Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Dirt on DWD 2011...

Here's a collection of LPTR race reports from this year's Dances With Dirt - Devil's Lake  Edition...

Marty Kanter-Cronin's Race Report: A Year of Running Dangerously...

I am now a repeat offender. I couldn’t say that last year, last month, or even last week. At some point in every running event for the last year I would get the question: “You done this one before?” and I would always answer “nope, never have, I’m just a rookie”. Everything was new, every race for me “first time” until I came to this year’s version of Dances With Dirt- Devils Lake. Last year, DWD was my first 50K, so what better way to celebrate my first year ultra running anniversary, than to do my first 50 mile race at DWD? In some ways I’d been here before, but in other ways, never been here before.  

Before I get on to the DWD 50 mile, indulge me while I tally my personal past running year. OK, I can’t keep up with Brad and Julie, but it still looks like a lot to me.

1)    July 2010   DWD 50K (6:43)
2)    Sept 2010  North Face 50K (5:52)
3)    Oct 2010   Glacial 50K (5:43)
4)    Nov 2010  Owen Putnam 50K (6:34)
5)    Dec 2010  Pine Mountain 40 Mile (9:23)
6)    Mar 2011  Clinton Lake 30 (DNF)
7)    April 2011 Chippewa 50K (6:11)
8)    May 2011  Ice Age 50 (DNF)
9)    May 2011  Mary’s Most Excellent 50 mile ( Fat Ass, 27 miles)
10)  June 2011 Kettle 100 (Pacing Angela, 47 miles)
11)  June 2011 Keyes Peak 50K (6:10)
12)  July 2011 DWD 50 Mile (12:08)

So the DWD run. It’s a beautiful course at Devils Lake, with some significant climbs sprinkled throughout including a first/last loop at Devils Head Resort on the main ski hill. Both bluffs (east and west) are climbed twice as well. Total race elevation gain/loss is listed at around 16,000, with that first/last loop at almost 1000 feet of climb and 1000 feet of descent each time. And on.

Really, I could go on about the course, the hills the heat, the crossing paths with my running family from LPTR, but will you even remember it? Or like reading an article from a magazine, will you forget it right away?  I have the memory, the warmth of it in my hands, but I can’t transfer that feel to you, no matter how hard I try. Like a vacation snapshot of a landscape; you try to capture that feeling in it, but it’s just so two dimensional.

So the race: Many of you were there, so you know. For those of you who were not there, do this race, at least once. It’s well run, its fun, its hard, its hot, its hilly. It’s beautiful, simply.

The great thing about this race, and many of the races listed above too, was not my time, or place (I’m very average), but the fact that the experience was shared with so many LPTR folks. Running is a solitary sport, but paradoxically still a very shared experience.

Thanks so much to Hans, Jose, Melinda, Jodie, Julie, Sam, Ty, Krishna, Dave, Chris, Bruce, Annie, Mike, and especially Marcel for all his advice. It was so very cool to cross paths with so many of you 50/50 folks at that 2 mile down and back Burma Road section; It meant a LOT to me to see so many of you at the finish when I came in. And yes, I felt as good as I looked. It felt very very good.

 Up above, is a list of races I did in the past year. But, what’s missing there is an entry. Between the 1 and the 2, that’s when I joined LPTR and, was invited to Angela’s 50th Birthday party. The LPTR crew was running a Fat Ass 50K organized by Kevin (I only ran 20). Until that point, I didn’t really know what was possible, hadn’t even dreamt what the body and mind are capable of. A lot of folks here showed me that my mental limitation, my thoughts that two long races a year were all I could do, This was all wrong. I listened. I watched. I was amazed at how far people pushed themselves.

Pushing. Ultra running, it can be dangerous. It can push you to your edges, with a view to your own mettle. When you sit right down in the middle of yourself, you hardly ever have a comfortable chair. This. I am out there, looking for that exact thing, waiting for it. I’ve had it at every race I’ve done. At DWD, I had a two mile stretch at 40 miles where edema was setting into my hands, I was suffering in the prairie heat, my stomach was turning and I couldn’t eat or drink. I had to walk about a mile and a half. I know its dangerous, it’s the edge. Life is a fine balance that’s easily pushed one way - out there. As Kurt Vonnegut once said: “I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.”

Oy. What a year.

And in one short year, I did a lot more than I thought possible, ran dangerously close to the edge, many times.  I also made it to 50 miles. Wow. So here’s to my first 50 miler, LPTR gang, I wouldn’t have done it without you. Cheers.

Report from Annie Weiss...

Lining the start at DWD was like any other ultra...totally laid back, not one runner with a split stance holding the 'start' button to his garmin, shaking with nerves about hydrating properly, sucking down gels, and negative splitting later on in the race. Ahhhh, such a crazy thing for the rookie trail runner. 

