Monday, August 27, 2012

Circus Circus: Leadville 100 Mile

Crew Report from LPTRunner, Marty Kanter-Cronin...

Last week, I had a chance to see one of the biggies in the ultra world up close, and pace a friend in the Leadville 100. Who wouldn’t want to go? Really? I mean, I didn’t pay an entry fee, but I get to run on the Leadville Course?

All I had to do was volunteer to drive 18 hours to Colorado, plan gear, study the mountain course, figure out how to drive on washboard gravel road, navigate mountain and lake roads that have no parking, plan pacer hand offs, transport and house four people, two dogs and all their gear, navigate the myriad of details that go with supporting a runner (along with 800 other crews vying for the same things).

Yeah! Let’s do this. I am game. What could go wrong?

Circus Circus
Oh, man. Anything can and will happen. Ask any race director, or ask anyone crewing at a race. Its controlled chaos, its adjustments, its fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants you happened to be wearing. And its logistics. Logistics! Even a Circus is about logistics: handing off a lion whip, holding up the trapeze nets, getting all the elephant poop picked up. Really, the runner runs, and everyone else runs around him, like crazy clowns, piling in and out of our crazy clown cars.

A Movable Feast
So we move. Round and round. And back again. Making sure the runner has what he needs when he needs it, where he needs it. Miss a simple thing, and the depleted runners fragile ego could be crushed. Then you’ve got someone in tears (or angry) at mile 76, at 2 AM, wondering why you can’t find the green coconut M&M’s in the back of a car that looks like a small explosion at an REI store. And oh your car is a half mile away too. So crewing is a lot like refereeing a game. No one much notices you until you screw up.

Who’s this Adam runner guy?
Adam McRoberts is our runner. The one we are all here for. Cheering, screaming, feeding both food and encouragement. Adam had been having trouble with an Achilles tendon for a couple months and as recently as a few days before had a flare up that hobbled him after a single mile. So this race was in jeopardy right from the start. Hanging, fragile as a tendon in the back of his leg. Adam, however is tough. Tough as a rusty nail stirring whiskey.  Once he got started, and was good as gold at mile 13, I knew only a major blow up would remove him from this race. I paced Adam at the Kettle 100, and have seen him get really comfortable with being uncomfortable. (Adam would make a great LPTR, except now he moved to Boulder, CO, the snot).

The Crew
Adam and I had three friends who volunteered to help pace and crew too: Jessica, Tawnya, and Maggie. Oh, and Mica and Roxy, the four legged crew members. A late addition, we were also joined by Steve, Jess’ boyfriend, and he played a pivotal role in keeping some of us sane, adding an extra vehicle to the mix, and actually providing a crucial piece of gear in the form of an extra pair of running shoes. We had fun, we were a team, even if sometimes we messed up. Crewing starts as: Do I have everything? Have I got it all organized? Where are the maps? And then it morphs into: Is a Clif bar good after you wash off the dirt with Heed? Does a steering wheel or a dog make a better pillow? Do I stink as bad as you do? Who peed in the back of the car??

A Taste of Logistics.
A 4AM start. The girl team took Adam to the start, and my job was to head to mile 13 around Lake Turquoise, 8 miles from our camp. It was a tight spot that logistically was hard to navigate, so I thought I would skip the start and get a jump on better parking Ha. It appears that half the other teams had the same idea. A 1/2 mile walk to the Aid Station. People all over the place, parking half on a mountain road. I say: LET THE CIRCUS BEGIN!

Another example, about noon, we missed Adam at an Aid Station. I planned enough time to get to Twin Lakes at mile 39, but the SOB Adam was running faster and I didn’t count on a mile walk to the crossing point. I was bummed, mostly at myself. It also turned out that the AS had lost Adam’s drop bag, and then we missed him. GACK. But like I said, Adam is tough, and he just kept motoring onward. Yeah, it was like this for much of the day and night. I could go on for about 2800 words, but you kinda get the idea. OK, here are some highlights from Team Fckup (motto: if we can’t lose it, no one can)

