Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sheriffs, Shotguns, and Goats: Robert Wehner's 2009 Hellgate Report

BAM!!  No, it wasn’t the starter’s pistol of the Hellgate 100; it was a shotgun blast from someone’s front porch.  To shut up his barking dogs.  Dogs that were barking as Brad and I walked past his shack.  The shack right next to the pen holding a big pig.  With a pack of goats free-ranging about.  The only thing missing was the sound of banjos.  I guess we weren’t in Wisconsin anymore Toto.

Brad and I were helping the RD, David Horton, with trail marking before the race, as the race doesn’t start until midnight.  David is definitely a type “A” person, and the ride out to the start was quite a trip.  David drove with one hand on the wheel, and two eyes everywhere but the road (and the speedometer).  He loved pointing out all of the features of the Blue Ridge mountains, and talking about all things running.  This led to being stopped by Virginia’s finest, and a speeding ticket.  Looks like he’ll need another line item on the race expense report.

Helping out also gave us a chance to check out some of the trail conditions we would be encountering that night.  At the start, there was the dead deer carcass; okay, don’t step over here to take a last-minute leak.  At the river crossing about 3 miles into the race, we plotted out the best route across; the water was cold, deep, and moving fast.  On the next 4-mile climb to Petite’s Gap, there were patches of ice and snow higher up; won’t need screws though like 2005.  We also checked out the last few miles of the course as well, and arrived back at Camp Bethel with plenty of time to get gear ready for the race.

I had had some GI tract issues the past 2 years at Hellgate, which slowed me down a bit, so I was itching for a better run this year.  Getting knocked out of Voyageur by bees in July had also left a chip on my shoulder.  So I ran the first third of the race fairly aggressively, staying ahead of splits from previous years.  Temps at the start were in the teens; lows during the night were expected to dip into the single digits.

With the relentless up and down of the course, and miles of rocky single track, you can expect some low points during the race.  This year was no exception, but I was able to keep moving fairly decent most of the time.  10+ hours into the race, I had a good stretch, and caught 5 runners in a short period of time.  Halfway through the second to last section, Helen Lavin popped up behind me, and we ran together for a little while.  Helen eventually pulled away, winning the women’s division.

While I had been able to stay ahead of past years’ splits, the aggressive running I did earlier in the race was starting to catch up with me.  I was not able to run the final section as fast as before, but did mange to PR by 4 minutes, finishing in 9th place in 13:29.  Finishing this race is no gimmie, so it feels good to be 6 for 6.  Brad had a phenomenal race, bettering his PR by an hour and 24 minutes, good for 23rd in 14:57.

Hopefully I’ll be motoring around in Horton’s truck again next year, and standing once again on the starting line of the Hellgate 100 at midnight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

High Desert 50K - Angela's Race Report

After a busy week of Christmas partying with my co-workers in southern California and averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night I headed east last Saturday afternoon to the high desert with my husband Steve to run the High Desert 50K in Ridgecrest CA. A town the size of Franklin Wi – about 30,000 people and most businesses deal with tattoos or bail bonds. I am still not sure how Steve occupied himself while I ran, but I am sure the story will come out at some point.

After packet pick-up we headed out to a local pizza establishment so that I could properly carb up for the race. Steve taunted me by ordering a pitcher of the local made amber beer!! Who could have known that such evil lurked in the kind and amiable man that I was married to….however after years of abuse perhaps he was finally getting some justice.

Sunday turned out to be a perfect day to run for a couple of reasons. The first was that after taking my Tylenol PMs I actually enjoyed 10 hours of sleep Saturday night and the second was the all day rain – which is a huge rarity in CA -  took place the following day!! The weather was ideal on Sunday – starting temp of 30 degrees with a high of 50 – perfect!!!

About 230 people ran the 50K. The trail is easy running – it is the ONLY race that I am able to look around and enjoy the scenery.  A bit over 5200 elevation change. Sorry Joel – no quad burning stories here.  Surprisingly the desert is a beautiful place for a run with some great views in the mountains. After a couple of hours the wind picked up to 30mph continual gusts making the up-hills harder to deal with.  However at the end of the day the sand facial worked wonders on my face, taking off a couple of years of wear.

Not too much else to say other than I was  sad when I hit the last 3 mile down hill coming out of the mountains. Too much fun to end so fast!!! Finished up with a one mile loop around the college and I was done!!

The High Desert 50K is a fun race, great markings and aid stations about every 3 miles. It is one that I am sure that I will run many more times.

We found a great Mexican place in Ridgecrest  that night and then headed back to LA to attend the Ellen show and then to San Diego for a couple of days before the true highlight of the trip; meeting up with the self proclaimed best looking LPTR member – Kevin, in LA for a night of proper rehydration before our trip back home.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

NorthFace 50 mile San Francisco: A story of sex, lies and deception

 (submitted by Joel Lammers...)

I traveled to San Francisco with my wife Sandee for a mini vacation and to run the NorthFace 50K.  By the time I signed up for the run, the 50K was full so I signed up for the 50 mile.  No problem.  I was in pretty decent shape and figured I could manage a few hills. 
The run took place in the Marin Headlands which is just across the Golden Gate Bridge, just north of San Francisco. The run started at 5:00am which is normally a time when I’m snuggled in bed.  It began and finished at Fort Berry.  I heard this was a place that they water board ultra runners but when I arrived I found that wasn’t true.  

The run started out with a 5 mile fire road loop that went up 850 ft and then came down 850ft.  My quads were already feeling it.  We continued on fire roads until we hit the second aid station at about 9 miles.  It was now getting light.  We continued along for the next 10 miles making 3 climbs of 300 – 600 ft mostly on fire roads and some single track. About 15 miles we started about a 1,400 ft climb that started out relatively gradual and then progressed to about 2 miles of switch backs.  They were fun to run and you could see all the runners above and below you.  Life couldn’t get better.  Once we hit 19 miles we descended 1,400, much of it on single track technical trails.  This was killing my quads but I was still pretty fresh and moved along quite nicely.  The later part of this was along the Dipsea trail which was along a babbling brook with large redwood trees.