After the yelled 'START,'  Mike Guth and I began what I kept saying was an "adventure."  The first mile was quite choppy....there must have been a walker up ahead, so we dashed up and down the first small hills and into the shrubs to try to find a running rhythm. We went up and down the ski hill....felt great....onto the Ice Age trail. Took my first fall around mile 3 in the section of the course where there were flags tied on random branches....I made up my own path and tripped on something, maybe my own feet!  My right shoulder hit the ground and I slid into some scrubs and rocks.  I got up, noticing my left quad was slightly strained and said, "GARMIN IS A-OK, but will need to clean up my small hand gash at the first aide station." I passed the first overall female on my way to that aide station, where she passed me and stayed ahead, about 2 miles ahead through most of the course.  
Mike and I ran the first 34 miles together, entertained by the stories and insights from other runners we passed along the way. Once we hit the first set of bluffs....which are not easy when your only 5'1" - I have to use my legs AND hands to get up the rocks!! Definitely struggling at different points, having highs an lows through miles 25-30, but once mile 30 hit, it was all downhill. Only 20 to go...

Mile 34 came and Mike needed to change his shoes. No problem.  We both noticed the next female approaching, and he selflessly told me to continue....the competitive road runner inside me won and i took off like a bat otta hell.  back towards the mountain i went, leaving S-caps for mike at an aide station to ensure he would have some, eating oreo's along the way...taking in plenty of water and gatorade. Unfortunately my quad was worsening, which did become the biggest barrier for me to catch the first female. The gap widened, even though my mental toughness was all in.
I arrived at an aide station with what i thought was 8 miles to go before the finish (according to my beloved Garmin) .... the lady at the aide station told me (and i verified 3, yes 3 times) that i really only had 4.5 miles to go and i was done.  naturally, i believed her.  daaahhhh.  So i negative split the "last" 4.5 miles with minimal water to finish strong - letting my quad go thinking it was over soooo soon. I just thought my garmin was off, REALLY off, as it normally is on the trails. It was in this section of the run that i took my big fall - tripping on something going down a slight downhill and landing the top of my head, hitting my cheek bone, jaw, and right shoulder.  I have lovely bruising on my face, and after feeling my head shake in my skull,  i was checked for a concussion after the run.
I arrived at the REAL last aide station and was told, "yep, go up and down the ski hill for 4.5 miles and your done."  Oh my goodness.  I was mentally thrown right there for a couple miles.  I walked the hill and trotted the downhill.... seeing mike kranz in front of the hotel before heading to the finish line gave me a bolt of energy....i picked it up to the see the other LP runners at the finish line felt awesome!  Mike Guth came in two minutes after which was incredible! I knew I shoulda waited ;-)

So for my 3rd ultra - first 50 miler, I was 13th overall and 2nd overall female. When asked moments after finishing if I would do it again, I must admit I had a blank stare on my face...that  "deer in the headlights stare" - thinking to myself, 'REALLY, why would I want to do that again!?'  Continuing to think, 'well, my left side is okay.'  After two days of relaxing, amnesia set in, and im ready to tackle the entire dirt series and my first 100 miler :)

Troy Malinowski's Report: Dancing with Rock(s):

On a last minute whim Friday evening, I decided to run Dances with Dirt in Baraboo after checking that Race Day registration was available. My plan was to experience the course by doing the Half Marathon distance. So, after two hours of sleep, the car was headed down the road. 

Little traffic at night made for good drive time. Arriving just after the 50 mile start, registered and prepared for race as the other races departed in half hour increments. As I walk to start line, the bathroom urges were felt. I approached a fellow LPTR (won’t mention names, Mr. JJV) to get elite positioning in the long line, when he commented “Without a sticker, you are just the average Jose runner, the end of the line is back there”. 

So, after a twenty minute wait, I took my seat as the Half Marathon race began. I finished up and ran to the start. After crossing the start line, I found the perfect pace, good heart rate and steady stride. And suddenly, I came to a quick stop approx. 250 yards into race as the dirt road became a single track. After about a five minute wait, I found myself number 496 of the quintipede following the narrow trail that weaved up the hill. 

After about a half mile, an eighty year old woman pushed a couple of us aside and made a pass. As we came up to the first mile, the individual in front of me had a watch that announced, “You have completed one mile at a 17:47 pace. We ran up the hill, into mustard patches, up and down more hills and over logs and ROCKS. In fact at mile four, one of those rocks SOLIDLY found my right big toe.

