My Profile

@bioprofsd

Mitchell, SD Raving since 2014 50 States hopeful/finisher, Marathon Maniacs #7665 Active 17 hours, 57 minutes ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):

    Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Marathon Club, 100 Marathon Club North America

  • Rave race:

    McLennan's Grit 12-hour Ultra

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Notchview 100 mile run

  • I run because:

    It keeps me healthy and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment.

My Races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

50 States Map
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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (19)

Race Distance Location Date Result
# of hrs = your age Manchester, TN Aug 31, 2017 105 mi
72 hr Phoenix, AZ Dec 31, 2018 110 mi
55 hr Missouri City, TX Dec 30, 2017 104 mi
48 hr Eagle, ID May 20, 2021 102.86 mi
47 hr Williamson, WV Mar 12, 2021 102.5 mi
36 hr Lennox, SD Sep 3, 2022 64 mi
35 hr Williamson, WV Mar 10, 2018 39 mi
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 24, 2021 56 mi
15 hr Mt. Vernon, OH Jun 19, 2021 33 mi
9 hr 11 min Longmont, CO Sep 7, 2019 31 mi
9 hr Victor, NY Jun 12, 2021 30.6 mi
8 hr River Falls, WI Nov 8, 2014 36 mi
40 Miler Idaho Falls, ID Jun 27, 2020 10:22:12
50K Rockford, MN Apr 12, 2014 5:18:10
Marathon Yankton, SD Apr 27, 2013 3:42:50
30K Canton, SD Oct 28, 2017 4:22:29
Half Marathon Keizer, OR May 19, 2013 1:39:21
18K Lander, WY Jun 11, 2022 3:37:55
10K Fargo, ND Nov 23, 2017 54:09

Future Races (10)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
24 hr Dixon, IL Jul 19, 2024
Marathon Rapid City, SD Jul 28, 2024
24 hr Bristol, RI Aug 9, 2024
24 hr Lennox, SD Aug 31, 2024
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 20, 2024
12 hr Lykens, PA Oct 4, 2024
24 hr Williamsburg, VA Oct 26, 2024
Marathon Salina, KS Nov 2, 2024
50K Doyline, LA Mar 8, 2025
24 hr Parkton, MD Mar 29, 2025