Cement pylons are harder than car doors
Dog will slip loose collars and bolt (We catch her)
Loose drop bags are easy to lose.
Driving 15 miles from AS to AS takes 2 hours down crowded gravel road
Runner has 10 mile section with 5000 feet of accent and decent
Runner is likely to beat us to the AS if we don’t get though
Race personnel were gonna make us walk a mile; get lucky and they let us through
Forgotten headlamps provide very little light
Ford Explorers can park on three wheels
Good thing it was a rental
Found lost bag hours later on the side of the road
Tired Poodles don’t want to walk
They do attract a lot of attention and comments when you carry them like a baby
Runner works at shoe store has a single spare pair of shoes, race organizers LOSE
Runner wants things we don’t have in the car
Make a trip into town to get
Next time you see him he won’t want most of those either
Give Runner a new gel he has never tried and he throws it up
Pretty purple color though
Snickers bars and Mountain Dew are good food for the last 30 miles of a Hundo
Tom Waits has songs that start with every letter in the alphabet except Q, X and Z.
The stars are brighter at 10,000 feet
Runner blows shoes out, has to wear borrowed Adidas, a company he despises
Car top cargo boxes are not aerodynamic when they are open
Most shoes and gear bounce quite well on pavement
Not plastic boxes however
The road you have programmed into the GPS is closed due to all the crews
Back up driver is lost, and you are out pacing.
GPS dies and back up driver can’t find the cord
She diverts, get hailed by a pacer that his runner is down
Back up driver was a nurse, and does the right thing
This could have been a much longer list
Adversity makes the best stories, and the best and funniest lists

Pacing and the Course- The Nuts and Bolts
At mile 40 to 45 Adam had to cross Hope Pass, climbing over 3000 feet to get there, and then drop like a stone 2500 feet on the other side and the awaiting 50 mile turn around and his pacers. Jess had the first turn, and performed admirably in getting Adam over one of the toughest parts of the race. My turn came at mile 60, and after a 4 mile climb from Twin Lakes, it was pretty much a 12 mile fire road/paved road run. Most of it was flat, albeit at 9800 feet of elevation.

Jess took over again to climb Sugarloaf pass for another 10 mile section of climbing and descent over Sugarloaf pass. I guess I should have looked closer at the elevation profile, cause Jess got ALL the big climbing. My turn came again, and I was supposed to do a 5 mile stretch and turn it over to Tawnya for the last 8 flat miles. However Tawnya got diverted to rescue a down runner who broke his hip at mile 85, so I ended up with another 8 miles  

In the end, Adam finished on two good but sore feet. He is an incredible inspiration to all of us around him, showing just what a human with an indomitable spirit is really capable of. Adam does all this with humor, patience, and a sense of wonder. The only time I saw him start to lose his patience was on the last four mile stretch of never-ending flat dirt road that leads to the finish. I think he would have preferred another climb (Maybe not). Adam finished in 28 hours and 28 minutes, quite contented he conquered a very difficult course.

Lastly, I thought I would add this quote. When I read it, I think of Adam..

 “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”. – Martin Luther King.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Joel's FA Fiftieth Birthday 50K Frolic...

A reminder from Sandi Lammers!...

Joel’s Fat Ass Fiftieth Birthday 50K Frolic

When: Wednesday August 29th, 2012  2:00pm

Early start times for really old slow guys like Jim Blanchard & Jeff Mallach, and late start times for young fast guys like Kevin Grabowski & Zach Bitter are not a problem. 

Where: Lapham Peak State Park, Evergreen parking area shelter.
(South of Delafield off of I-94 – exit #285 on County Road C)

What:  A recreational 50K trail run consisting of one Ski Race Loop and five Blue loops.  If you don’t feel like doing the whole thing, come and run a Blue loop or two or just come for the food & fun.

Aid Station: There will be an aid station set up with a variety of fluids & foods.

Stay for food & beverages:  Real food and liquid refreshments will be served at 6:30ish at the shelter.

Why should I attend the 50K Frolic?
1)    An excellent excuse to take the afternoon off from work.
2)    A perfect tune up for your upcoming fall races.
3)    A Dutch guy is providing free food & drink which doesn’t happen too often. 
4)    It will count toward the total miles of Ultras run for the year.
5)     It’s a loop course so there are plenty of opportunities to DNF.
6)     Beautiful Sandra Lammers will be the aid station girl.

RSVP to Sandi @ 

or at Facebook on the Lake Country Running Group or the LPTR page.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pike's Peak Marathon...

Race Report from LPTRunner, Mary Gorski...

