Friday, March 30, 2012

The Mud, the Blood, and a Good Cause: MS Run the US

It was a glorious way to start the Ultra season in 2012: A worth while cause, some good LPTR friends, and plenty of MUD to stomp around in as we completed a 50K course from Scuppernong to Emma Carlin.

LPTR and other runners were gathered in support of MS Run the US, a non-profit started by Ashley Kumlien to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research. As Ashley related: “43 runners supporting…(and) I'm excited to let you know that through many, many generous donations, we raised $1,750 on Saturday, which is donated in full to the WI-Chapter of the MS Society, designated toward their research programs. Pretty amazing & kind of totally awesome”!

 The day was overcast and perfect for running in the open Scuppernong area as temps never got above 62 or so. Recent rains added to the fun in the low lying areas, providing plenty of chances to swamp stomp in ankle deep water, the aforementioned mud and some slippery bridges that lead to a few falls in transit. As Official Race Director Aaron Schneider put it: “The Ultra season has officially started, Angela’s got a bloody knee”.

Aaron laid out a beautiful course, as runners who completed the whole 50K ran a Scuppernong green loop, then out to Emma Carlin, and returned for a final loop at Scup on the same Ski trails. Aaron provided excellent course markings, as well as two fully stocked Aid stations at the 8 mile and 15.5 mile mark of the course.

Runners chose a variety of distances and course alterations on the day, in true Fat Ass fashion everyone had their own training plans and used the day and support to put some good base miles in, although several runners including LPTR Thomas Schiessl used the day as their Ultra debut! Congrats first timers! 

After some good mud stomping runners were greeted at the shelter by Ashley and her Mom, who contracted MS many years ago, although they departed early because of another MS commitment and fund raiser! What commitment!

 Food and plenty of good beverages were on hand at the Mackie Shelter to close out a great running day. As Ashley said: I want to give big props to our always impressive ultrarunner Martha Stewarts who never cease to amazing our taste-buds!  There is literally nothing better then running a few muddy, wet miles only to come back to a warm shelter stocked full of ah-mazing stews, soups, cookies, and breads...and in fact it is your cooking that is the only thing that wills me to the finish at times!

With any luck and good weather, Aaron and Ashley will make this an annual event, a nice way to kick off the spring Ultra season! Thanks guys!

On a personal note, THANKS to my running Mates Angela B and Logan P and the late comer to our group Mary G, for making it a great 33 mile run!

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