Past Races (205)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
24 hr Valley Center, KS Jun 12, 2024 31.3 mi
50K Augusta, NJ May 14, 2024 9:29:03
12 hr Webster, NY May 11, 2024 32 mi
12 hr Albuquerque, NM Apr 6, 2024 31 mi
50K Oak Grove, MO Mar 16, 2024 8:38:55
12 hr Haralson, GA Feb 17, 2024 39 mi
12 hr Erwin, NC Dec 9, 2023 33 mi
24 hr Belfry, KY Nov 18, 2023 32 mi
Half Marathon Mitchell, SD Oct 1, 2023 2:41:22
24 hr Dixon, IL Jul 14, 2023 41.11 mi
12 hr Corydon, IN Jul 1, 2023 31.5 mi
50K St. Regis, MT Jun 17, 2023 8:09:09
Marathon Casper, WY Jun 4, 2023 5:42:40
50K Laramie, WY May 28, 2023 8:35:03
Half Marathon Fargo, ND May 20, 2023 2:18:28
50K Susanville, CA May 13, 2023 10:20:28
48 hr Abilene, KS Apr 21, 2023 63.7 mi
24 hr Henderson, NV Mar 4, 2023 34.6 mi
50K Milton, FL Jan 15, 2023 9:25:04
12 hr Fort Mill, SC Nov 19, 2022 31 mi
24 hr Wichita, KS Nov 11, 2022 50.4 mi
12 hr Golden Valley, MN Oct 22, 2022 31 mi
24 hr Lapeer, MI Oct 8, 2022 34.1 mi
Half Marathon Mitchell, SD Oct 2, 2022 2:27:06
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 23, 2022 53.7 mi
36 hr Lennox, SD Sep 3, 2022 64 mi
Marathon Sioux Falls, SD Aug 28, 2022 5:43:51
Half Marathon Winona, MN Jul 23, 2022 4:06:49
Marathon Rice, MN Jul 16, 2022 7:44:38
12 hr Omaha, NE Jun 25, 2022 33 mi
18K Lander, WY Jun 11, 2022 3:37:55
24 hr Fairbanks, AK Jun 3, 2022 36 mi
Marathon Windsor, CO May 28, 2022 6:50:31
25K Houston, MS May 21, 2022 4:48:56
50K Aurora, IL Apr 23, 2022 7:33:30
50K Osawatomie, KS Apr 16, 2022 7:25:25
12 hr Decatur, AL Mar 5, 2022 35 mi
50K Tulsa, OK Jan 22, 2022 7:12:16
24 hr Dallas, TX Dec 4, 2021 51 mi
Marathon Hebron, NE Oct 23, 2021 5:37:47
50K Burns, TN Oct 9, 2021 11:32:11
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 24, 2021 56 mi
24 hr Lennox, SD Sep 4, 2021 54 mi
12 hr Manhattan, KS Aug 21, 2021 40 mi
12 hr St. Joseph, MO Jul 24, 2021 35.75 mi
25K Butte, MT Jul 10, 2021 3:51:00
Marathon Portland, OR Jul 4, 2021 5:17:34
15 hr Mt Vernon, OH Jun 19, 2021 33 mi
50K Springfield, VT Jun 14, 2021 8:12:20
9 hr Victor, NY Jun 12, 2021 30.6 mi
Marathon Viborg, SD Jun 6, 2021 6:00:45
48 hr Eagle, ID May 20, 2021 102.86 mi
30 Miler Luverne, MN May 15, 2021 8:30:28
50K Stillwater, OK Apr 10, 2021 8:52:38
50K Brighton, CO Apr 3, 2021 7:20:02
50K Ottawa, KS Mar 27, 2021 6:35:18
47 hr Williamson, WV Mar 12, 2021 102.5 mi
24 hr Moab, UT Oct 31, 2020 35.5 mi
50K Council Bluffs, IA Oct 24, 2020 6:51:17
Marathon Papillion, NE Oct 11, 2020 5:16:32
Marathon Gering, NE Sep 26, 2020 5:46:13
Marathon Brookings, SD Sep 12, 2020 4:57:46
50K Brainard, NE Sep 5, 2020 11:24:18
50K Ida Grove, IA Aug 8, 2020 11:40:01
24 hr Rapid City, SD Jul 17, 2020 34 mi
40 Miler Idaho Falls, ID Jun 27, 2020 10:22:12
24 hr Watford City, ND Jun 20, 2020 52 mi
48 hr Phoenix, AZ Jan 1, 2020
50K Crawfordville, FL Dec 14, 2019 6:54:26
24 hr Benton, AR Nov 29, 2019 40 mi
50K Las Cruces, NM Nov 2, 2019 24:00:00
24 hr Des Moines, IA Oct 26, 2019 49 mi
50K Susanville, CA Oct 13, 2019 6:49:42
12 hr Springstein, Canada Oct 5, 2019 34 mi
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 20, 2019 44 mi
9 hr 11 min Longmont, CO Sep 7, 2019 31 mi
12 hr Lennox, SD Sep 1, 2019 37 mi
50K Manchester, NH Jul 23, 2019 7:34:40
50K Woonsocket, RI Jul 21, 2019 8:03:06
50K Coon Rapids, IA Jul 7, 2019 9:38:47
50K Simsbury, CT Jun 24, 2019 7:31:53
50K Birdsboro, PA Jun 20, 2019 8:49:24
50K Bear, DE Jun 18, 2019 8:55:38
24 hr Regina, Canada Jun 1, 2019 47 mi
50K Renton, WA May 26, 2019 8:44:26
12 hr McCall, ID May 18, 2019 33 mi
12 hr Webster, NY May 11, 2019 35 mi
50K Ottawa, KS Mar 30, 2019 6:44:30
50K Ovett, MS Mar 2, 2019 7:51:00
50K Kisatchie National Forest, LA Feb 2, 2019 7:17:00
50K Kapaa, HI Jan 26, 2019 8:08:52
72 hr Glendale, AZ Dec 31, 2018 110 mi
50K Grand County, UT Nov 17, 2018 7:53:56
24 hr Lilington, NC Nov 3, 2018 40 mi
30K Canton, SD Oct 27, 2018 4:24:42
Half Marathon Rutland, IA Oct 20, 2018 2:12:40
Half Marathon Mitchell, SD Oct 14, 2018 2:04:16
50K Sterling, IL Oct 6, 2018 7:21:45
50K Sharpsburg, MD Sep 29, 2018 7:55:41
50K Centrahoma, OK Sep 1, 2018 9:52:57
24 hr Shelbyville, KY Aug 4, 2018 32 mi
12 hr Rochester Hills, MI Jul 28, 2018 32 mi
Marathon Sioux City, IA Jul 11, 2018 7:19:02