The Pikes Peak Marathon started in 1956 as a contest between some smokers and non-smokers.

I thought of this little tidbit as I was closing in on 14,000 feet, nearing the summit of Pikes Peak and the turn-around point in the race. “How did those smokers do?” I wondered to myself. “Did they stop for a puff on the top?”

About this time last year my friend Barb Fagan said that she wanted to do the Pikes Peak Marathon. She encouraged several of us to join her. What the heck, I was curious about it so I jumped on the bandwagon. Cathy Diamond, Cobbie Behrend, and Teri Lux did as well. The Li’l Mister came along as our personal support person, constantly shuttling us from point A to point B, even up the mountain – though not in the race. Curious to see what we would feel like in the thin air, we visited the top by car several days before the event.

How did we feel? A bit wobbly. A bit light-headed. But in the midst of any long race I often feel that way. Would this really be different?

Race day arrived and our trusty chauffeur shuttled us to the start. Although I didn’t consider myself overly prepared for the event, I wasn’t too nervous about it until race morning when I began evesdropping on other people’s horror stories of races past.

“I couldn’t feel my hands, it was so cold at the top.”

“I was gasping for air and didn’t think that I would make it.”

“You’d think that going down would be so much better but after a few miles it is agonizing.”

I was getting a bit wigged out until I stopped and thought, “These same people are back to do the race again; it couldn’t have been THAT bad.”

And so off we went to the starting line. “America the Beautiful” was sung in place of the usual national anthem since the poem that led to the song was inspired by the view from Pikes Peak.

Our herd of runners took off through Manitou Springs for some of the easiest running of the day. After about a mile-and-a-half the course connected with the Barr Trail, which has a sign that states that it takes “eight hours to summit at a BRISK pace.”

Gosh darn it, my goal was to try to get up AND down in about that amount of time.

I read Matt Carpenter’s detailed description of the course so I had a very loose idea of what to expect. But no matter how much you read about a place you never really have a sense of it until you experience it in person.

My guess was that I was somewhere in the middle of the racers heading up the mountain. We were tightly packed for much of the ascent, though one could pass other runners without too much problem. But should I?
I was surprised that most of the ascent – at least for mid-packers – is walked. Walking uphill is something that I can do. But should I pass others? Would I exhaust myself too early by walking faster? Watching my pace running was one thing but I had never before worried about going out too fast walking. I agonized about my walking pace until tree line.

And then the thin air dictated everyone’s pace.

Just after nine miles we saw the first runners coming back. Uphill racers always step aside for the downhill runners. The higher I went the more I appreciated the on-coming runners because it meant that I could stop and catch my breath for a moment.

There was an incredible camaraderie in the event. We were all in this craziness together. “Mary, great pace!” “Mary, you are looking good!” “Mary, you are almost to the top!!!”

Our names were printed on our race bibs and everyone acted like we knew each other. Moving as slowly as we were we had plenty of time to take a look at the name and use it.

As you get to the top runners are hit with a double whammy. The air becomes progressively thinner and the trail progressively more challenging. Footing was tough in a few spots, and several portions seemed (to a flatlander like me) precariously easy to fall from. While the views were breathtaking, most of the time I couldn’t look away from the trail to enjoy them. It was simply too disorienting.

But then, FINALLY, the top.

What a sense of euphoria. “I did it, I did it!” I yelled. And then a volunteer reminded me that I only did half of “it.” I still had to get down.

Yeah, yeah, but I got to the top. No more climbing. The euphoria stayed with me as I made my initial descent. The trail was scary in parts but I didn’t much care anymore. I could breathe again. Every step took me closer to an oxygen content that was more to my liking.

Soon, I figured, I’d be able to remember my name without looking at my race bib.

The euphoria remained until about three miles down. Then I looked at my watch. Wow, I felt good but it was taking much longer to cover those miles than I expected.

Compared to the uphill climb it felt like I was flying down but the watch told me otherwise. It wasn’t until the last five to six miles that I really ran steady. Though this came as a surprise as well. From about mile three to five there is a long line of switchbacks. Going up I thought that they would be agonizing to run down atop exhausted legs. Curiously, it wasn’t that bad.

The horse was getting closer to the barn.

With about a mile-and-a-half to go the trail meets the street. It felt odd to be on pavement. But my pace kept increasing the closer I got to the finish. Cheers from spectators buoyed my spirits even more.