At about 21 miles we began a 1,800 ft climb.  This was mostly switch backs through a tropical type woods.  The ends of the switch backs had about 6 stairs to climb to get to the next level.  This went on for about 3 miles when I finally came out of the woods to open areas where we proceeded on a rolling trail to the 26 mile point and back.  About 31 miles we went in to a 1,300 foot decent that made my ears pop.  They clogged up on the plane ride so this felt good.  Unfortunately, that was about all that felt good on my body but I was still moving along quite nicely until 33 miles when we went up for a while and then took another 900 ft. decent.  At this point, my quads felt like they had Wayne Laravie daggers stuck in them but then the course leveled out for a whole 2 miles.  I felt like a new person.  I loaded up on food at the 40 mile aid station and was feeling pretty good but my legs were just trashed. We then went on about a 900 ft. climb over the next 4 miles.  Most of this was on fire roads so the footing was good but the climbing was killing me.  I hit the 44 mile aid station and loaded up on food again.  I could tell some chick was checking me out so I said “Great aid station, huh”?  and she said, “Yah”.

I left and the aid station on another 700 ft. climb.  I was mostly walking at this point. Would this ever end???   One guy even complemented me on how fast I could walk.  You know you’re desperate for motivation when hear a compliment like that and it actually make you think you are doing well.  I caught up with the gal from the aid station and found out she belonged to the St Louis Ultra Runners Group of which I also am a member. Her name was Sara and we exchanged best wishes and said we would see each other at the Chubb Trail Race in April. 

I finally made it to the 47 mile aid station. It was all down hill from here.  The problem was that my quads were killing me and it hurt to walk down hill.  I then envisioned myself downing a cold Pyramid Beer (sponsor of the run) at the finish.  I started to run, and run like the wind I did.  Running the last 2.7 miles in 22 minutes breaking the old California record by almost 2 minutes!!  When I turned the corner for the finish, the crowd began to cheer…and loud.  It was my wife and all her new friends in the beer garden yelling for me.  This didn’t surprise me because she had 2 hours to kill after finishing the ½ marathon and what better way to do that then to drink beer and think of ways to embarrass her husband at the finish.  I finished in 9:07.

After the run we spent a couple of hours meeting new people and drinking beer. They had a nice set up at the finish with food, door prizes, giveaways, etc.  We then hooked a ride back to San Fran with a couple of our new friends.

I would highly recommend this run for anyone who would be interested.  It has long climbs and descents but beautiful views and scenery.  The price was reasonable because you received a NF Tech shirt, NF Socks, NF Quick Draw water bottle and a nice party at the finish all for about $100.  You can also stay in San Fran which is only a $27 cab ride to the start.

That’s all I have to say.

PS:  The Sex, lies and deception line was just to get you to read the whole report.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Longest Race Report ever: My MMTR Experience: Tim Luft

I suppose I should start out by how I signed up for, and went to run in the 2009 MMTR. Let’s just say that it took 2 years of hard work by some very good friends of mine to finally convince me to commit. I will tell you in those 2 years, I was told of stories and tales on how this race unfolds. Mostly after I had signed up (perfect timing) Yes, I learned of most of the horror stories of this after the fact, or so I thought, but more on that later.

Brian Seegert picked me up at 3:20am, and we met at his sister’s house down in Glendale. There we met Julie Treder, Jeff Mallach, Angela Barbera, and Deb Vomhoff. We loaded up in her Trailblazer, and stowed all of our gear in the “Rocket Box” I would learn later how important this piece of equipment, mounted to the top of her truck would be.
We left right at around 4:30 with myself taking the first turn driving the 15 or so hours it would take to get to our destination of Lynchburg Virginia. Angela brought her GPS along with for us to navigate, and would soon learn after a short time, that it actually had a name. “Millie”. For the most part, it was a nice ride. It was not until we got through W.V. and off the highway, that Millie really took us for a trip. I like to think of this last section as the trip from hell. At this point, Angela was in control of the vehicle….and our lives. Tight turns, and lots of crazy hills. At one point, we actually went airborne! Angela for a moment had a “Daisy Duke” moment, and life went by in milliseconds. I swear I heard Jeff in the back yell out “HEEEEEEEEEEEEHAWWWWWWWW!” Kind of like when you watched the “Dukes of Hazard” and they did that jump over the river. Yes, it was a jump. Well maybe it wasn’t that extreme, but we sure all laughed about it!

As I had stated in my opening to this story, I was to learn more about this race at a later time. The trip there was an entertaining event, many stories about “Buck Mountain”, and the “loop”.  Something about “Rocky” music too. At this point I wasn’t sure if I could offer to crew or not, but I kept quiet……There was also a lot of talk from the “Hammer man” Brian, and giving our brains a good soaking on nutrition, and methods to use to complete a race “puke free”. There were brochures, and articles passed around, and Brian, I think I can say that we all appreciated it immensely, we all took time to read each one……J We discussed strategy, and what will come for race day, I mostly listened and prayed for the best to happen.
I also enjoyed getting to know everyone a little better. We played musical chairs on the way down as we moved from seat to seat, each stop we made, and each turn at the wheel.

Once there of course, we checked in at the Kirkley, and got our rooms squared away. We then went to dinner at the “Texan” (I think that’s what it was called” As we ate, we had a chance to stretch out the legs from the endurance drive that we had. Continued conversations of the race to come. This is where it got a little crazy though. I am not sure exactly how we got on the conversation but we started to talk about techniques in….well… how do I put it, poop in the woods! I think that a few of us came up with some ways. The two huge mugs of beer I had leading up to this really hit me, so I will only speak for myself. I did a brief demonstration, on what happened to me during Glacial a year back, and think that I found myself on the floor, and then had the waitress say, (with a southern accent) I’ve been working  here for 15 years and never seen anyone do that before!! Well anyhow, I had to explain it!
So we laughed and talked some more, then decided that we had enough, and a long day caught up with us. Headed back, and hit the rack. Deciding to meet at 8:30am for a warm-up run.

I had a sleepless night. (Day 2 with three or less hours of sleep) I think everyone else slept good. Jeff had a dilemma though, he could not figure out what to wear. Something not too tight, and not to loose he said to me. And at one point, he mentioned something about the lift that a certain garment gave him, but I acted as if I didn’t hear him.  I promised Jeff I wouldn’t say anything… We met outside the rooms, walked to the front of the hotel, and tried to figure out what course to run. We elected to go down a road that eventually led to a dead end, and sign saying “Private property” as I recall. We looked for a trail to cross over the railroad tracks but found none, so we elected to take a road along side the tracks, which also eventually led to no-where. Yes, we were breaking the law, and thought about what might happen if we get caught, or if a train comes along as we carefully hobble down the tracks. We had to go for some time, as the sides were so steep, but eventually came to a point where we could get out and on to the road. We did eventually finish the run, and ran for about 40-45 minutes. Felt great when we were done, and I think that we all had that same opinion. Took it easy the rest of the day, and later went out to drive the town, and see what Lynchburg has to offer. Stopped in at…ummmmm…..what the heck was that running store called now…anyway, it was a darn nice store. Had a lot of nice stuff, and I think a few of us even bought a few items. I was looking for tighter fitting products but they had nothing in my color. We did have a huge dilemma, and Brian wanted to buy a new water bottle carrier, but the problem we had was what color! Well we helped out, and eventually settled on the pretty green color, not the pretty pink one!

