Sunday, April 25, 2010

20K at Lapham Peak - Bear Trax 2010

Race Report by Marcel Uttech:  

“70% chance of rain all day…boy this is going to make for a nice wet race!”

Actually, the rain held off long enough for practically everyone to finish. The conditions were ideal- muddy trails and great people running on them. This was my first time running this race, and I have to admit that afterwards I understood why Julie Treder was there, albeit sore legs and a bit fatigued yet from Boston. The race was very well put together, easily marked, and nicely handled. I met some great new people out there, as there were all kinds that showed up for the 20k. I guess it was short enough to be tempting, and long enough to make you think about pacing, especially if you happen to be new to Lapham Peak’s hills.

There were some good sized puddles, and although I didn’t see anyone go down I sure saw a lot of people sliding around here and there, myself included. It ended up just misting all day, treating all us runners like fresh produce at the local grocery store. I watched as Steve Poulter completed his first trail race, and believe we may have hooked another runner to the trails of Wisconsin (he informed me that they don’t have trails like that in Georgia). There were 3 aid stations, all well manned by enthusiastic adults and children alike, who didn’t mind standing in the rain offering words of encouragement and cups of Gatorade! Well done.

I believe there were 3 of us LPTRS who ran it today- Julie Treder, Ron Bero and myself.  I know that the most of you are saving yourselves for Ice Age- however, if you ever get a chance to run this one, take advantage. Not only is it for an awesome cause, it’s sure nice running on the home trails…special shout out to that guy in the bear costume, I still can’t believe he whooped up on practically everyone there and ran the whole thing in that costume- my mind is blown.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Navarino Trail Marathon Recap

Chris Derosier's Race Report...

This past Saturday I ran in the inaugural Navarino Trail Marathon, located just a few miles south of Shawano, WI.  This was the first year that they held a full & half marathon.  They also had a 6k and a short race for kids, pretty much a distance for everyone.  The marathon course consisted of two 13.1 mile loops, mostly on wide grass, dirt and sandy trails.  This was the first time I had ever run there so the course was a big unknown.  The race director sent me an elevation map a few weeks ago, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it must've been off a little (more on that later). 

The race started at 8am with temps in the 30s and a hellacious wind whipping over the open areas.  The course was marked very well with little red flags directing the marathoners (always follow the red to the right was my mantra).  Aid stations were well stocked with Hammer Nutrition products and the volunteers were just fantastic.  Not once did I have to go off course, they met each runner on the trail with whatever they needed.  This was a "green" race, which meant each runner had to carry to carry their own bottle for fluids.  I have to admit it was a little weird not seeing any little cups at any of the aid stations but it worked out very well.

The entire course was runnable, as evident in the winning times.  Danny Dehlin, 29, finished in 2:53, a blazing 6:38 pace.  Erica Lensink, 23, was the first female finisher in 3:37.  During the first loop I remember thinking, "This course is just way too flat, where all of the hills?"  Um yeah, by the second loop those "flat" hills really popped out of nowhere.  My goal was to finish in under 4 hours and I just made it, hitting the line in 3:57:44.  All in all I was extremely happy with the time.  The top 3 in each group received..... wait for it, CHEESE!  And wouldn't you know it, i was lucky enough that there were only 6 dudes in my age group and i squeaked by in 3rd.   So later that night I got to celebrate with family over a block of good 'ole Wisconsin colby cheese. 

The finisher's medal was unique (engraved wood medallion) and the t-shirt really soft, they definitely fit in with the "green" theme.  After the race they served up elk and bison burgers for everyone, which went well with the IPA beer i smuggled into the nature center.  The volunteers, course, swag and food were all excellent, I'd definitely sign up again!

Results link:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ultra History...Bunion Derby

Hey all - I wanted to share this link forwarded from David Ruttum's sister, Laura - Great blog entry about some ultra-history - The Bunion Derby - Great read!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Once, twice, two times the Chubb. Double Chubb 50k - 2010

Race Report from Kevin Grabowski…

West Tyson County Park outside of St. Louis Missouri is where the Chubb trail is found.  One out and back is 25k and two times the Chubb makes for a Double Chubb.

The double theme is also reflected in the dual personalities of the terrain covered as the trail features long ascents and descents on Superior-Sawtooth-like rocky technical followed by stretches of flat and fast hard-packed dirt. 

The LPTR road crew consisted of Double Chubb veterans Joel Lammers and Christine Crawford along with myself as a tag-a-long.  Both have been past champions and Joel has done every running of the race in its 12-year history.

Christine was the defending champ and course record holder.  She claimed the women’s overall again this year, clocking a 4:39 in another solid performance as she patiently builds back up after last year’s broken hip at Kettle 100.  