“Want an adult beverage to celebrate?” yelled a fellow with a bunch of friends filling small cups.

“What the hell,” I thought. “I’d love an adult beverage!” And so I chugged a cup of beer as I closed in on the finish.

Around the corner, through the chute and I was done. Dave (the Li’l Mister) was there to snap my photo and Barb, who finished about 35 minutes before me, came over as well. Hugs and high-fives.

“We did it!”

Gosh darn it, yes we did. And so did the rest of our group from Milwaukee. One by one we cheered Cathy, Teri and Cobbie as they came across the line.

So as a flatlander, what do I think about a marathon that runs up to the top of a 14,114 foot mountain?

Fantastic. Very exhausting but very do-able. An incredible experience. Wonderful people. And a darn nice finishers’ shirt.

Nice idea Barb!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's a girl to do?

Race Report from LPTRunner, Christine  Crawford...

Ice Age 50 mile 2012, sick, miserable time. Kettle Moraine 100, sick, miserable time, DNF. After KM I was feeling pretty burned out with Ultrarunning. I love it but I wanted something different. Twelve years ago, I was biking with a friend who was a talented athlete out of Madison. I was on my Trek 930 mountain bike and he on his road bike. After riding with him he convinced me I needed a road bike and that I should race. With his help I pieced together a nice little ride. I raced for exactly one season in 2002 and would only participate in Time Trials. I didn’t have a TT bike but I didn’t want to race in a pack so I went solo. The bike sat in the garage for 8 years only to resurface last year due to running injuries. I found I quickly adapted and was performing well for a runner and was thrilled to have completed a 90 mile race averaging 21.4 mph. I’ve never had a running coach or a cycling coach. No one ever instructed me on proper run or bike technique. I think I just asked Kevin Grabowski 2 years ago what a “stride out” was. Is that what you call it? I don’t even know for sure yet.
I have the same problem most of you have, I need an endurance fix. Some of us also deal with perfectionism and a drive that leads us to burn-out or injury. I’m absolutely one of those people. It’s never good enough and my drive to perform leads me to do really stupid things. Sitting at home one evening after KM100, icing my hip which was beginning to give me grief, I decided to sign up for another event. I’m not sure what I was searching for, I think I typed in Ultracycling (go figure) and all these amazing events surfaced! One of them was called 24 HOURS OF TRIATHLON. I immediately checked it out (come on, you KNOW you would too; it’s 24 hours of something!). They had a duathlon option which I wanted to try. The course consisted of ¼ mile swim (for the triathletes) 11.2ish mile bike (out and back) and a 2.6 mile run (out and back). The format is hard to wrap your brain around so bare with me. The idea is to complete even number of circuits but with the duathlon, you can complete one extra bike circuit over your run circuits. I couldn’t go out and bike 25 circuits and run 10 because my official results would read 10 full duathlons plus 1 bike credit. I would have lost credit for all the additional bike circuits. For triathlon, you can have one additional swimming and one additional bike credit. Obviously if you added on one more run credit, you would have completed another full triathlon. Confused yet? Additionally, you had to follow the swim-bike-run format or for me the bike-run format for your first circuit only. After that, you could swim bike or run as much as you wanted keeping in mind that you want to have your circuits pretty much even after 24 hours. Now are you confused?? Well, they also had an 8 hour version and team categories in addition to solo. After signing up, I posted the information to Facebook asking if anyone would like to crew for me not expecting a SINGLE person to respond. Marty KC responded immediately and seemed more excited than me. Marty served as my coach and training partner and voice of reason when I felt doubtful or when I was training too much. We spent miles on the trails and miles on the bike and then I spent more miles on the bike on my own getting in 200+ miles a week. I only had 6 weeks to train! Throughout training, I dealt with a lot of hip pain to the point where I had to stop running two weeks before the event. I was now more worried about the run portion than the cycling.