We ended up grabbing a bite to eat afterwards, and just as we sat down to fatten up, Jeff had gotten a call from work, and had to take a time out. After we ate, and after a few of us stuffed down some tempting ice-cream, with whip cream on top……….Lets see who had this, well lets just say I was jealous, I had enough ice-cream packed in already, and did not need any additional weight for Race day. Looked damn good though. Well after much more discussion, and you will have to forgive me here as at this time my mind wanders a bit from soaking in the experience, so I can not re-call what exactly was talked about, but I do re-call pictures being passed around from a certain race, and one that seems to stick out in my mind, and darn it, “wipe the image from my face, wipe the image from my face” It is a picture of 2 peoples butts.(with cloths on, lets keep this clean) Brian, lets just say that if you had shaved your legs, I swear you would have been Angela’s sister. Anyhow, Jeff eventually came back to us after we thought that he had driven off and discovered Lynchburg without us. But he did not, and we were soon off discovering this amazing city, that has its unique twists and turns that Millie navigated us through so nicely!

We got back to the hotel, and had a short time prior to the pre-race dinner, prepared the race gear and opted to try and relax a bit. We eventually met outside the rooms, and proceeded downstairs to the conference room where the dinner and briefing were to take place.
This was quite the experience in itself. It was my first introduction to Horton, and the RD, Clark Zealand. This was a pre-race briefing, as I had never had before. I had the feeling that it’s probably a good idea not to get recognized for anything sort of thing. Like being pregnant, from another country, someone who cannot finish a race more than like 5 or 6 times, or too old. If you are an RD for any race, that can be stressful as well. Jeff withstood the pressure of answering a question from Horton about who the RD was that help create the Ice Age 50 mile/50K. You tend to stand out in the crowd after he gets finished with you. But it was really neat to see some very talented runners, and all of the awards that are set aside if you have the ability to achieve one. We concluded, and went back to the rooms for a sleepless night, anticipating the race to come. I think I might have had a nightmare, and woke Jeff a time or two yelling “Mountains!” ”Massochist!”

BEEP, BEEP BEEP!!! The alarm went of at a ridiculous time, like 2:30am….Got dressed double-checked the gear, and Jeff and I rolled out the room and met everyone there. So smiley, and alive. Our photographer/nutritionist Brian had the get the “pre-race” photo. So we were able to ask some fine folk out in the hallway undergoing the same thing, and snapped to picture. It sure looked good to. A group of friends undertaking a massive challenge, together. The thought came to my mind as it has at different moments in my life. When I am in the last days of this life, this is a memory, I will cherish…

Loaded up on bus #1, which was warm, promptly at 3:50. (It was a measly 24 degrees). Not soon after, (4am) the buses started the 45 minute drive to the start line. The drive had its moments that’s for sure. But I recall someone on the way down saying  “it’s the drive back that is the worst”. I would find that out some 13-14 hours later. We arrived at the starting area. 1st order of business was to get rid of some pre-race nerves, and the lines were not bad. Got back on the bus and it was basically hurry up and wait. Last minute checks, and talk to get rid of more nerves. I told everyone that I was so happy that they got me to this point. Deb was right there with her shoulder for support. Of course, we got a little chuckle out of it. For me, it was a mask for my fear that in just a few moments, I was to embark in one of the biggest challenges I have yet faced in an ultra-endurance event. Brian was kind enough to remind us about the importance of taking a gel in, and “topping off the tank” Not just any gel though….”HAMMER GEL!” Thanks Brian you Hammer guy you!

I had at this point started to reminisce I think and told everyone about back in the day when I was in the 82nd Airborne division on the pre-jump nerves that we had, and how this kind of felt like that. The jump master would go through his commands, and when he did you knew that in just a short amount of time your were going to launch yourself out of a perfectly good airplane, at night, no lights, at 130 or so knots with 200+ #’s of gear. (Did I mention this?) Anyway I know that I had thought about it because not too long after a guy came on the bus…”LET’S GO!)….AGHHHHH SHIT!

We all lined up the rear, well more mid-pack actually, and said our good luck’s, and so on. We realized that we had one person in our group was not present…”JULIE TREDER!!! WHERE IS JULIE TREDER!!!!” And all of a sudden we heard ”GO!”

A brisk pace to start out. I kept with Brian, and not too long, we found Julie. I really did not have a plan. If anything, it was to be flexible, and react to whatever the race might throw at me. So at this point, I just opted to stick with Brian, and Julie. As we motored along, I noted on my Garmin that we were cruising at about an 8:00 per mile…….Brian, accelerated, and I refrained from going with him as  a little voice inside my head told me that to go any faster would not be good. I was able to stay with Julie but I would soon even fade from her, as at about mile 4 she picked it up, and I made the decision to stay in my own dimension, and race my race. At this point, I looked around, and did not recognize anyone accept for those two, which by now were well ahead of me. I took in the initial scenery and came to grips that this rolling road section was really not that bad.

Got to the trailhead, and was actually thankful to be there, as the pace was pretty fast on the road. Up we went, and up, and up, and up. I suddenly had a very bad thought enter my mind. Was this the worst? How many more hill like this would there be? I noted people around me. Some were running up this hill, and some were walking. I opted to walk/run this one, and made a decision to do this on every hill that I encountered. Figured that if it is as bad as my team said it is, and if I am to make in the 12 hours, it’s best to have some kind of plan. I stuck with it until about mile 40 or so.

After settling into a rhythm, I really started to take in the scenery. I was not dis-appointed. Stunning landscapes, and as the sun rose higher, and higher, the mountains took on a bluish tone to them. The valleys below were filled with rivers, and roadways that seemed like something built for ants. I listened around me and heard a few state the same that it was incredible. This would go on for hours longer as I really enjoyed the views, and new “racing” on turf not ever experienced before.