Joel and I ran much of the first 27+ miles together, but he was able to push it on the hilly and technical section after the last aid-station.  He quickly put a nearly three-minute gap on me (and he doesn’t do stair-repeats?!?).  Joel’s finish time of 4:04:30 was good for 4th overall and I followed up in 5th with a 4:07:15. 

As great a race as this is, the post race measures up as well!  The grill was fired-up with burgers & brats.  Joel found a cooler stocked with that fancy Bud-light and showed why the race could be renamed “Double Chug”.

Thanks Joel and Christine for letting me tag along on this one – Well run race, great trail, and good company! 

Christine's "diary" of the trip events follows here for those who need to know...

The boys talked about running, the Double Chubb course and sports.  Christine drank RockStar, tried to find my happy place because I could care less about basketball and sang the Milkshake song, Jam on it and meowed the 1st and 2nd verses of You Shook Me all night long.  Then Kevin joined me in a few verses of White Lines.

Met up with my good friend and accomplished runner Ellen Erhardt for dinner where Joel sampled all the BBQ sauces on his finger, Kevin ate more than he should have and Christine and Ellen laughed hysterically at very childish, naughty things.  Kevin and Joel then ate some more.

Ellen and I caught up on life and indulged in lame shows such as Americas Next Top Model as we giggled some more doing our best Tyra impressions.  The boys did the same thing in their room.

I felt great although still managing some pain.  Joel and Kevin felt and looked great.  Ellen looked super cute and was ready to enjoy the day as she just ran a 50 miler the previous weekend.  There were some really, really fast boys out there.  Joel lead Kevin most of the way.  I ran a comfortable pace and never felt tired.  I just stayed nice and relaxed and loved eating gels, swinging my water bottle around and being picked up by one of the lead guys when I fell. sweet!  Must have been the flowers in my hair.  Kevin and Joel looked as if they were pushing each other a bit in the final leg.  Joel came out on top in 4:05, Kevin close behind in 4:07 and I finished in 4:39.  I forget Ellen's time but she was just out for an easy jog/walk.

We took showers.  I'm not sure what Joel wanted with the loofah as he entered the men's showers with Kevin.  None of my business I guess.  After we cleaned up, we drank some beers, had lots of grilled meat and enjoyed the company of the RD's David and Victoria White as well as the company of all the other runners.

I've never seen such a disgusted look on Joel and Kevin's face as when I farted in the backseat and OWNED it.  Payback boys.

Official results will be posted as available on the race web-site here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bottoms up - WAY UP!! Brad's Zumbro Report

So all it took was for Lynn and Daryl Saari (of the Minnesota Saaris) to offer me their place to stay at if I come out for Zumbro. They were doing it anyway. How could I pass that up? So I signed up for my first 100 of the year. Even though I was the only one from Wisconsin there I still knew half the field, so I figured at least it would be a fun weekend of running with a great group of runners. Little did I know how the race would turn out.

The race started out on the cool side, but the sun was out and I knew it was going to warm up nicely. Started out the first loop with Matt Patten and Zach Pierce. Listened to Matt talk smack about hanging onto Dehart at Ice Age next month. So watch out Dave. Knowing that it was going to be a long day, they decided to hold back. I decided to keep my pace and go with it. With any Ultra I don’t worry about what other people are doing, I just do my own thing. Until I found out where I was in the race on the last loop. But I’ll get to that later. Finishing the first loop of five, was feeling good. Maybe a little fast at just under 4 hours, but felt I had a steady pace going.

From the start of lap 2 until the end of the race I was pretty much on my own. This course had a bit of everything. Technical downhill, tough climbs, single track, even a bit of a gravel road section.  Was still moving at a good pace into the 2nd loop. Still running all the runable sections and power walking the hills. Was done with 40 miles feeling solid. Grabbed some food and a light (it was going to be dark at the end of the 3rd loop), and was out for lap 3.

Headed out for lap 3 with the same, “just go with it” mentality. Felt like I was starting to slow down a bit but nothing to worry me too much. Must have been doing fine because I had passed a guy during the loop.  Somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd aid station it got dark. Went as far as I could before I brought out my light. Was heading down a tricky downhill and figured it would be a good idea to see the rocks to avoid. Came in from lap 3 slower but still feeling descent. Grabbed my headlamp this time and was out for the 4th loop.

Number 4 got a little interesting. The stomach was starting to get unstable so I didn’t try to eat at aid stations, just stuck to gel and Cliff blocks. Got a bit sleepy a few times and had to shake off some heavy eyelids. Was still able to keep moving. Got sick somewhere in the middle of the loop. Thankfully it wasn’t much, just some water that went down the wrong way. Finished loop 4 much slower but still feeling confident of a good finish.