In the meantime, Joel Lammers thought my pursuit was an interesting one and he signed up for the 8 hour triathlon event. Since he is not OCD his training consisted of a few rides, a few runs and a couple of swims…training done.
As the event approached, Marty and I discussed strategy and also what to pack! The parking lot of the beach venue became tent city which was really neat. We had a list a mile long of what I might need and we actually used most of what we brought. At one point, we ran out of our favorite PowerAid because it was hot so Marty drove to get more while I ran. I was excited to get started but also a bit nervous because you had to dismount the bike after every lap, run across a timing mat, run back out then remount and take off. I’m not really good with clipless pedals but in the end, I became a pro. My strategy after the first bike/run circuit was to then get back on the bike for 5 more circuits, run 5 circuits, bike 5 circuits, run 6 circuits which I did. It was pretty hot and I needed to sit for a while after that. I missed Joel’s finish but he came close to setting a record. He hung out as I continued on the course and cheered for me also filling my water bottles. Joel and I have a great big brother/little sister relationship and he has always been the one I turn to for advice with my athletics so having him there was just what I needed. As day turned into night, I decided to walk/jog when it was cooler out and then eat some dinner because I was hungry. I didn’t bike much at night. The road was a bit rough, it was really dark, my lighting wasn’t the best and I was tired (and super, duper chaffed in the pants). Marty and I both decided to sleep for 20 minutes which turned into 90 minutes. That felt great. I had a lot of energy after and completed a few more bike and run legs. My fastest bike was 35:41 and my slowest was 43:37 (at midnight), my fastest run was 21:38 and my slowest was pure walking 39:37. I completed a total of 234.94 miles officially which worked out to 17 bike circuits and 17 run circuits. Joel placed well too (2nd male with 6 full tri’s and one additional swim and bike credit) and I think we both learned a lot and are excited to sign up for the event next year. Keep it on your calendar! Here is the link:
Up next is the Dairyland Dare 300k instead of Howl at the Moon 8-hour since the hip is not cooperating at this point.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Dances With Dirt Races, Version 2012

Race Report  Compiled by LPTRunner Marty Kanter-Cronin...

Every year the Dances With Dirt races attract many LPTR entrants with it’s beautiful location, and it’s placement in the race calendar in July makes it an ideal mid-summer race. This year was no different with a contingency of 23 LPTRunners running four different distances from the 1/2 Marathon to the 50 Mile! So I asked all of them four questions, and below you can find their combined answers. One of questions specifically had to do with course changes put in place late due to congestion issues on the bluffs, which made the race quite different from pervious years. Congrats to all the AG and overall placements, and everyone who participated!

Logan P, 50K:

1) How did the race go for you?
The race went extremely well for me! Weird even everything went perfect which seems to never happen. Couldn't have asked for a better day

2) What did you think of the course changes?
) I was actually pretty disappointed with the course change, yes to me the course was faster but who cares about speed. The views in the past years of being on top of devils lake were truly missed by me. I also missed the stairs going up the bluffs, always the most painful but the best remembered. 

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Was probably passing Bruce!  Its probably going to be the only time I am ever going to so I gotta take advantage off it!

Dave F, 1/2 Marathon:

1) How did the race go for you?
The race went much better than last year. Last year I walked the last 4 miles due to heat exhaustion and dislocated metatarsals in my left foot. This year I was able to finish the whole race without walking.

2) What did you think of the course changes?
I think that it was not an issue for the half marathon distance.

3) Favorite memory of the day?
This year I was able to run a bit with some of the marathon and 50k runners. Listening to their experiences of the early miles in their race was enjoyable. I also came across several of the LPTR runners running in the opposite direction. Everyone still looked happy and still had a positive attitude.

4) Other thoughts?
 In 2011, I got caught in the lead pack (behind Bruce) and went out way too fast. The first climb at that fast pace nearly did me in. The rest of my race was affected by that pace and I ended up walking the last 4 miles with heat exhaustion and a wounded foot. This year I may have gone out a bit too slow due to the fear of over exertions and having to walk. This year I got stuck behind a slow moving group on the first climb and lost a good amount of time. I was also stopped at a road crossing while the marshal allowed a long train of cars to pass by in both directions. I believe that I lost several minutes at that crossing. I would have liked to finish in under 2 hours and come away from the race knowing that I gave it my best effort. My goal time was 1:45. I guess there is always next year unless I get crazy and run the 50k. I still don't know about running a 50k in the middle of July in 90+ degree weather. I may need to be convinced.

Jennifer M, 50 Miler:

1) How did the race go for you?
The race kicked my butt.  The heat coupled with stomach problems and the little food intake created a daze which I ran in for over half the day.  I am just glad I finished the 50 miler and didn't drop to the 50K.  My crew made all the difference.