As I went along, my thoughts drifted to my wife, and looked at my Garmin to note the time of day. As we are an hour ahead, I was thinking of the last words that my wife and I exchanged, as we do before just about every race that I do. She told me how much she loves me, and also says, “Run your butt off!” I also thought about what it takes for her to deal with the training, and time away… She is very special to me. I also thought about the “team”. How were each of them doing? I WONDER IF Brian was sticking with his nutrition plan. Was Julie also? Water and animal crackers? I was thinking who else was ahead of me. Jeff, Angela, and Deb. After we had started, I had not seen them in the runners ahead. Were they were behind me? If they were, the last thing that I wanted was to have them catch me, and look like a fool for going out too hard. And I think a little friendly competition, and strategy that developed as the race went on. So when I felt the pace drop too much, or walked for too long, I picked it up. If they were going to get me, I was not going down with out a fight.

My thoughts kept going in and out about staying on my nutrition plan, and for the first half of the race I surely did just that. In the back of my mind however, I had one nagging thing that started to bother more and more. It was not anything that I thought would ever amount to any kind of problem. As I neared the drop bag point, I was relieved, as at the time, I was sure that there would be a porta-potty somewhere. DARN IT! Where is it! I asked, first thing….”There isn’t one here” a guy told me. Bad news I said to my self. I shed any of the unnecessary, and re-fueled, and was off to the races. My focus then went to where is a good spot? Behind that rock? That tree? Darn it, I DONT EVEN HAVE ANYTHING ACCESSORIES! (TP). Well I just kept going anyhow, and put it out of my head. Besides, I had other concerns looming ahead, like pacing myself, staying ahead on the nutrition, etc.

Time went on, and I from time to time I would meet and greet people on the course. The aid stations that came and went were great. I mad a few observations that brought back to my mind my still nagging problem. A girl here and there, doing the business that us men have an easier time with, and they made no real attempt to conceal themselves, and of course guys too. But I soon came to the reality that I would have to one way or the other take care of it. Before too long I made the decision, and made peace.

Approx. 10 minutes later, I emerge from my hike deep enough in the woods, around a corner, and below a rock. Pop out on the trail, surprising a few runners at the time. I wondered how much this might have put me behind, but I had a “new” feeling, and felt like a new man….or …runner!

Who convinced me to do this blessed race? Why did I sign up? I wasted vacation for this? I thought about how I could keep my mind from wondering too much. I thought about the drive down, how I got to know Deb, Angela, and Jeff more, and how nice it was to gain more friends. That only lasted so long, and before I knew it I started to hear “Rocky” music, I knew that this was a key moment in the race, and listened to it the whole way up the mountain! Inspiring! As I neared the top the music climaxed, and visioned in my mind when Rocky was climbing the steps, very strange but it was this point that I was pulling into the aide station. This feeling was short lived however, and I began to have problems in my feet, mainly toes as I went down hill. My wife always says, “Suck it up” to get me through these things, and even though she is not here for this one, those words still set deep in my mind. I got through this next section, on guts, and rolled into the “loop” This as it turned out was to be in my opinion the toughest section. The climbs, and boulders were relentless, and on going. I felt pride in passing a few people regardless of how I felt, and though I felt like I was moving at a turtle’s pace, at least I wasn’t stopping to take a break at different points. My thoughts turned to the pain that was more and more present in my toes. It did not help in the fact that I kept banging them into rocks, as I was climbing, or even descending. I just kept the wheels turning. And before I knew it, I was back at the aide station. No time to waste as I was growing impatient with my splits, and wanted to stay ahead. They said I was 30 minutes up, and figured at this time that I had dropped 10 minutes since the start of the loop, so for the time, the pain was going to have to become my ally some how.

As it started to get cooler, and the sun got lower, I knew that I had to be nearing that last aide station soon. I still had issues trying to motor down hill. But soon, I was coming to the last aid station. I asked how I was doing, figuring that I had lost time, and to my surprise, I actually gained time! I think that they said 3 miles left…. 3 miles I said to myself, is that a true 3 miles, or a Horton 3 miles. My thoughts went back to the briefing that we were given the night before, references made about distances between aid stations, and that the race actually says 50 + miles. My Garmin shows that I had gone 46.? (Cant remember) I also remember that a few times I lost signal. A short time later, the battery ran out as well, so now I was unable to rely on any data to keep me up to speed as to how fast/slow I was going. I was not out of the woods yet. Simple math was telling me that If I was about 35-40 minutes up, it would be about 11:30 finish time. All it would take for failure at this point would be too have to walk it the rest of time, or make too many stops. Pain would have to remain my friend for a little while longer. To keep my mind off it, I thought about the rest of the team, and how they were doing. I was thinking of Deb and Angela, and hoped that they were doing great on time, and how bad they wanted to come back from last year, and being so close. Speaking of close, they had to have either finished by now, or are right behind me.

Going down hill again, I am moving as quickly as possible, and in doing so, I had a few people pass me with some really good speed. The normal head nod, and “lookin good” were the words exchanged, and then at this moment, one said something that really lifted my spirits. “Once you see the power lines, (and I saw them) you are almost there!” That gave me a little energy, and soon found the pain dissolve, and came out to a road. That’s it, I am on the last stretch, and someone walking, said around the corner, and you will see the store! YESSS!
I motored at a steady pace, and looked behind me to see if there was anyone close on my heels, there was no one. Soon, I heard noise, and the Store! At this time the pain went away, and then heard my name being yelled out “GOOOOO TIM!” My god, it’s my friends I said to myself. Yes, Brian, Julie, and Jeff. I picked up the pace, and sprinted the best I could, and had to put on the “look” of no pain. I received a congrats from Clark Zealand, and from Horton. I then proceeded to walk over to them and we all exchanged a brief few words as I made an observation that they had been finished for some time……Darn it!