As we came up on the aid station at mile six, we overlook Devil’s Lake. What a must see location! I continued to keep a steady pace, coming up on slower groups, being passed by quicker individuals. Over the next seven miles, I felt every jolt of the rocks on my toe, all twenty-two jolts, with two minor falls. The second fall at mile twelve, in which both legs cramped up against my arse and made it difficult to get back up. After working out the cramps, ran the remaining distance finishing in a well-earned 2:53:16.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I sat down to find a right toe black and blue and about twice the size. I showered in the field just beyond the finish line, hopped into car and headed to Milwaukee.
I was able to do some minor surgery on the toe (twice) before I walked up to the line for the Rock ‘N Sole Half Marathon at Summerfest. The hill training from the previous day was well spent as we ascended the Hoan Bridge. After cresting the apex, we all found that the devil also came to Milwaukee as he brought his HEAT and humidity. By Mile five, cups and water were gone. After a slow mile six, I was able to get a steady run/walk pattern finishing in 2:37:29.

Jodie Taylor's Race Report: It was the mountain lion on the Bluffs…

DWD Devils Lake was my 4th Ultra since May 14th…too many too soon? Maybe not, maybe so…I was definitely excited for this one. I always hear everyone talking about it and wearing t-shirts from the previous years, so of course I had to sign up for it.

3:00am wake up call and by 4:30 we were on our way to Devils Lake. I’m still amazed how early the sun rises in the summertime here in Wisconsin.  5:00am arrival, we all started preparing ourselves for the journey ahead of us. I discovered safety pinning my running belt to my shorts was such a great idea, till I had to use the restroom… Hahahaha!

I love how the start of the race is so casual, but after the bottleneck of people going up the ski hill, I now know why we should have edged to the front. But no matter, when you can make up lost time on the downhill. My legs felt great for the 1st 14 miles. Running in the woods was the best. I was extremely excited to be on new trails and in the woods, since the last race I did, was missing such trails. And…The Village People were cheering us on.  But I think I was a little too excited, thus I lost steam early in the race.  The way I felt at Mile 14 was usually the way I felt at Mile 18 and then I’d get a 2nd wind at mile 21-22 and be pumped the rest of the race. However, this did not happen, there was no second wind for me.

I then entered the bluffs…and out of nowhere this mountain lion started chasing me! I fought him off, but man was I tired after that and scratched up! Ok, Ok, no mountain lion…Devils Lake has left it’s mark on me, because I ran through a lot of prickers and my legs were beat after the bluffs, so I guess I need to hammer more hills and run more stair repeats. Ha!

Despite the tiresome climb of the bluffs, the view was amazing!

All I really wanted to do was jump in the lake. I kept hoping the pink flags would lead us into the water. They did at Gnaw Bone at the end of the race, which was extremely refreshing! But no…the pink flags were not in the lake.
Thus I found a little stream on the way back to the finish line and probably stood in it for a good 5 minutes.

The final 8 miles or so were a struggle for me. After passing through the Steinke Aid Station, Chris came sprinting up behind me, scaring the daylights out of me, but not as much as the mountain lion scared me.  He was still running strong and soon I started to experience the role reversal from the Fun Run at the beginning of June where I wouldn’t let him walk the “baby” hills, nor sit down at the aid stations.  Hahaha! Now it was his turn! It wasn’t long though till I really slowed down. I finally accepted that today wasn’t my race and to just enjoy the rest of the trails and not get stuck in my head.

Soon, I started hearing voices…did the sun bake my brain? Oh, silly, it’s the finish line!!! I was beat by the time I crossed it. Thank you Melinda for taking the “crazy” pictures of me, hahaha! Thanks to those of you who ran with me along different parts of the race, you truly helped me stay motivated when I felt like I was dragging:  Marcel, Spencer, Krishna, Chris.

I will not remember this race for my performance, because I struggled that day, but what I will remember are all of the people with whom I shared a great experience, whether it was before the race, during the race or after the race.  You know who you are LPTR! Congrats to everyone and especially the 1st time 50 milers, Marty, Annie and Mike!  And an ULTRA thanks to all of the Volunteers!

Catch Marty Burian's Report here at the Daily Mile...

1 comment:

  1. Hey....I am ANgela Hill, I am from Superior Wisconsin....I met Marty....(got no last name) on the Rock above Bear lake on the Superior Hiking trail this passed weekend.....I wanted to get in touch with freind Tina had the information for me to get to this website....

    So marty...if you are out there, my email is't wait for the 50 mile up at superior.

    Oh and I did finish the 105 miles up on the SHT.....Landed in Two harbors at 5:07 pm Monday july 25th...72 hours 57 minutes...

    Hope all is well, nice race at DWD btw....

    Nice ract to everyone that was at DWD...

    peace out.