellies…I did entertain the thought briefly.

 Through the woods we made our way to the bluffs of Devils Lake, so at about 18 miles we were doing some pretty serious stair repeats up the stone temple like stairs towards the tops of the bluffs. Here I ran into rock climbers, hikers, a couple of aid stations, and of course “crampers”, myself included! I don’t know if I just didn’t take enough fluids soon enough or if it was from being slightly dehydrated the day before, but my legs were just full of cramps from then on. I put it past me the best I could and ran on. Jill and Connie came up to crew for me, and I can’t thank them enough for all their help and encouragement. Then out of the blue I saw Todd at one of the road intersections, and that was a real blessing having him help pace me towards the end. It makes such a difference when you have those people that just happen to show up right when you could use a boost! As I came into the final miles, I came across a woman who informed me that the rest was ‘downhill’…I checked my Garmin-2 miles yet, all downhill??

Sure enough, the elevation dropped and the next thing I knew I’m just flying down this hill… I knew if I stopped I would just cramp up into a quivering mass so I let gravity help me out and just tried to maintain some balance and stay on my feet. Coming into the final stretch, a woman missed the final turn so Todd went and reeled her in, much to her delight and repeated “thank you’s!”

Crossing the finish line was a huge sense of accomplishment as always…the food there afterwards was amazing and the people were just great! We went down to Devils Lake for some much deserved soakage and cooling off, admiring the bluffs above…thankful I didn’t sign up for the 50 miler…lol. Dances with Dirt put on a great race, and I would recommend Devils Lake to anyone looking for a tough 50k to test their quads on…good bet I will be there testing mine next year.

-Marcel Uttech

Editor's Notes:  Also participating from the LPTRunners were Brian Seegert (1/2 Marathon, 33rd, 2:05:16), Bruce Udell (50K, 4th, 4:45), Chris Derosier (50K, 75th, 6:58:05), Julie Treder (50Mile, 29th, 11:28:51), Brad Birkholtz (50Mile, 30th, 11:28:52) and Jeff Mallach (50Mile, 32nd, 11:36:29).

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