Tuesday, September 23, 2008

City of Lakes Trail-Loppet Half Marathon

This past weekend was race #10 of the MN Trail Running Series. It was fun to have another race, and to see some of the usual cast of characters: Kel, Jim, John, Kate, Brook, Steve, and Lisa. Congrats to those who ran fast enough to bring home some hardware!



It was a great day for a run. Nothing too out of the ordinary (well, maybe a few things were): ran too fast at the beginning; started thinking I better slow down and settle in; started thinking I should've done the 5k; had Steve join me (Thanks, Steve) to make sure I wouldn't slow down and settle in; Steve left me, I got stung by 2 bees, Steve came back and hadn't been stung (what's up with that, Steve?); died at about 7.5 miles and was slow-mode the rest of the way --yippee, #10 is in the books.

Or not. Checked the online results last night and my name wasn't listed. huh?? Uh-oh. No official results, no series sweep prize?!? (Unless Kate remembers hearing the race announcer call out my name when I finished? And/or accepts my gps track as proof I really did it? Or...??) Anyway, sent a couple emails and rumor has it my name will be added. My question about that is: is the guy just going to add me because I said I did it, or will he go back and find whatever was missed the first time? If he's just going to add me, maybe I should've given him a better time? :) just kidding.

A couple other good things about the weekend:
- bought a 'Duluth pack' style bag from a guy who just happened to live about 3 miles from the race site. The hope is that on future camping trips I will no longer be the guy making 5 trips back and forth from the vehicle to carry 18 different things individually. I'll be trying it out at Frontenac this Fri night... anyone want to join me? If so, are you good with fire??

- scouted out the Surf the Murph park on Sunday. I'm not sure I was on the actual race course trails, but the running surface seems good - some uneven ground but not a lot of rocks and roots. There are some big hills out there! This won't be an easy course.

- did all my traveling, including to the race on Sat morning, on the motorcycle and had no problems. woohoooo!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Marathon #10: Moose Mountain

As mentioned before, the Superior Fall Races were this past weekend. The Moose Mountain Marathon was my 10th marathon, and definitely the hardest of the 10.

Some comments, and then lots of aid station pictures:
  • enjoyed the 100 mile pre-race event - all the runners seemed calm, and it was cool that Larry had them introduce themselves.
  • enjoyed working at the Silver Bay aid station - got to see all the 100 milers, but it was a bummer to see Molly suffer after the bee stings, to hear that Adam's achilles stopped him, and to see Londell's back stop him.
  • enjoyed camping out with Pete "Ted" Anderson at Crosby Manitou State Park and hanging out at the aid station - almost stayed up all night since we were "only doing the marathon", and the homemade stew was great.
  • enjoyed waking up Sat morning having not been attacked by bears or wolves
  • enjoyed hearing about those still going Sat morning, and bummed to hear about those who weren't (Steve, Phillip, Les).

  • me, Ted (picture from Pete)

    me, Kel, Jim (picture from Kel)

  • enjoyed the marathon on Sat -
    • pushed a bit on the early runnable sections
    • kept repeating "don't be such a chicken" when I thought pushing was a bad idea
    • saw 100 miler Matt in the first section - still going, woohoo
    • was actually with other runners for the first 8+ miles: including Pete and Kel at different times, and Holly for a split second as she flew by
    • fell forward at the top of a steep climb - beats falling down
    • snuck out of the first aid station without Kel because she was running pretty strong [sorry :)]
    • settled into my own groove and didn't get stung by any bees
    • set a speed record through the 2nd aid station giving those already there the joy of chasing me down
    • hit slow-mode about mile 15
    • spent more time at the 3rd aid station than the others combined - yeah, I was stalling and the mashed potatoes rocked
    • walked the majority of the last section - watching 7 hours slip away
    • finally finished, to the applause of those at the finish line - really cool
    • finished in 7:13:32 for my best average pace on the Superior Hiking Trail ever... woohooo

  • enjoyed hanging out after the marathon cheering for other finishers, visiting, eating, etc., but then was bummed to see Carl in street clothes and to learn his feet stopped him after 80-some miles.
  • enjoyed stopping at the Oberg aid station on the way back to Crosby Manitou - was good to see runners head out on the last section (in the rain), but it was a drag to see Karen come back and drop after a valiant effort to finish.

Special congratulations go to Matt for finishing the 100 miler, his first. And also to Keith for finishing the 50 miler, his first, in his monkey shoes (Vibram FiveFingers)... wow! Way to go, guys!! Also a 'good job' to Bill on his marathon (I was ~84 minutes behind you, yikes). And to others I saw that I'm forgetting to mention... Way to Go! :)

Also Congrats to John, Kel, and Jim -- with John finishing the 50 miler, and Kel, Jim, and I finishing the marathon... the 4 of us are all still on track to finish all of the races in the short series. Only 3 more to go... let's finish it!

This was a great weekend: lots of runners and crews in 3 great races, lots of great volunteers making it all happen, lots of grit and determination. It wasn't fun hearing of the different drops, but it was still inspiring hearing of all the great efforts both by those who finished and those who didn't. Congratulations to all the runners that trained and made it to the starting line, and a big Thank You to RD Larry and all the volunteers for a great event!

Pictures are mainly from the Silver Bay and Crosby Manitou aid stations (night pictures from Pete).

Beaver Bay: Wynn, Chris G

Chris G





?, Chris H




Matt, Molly





Silver Bay aid station

Julie, Kami

Steve, ?


Deb, Carl, Charlie






Doug, Chris H

Crosby Manitou aid station

the 'lost' dog