50K Breckenridge, MN Jul 8, 2018 9:05:09
50K Holyoke, MA Jun 27, 2018 7:13:38
50K Olympia, WA Jun 16, 2018 6:52:31
12 hr Fairbanks, AK Jun 2, 2018 37 mi
50K New Gloucester, ME May 26, 2018 8:07:54
12 hr Terre Haute, IN May 19, 2018 31 mi
50K Augusta, NJ May 17, 2018 8:14:24
Marathon Ottawa, KS Apr 21, 2018 5:23:35
12 hr Green Bay, VA Mar 31, 2018 34 mi
35 hr Williamson, WV Mar 10, 2018 39 mi
50K Moulton, AL Feb 10, 2018 8:28:51
55 hr Missouri City, TX Dec 30, 2017 104 mi
24 hr Spartanburg, SC Dec 9, 2017 34 mi
10K Fargo, ND Nov 23, 2017 54:09
50K Las Vegas, NV Nov 11, 2017 6:39:39
30K Canton, SD Oct 28, 2017 4:22:29
Marathon Mankato, MN Oct 22, 2017 4:56:25
12 hr Dayton, OH Oct 7, 2017 34 mi
24 hr Stoddard, WI Sep 22, 2017 33 mi
Marathon Sioux Falls, SD Sep 10, 2017 6:21:09
# of hrs = your age Manchester, TN Aug 31, 2017 105 mi
50K Hot Springs, SD Aug 19, 2017 7:20:13
Marathon Hisega, SD Aug 5, 2017 8:06:00
50K Saint Joseph, MO Jul 22, 2017
Marathon South Sioux City, NE Jul 20, 2017
Marathon Baltic, SD Jul 18, 2017
Marathon Frenchtown, MT Jul 9, 2017 5:27:46
Marathon Tigard, OR Jul 3, 2017 6:27:47
Half Marathon Astoria, OR Jul 1, 2017 2:45:53
Marathon Kailua-Kona, HI Jun 25, 2017 6:13:32
50K St. Regis, MT Jun 10, 2017 7:08:57
Marathon Valentine, NE Jun 3, 2017 5:43:36
50K Van Meter, IA May 27, 2017 7:35:39
Marathon Holdingford, MN May 13, 2017 5:20:42
Marathon Yankton, SD Apr 22, 2017 4:57:12
Marathon Abilene, KS Apr 8, 2017 5:12:36
50K Macleod, ND Mar 18, 2017 6:54:00
11 hr Lithia Springs, GA Mar 5, 2017 32 mi
Marathon Piedmont, AL Feb 26, 2017 4:50:55
Marathon Northfield, MN Jan 8, 2017 5:36:21
Marathon Norwalk, WI Nov 6, 2016 5:23:57
Marathon Dover, DE Oct 22, 2016 4:56:44
Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 16, 2016 5:26:48
Marathon Schenectady, NY Oct 9, 2016 4:54:14
Marathon Mandan, ND Oct 1, 2016 6:56:17
Marathon Sioux Falls, SD Sep 11, 2016 5:17:52
Marathon Juneau, AK Jul 30, 2016 5:27:36
50K Ashland, OR Jul 23, 2016 9:04:05
Marathon Vernonia, OR Jul 16, 2016 5:24:39
50K Maupin, OR Jul 9, 2016 7:21:08
Marathon Portland, OR Jul 4, 2016 4:53:31
Marathon South Williamson, KY Jun 11, 2016 5:45:56
Marathon Roanoke, VA Jun 5, 2016 6:35:05
Marathon Waterbury, CT May 30, 2016 6:56:23
Marathon Great Barrington, MA May 29, 2016
50K Coventry, RI May 19, 2016 8:13:32
50K Springfield, VT May 17, 2016 8:01:09
Marathon Greenfield, NH May 16, 2016
Marathon Wells, ME May 15, 2016 4:56:31
Marathon Toledo, OH Apr 24, 2016 4:36:25
Marathon Wamego, KS Mar 26, 2016 4:32:45
Marathon Cape May, NJ Mar 20, 2016 4:50:09
Marathon Jackson, MS Jan 9, 2016 4:58:06
50K Fountain Hils, AZ Dec 5, 2015 7:59:05
Marathon Seattle, WA Nov 26, 2015 4:38:50
Marathon Tulsa, OK Nov 22, 2015 4:42:30
Marathon Nashville, TN Nov 14, 2015 4:26:41
8 hr River Falls, WI Nov 7, 2015 28 mi
Marathon Raleigh, NC Nov 1, 2015 5:19:51
Marathon Greenville, SC Oct 31, 2015 4:47:02
Marathon Des Moines, IA Oct 18, 2015 4:49:039
Marathon Kansas City, MO Oct 17, 2015 4:58:01
Marathon Roscoe, IL Oct 10, 2015
Marathon Cumberland, MD Sep 27, 2015
Marathon Keyser, WV Sep 26, 2015 4:57:21
Marathon Boulder, CO Sep 19, 2015 4:50:46
12 hr Reading, PA Sep 6, 2015 31 km
Marathon Indianapolis, IN Aug 1, 2015 6:55:18
50K Hot Springs, AR Jul 25, 2015 8:32:10
Marathon Lamoille, NV Jun 20, 2015 4:46:15
Marathon Wallsburg, UT Jun 13, 2015 4:36:06
50K Fish Camp, CA Jun 6, 2015 6:44:46
Marathon Boise, ID May 30, 2015 4:53:43
50K Los Alamos, NM May 23, 2015 11:17:10
Marathon Fargo, ND May 9, 2015 4:260:23
Marathon Brookings, SD May 2, 2015 4:53:54
50K Jacksonville, FL Apr 5, 2015 6:52:30
Marathon Savannah, GA Apr 4, 2015 4:55:49
Marathon Lincoln, NE Mar 14, 2015 5:38:39
Marathon Lafayette, LA Mar 8, 2015 4:47:00
Marathon Beaumont, TX Mar 7, 2015
50K Kansas City, KS Feb 14, 2015 7:56:12
Marathon Northfield, MN Jan 11, 2015
8 hr River Falls, WI Nov 8, 2014 36 mi
Marathon Wakefield, MI Sep 13, 2014 4:37:50
50K Gunnison, CO May 17, 2014 8:24:20
50K Rockford, MN Apr 12, 2014 5:18:10
50K Omaha, NE Oct 27, 2013 6:05:50
50K Sundance, WY Sep 28, 2013 7:57:04
Marathon Deadwood, SD Jun 2, 2013 4:19:50
Half Marathon Keizer, OR May 19, 2013 1:39:21
Marathon Yankton, SD Apr 27, 2013 3:42:50

