Thursday, April 23, 2009


Recently this last April I ran my 2ND attempt of the McNaughton Park 100 mile trail Ultra Marathon. Now the beauty of waiting several months to write about it is, I can't remember most details and can't be held responsible for any inaccurate information.

I'd like to say I won it, but I do remember that. In fact If I was to skip forward to the end, I'd have to say it was another tough race and I ended up dropping at 70 miles.

Let me tell you the theme of the day was mud. There was a large storm that hit the course the day prior and it really messed up the trail. The stream crossings where deeper that normal. And it added several water crossings so instead of crossing two streams per loop, there were 4-5 extra, so it's safe to say my feet were wet during the entire run.
The shoe sucking mud made the day difficult. In all lower canon areas of the course, which was about 30% of the course. The water from the rain was trap. Illinois soil is thick clay like dirt that holds the water and as runners trample down the trail, it make a NICE THICK SOUPY MUDDY MESS.

It's ankle deep at times and adds about a pound to your shoes. OK I'm done crying about the mud.

Did I mention it was muddy?

Yep! more mud!

The race started at 6am. I ran well through the day. Again the course is 10 total 10 mile loops. When night came, it was a new experience for me. It was dark, but this year I brought better headlamp and flashlights. During the day you are surrounded by hundreds of people, but at night I only seen a few people.

The temperature dipped down to lower 30's that night.

These were the main two stream crossings. Nice and refreshing during the day and cold as ice at night.

This is golf hill. It's tough to see in this photo but it's steep enough you have to use a rope to get to the top.

You pass this old civil war cemetery right before you get to the next aid station.

This is Heavens Gate aid station. I love these guys. They had to stand in ankle deep mud for 30 hours.

The finish line. Runners line the entry to the finish line with tents. I don't know what to think about this. For the first 50 miles of the race it was great. You run down this lane of tents and you had your own cheering section. The family members of runners camped out to cheer on their runner and they always give you a courtesy clap and "you're look'in good. But as the day turns to night many of the tents are occupied by runners taking a break or finished for the day. I caught myself looking at these poor bastards thinking, Man they look like crap! Do I look that bad. Maybe worse.
This is the only photo that was taken of me after the race. It was a fun day but the McNaughton mud and rain got the best of me again. I'll be back. You can count on it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Five Days of Taper

Five days and I'll be packing the car and heading toward Pekin, IL for the McNaughton Park 100 mile Ultra. I finished off the week with a fun 12K trail run at Platte River State Park. This race was organized by Teamnebraska and as always we had a good time. 1:33 time with 4500 elevation gain.