Not too long after Angela came through, and we screamed a huge cheer for her you could tell by the look on her face that she was excited! Then Deb came through. She put her bottle between her teeth, and flexed the “Claw” with both hands (I have no way to describe otherwise) She came through, and also was elated at the finish. We made our way over to the finish, and each of us did our congratulations and hugs (gingerly). I know that at one point I had looked over at the bench press that was set up. Men had too do 135 lbs., and women 75 lbs. I think Brian asked if I was going to. There was no way. In fact, as far as I can recall, no one had the ambition. Although as we walked by, there was a gal that was pumping iron like there was no tomorrow. I think this was the same gal that passed me as if I was standing still.
We gathered ourselves together, and got on the next bus that was heading out. I now came full circle, with the reality that this was “The” dreaded bus ride back that I had heard so much about. We got to our seats, and Angela asked if I would be able to move, in the event that she got sick, and had to lie down. I had no problem with that, and said sure. So we got under way, and noted that not too many people were talking, pretty quite, and more coughing than anything else. I made a few more observations, and as the drive became ever more windy, and bouncy, more heads went down, including mine. I really did not pay any attention to the smell from all of the people that were on the bus, and then Angela asked to move into my seat. It was good timing as I soon felt sick as well, and went to the back of the bus to lie down. There were a few points where I really thought to myself is it possible that they really gave this guy a license to drive a bus? What’s his problem anyway? I suppose having a bus filled with tired, smelly runners at this time on a Saturday night wasn’t helping either. After what amounted to about an hour of this pain and misery, that almost, rivaled parts during the race, we arrived back at the hotel…..”HALEULUEYA!”

We exited the bus, and made a zombie walk to the hotel and back to the room. The first thing that I did was to call my wife, and I think Jeff did the same thing. I was so happy to hear her voice, it was like a new birth or something. Not sure what you call it, but was just happy to be back, and talking with her.

Jeff gave me first dibs on the shower.  Thanks Jeff! That was a good thing because I could not even stand myself. Now rather than go through details of the first post-race shower. Let’s just say that most would think that it would be a relief to get clean. No doubt, it is, but here lies a little more pain as though you did not get enough. I call it the runners chafe. You almost have to muffle your scream so as not to sound like a sissy. I don’t think Jeff heard me, or any one else in the hotel for that matter. I refuse to go any further with my shower, the rest is….rather a matter I will keep to myself.

We all elected to make our way back over to the “Texan” Yes, the same place that we ate the first night that we arrived here. Had all to do to walk over there. Everyone else looked good, I mean, after doing this race, and compared to what I FELT like anyhow. Sat down, and we soon ordered drinks, and food. I know we all ordered based upon how we felt, and to be honest, I really did not care my self at this point, so I had a few drinks.  Not the best post-race recovery fuel, but they sure tasted damn good. Brian stuck with water at this point but I believe everyone else had either beer, or other types of drinks. Food was plentiful and they came with basket upon basket of fresh warm buns. The food came and we scarfed it down. Well at least I did anyhow. I do believe that I was the first one done. I think we had talked a bit about the race, and I know that if anyone felt the best, I nominate Angela. She had said that she had little to no soreness. That’s just plain nuts… Brian talked about the guy that had to take care of business. So bad, in fact that he just stopped on the trail, and dropped his shorts…wow. And then there was the mysterious dribble…dribble….splash on the trail every so often. Could not figure that one out, and thought someone is just running with a leaky bottle. Well as it turns out, Brian and Julie caught up with like one or two guys that, even though they were not in any contention for a placing, they would not take the moment or two, to pull off and make the pit stop. THEY JUST KEPT GOING, AS THEY WERE GOING! Oh man, I never saw that coming. Well, before too long we got the bill, and proceeded to walk back to the hotel across the street, and decided that we would sleep in a little bit.

We awoke and got the last minute things packed. Proceeded down to check out, and loaded up in the Trailblazer. This is where the “Rocket Box” came to be so important. Rather than have 6-7 bags of down right stinky nasty clothes inside the vehicle with us, they got to sit outside. Better to let those that will drive behind us wonder what happened than us smell each other’s smells. Well we stuffed it full, and we thought, about when we get home, who the poor guy will be to have to open that thing up!

The trip back wasn’t too bad I guess. The same, only backwards right? Ya, OK legs cramping, hips contorting, trying to find that perfect position. Oh the misery. But we made the most of it. We already reminisced on the race, and detailed more about different sights and sounds as we each went through the journey. We stopped as much as we could to get out. And also for food Cracker Barrel, and Culvers. YES! Food, food, food. Food was a hot topic, and Jeff broke out a snack mix that his wife had made. Wow, that stuff was awesome! We tried to sleep. At a petrol station, Jeff, or someone brought some sour apples that were pretty old, and I think, the Funyans that were brought had the fat and calorie content of a whopper with cheese or something. Ahh, screw it, for a day in fact!

At some point, we had talked about the JM Funk Road 50K! And we talked about how that was going to go, and the people that had signed up for it. The picture of Jeff’s t-shirt came in the conversation too.

You know, at some point, we talked about running and Julie, or Brian said something, or I did about a Sasquatch encounter that I had one time. I explained the story to everyone, and even mad the noise “WHHHOOOOOOAAAAAAPPPP, WHHHOOOOOOAAAAAAPPPP!” Ya that’s the Sasquatch sound that Todd and I had heard that early Saturday morning last year.

I took over the helm, and at some point, we started to get close to Chicago, and the great time we were making went down hill quick from the construction. I think it delayed us by like an n hour or so, but we got north, and soon we had Wisconsin in our sights.

We entered Milwaukee, and we could not have been happier. Or sad? As we got close, it seemed a silence came upon us, and soon we were making that last few turns, and suddenly we were at the very spot, where it all started.

Unloaded the Trailblazer, and I reluctantly volunteered myself to unlock, and unload the “Rocket Box” I stepped up, and paused for a moment or two, and held my breath. I got it open, and swore I heard some kind of a suction noise, but it could have been my mind playing tricks with me. I think I can safely say that we were pretty tired, and just wanted to make the final leg home. We departed, and Brian and I set on our last leg, or at least my last leg to my place in West Bend. We had our final few talks in the short drive, and before I knew it, we were pulling into the driveway.

I walked in the door. HOME AT LAST! M y wife was there waiting for me, as well as my best, four-legged friend, Fwank.

Home at last…

It is amazing what one goes through, in their journey of “Life” Everyone has their up and down moments. I often think of how my journey is unfolding, and what is on the road ahead of me. What is around the next corner, what about the hill? Road Blocks? If you surround yourself with good people. Friends, family, co-workers, I am certain that anything is achievable. Years ago, I never would have imagined that I would be living the life that I have. I am blessed, and feel humbled. At times, I wish that everyone in the world could have this feeling. I also recognize that my mother, who has been gone now for almost 6 years, looks down on me, and looks out for me as well.
When the day comes along, and I am in my last days on earth, I will know that I will be able to think back to these moments in life, that I walked amongst giants.