My Raves

For the first time, the KUS 6/12/24 Hour Run was moved to June 12, 2024 and was held on a rubberized track at the Valley Center Intermediate school. It was … MORE

For the first time, the KUS 6/12/24 Hour Run was moved to June 12, 2024 and was held on a rubberized track at the Valley Center Intermediate school. It was a nice track with a track with a thick surface, but it can get hot in June. The Real Feel temperature rose to 98 degrees F by the afternoon with no shade and no clouds. This made for a PW (personal worst) time for my marathon split and for the 50K. You would think it would be a fast course, but I wasn’t prepared for the heat and humidity. Runners that finished at least 50K received a finisher’s award that consisted of a laser-engraved wooden oval laminated to a round piece of metal. We were also given a choice of two different traveler’s cup at check in.

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5
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Running on a flat, 1-mile, paved loop course might not seem very appealing to some runners, but there must be something that makes those who run it nearly every year … MORE

Running on a flat, 1-mile, paved loop course might not seem very appealing to some runners, but there must be something that makes those who run it nearly every year return again and again. Maybe it is the swag. Every year, they give out a piece of clothing with their monogrammed race logo. The first time I ran it, they gave out a Marmot rain jacket. This year they gave out a choice of a towel with race graphics or a bathrobe. Or, maybe it is the food at the aid station. They make a variety of “real” food items made to order. Most runners ask they to cook something up and then will pick it up on their next loop. For most participants, I think the attraction is the friends they make at the race. The first time I ran it, I didn’t know many people. However, the second time, I met quite a few runners that I had met before either at 3DATF or at other races. Although there aren’t too many motels to stay at close to the race, they do allow camping for a small fee every day.

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I ran this race again for the second time mainly because it was conveniently located at a good time for me. The course is fairly flat with just one short … MORE

I ran this race again for the second time mainly because it was conveniently located at a good time for me. The course is fairly flat with just one short “speed bump” hill that rises up about 5 feet. With a one mile loop course, you get to see some of the runners over and over again, so it becomes kind of a social event. This year there were quite a few Canada Geese with their young feeding on the tender grass along the lake. I only saw one duck, a Mallard drake and a few other song birds and a couple of grey squirrels. It was fun watching a woman in her 30s looping me repeatedly and setting a new course record. We lucked out this year with pleasant weather despite a rather rainy week. The finisher awards are distance specific, such as a travel mug for those completing a 50K, but there were no finisher medals.

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This race was old school ultrarunning as its finest. I am really jealous about the Albuquerque Trail Running crew that put on this race, because there isn't anything like this … MORE

This race was old school ultrarunning as its finest. I am really jealous about the Albuquerque Trail Running crew that put on this race, because there isn’t anything like this in the small town where I live. I thought everything was perfect (except the wind – but I’m used to that where I live on the Great Plains). There was one aid station on the 3.5 mile loop, which was supplied by donations made by the runners and there were plenty of treats and hydration to supply the needed nutrition. Laps were tallied on a poster board with a permanent marker. There was a long upslope along one side of the course, which meant that we were able to go down hill along the other side, but nothing steep. Handmade finisher awards were given out which were quite well done. All in all, a good time was had by all for a very minimal registration fee.

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This was an ultramarathon that was run mainly on paved golf cart paths on a former golf course. There was a little bit of gravel, maybe 20%, and a very … MORE

This was an ultramarathon that was run mainly on paved golf cart paths on a former golf course. There was a little bit of gravel, maybe 20%, and a very small amount of grass surface. There were more steep hills than I expected, and they took their toll by the middle of the race. Only about 60% of the 50 milers finished in the time limit. The course map looked complicated, but the course was very well marked and there were two volunteers out on the course to direct us at two places where we had to take a sharp turn. This helped keep us on course and was a big help. There were no finisher medals, but the 50K runners were given a t shirt and a towel with the race’s logo. There were the usual hydration options available, but just snack food for nourishment. There was no real food such as sandwiches, pizza or soup. My description probably makes it sound spartan, but it was really a well-run race. I’m sure the race director will make some adjustments in the future and make the race even better. It was really a nice venue, but I didn’t like it that we had to park about 300 yards away from the start, and the course didn’t go by our vehicles in case we needed anything left there.

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This was a 12-hour ultramarathon that was run on a 2.6 mile "lollypop" course. After a short section that went along a paved path through some woods that were filled … MORE

This was a 12-hour ultramarathon that was run on a 2.6 mile “lollypop” course. After a short section that went along a paved path through some woods that were filled with small birds, there was a long straight stretch on a two-lane road that had little traffic. After the field was spread out, you had the opportunity to see runners going in the opposite direction and greet them with a wave or a few words of encouragement. This was a small race, but everyone was very friendly. Even though most of it was on roads open to traffic, there were few cars and I really didn’t feel unsafe at all. About 3/4 of the course was on paved roads and 1/4 on a gravel road. The course was fairly flat and even this out-of-shape runner could run the hills (if I wanted to). The swag was plentiful, including a shirt, a car magnet with the race logo, a coaster, and a few other trinkets. It probably helped that I knew the race director and her husband, but all of the runners were friendly and I was able to meet some new running friends. All in all it was a very successful day.

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This was kind of a unique set up for me for a fixed-time race. What made it unique was that the start was on a main street of downtown Erwin, … MORE

This was kind of a unique set up for me for a fixed-time race. What made it unique was that the start was on a main street of downtown Erwin, NC and was an out and back rail trail course. The course is usually 5 miles out and 5 miles back, but this year, there was a bridge that was washed out, so they shortened it up to 9 miles total for the out and back. The trail was about 15 feet wide, smooth, and covered with finely crushed limestone. There was one dog leg on the trail, but was otherwise straight and easy to follow. The weather was pleasant this year for a December ultra with highs near the mid-70s. There were aid stations at the ends of the out and back that had a good variety of fluids and soft drinks, snack foods, pizza and peanut butter and jelly sandwichs. They gave out nice finisher medals and a hoody instead of a shirt.