Out for the 5th and final loop. Happy to be out for the last loop I wanted to keep steady and maybe push it a bit to get it done. Surprisingly the legs were doing well and the mind seemed to be working with the legs. But the stomach was borderline. Got sick again. Just a little bit, nothing to worry about. Just keep moving. Got some energy back when it started to get into daylight again. 

Pulled into AS 2 (this is where the just finish attitude changed). The volunteer said to me as I pulled in, hey your in 3rd place, I said WHAT! No way. He said yeah and the 2nd place guy isn’t that far ahead of you. As soon as I heard that I shot out of there like my ass was on fire. Said thank you to the volunteers and was gone. First thing that came to mind was first of all you have a chance to get 2nd place in a 100 mile race, second was how the hell are you moving this fast after 90 miles on you feet. WHO CARES, STOP TALKING TO YOURSELF AND GET MOVING! Not 10 minutes later there he was with his pacer fixing his pack. A few words of encouragement and I flew past him like he was standing still. (That’s because he was standing still). Next thing that popped into my mind was, HOLY SH*T YOU’RE IN SECOND PLACE KEEP MOVING YOU S.O.B HE COULD STILL BE COMING!

So the last 9 miles or so was a running scared thing. As soon as I felt like I was slowing down I pushed harder. Pulled into AS 3 and put a little water in my pack because I knew that when I hit the last AS that I was going right through it, not even stopping. Came into AS 4 and slowed down just enough for them to get my number and was totally bent on nobody catching me. Only 3 miles to go! Came out of the woods and sprinted across the field to cross the line in 24 hrs 33 mins. Was so blown away at what just happened that it was impossible to stop. Was pacing back and forth like a crack head looking for a fix. Walked around the campground for what seemed like 15 mins until I could settle down. A volunteer chased me down to get the tag off my number. I WAS DONE AND FINISHED IN FRICKEN SECOND PLACE!

Matt Patten was unable to finish because of stomach issues. So we hung out with the others that were there and watched the rest of the finishers the rest of the day. Tried to get a nap, got some food and enjoyed a beautiful day. No better way to spend a weekend.

Big thanks to Larry Pederson for another great race. Lynn and Daryl Saari for letting me crash at their place. Lets do it again next year !!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chippewa 50k 2010 - Marcel Uttech's Race Report

April 10th, 2010-what a great day to become an ultra runner! I had the privilege of running with some of the best people I have ever met. The weather was great, the trails were perfect, and the race thoroughly threw me a beating...I never realized my legs could hurt that bad! I have never had that much pleasure causing myself that much pain. 

I began the race full of energy and enthusiasm. Chatting with people, taking it slow, walking the many hills. After 7 miles or so I decided to pick it up a little, and it wasn't long before I was running by myself for a long time. I guess many people were. It was quite spread out with the 60 something people involved. The aid stations were spaced pretty evenly, withthere being an unmanned station followed by a manned one. Jill and Connie Egnarski were crewing for Todd and I, and that was awesome! It was sure nice to havesomeone helping to have water bottles filled and ready to go and offering words of encouragement!

At about 1.5 miles before the halfway point, I saw the leader come flying by, and then three more, and then lo and behold, the familiar face of Todd Egnarski barreling down a hill and in pursuit! "Looking good! Let’s get it done!" And he was gone. Not too much longer and I saw Jeff Mallach, who was also running strong. As for myself, I felt great up to then and for a while afterwards... After mile 24 I was really dragging, and my legs were really cramping up bad.  At this point one tends to think about their future as far as races go, and I'm pretty sure I was asking myself how does one do this for 50 miles? Or 100 miles? Talk about some serious newfound respect!  Wow.

About this time Angela and Paul came running up, and asked how I was doing and I truthfully told them I was 'hurting'. That’s when Paul dropped it on me," Yep, that's when you just got to push through it, and keep on going. Got to get it done. It comes and goes..." and off they went. And after them I followed. And I tell ya, that’s about exactly what I needed to hear at that time. Because I found that as I ran (or painfully trotted rather) the cramps would disperse, and yes return, but then disperse again. Either way, I was moving FORWARD and that was a good thing!

I followed them until up to about 2.5 miles from the finish, then the cramps slowed me down again and I had to drop back a bit. I remember thinking about the last long run I did, and how my legs gave out at 18 miles...I laughed silently to myself, for that was quite a ways back there now!