Tim Luft 11:36:47,  Angela Barbera 11:40:09,  Brian Seegert 10:06:28,  Deb Vomhoff  11:41:52,   Jeff Mallach 10:41:40,  Julie Treder 10:06:28

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jeff's Funk Rd. 50 Review...

Old school - New school...

When Angela Barbera first floated the idea of organizing an ultra to celebrate my 50th birthday, I told her it was a nice sentiment, but unfortunately, the 17th fell on a Tuesday. She let it drop.

A week or so later, she conceded that a 50-miler on a weekday night probably wouldn't work, so it would have to be a 50K.  I thanked her again for her thoughtfulness and suggested that it wasn't was worthwhile making plans for a run that no one was likely to attend. 

The next week, she continued the conversation, "So if you were going to run a 50K on your birthday, where would it be?"

"I suppose the Monches segment of the Ice Age trail," I replied, "but, to be clear, no one would do it."

"I would," she said.  Silence.

On a run a few days later, Kevin Grabowski asked me what I was doing for my 50th birthday.  I told him Angela was working me over to run a 50K, but being a Tuesday night, I didn't want any of my friends to feel obligated to attend.  Kevin carefully considered my concern and then announced to the 10 or so people gathered in the Evergreen Shelter at Lapham Peak that the first annual Funk Road 50 would be happening the evening of Tuesday, November 17.

 The next day, there was a t-shirt design and an official invitation posted on the Lapham Peak Trail Runners blog.  The toothpaste was out of the tube.

Fast forward to Tuesday, November 17th.

The scene in the starting area of the FR 50 would have made any old-school ultrarunner smile. There, standing or jumping in place in the tiny parking lot off Funk Road, were 30 or so ultrarunners, headlights on, waiting for the signal to run.  There were no race numbers, no port-a-johns or starting line.  Just a bunch of people who shared a passion for trail running and were moved to do something completely odd -- to run 31 miles on a blustery Tuesday night in November.

After Kevin made a few comments about the course, we set out into the dark. The course would take us 25K north, past the Holy Hill Basilica and Shrine, then back on the same trail to the parking lot.

While the FR 50 had the spirit of a fat ass event, co-RDs Kevin Grabowsk and Angela Barbera are possessed with too much enthusiasm, creative energy and organizational talent to be satisfied with leaving a jug of water and a package of cookies on the side of the trail.  Every "preregistered" runner received a complimentary t-shirt and Kevin provided laminated course maps to those who were unfamiliar with the course.  For her part, Angela assembled a spectacular aid station, complete with homemade bakery and beer (more on that later). Robert Wehner, RD of three Wisconsin ultras, measured the trail and marked it with surveyor's paint and pink ribbons.  While forerunning the course, Robert even tagged downed trees with reflector tabs to alert runners of approaching obstacles!

The course would take us alongside a stretch of the Oconomowoc River, through the small artisan's community of Monches (named after an Indian Chief who lived and was buried nearby) and north into the Loew Lake conservation area.  After a 1.3 mile out-and-back segment to boost the distance to 50K, runners returned to the Ice Age trail, where they traversed a steep hill and passed through a field of evergreens to a one mile road connector.  At the end of the connect was a new segment of the Ice Age trail -- hilly, rocky and covered with leaves -- that bisected the grounds of the Holy Hill Basilica and took us to the turnaround at Shannon Road. 

Entering this section of the trail with Ron Bero and Parker Rios, Brian Seegert passed us running strong, presumably in an effort to create some separation from Julie Treder, who, if past experience was an indicator, would be catching up with him later in the race.

The Shannon Road aid station, set up and hosted by the amiable (and somewhat bemused) Steve Barbera, Angela's husband, resembled an oasis in the middle of the desert. Coleman lanterns lit up the darkness and a patio heater stood over the assembled runners like a light post, blasting warmth.  In front of Steve's truck were two tables covered with homemade baked goods, hot soup, candies, electrolyte drinks, gels and water.  And in front of it all, a cooler jammed with bottles of ice cold beer.

(Not surprisingly, many runners decided to end their run at the aid station.)

Many of the runners who ran the FR50 course for the first time were delighted by the diversity of the terrain and sublime beauty of the area. Those who enjoy dancing over rocks and roots got their fix in the first and last sections of the course -- and those looking for runnable terrain found several miles of flat and relatively soft ground near Loew Lake.  Most of the course is wooded, but there there are moments when the sky is exposed -- and often with a clear view of the Holy Hill shrine, which stands like a beacon, ablaze in white light and grandiose, its steeples piercing the sky.

As I thanked everyone who invested their time, money and talents to bring the Funk Road 50 to life, it was heartening (but not surprising) to get the same response from each of them.  "I really didn't do anything, it was (insert other person's name here)."  Maybe Deb Vomhof said it best, "It's just what we (as ultraunners) do."  What a great birthday gift!

The FR50 could also mark the beginning of a new birthday tradition.  There is already talk of organizing an ultra whenever a member of the Lapham Peak Trail Runners turns 50.  Next up:  Angela Barbera in September 2010.

Lammers, Birkholz, Dehart, Egnarski and Cantrall sporting their Funk Rd. wear...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Long Road Back...

Leading the women’s field by more than 30 minutes a third of the way through the Kettle 100 in June,  LPTRunner Christine Crawford complained of constant pain in her hip and kept contemplating dropping out at “the next aid-station”.  This went on for several aid-stations as she would fall back, pick it up and then pass me again, only to slow due to the pain.   Those who know her and her iron resolve will be sympathetic with me when I say I thought she might just be sand-bagging and about to really take off.   

Eventually, to everyone’s surprise, she did actually drop.   True to her competitive nature, she second-guessed herself somewhat, wondering if she could have gutted it out.   The early diagnosis was a strained muscle and she tried to be diligent with her rest and recovery.  This didn’t last long as the continued pain was intense, interrupting her sleep and making her unable to function. 

In a second visit to the doctor, further tests and an x-ray revealed an almost complete Femoral neck fracture  (This is technical jargon for a broken hip).  Fractures of this nature are very serious as they are often accompanied by internal bleeding that can be fatal.  I shudder to think what would have happened if the fracture completed itself out in the middle of the meadows.  (At least they would have named the section after her for next year…!)