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Running for 24 hours around a high school campus may not seem to be a great idea for some, but after running three ultramarathons organized by Alexis Bautausa and the … MORE

Running for 24 hours around a high school campus may not seem to be a great idea for some, but after running three ultramarathons organized by Alexis Bautausa and the Tug Valley Road Runners Club, I have come to love the friendliness and hospitality of the people of the Coal Country in WV and KY. This course for this race started out by circling the track at Belfry High School, then meandered around the perimeter of the school campus. The total distance of the course was exactly 1.00 miles, but didn’t seem boring due to the surrounding steep hills of the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountain Range. In the middle of November, most of the trees had lost their leaves, which made me want to return to see the fall colors earlier in the fall. There may have not been too many runners there who can break speed records, but they are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. The food at the main aid station was second to none, including takeout Chinese food, pizza, and a lot of baked goods. Bottled Gaterade and soft drinks were also available. For a small fee, runners could reserve a cot to take a short nap, but a large propane heater outside was enough for this runner to keep warm during pit stops. The only downside to this area is that it is about a two hour drive from the nearest airport, and there are few motels nearby. The night before, I stayed at a motel in Pikesville, KY that was about a 30 minute drive to the race start.

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This is a very nice half marathon in a nice time of the year to run. We were supposed to get near record high temperatures for this date, but with … MORE

This is a very nice half marathon in a nice time of the year to run. We were supposed to get near record high temperatures for this date, but with the 7:30 am start and the short distances, it wasn’t a problem. The course around Lake Mitchell is very pretty this time of the year with the leaves turning, but there could be some small improvements made. At some of the aid stations along the second half of the half marathon, there was only water and nothing with electrolytes. Most marathons that I do usually have both water and a drink with electrolytes. There were donut holes, water, and beef jerky at the finish, but it would be nice if they had Gaterade, PowerAid or chocolate milk at the finish. Overall, it is a very nice, probably underrated half marathon during a nice time of the year to run. I whole-heartedly recommend and will probably. be doing it again.

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What could be less appealing than running loops on a 0.411 mile paved course? I can't think of much. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this run advertised as "fat-assed … MORE

What could be less appealing than running loops on a 0.411 mile paved course? I can’t think of much. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this run advertised as “fat-assed style.” Even though it was supposed to be self-supported, which I had prepared for, the race organization provided quite a bit of support. They served pizza on Friday evening, and provided breakfast pizza on Saturday morning. They also had a table for sharing donated food with other runners, and water and an electrolyte drink for hydration. The race director and volunteers set up right near the start finish and cheered on the runners for almost the whole race. There were also two young girls dressed in rainbow unicorn costumes, who I think were the children of one of the runners, that walked the course in the opposite direction and high-fived everyone. The park where the run was had one stretch that was densely shaded most of the day, and the rest was surrounded by stately White Pine trees that provided shade in the morning and evening. There were no shirts provided for this race, but there were very nice homemade finisher awards made out of wood that were provided. Given the short loop, it was easy to meet new runners and chat with them for a while, so it seemed like a very friendly environment. The one downside was the heavy rain at the start, but there isn’t much that anyone can do about the weather. If you don’t mind running short loops, I highly recommend this race at a time of the year when it is a little harder to find a fixed-time race.

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i have to admit that I wasn't expecting much out of this race, but the race organizers really came through. The timer of this chip-timed race had two monitors that … MORE

i have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much out of this race, but the race organizers really came through. The timer of this chip-timed race had two monitors that showed the results of each runner every time we crossed the timing mat. We changed directions every 3 hours which broke up the monotony, and the city put on a spectacular fireworks display that could be seen from the race course. The aid station had a good supply of real food including freshly made goods throughout the night, including pizza, pb&j sandwiches, chocolate chip pancakes, watermelon, and more. All participants were given a nicely designed medal with a sticker that showed the finisher’s total distance that was run. We were also given a cotton t shirt, which I prefer over the synthetic running shirts as I use the cotton shirts for every day use during most of the summer. Although there wasn’t much in the way of exotic scenery, it was at least a chance to get out and run some miles during a slow part of the running year.

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This was the second time I've run this ultra and I enjoyed it more than the first time. The rail trail is a double-wide trail that is mostly gravel with … MORE

This was the second time I’ve run this ultra and I enjoyed it more than the first time. The rail trail is a double-wide trail that is mostly gravel with some dirt. Part of the trail is very fine gravel, whereas other parts have larger rocks up to about three inches in diameter, which means that you have to keep an eye on the trail to avoid tripping. The rocks also can be hard on the feet, so either trail shoes with a rock plate or road shoes with plenty of cushion should be used. The course was well marked along with volunteers with flags at major intersections. There was a lot of community involvement with this race. For example, there was a coupon for a free huckleberry shake from the St. Regis Travel Center in the swag bag. I expected a small sample, but it was a full sized shake. There was a nice free lunch/supper after the race which included beer, pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, homemade pork and beans, cole slaw, and cookies. It was one of the best post-race meals I’ve had. The 50K runners received a white technical shirt at the packet pickup and the finisher’s award was a railroad spike with an engraved plate with the event and name of the race.

