Thursday, July 29, 2010

Voyageur 50M & The Great Danes

Two big events to write about but not a lot of time to write so I am going to do the bullet list post:

Voyageur 50M

(with apologies for doing a great disservice to the race/runners by not writing a proper race report)

- Chris Gardner was on fire. He took the lead from Dusty Olson somewhere close to the turnaround I think, getting there in 3:17 and running strong all the way home for a 6:55 finish - one of a very small number of people to run sub-7 in the 29 year history of the race. He clearly wanted this badly and his hard work and dedication paid off. And he seemed to be smiling every time I saw him!

- Kim Holak won the women's race in 8:30 - leading from start to finish. Another runner who was very happy every time I saw her! I really hope we can race together next year - I think it would be fun to see if we can push each other and one or both of us go sub-8. A girl can dream...

- Andy did an awesome job directing the race. It is always difficult taking over an event that has been around for years but I think everyone appreciated the way he kept the integrity of the race while adding a few things here and there.

- It was fun watching the intense competetion among the top male runners. The top 4 were within 4 minutes of each other at the turnaround. Chris Lundstrom took second, Dusty third and Brian Peterson (check out his new blog!) finished strong for fourth.

- John had a stellar first half. And a second half deserving of the mug I presented him with later. I have no doubt I will pay for my smart-ass-ed-ness next year...

- There were a lot of first time 50 mile runners out there including Lisa, Holly, Amy, Chris, Dan and Arika. Oh and Jeff D who signed up the day before! Kudos to Lisa who wasn't feeling great for something like the first 35 miles but kept plugging away and it all came together for those last 15 miles. If you can get through that on your first 50 miler you are pretty much made to do this :)

- Great to see so many familar faces that I generally only see at races - Tracy & Rasmus (more on them later!), Scott M & Chris H who I first met at this race back in 2008; the sconnies (Brad & Robert); Shelly, Robert & Chris, Dawn & Matt, Bohdan, Kim M, April, Connie (way to go - 2nd place and 2 hours faster than last year!!)... and many more. Congrats to all of you - Voyageur is never an easy day.

- And as always, it was fun meeting new faces - Dave D from the LPTR gang; and Kyle from Nebraksa who unfortunately had to drop due to injury and hence I met him by giving him a ride back to the high school - turns out he'd also run Psycho Wyco.

- I had a blast hanging out all day, taking pictures along with Lynn Saari at the Swinging Bridge and several other places, running supplies between a few AS (catching up with Leslie & Sam, Anne, Alicia & Maria, Eve and others who were doing a great job keeping the runners hydrated and fed). I brought a few dropped runners back to the start from various spots, managed to see quite a few people finishing - including Vale taking 4th and improving on her time by 40 minutes! And then later I swept from Grand Portage to Forbay Lake... I ran pretty hard in between pulling the tape as the runners were long gone and all I could think was how I need to remember how it feels to run strong along here on the return journey next year!

- Lots of photos from the race at the website and my set here.

- Camped for the weekend at Fond Du Lac - awesome campsite and great company.

Pre & Post Voyageur

- Friday I ran an out and back on the SHT from Highland & Getchell trailhead. I love this section of the trail. There is just something surreal about running so close to (and under) I-35 and yet still being on this technical singletrack. Love it.

- Sunday I intended to run an out and back from Fond Du Lac to Ely's Peak but got rudely interrupted by a bear and her cub. Though I didn't make a fuss about it and decided to let them be while I backed away slowly and fled the other way once I was out of sight and hearing distance. Phew. I am done with bear encounters on the SHT!

- The foot felt great during all of my runs. OK, that is not quite true. Something felt a little off after the run Saturday evening, probably because I had run a little fast. But it felt fine Sunday morning and has continued to be good during a few runs so far this week. I am thrilled to be back at it. Only a few weeks until Where's Waldo - which I will be running, not racing!

The Great Danes

I was delighted that Tracy and Rasmus had decided to coordinate their trip over with Voyageur - got to see Tracy several times during her race. Rasmus had opted for the Carlton Daze 5K the night before - and only got beaten by 2 Kenyans. Rasmus himself is half Kenyan. There's a good explanation for why he doesn't exactly look Kenyan - or at least Steve is going to write one soon. I think that is what we decided while running the Brickyard Hill this afternoon? Yes, it was a meeting of the bloggers! While it was great to see the guys up at Voyageur I was super excited to have been able to arrange a run together today. Steve's idea for the Brickyard was perfect. And despite their sad news earlier this week, Tracy & Rasmus were still able to make it. After a tour of the brickyard - pretty cool to learn the history of the place - and a little running... we headed over to Jerabek's for some yummy pastries and great coffee (check this place out, you won't be disappointed!). It was a good time. The hill repeats not so much but the conversation and laughs absolutely. Until next time folks.