2) What did you think of the course changes?
This was my first run at DWD Devil's Lake.  The course is beautiful.  It is a very runnable trail with long assents/descents.  The view from the bluffs was amazing.  I will definitely have to try the race again. Great trail!

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Throwing up at mile 42 - best I felt all day.  The next 4 miles were awesome.

Angela B, 50K:

3) Favorite memory of the day?
This is the first year I have run this race. Soooooo unfortunately not much to add - but you do get a couple of my favorite moments :) Hoping that Joe. girls and POPSICLES would still be at Steinke Basin and they were. A cherry Popsicle and my first ice of the day. OUTSTANDING!!! Made the last 6 miles zoom by. It is always fun to see so many friends before and after the race!! Makes the local races even better.

Bruce U, 50K:

1) How did the race go for you?
Was sweating way too much in the high humidity.  My shoes were soaked by mile 6.  Ran out of water twice.  The last 10 miles sucked as I could no longer run up hills.  I could fly on the down hills and flats but even had to walk the slight grade on the path in the last 1/4 mile where I was passed by 2 runners (including Logan).

2) What did you think of the course changes?
Seemed easier since they eliminated the 2 stair climbs up the bluffs (but replaced them with 2 very long inclines).

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Seeing 2 dozen LPTRs at the race and good beer at the finish line.

4) Other thoughts?
They mowed most of the trail this year to eliminate the wild parsnip although I think I got a spot on my shin. Oh and good beer at the finish.

Jeff D, 50K:
1) How did the race go for you?
It went well until it didn't...thanks for finish lines.

2) What did you think of the course changes?
First time on course...really wanted to run up both bluffs. I expected steeper climbs & slightly more elevation.

3) Favorite memory of the day?
The end. 

4) Other thoughts?
I ran out of miles to race but never ran out of beer!

Daniel H, The Marathon

1) How did the race go for you?
Excellent! Tweaked my foot 2 miles in and was throbbing quite a bit by mile 10, but some kind soul provided me with some ibuprofen on the trail (thanks again if you're out there!) and it took the edge off.

2) What did you think of the course changes?
There were course changes??  First time out there...

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Ran with one of my former high school athletes who just completed her 7th marathon in her personal one marathon/month challenge, which included a 50k we did together in Ohio back in January to kick it all off, which was unfortunately the same day the Packers got there butts kicked in the playoffs! Was fun pacing with her until... I thought I heard somebody say 2.2 miles to the finish so I looked at my watch and said hey, we can make 4:30!! so I took off... duh, we were at Road Kill, 4.2 miles!! Dumb move on my part and after a blistering pace for about 3 miles, I knew that last mile was not going to feel good! Sorry Tricia!!

Jose V, 50K:

1) How did the race go for you?
The race was good, first time running the 50k run!  So, I have nothing to compare it too!  Did the half last year!

2) What did you think of the course changes?
The course change it was O.K., like always to many races going on at once!  Use to it, by now!

3) Favorite memory of the day?
My favorite time is when I had to jump over a big rock to stretch the muscles and Julie went around, I had a burger will I was up there!  Julie laughed for miles, cause she missed out! Next year I'll do the half probably!

Tom S, 1/2 Marathon:

1) How did the race go for you?
Fast! Fun! Loved the half marathon - it allowed me to kick the speed up a notch or two from the longer runs.

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Cheering on all the 50k finishers from LPTR, as well as other finishers. Especially the couple that was quite overweight but crossed the line hand in hand, good for them!!

4) Other thoughts?
Always fun to race along with fellow LPTR members, and have a beer afterwords and chat about how the race went.

Chris D, 50K:

1) How did the race go for you?
My race went really well.  No falls, was able to run all of the flat, downhills and even some hills.  Met some really nice people out on the trails and spread the word on the Lapham Peak Trail Runners group.  Hopefully we'll have some new recruits soon!

2) What did you think of the course changes?
I wish they wouldn't have removed the extra bluff section that was there 2 years ago., that grass section sucked!  Barely wide enough for one runner, let alone people passing each other.  Maybe if enough of us write the race director they will change it back?

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Ran a few miles with Jose, Sam and Julie, they cracked me up during a stretch where I wasn't feeling the best.  Also, hanging out with Logan, Jeff Dahlman and his girlfriend and Jeff Porter the night before the race.