A non-surgical solution was desired to ensure that Christine to could eventually return to her competitive form.  This led to months of complications including slow healing, dangerous blood clots and more slow healing.   The constant specter of emergency surgery was held over her head as she tried to be extremely careful so as not to fall and worsen the condition.  During the recovery process she did end up falling and damaging her shoulder to complicate things further.

Not running and being isolated from her running friends and routine was understandably depressing.  Christine tried to stay in the mix by coming out for several Wednesday night post-run socials and keeping up with emails, but it was extremely hard to stay positive.

Finally she has turned the corner and been given the go-ahead to start running again (SLOWLY!!!).  However, Christine has only one speed – INTENSE – so hopefully she will be able to resist the temptation to hit the trails too hard right away as we all look forward to her complete recovery.  

She will be running half (25k) of the Funk Rd. 50, a trail celebration for Jeff Mallach’s birthday.  Her company has been sorely missed and it will be incredible to see her back on the trails again.  Welcome back Christine!!!

2009 Mountain Masochist 50 Mile

For nearly a decade, Julie Treder has been making the trek out east to compete in the Mountain Masochist Trail 50 Miler.  The event has turned into an annual LPTR road-trip and this year was no exception with 6 runners tagging along with her as she made her 9th consecutive attempt.  

Part of the "Beast Series" that includes the Grindstone 100 and Hellgate 100k, this race features lots of climbs.  One section in the middle of the race ascends steadily for 6 miles.  An old pick-up truck blaring the theme to Rocky awaits at the top, however, the switch-backs constantly tease you as the music alternates between getting closer and farther and closer again as you work your way back and forth up the face.

The MMTR was formerly directed by David Horton - famous for dreaming up tough routes that include extra bonus milage (Horton Miles!).  This "50" miler is widely regarded to cover almost 54!

Julie Treder used her experience to lead the LPTR crowd along Brian Seegert as they finished together in 10:06.  Jeff Mallach's  last race in the 40-49 age division was a success as he recorded a MMTR PR crossing in 10:41(photo above).  Tim Luft from the Northern group ran an 11:36, while Angela Barbera and Deb Vomhof cruised to a 11:40 and 11:41 respectively.

Great Job All!  Next year Julie goes for her 10 year Award -  Register early as this one fills up quickly! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ozark Trail 100 Mile Endurance Run - Brad Birkholz's Race Report

It was hot. Mid 70's doesn't sound all that hot, but for November when we're not used to those temps, it felt hot. As much as I hate saying it, heat seems to be an issue for me.

The day started with a 2 hour bus ride to the start at 3:30 in the morning. The start went well. All runable, some rocky stuff but no big deal. The aid stations we're kinda for apart. 6-9 miles. 2 bottles was not enough between stations and ran out of water more than once.

The trail was nice. Single track all the way with some long climbs and a lot of obstacles from fallen trees from a bad storm earlier in the year. Even had some stream crossings.

The fist 40 went well. Found out that I was in the top 20. But when the wheels fall off they fall off and roll into the next town.

Covered in salt and seriously dehydrated I limped into the 44 mile aid station and took a chair. Sat there for about an hour watching all these people coming though and could have cared less. Even had a few try to get me to come with them. It just wasn't happening.

You guys are very familiar with the bus drive after Masochist, well that was exactly how the ride back to the resort was. Not far into the drive we had to pull over. Thankfully I was able to get out of this guys brand new truck to unleash the waterfall of fluids that came from my stomach. Fun stuff.

So come Sunday, after another sleepless night, I decided to pack up and head for home. There are all kinds of woulda, shoulda, coulda's, but every race seems to be a learning experience. Hopefully I'll get it right one of these days.

Well there's always the JM 50K to redeem myself with... Brad.

Note: This was Brad's 18th race of the year, 11 of which were Ultras. His schedule for the rest of the year still includes the Funk Rd. 50K and Hellgate 100K.

Beth Simpson Hall posted a 30:31 to finish as the 5th female.  This was her 5th 100 miler of the year! Awesome!

Official Results will be posted at: http://www.stlouisultrarunnersgroup.net/results.html

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chicago Lakefront 50/50

The Chicago Lakefront 50/50 is an urban ultra-marathon that weaves along the Lake Michigan shoreline on an asphalt and concrete multi-use path. The course is flat and the course is FAST! (The current U.S. 50 mile record was set here).

Both the 50k and 50mile are held on out and back sections of just over 5 miles each way. LPTRunner Jim Ricker entered this years 50k and blasted to a 3:43 finish! He placed 4th overall in the field of 213 starters and won his age-group in the process.

Awesome run Ricker!!

Full Results at: http://www.chicagoultra.org/results/data/Chicago%20Lakefront%2050-50%20Results%202009-50k.htm

Monday, October 26, 2009

2009 North Face Challenge -Tony Cantrall's Race Recap

Well, its official! I completed my first Ultra!! Most of it went really well, other than taking a wrong turn and adding about 3mi before getting back on track - seems to be a common theme in this group.

Got to run with some really cool people - one of them joined me in my wrong turn early on. Also got to run with the first place female for about 5mi - until the 2nd to last aid station at mi 22, where I started to hit the wall a bit and she changed her shoes and took off like she had wings!! Finally caught a 2nd wind around mile 27and finished the last 4mi running pretty strong.

Course was in pretty good shape considering all the rain we got in the last few days. A few muddy squishy sections, and lots of horse-apples to try and avoid on the horse trail sections. Starting to feel better finally after an ice bath and a couple of beers (not at the same time!). Thanks to all the great training partners that I've gotten to run with over the last few months at Lapham - you guys really inspired me to complete this!! - Tony

Official Results at: http://www.sportstats.ca/find-an-athlete-find-a-race-search.php?lang=eng&first=&last=&city=&month=&year=&race=North%20Face%20Endurance

There were 200 runners competing in in the 50K and Tony finished 41st in a time of 5:16:39. Additional LPTR runners included Justin Kolster who finished his first ultra in 5:36:58 for 70th place and Chris Derosier, 5:42:44 - 82nd place.

In the 50Mile, Joel Lammers spent equal time on the trail and in the Porta-John over the first 35 miles before heading home to abuse his own facilities for the remainder of the weekend. Rough time to get the flu...

The Funk Road Fifty

WHAT???? To celebrate Jeff Mallach's 50th, Angela Barbera and I have organized a little run- All are welcome to join Jeff in running a 50K - The Funk Road 50 - A Half-century of ups and downs experienced in 50 kilometers...

When - November 17 - Tuesday night at 6:03 pm (that's the exact time jeff was birthed!)

