Saturday, July 30, 2011

Foolish Plunge FA 100-Mile Fun Run:

So... When Craig, Angela and Julie committed to travel cross-country to Vancouver for the Fat Dog 120 mile run, none of them could have predicted that there would be 7 feet of snow on parts of the course and that the race would be cancelled.  I could have predicted, however, that these LPTR veterans would not be shut out.  

The ultra-sized rescue came from Karl Jensen (Club FA -  He had his FA 100K run scheduled 3 hours away on the same weekend and generously offered to extend the run to 100 miles to allow his American friends the opportunity to get their ultra fix in on Canadian soil.

The trio met up with Karl and followed him to the starting line of the run.  With a few minutes to spare, they quickly set up an aid station (ie... they popped the trunk of a car!) and at 9AM… the crew of Karl, Angela, Julie, Craig, and four Canadian women, were off for an adventure.

The course consisted of a long uphill grind of about 6 miles with the most scenic sights you can imagine including majestic views of the snow-capped mountains, the waterfalls, the rushing streams, and glaciers.

At the halfway point of the loop, is the section knows as the lava flows… another uphill grind.  This section, although tough, also allowed the most beautiful overlook of the whole loop – a panoramic view of the mountain range.

At this point, the runners were rewarded with an extended downhill… However, this section was littered with rocks and roots, runnable on the first loop, but it got increasingly more difficult with each ensuing trip through. Craig, Angela and Julie became quite familiar with the many landmarks along this section of the course… the moss-covered trees and rocks, the greenest scenery you can imagine, bright white rocks, Angela’s car, Julie’s car.  All spots they looked forward to each loop to gauge how far was left in the section.

Then the fun started… the Powerhouse Plunge.  To the Wisconsinites, this section was VERY technical, since it consisted of numerous switchbacks, roots, rocks, wooden plank bridges, large steps…  But to Karl and the rest of the Canadians, this section was "somewhat technical".  I guess it helps to constantly train on this type of terrain?!

The plunge eventually dumps the runners off on a gravel road that winds back to the aid station.  The runners were surprised to see that Heather MacDonald (the RD of Fat Dog) and her friend, Don, had generously set up a manned aid station… filled with watermelon, blueberries, hot dogs, potato chips, lots of candy, anything you could possibly want.  They ended up battling mosquitoes and coolness for 7+ hours to keep the runners fueled up and energized.  Wow!!

Through the course of the run, the LPTR's were joined by 8 others who intended to run various distances.  It was just the LPTR contingent who intended to finish all 100 miles!

Karl, who spent the night in his van, greeted the LPTR's with a cheer and a smile and sent the runners off on a 1.3 mile out and back to make sure the run totaled a full 100 miles.  Once they returned, he was all dressed and ready to accompany them on their final loop – so they could all finish in style.  What kind of RD provides THAT kind of support?  (… Jeff???)

Thanks to Karl’s brilliant thinking, Craig, Angela and Julie were able to toast the completion of the FA 100 with ice cold beer… the international champagne of ultrarunners (much thanks to Karl!!).

What great fun to meet all the Canadians who came out to provide their company on the course, as well as their encouragement.  What a great group!  LPTR North!?!??
Way to go Craig, Angela and Julie - REPRESENT!!!!

Loop stats…

Loop    Split                 Aid      Running time
1          3:15                 :19       3:34
2          3:45                 :19       7:38
3          3:15                 :38       11:31
4          3:45                 :31       15:48
5          3:45                 :24       19:58
6+        4:22                 :20       24:42
7          4:15/3:01                     28:57(A)/27:43(C&J)


  1. You are all awesome! Accept Adapt and Attack! The motto of LPTR. or the place you call when your car breaks down on the way to or from Canada. (AAA)

  2. A VERY belated congrats to Craig, Julie and Angela. You always come out having a great experience no matter what the conditions. Terrific! (Angela--where'd you get that skirt?!?!? . . . Luv it!)