The hill at the finish seemed enormous, with the people on top like little ants! I slowly made the march up the hill, with everyone yelling at me to run it- however I was just trying to not convulse into one big cramp and fall down and end up doing the 'crappie flop' all the way down the hill only to end up having to try it again.

The sense of accomplishment is still with me today, and I am so thankful to have such a great group to run with and to talk me into doing such crazy events. I have never felt so alive.   I later learned of Todd flying up the hill so fast the race director told him he should go down and do it again because he made it look too easy...also Deb ran the last 30 feet of it or so as well, clawing the air with one hand in true savage-like fashion...

Todd took 4th place, 2nd masters. The rest of us LPTRs there had a great time and a good race. I couldn't have asked for a better first time ultra...or better company to run it with. There was much laughter and stories floating through the air at the Chippewa 50k, and now I understand why.

Beat Matt Long and get a shirt?!?!

Marcel, Jeff, Deb, Todd and Angela!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Confirmed: Craig is a Wiener!

I got to run the final leg of the Milwaukee Brewers opening day Sausage Relay. There’s nothing quite as cool as having a police escort (see attached pic)!

… chicks dig the Brat!

The Italian Sausage got wacked by the motorcycle cop… ouch! I was in a van following behind and saw it happen. We thought he was down for the count but he’s an ultra guy (who wants to remain nameless for obvious reasons). He regained his composure and finished his leg of the relay.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cobie's Good Friday Adventure...

Christine wanted to know how my Good Friday adventure turned out.  I had intended to run/hike the Kettle 100 route for as long as I could manage, but had no idea how long that might be.  However, I ended up going with a friend, who doesn't run, and we went in one car.  I knew I'd have to drive back to Milwaukee, and a return to keep going through the night was doubtful.  A gamble was in order so that it would still be an adventure.

I decided to travel the 26 miles to Rice Lake and back in KSO's for better, or for worse.

It was for worse, but not nearly as bad as it could have been.  I bashed my left little toe against a rock that was covered by leaves pretty good 45 minutes into the hike.  However, I kept going.  Did half a dozen stair repeats on the hill overlooking Rice Lake, after bashing it once more.  Note (in above photo) that I have a sandwich in one hand, and an extra on the ready in the other hand.  I don't have any idea why... except that it never occurred to me to put them down to do the stair repeats.

At Rice Lake I took off my shoe, splashed in the cold water to reduce the swelling a little, and then took a picture. Nice, eh?  My little toe is usually not that fat. 

On the return my friend ran out of water.  No problem, I brought 5 liters, and I'm in okay shape to deal with a little dehydration.  However, the liter I had stashed just before HWY 12 had been found and nearly emptied by someone.  Oops!  So I went almost completely without fluids for the rest of the hike.  We did have my 5th liter stashed on the north side of La Grange lake, and fortunately that one was untouched, else we might have had to shorten our endeavor.

But it was a beautiful hike, even though I've hiked it before, or maybe because of that?  I have this thing for moss, lichen, fungi, and toadstools, so I visited all the usual suspects to see how they were doing.  Weird, I know.  I have some pictures of my favorite in the area on my facebook page, friend me if you want to see?

Of course on the return I bashed my toe one more time.  What I want to know is: why always the &*$%# left toe???  Why couldn't the pain be spread a little more evenly?  I loved the feel of the ground, and the increased control, but not the danger lurking under the leaves.  If only they made KSO's with a shield to protect my left toe!

We did the hike in 10 hours, my friend was in a lot of pain, very dehydrated, but made it the entire distance, and I was very proud.  My legs were fine, my feet were sore (previous longest in KSO's was a 2.5 hour half marathon), and my left pinky toe hurt like a mother.  But it wasn't so bad, not really.  So I went to the lakefront and ran a slow 8 miles with my wife.  Then I called it a day.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mr. Lyon?!

From: "Kevin Grabowski"
To: "Matthew Patten"
Sent: Thursday, April 1, 2010 2:44:44 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: Phone Call?

Hey - This guy called me trying to get in touch with you?  Not sure how he
connected us? - Sounded pretty urgent?

Mr. Lyon - 414-256-5466
Let me know what it is about...(probably not any of my business...just

On 4/1/10 2:57 PM, "Matthew Patten"  wrote:
Are you serious?

On Apr 1, 2010, at 2:58 PM, Kevin Grabowski wrote:
Why would he call me to talk to you?  

Matt then called the number to ask for Mr. Lyon... It was the number of the Milwaukee County Zoo...

On Apr 1, 2010, at 3:04 PM, "Matthew Patten wrote:
You better have someone guard your drop bags at Kettle.

Ahhhhhh.... simple pleasures for simple minds... happy April Fools Day to all the Ultra-Fools out there....