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The race started at the Ford Event Center, so we could stay inside out of the wind and elements before the start. The first part of the course consisted of … MORE

The race started at the Ford Event Center, so we could stay inside out of the wind and elements before the start. The first part of the course consisted of a loop of about 4 miles that had a couple of moderate hills. It then went downhill to the town at which the rest of the course was relatively flat except for one small hill. Most of the course is at an elevation of about 5100 feet, which didn’t bother this slow runner much. I’m guessing that about 2/3 of the full marathon course is on concrete paths along the North Platte River. That was the most scenic part of the course, and I saw White Pelicans, Gulls, an Egret, and Canada Geese along the river. I would say the course would. be easy for someone used to the altitude. Course markings consisted of arrows painted on the pavement and the only signs were for the mile markers and lists of sponsors. At a couple of places, it would have helped to have signs at the turns. At one point, I was almost misdirected by a volunteer when the half marathon course split off from the full marathon course. Fortunately, I questioned the direction and he pointed me in the right direction. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I could have followed the half marathon runners. The swag was good, and they were giving away leftover shirts from previous years. The shirt for this year was a one-quarter zip long-sleeved technical shirt. The medal was nicely designed and mentioned that this was the 20th anniversary race. I also scored two different-sized zippered duffle bag with the race logo on it for a total of $25 to replace my worn out one. There was a pasta feed at the packet pickup for $15, and Chuck Engel, the Marathon Junkie, did an inspirational talk to all who were present. A coupon for a free beer was also given at the packet pickup, and there was a free beer, lunch, and a live band at the finish. All in all, it was a very good value for the registration fee that was charged.

DIFFICULTY
2
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5
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3
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5

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This is one of the hardest 50Ks that I've run, right up there with the Bighorn Wild and Scenic Trail Run 50K. The scenery along most of the course is … MORE

This is one of the hardest 50Ks that I’ve run, right up there with the Bighorn Wild and Scenic Trail Run 50K. The scenery along most of the course is worth it though. I say most, because there was a 4-mile stretch where the road that we ran on for the out and back served as a service road for I-80. It was along one of the higher points of the course, so there was more wind there and a lot of traffic noise. The rest of the course was beautiful and wound through the Medicine Bow National Forest, including the Vedauwoo climbing area that had unusual granite outcrops and rock formations that some people call “hoodoos.” There were four major hills along the 50K course, the last of which made me want to quit. I stuck it out though, and I’m glad i did, as the last hill turned out to be slightly easier than I thought it was going to be at the 8,000 foot plus altitude. There was a 9 hour time limit for the 50K, which was the same amount of time given for the marathon runners, but I made it with 35 minutes to spare. For the marathon, 9 hours is plenty of time, even for us flatlanders. The 50K runners were given a long-sleeved cotton shirt at the packet pickup and were presented with a nicely detailed belt buckle at the finish. The volunteers were very friendly and supportive; however, not all of the aid stations had hydration with electrolytes made up ahead of time. They did have a powder drink mix that they could mix up, but that took a little longer and it was hard to get the powder to dissolve in a smaller water bottle like the ones I had in my hydration vest. I finished dead last, but I am happy with that given that I was doubting whether I could finish for about 6 of the last 10 miles. Incidentally, the marathon is rated as one of the top 10 most difficult marathons by one of this website’s lists.

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5
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4
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5
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The Fargo Marathon is always well organized, and this one was no exception. I've run the full marathon twice before, but this was the first time running the half. The … MORE

The Fargo Marathon is always well organized, and this one was no exception. I’ve run the full marathon twice before, but this was the first time running the half. The course runs south of the Fargodome, then zigzags a little at the southern end of the course before heading back north to the Fargodome. You can see the Fargodome for about a half a mile from the finish, but it is deceptive because you have to circle around it to get to the entrance where the finish is located. The course mainly goes through residential areas, and the residents come out to cheer and set up impromptu aid stations, including one that was serving mimosas. The swag was nice. This year the marathon and half marathon runners received a hoodie. The one disappointment this year was that the post-race party was canceled without telling any of the runners. I heard some were hanging around waiting for the free beer, but none of the volunteers knew that it was canceled. This is something they need to fix for next year. The weather was really pleasant this year and the Fargo Marathon races always make for a fast race.

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1
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4
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3
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4

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This was the second race that I've done near Susanville, the first one being the Bizz Johnson 50K, which was mostly downhill and was a fast course. The Paiute Meadows … MORE

This was the second race that I’ve done near Susanville, the first one being the Bizz Johnson 50K, which was mostly downhill and was a fast course. The Paiute Meadows Trail Run is run mainly in the hills surrounding Paiute Meadows, except for one long out and back in the first part of the course. Most of the steeper parts are in the second half of the course, and the hills wiped me out. I was reduced to a crawl going up the two last climbs. The views of the valley and wildflowers were beautiful though, but it was tough going getting up there. There were a lot of switchbacks, which helped, but some of the climbs were long, especially in the afternoon when the temperatures started to climb into the mid-70s. There were scattered rocks on the trails, so you had to pay attention to avoid tripping. There were plenty of aid stations staffed by helpful volunteers. The sweepers ended up catching up to me with about 6 miles to go, but they were very supportive and allowed me to take as much time as needed to get to the finish line. It seemed like the race director and volunteers wanted to see everyone finish as much as the runners did. All in all, I have never felt so much support from a race.

