I originally signed up for the 50K but decided to run the 50 mile because Ron Bero said he was going to run the 50 mile. The morning of the race, Ron showed up but made the decision to switch to the 50K. I really couldn’t blame him. Steady rain, wind and temps in the low 50’s do not make for an enjoyable run through the Northern Kettle Moraine. My goal was to break 8 hrs. but that was before I knew what the weather conditions would be.
Robert gave the pre-race speech, led us to the starting line and we were off. The first 5 miles it was dark and it was difficult to see the rocks & roots with the rain drops reflecting off the beam of your head light. I went out easy making it to State Rd. 67 (7 mi) in about 65 minutes. Even though it was raining the trail was in very good shape. In fact, it was nice & soft to run on. I continued my steady pace and made it out to Butler Lake (13.5 mi) in just over 2 hrs. Sal helped me lube up some private areas that were chaffing and I made my way to Mauthie Lake (20.5) which I made in just over 3 hrs. The trail was really taking on water but was still very runnable. I slopped into the 25 mile turn around at about 3:45 which was 5 minutes ahead of my planed time. During the run I was eating a GU every 30 minutes along with snacking at the aid stations. I was drinking Succeed & Heed in my bottle and water & Coke at the aid stations. Due to the cool weather, hydration was never a problem. The relentless rain continued.
I headed back still able to maintain a steady pace and I was still feeling good. I wanted to cruise to Butler Lake and then really start pushing myself if I had anything left. I hit the 50K turn around point and the trail turned into a muddy cow path. Rumor has it that when Todd Egnarski was running the 50K, he took extra steps and worked up the trail on purpose. The next 10 miles were muddy and very hard to run in some areas, especially the flat areas where the water pooled. My pace slowed due to the conditions. I hit the State Rd. 67 (43 miles) with 67 minutes left to make my goal. Fortunately the rest of the way was mostly hilly & rocky so the trail was wet but light on mud. I had a little left so I was able to make a respectable push to the finish. I made my goal by 3 minutes. I was wet, cold, muddy, tired and glad to be finished.
Thank you Robert for putting on a wonderful event and I especially thank all the volunteers who worked in less than ideal conditions.