Where - On the Ice Age Trail starting at Funk Road (directions will be sent out)

Complementary T-Shirts will be provided to all participants, please send me a message if you are planning on running and what size T-shirt you prefer.
The 50K is an out and back. Crew will be available around the halfway point to replenish your supplies and to take runners back to their car that cannot commit to running the full 50K.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Matt Patten Joins the 1/4Mile High Club...

Normally I wouldn’t post a report for a training run – but this was a bonus Wednesday night run as Matt Patten from the twin cities joined us for his inaugural black loop at the Peak.

I have seen Matt at nearly every race I was at this year including, Zumbro, Ice-Age, Kettle, Voyageur, and Superior. He is also the co-race director of the Chippewa Moraine.

We took him out on the Black Loop – a hilly 7mile trail that has been widened to accommodate cross-country skiers in the winter. It is not technical running, but the hills are significant and scenery is beautiful. One small detour onto the Ice-Age trail was taken so that we could show off the view from the observation tower, the highest point in Waukesha County at 1,233 feet (Hence the ¼Mile Club).

We only ran for an hour, but half of the fun on the Wednesday night runs occurs after the running stops… This was enhanced by the addition of a case of home-brew that Matt brought along for the occasion. The dark sweet stout seemed to be a favorite as we proceeded to fleece Matt of nearly all the beer he brought!

Lots of laughs and a little trash-talk made for a fun evening – Great guy - We hope to have him back when he rolls back through town again. You can keep up with Matt at his blog here: http://blogoftraining.blogspot.com/

Consider this an open invitation to any trail-runners out there to join us for a run any Wednesday night you are in the area. 5pm at the Evergreen Shelter is the time and place (often there are several people that come out early for bonus mileage before the 5pm run). Plan to stick around for a couple of hours afterwards if you are thirsty!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wild Duluth100K - Brad's Race Report

What Brad doesn't mention in his report is that he ran the Glacial 50 mile the previous weekend as well as tearing up the Black-Loop at Lapham with a 52 minute loop on the wednesday before Wild Duluth... animal.

...Once upon a time 16 hearty souls started 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning for the 1st annual Wild Duluth 100 K. The weather was cool but not really cold. Comfortable while running. I figured that because the race was so small it was going to be full day of alone time. I figured wrong. From the start there was a group of 5 that stuck together though the first 8 miles or so. Long enough for Julie to get their life history. But because we are so bad with names we referred to them as sweatshirt guy, Florida guy and North Dakota guy, then myself and Julie. (Of coarse we didn’t call them that to their faces).

For whatever reason I had to be the one to lead this pack through the woods. Maybe it was because when Florida guys finally got off my heels and sped up he would be coming back up the trail with his hands in the air wondering where the trail was. Or maybe it was because after one of the aid stations we left before North Dakota guy, only to find him ahead of us looking for the right trail. Sorry saps must have thought I knew what I was doing. Whatever the reason it was nice to have the company.

The race started right in town. We actually ran through city streets to catch the Superior Hiking Trail. It was crazy because we would be running on some technical single track and come out into a neighborhood, run down the street and get back on the trail again. It was like this for the first 4-5 miles until after a lot of climbing we came out to a clearing to have an unbelievable view of the city, lit up like gigantic christmas tree.

Sweatshirt guy was oozing newbie. Running with his hooded sweatshirt, white cotton socks, long basketball shorts and running in the dark without a light, he was the first to drop off. We saw him later in the race running and talking on his cell phone. Maybe a call to his buddy to bring him a flash light for later use.

Somewhere before the 20 mile aid station Julie decided to scare the crap out of me by falling down hard in front of me and nearly

rearranging her face on a huge rock. She pretended to be doing some push-ups, laughed and got up. After scolding her to not do that again we were on our way. Of course stepping aside so I could get in front.

The sections from the 20 mile aid station to the turnaround were beautiful. Very runable and fast trail. Because of this I decided to try and pick up the pace. Was feeling good so why not. This meant it was my turn to go down hard. Only it wasn’t my face about to get rearranged, it was my right shoulder that came, lets say unattached. Again! Me and my right shoulder have a history of becoming dislocated. I’ll spare the details of the site and sounds. Well because my arm was stuck in an outward and up position, Florida guy, who was still on my heels, thought my arm was up asking to be helped up and decided to reach for it. After a quick NO, NO, NO, DON’T TOUCH MY ARM! I was able to get up and put it back into place. So after my surge and sudden stop the four of use were together again. Florida guy, North Dakota guy, me and Julie.

The aid station at 26 miles is where Florida guy decided to call it a day. Claiming some knee pains. Then there was 3. Julie, myself and North Dakota guy. This section to the turnaround was still very runable and we had a good pace going.

Halfway point and we were still feeling good. Aside from the fact that I couldn’t get my pack off because I couldn’t move my arm. Some help from the friendly volunteers, we were fueled up and on our way. Shortly after the turnaround North Dakota guy said that he was going to slow down and try to catch up on his electrolytes. Then there was 2.

The way back went well. Kept fueled up, ate at every aid station. Even Julie who usually goes 100 miles on a pretzel and a bottle of water. Coming back into the rocky sections became a bit uncomfortable when we literally had to climb up some rocks.

The mile 45 aid station is where we picked up our lights for those final miles. We still had some daylight left so we kept moving to get as close as possible without lights. Coming out of the woods and into some neighborhoods again meant we were getting close. I’m not much of a big city guy but when I saw the city lights of Duluth it was a beautiful sight. Just a couple of odd things on those last couple of sections. All the deer we saw was at night, closer to town and not out away from town. A bunch of them even scattered when we came out to a clearing over looking the city. Must have been a deer inspiration point. Watching the submarine races you know. Then there was that kid wearing camo and carrying a bow and arrow in the dark with no light. Okay whatever.

The celebrating started when we finally came out of the woods and onto the city streets back to the park and the finish line. A look back to make sure know one was coming from behind and we were there. 100K in 14hrs 45mins in 4th and 5th place. With Julie taking top spot for the women.

Andy and Kim Holak were great hosts along with the volunteers. Yet another one to add to the must do list. Damn that list is getting long. O’well, do it while you can, I say.

Just keep moving.


P.S. There was also a 50K going on, but I don’t know what went on with that one. Other than Wynn Davis winning in a sick time of 4:11.

Results at: http://wildduluthraces.wordpress.com/results/

photos by Zach Pierce of course!!