DIFFICULTY
5
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5
SCENERY
5
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5
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The Earth Day Buckle Mania Endurance Run was directed by veteran ultrarunner Will Sprouse and his wife, Carrie. It was immediately apparent that they had participated in many long ultramarathons, … MORE

The Earth Day Buckle Mania Endurance Run was directed by veteran ultrarunner Will Sprouse and his wife, Carrie. It was immediately apparent that they had participated in many long ultramarathons, as they thought of everything. They had “real food” available around the clock, heated indoor sleeping areas with cots (free for runners), and several photographers that were on the course after the start of the 12, 24, and 48 hour races. The entry fee included a sythetic short-sleeved shirts and well-designed belt buckles for each and every mileage milestone, including 50K, 50 mile, 100k, 100 miles, and 150 miles, which a couple of runners reached. Thus, if you finished 100 miles, you received the 50K, 50 mile, 100K, and 100 mile buckles. All of the runners seemed very friendly and humble, even the podium finishers. The weather was great this year, the course was easy to follow, and very, very flat. I generally don’t like to run races more than once, but this just may be one that I will want to return to in the future.

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The Jackpot Ultras is organized and managed by Aravaipa Running, which puts on some of the most well organized and popular races. If they are the race organizer, you know … MORE

The Jackpot Ultras is organized and managed by Aravaipa Running, which puts on some of the most well organized and popular races. If they are the race organizer, you know it will be a good one. This race was on a 2.31 mile u-shaped out and back around the lake at Cornerstone Park in Henderson, NV. As an urban ultra, this one was fairly scenic with mountains on the horizon and a picturesque lake in the middle of the course. I enjoyed watching the ducks and geese that were swimming in the lake, and watching the other runners and members of the public walking their dogs. The one thing I didn’t care for much was the hard running surface which was hard on my feet and joints. The wind was also strong along the back stretch, but you can’t blame the race organizers for the weather. The course was down in a low spot, but that didn’t prevent the wind from gusting on part of the course. As usual, the aid station and support was phenomenal, along with live entertainment and nice swag.

DIFFICULTY
2
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5
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3
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5
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This course is very flat, but don't let the elevation profile fool you. The narrow single track trail zig-zags in tight turns with roots hiding in the leaves at what … MORE

This course is very flat, but don’t let the elevation profile fool you. The narrow single track trail zig-zags in tight turns with roots hiding in the leaves at what seemed like every corner. There were a few low banks where you had to step up, but otherwise no perceptible hills. Much of the course was in densely vegetated wood, but it opened up in a couple of sections, including one short stretch on a beach with loose sand along Big Coldwater Creek. I’m not familiar with the vegetation, but there was typical Florida plants including Palmettos, Pine trees, and Cyprus in wetter areas. The short, 4-mile loop course is nice in that you are always close to the aid station which is indoors and had flush toilets. The race was chip timed, and laps were published online in real time on the timing companies website. Overall, the race went smoothly without any hitches. I would recommend this race if you enjoy running single track trails on loop courses.

DIFFICULTY
2
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5
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4
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2
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I thoroughly enjoyed this race through the Anne Springs Close (ASC) Greenway and around Lake Haigler. Yes, it did have some hills, some of which I would classified as medium … MORE

I thoroughly enjoyed this race through the Anne Springs Close (ASC) Greenway and around Lake Haigler. Yes, it did have some hills, some of which I would classified as medium difficulty, but none of them were very long or very steep. For the first few loops, I kept telling myself that it wasn’t bad, but knew in my heart that they would eventually add up and get to me. None-the-less, the scenery of the late fall trees and the lake kept me distracted. However, it seemed like almost every time I looked up at the views, I immediately would trip on a root. This became more common as it got dark, and I started fearing that I might eventually fall, so I cut my run short of the full 12 hours. I still managed to complete a 50K and earned the owl pin that they gave out to everyone who completed that distance. The one main aid station had a good variety of hot food including grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. They also had a taco bar complete with chicken, pork, and ground beef, and two free beers for all runners. The shirt was a light-weight, long-sleeved hoody shirt. The weather this year was cool and crisp, but I did not feel a need to put on running pants after dark. It was kind of a fun course, with some challenge, but not so much as to wipe you out. The race venue was close to the Charlotte Douglas Airport and there were plenty of motels close by. Overall, I would give the race a grade of an A.

DIFFICULTY
3
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5
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4
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2
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I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend at the KUS 6/12/24 hour run. The trails were wide, well-groomed, and fairly flat. It would be a good course to go for a distance … MORE

I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend at the KUS 6/12/24 hour run. The trails were wide, well-groomed, and fairly flat. It would be a good course to go for a distance PR. The volunteers and race volunteers were very friendly and learned my name fairly quickly. The aid station was the best that I’ve seen all year, with at least six crock pots full of hot food and other real food available by request such as ham and cheese sandwiches. They also had a couple of different soups, quesidillas, and pancakes and bacon for breakfast. They also had pre-packaged danish and cookies. About half of the course was sheltered from the wind by trees, but the other half was open. Fortunately for me, the weather cooperated, although it was crisp and clear. The one main aid station was inside a large recreation complex, complete with tables and chairs where one could get out of the cold and rest. There was also a masseuse on hand the whole 24 hours of the race whose services were provided for free with a sign that said tips were appreciated. The race was chip timed and everyone who finished at least 31 miles received a heavy cast bronze belt buckle.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
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This race was held at a golden time of the year when the fall colors are at their peak. The course is along single track mountain bike trails, which can … MORE

