Race report from LPTRunner Tom Schiessl...
It started a few months ago… my first Wednesday night run with LPTR. The first person I ran into was Mary Gorski - I knew this was gonna be fun. That first night I came home raving about the cool group I ran with, and Theresa suspected it was only a matter of time before I ran an Ultra. I was doomed from the start.
I finally did sign up for IA 50K, and jumped at the opportunity to run the MSRuntheUS Fat Ass event this past March 24th. I figured it would be a good training run for the Ice Age, and I wanted to contribute to MSRuntheUS. Not quite a year ago, my wife Theresa , was diagnosed with this crappy disease called Multiple Sclerosis. So there was added motivation.
We started out on a great morning from DJ Mackie picnic area, 43 ultra runners strong. I ended up running the first 8 miles with Mary Gorski, Mary Flaws, Dennis Hanna, and Dawn Chavez. All 8 miles of wisecracking fun. We stopped at the xmas tree in the woods and took a group pic. The conversation turned to the shoe sucking mud, and sure enough Mary Flaws left a shoe ten paces behind in the mud. More laughter. Dawn took a digger, but popped up like the pro she is.
Right after the first aid station, Dennis and the 2 Mary's moved ahead of myself and Dawn. So the two of us settled into a nice pace and chatted up a storm. Occasionally I heard a guffaw up front, someone cracking another joke. I had never run more than 15 miles at a crack, so this was new ground for me, but Dawn turned out to be the perfect partner to run this with.
Soon we saw the faster runners working their way back, Joel, Ashley, everyone had a smile on their face and a word of motivation. At the 2nd aid station, Aaron had some good stuff for us and I dove into the NOW bars. We took off and crossed paths with more LPTR members, Jim and Deb, again with big smiles all around. Tina Heil and her friend Amy (her first 50k as well) stopped us for a pic and high five.
We continued, and chatted some more. It's always interesting to think about what you talk about when you spend 6 or more hours on the trail with someone you just met. I guess that made it easier, neither one of us new the others story, so it was easy to spill it out. Turns out we both grew up in the same area, and went to the same High School (some 12 years apart, though). I started to run out of gas, and we backed off a little. We must have missed a turn, and popped out onto Hwy ZZ a little further south than we should have. We worked our way back to the picnic area with the thought that we must have cut it short by a few miles. Come to learn the course was a tad long at 33miles, so it looks like we hit the 31miles anyway.
My parents were there, and my lovely wife showed up with some wonderful brownies. The potluck was delicious, as only a LPTR potluck can be! I was thrilled to cover twice the distance I ever had before, and looking forward to IA 50K.
Thanks to Ashley and Aaron, all the LPTR members, Dawn for keeping me motivated, and my wonderful wife for all the support, Theresa has shown me what it is to be tough. Ice Age 50, here I come!