Jeff P, First 50K:

 1) How did the race go for you?
Started well on the first loop, then I got zapped by a couple hornets on my neck and hand!  As I’m thinking, oh that hurts, hope I not allergic, etc, my mind drifts from where I’m walking and I almost do a face plant J; from then on the race went really well until mile 23 as I approached the “uphill” at bug pit after the out and back.  I pretty much “bonked” and walked the entire way up the hill.  After that I regained my energy (albeit, it was very tough) and finished on a steady pace.  I’m so glad the last two miles or so were basically all downhill! 

2) What did you think of the course changes?
First time running.

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Well probably the hornet stings on my neck.

4) Other thoughts?
Probably should try doing more than 13 or 14 miles as my longest training runs in the future for 50k’s. Very thankful for the 3 guys that I stayed with at the lodge; especially being able to pick Bruce’s brain a bit and gleam from his experience!

Matt B, 50 Mile:

1) How did the race go for you?
The race went very well.  It was humid but the electrolytes were on and it was not too hot for me.  I was able to improve on last years time by about 45 minutes (some of that may have been due to the course changes as well).

2) What did you think of the course changes?
I liked the re-routes as I did not run into the tons of hikers on the bluffs.  I also felt the climbs were longer and a bit less steep.  Running the single-track down into the 'bug-pit" aid station was also a lot of fun.

3) Favorite memory of the day?
I have great memories of hiking with my dad at Devil's lake as a kid.  It was cool to see places that we camped and run the same trails.  The woods were always my favorite place to be as a kid.  Sam complaining that he had swamp ass by mile 2 brought a little comedic relief.  It also made me think if it is this humid, I really better pay attention to my electrolytes since I had a coat of slimy sweat on my arms already at that point :)

4) Other thoughts?
Next year I will make a deal with a faster 50 mile runner or a 50k runner to save me a Portabella burger at the end.  Curse my skinny legs I could not get there fast enough!    Logan.......maybe you could help me out next year? :)

Nicholas W, 1/2 Marathon:

1) How did the race go for you?
Race went good, time was slow but course was tough and BEAUTIFUL!  As an Ultrarunner running with handhelds is no issue to the spacing of aid was perfect!

2) What did you think of the course changes?
They were brutal but they made the race that much better.  If people want an easy race they should stick to the pavement.

3) Favorite memory of the day? 
Seeing one of the race leaders for the 1/2 leave the course to meditate on the rocks by the bluffs while taking in the views, then come screaming back into the race!

4) Other thoughts?
I love the 5  place AG awards, as well as the after party, a real family event, and fun for all.  the Low key camping the night before is awesome as well a real running community builder!

Melinda P, 1/2 Marathon:

1) How did the race go for you?
The half marathon is a fun distance to run at DWD with the challenging bluff and 500 runners all trying to run a single track. There were five wonderful LPTRs who ran this distance. One was Tom Schiessl who caught up with me within the first mile.  I thought he was going to pass me. I just ran my best and he stayed right behind me, until I heard this thud. It was Tom and he used his ninja skills to pop right back up. With two miles to go, Tom shared how when he had caught up with me at the beginning of the race, he thought he started out too fast. The last portion of the race was running down the bluff and we sure passed a good amount of runners. Tom had “crushed his goal”…his words! Little did Tom know, he also kept me going since he was right behind me, and I secretly didn’t want him to pass! As I was his motivator to keep him running hills, he was my motivator to keep running hard!

Marty KC, 50K:

1) How did the race go for you?
I knocked almost an hour from my time two years ago! Experience, some changes in the way I hydrate and eat made a big difference. I was seriously undertrained for this, but two years of Ultra experience counts for a lot. I think the more you know, the less you need. It was hot, but then again it it’s ALWAYS hot in July at Devil’s Lake.

2) What did you think of the course changes?
In some ways, the course changes made the race disappointing. I really liked running the bluffs. I understand the race organizers had to make some changes because of trail congestion with normal park visitors. It was really a different race than in years past. On it’s own merits, it was still a tough and beautiful course.

3) Favorite memory of the day?
Finishing along side Marcel. We ran the last four miles together, and I probably ran about 10 minutes faster because Marcel and I pushed each other. The last down hill in Parfrey’s Glen we just cooked.