This race was held at a golden time of the year when the fall colors are at their peak. The course is along single track mountain bike trails, which can be hard on the feet due to the hard packed dirt. The course is far from flat with a total elevation gain of 420 feet per 5 mile loop. There are a lot of switchbacks, which can make progress back to the start/finish area show, but they also ameliorate the hills. With the exception of one particularly steep, but short hill, the uphill sections were very manageable, but eventually took their toll on this flatlander. The venue is nice in that there is a large building with indoor restrooms, a restaurant which wasn’t needed due to the well-supplied aid station, and a large lounge area where support and family members could get out of the cold in the morning. Door prizes were randomly awarded as runners crossed the start/finish line throughout the race, and most of the 12-hour runners had to option of receiving a nice picnic blanket or a discount for next year’s race. There was no medal, but the blanket was a much better deal.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
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4
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I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend at the Bear Lake Ultra 24 hour run. It was held at the Lions Bear Lake Camp north of Lapeer, MI. The start/finish line and … MORE

I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend at the Bear Lake Ultra 24 hour run. It was held at the Lions Bear Lake Camp north of Lapeer, MI. The start/finish line and main aid station was located at the top of a hill that rises about 95 feet from the lower part of the camp. Most of the rest of the 3.1 mile loop course was rolling hills with a few steep, but short climbs. Altogether, my GPS watch recorded an average of 94 feet elevation gain per mile. That qualifies as a hilly course in my book, but the hills were manageable. At no point in the day did I feel totally wiped out when I got to the top of the last hill, which was the longest one. Most of the trails were double wide and smooth, but there were a few single track trails that had a few small roots, but they were well marked with orange spray paint. The trees were beautiful with their fall colors and the air was clear and cool which made for excellent running conditions. The aid station was well supplied with the usual ultra food and drink selections, although some of the portion sizes were rather small (not a big problem because you can always take more than one at a time). Later in the afternoon, they put out cheese and pepperoni pizza and I also saw some kind of hot soup that was served. I got a glimpse of what was probably a deer running through the brush, but I didn’t get a good look at it. I also saw a fox squirrel, a cottontail, and a water snake. The swag included a nice heavyweight hoodie with the race name and logo, and a nice basket that you could use to carry all of your race supplies. The runners, volunteers and race management was very friendly and encouraged us to ask if we needed anything. I had a great time and would consider returning again if I ever need another race in Michigan.

DIFFICULTY
4
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5
SCENERY
5
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5
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This is a small-town marathon that does a very nice job of organizing and running a fall half marathon. The medals are very nice and usually feature the namesake Corn … MORE

This is a small-town marathon that does a very nice job of organizing and running a fall half marathon. The medals are very nice and usually feature the namesake Corn Palace. Bananas, bottled water, and chocolate milk were supplied at the finish. The weather was overcast this year, but the rain held off which made for nice running weather. The trees were turning shades of red and yellow around Lake Mitchell which made for scenic views. The course is fairly flat and is a fast course.

DIFFICULTY
2
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4
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5

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This year I was really impressed with the course improvements that were made. There were some stretches in the woods where there were low spots that would puddle water when … MORE

This year I was really impressed with the course improvements that were made. There were some stretches in the woods where there were low spots that would puddle water when it rains and that would get muddy. This year, however, the county that manages the park put down some hard-packed gravel in the problem areas that made it less slippery and easier to run, even in the rain.

The race committee continues to put on a very well-supported event with a lot of food, a generous post-race awards ceremony with a taco bar and a lot of door prizes. Runners that reach an accumulation of 100 miles are still given free sweatshirts and a hundred mile patch, and those who reach 200, 300, or 400 cumulative miles get additional patches. I haven’t sat down and figured out the average mileage for this year, but with the course improvements, I would guess that it was much higher than last year. I don’t know if they had it last year, but they also had chip timing this year as well as volunteers counting laps as a back up.

DIFFICULTY
2
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5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
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This is a small, low-key race on a couple's organic vegetable farm. I have ran it four times, and it seems like it keeps getting better year after year. This … MORE

This is a small, low-key race on a couple’s organic vegetable farm. I have ran it four times, and it seems like it keeps getting better year after year. This year, a wooden bridge over the creek washed out earlier in the year, and they just built a bridge out of dirt to cross the creek. I actually liked this arrangement better as you didn’t have to step up onto the bridge. Instead, you could just run across. Grass has also grown on the trail, so instead of soft dirt that can turn to mud when it rains, there is a layer of short grass to run on. There is still one part of the trail that runs along a slope, so the trail is slanted to the left, but it is only a short stretch that doesn’t take long to cross. Basically though, the whole trail is runnable, even for slower runners like me. The farm has a lot of fun animals to watch, including T-bone the miniature steer, Wierd Harold the pig, donkeys, chickens, ducks, and Pearl, the tame whitetail doe who sometimes runs with the runners. The race directors are really nice and accommodating as are all of the runners. They have a really nice aid station with “real food” and a variety of beverages to drink including beer. All in all, it makes for a fun weekend.

DIFFICULTY
2
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5
SCENERY
4
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3

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This was the fourth time I've run the Sioux Falls Marathon. For the last few years, I've been running mostly ultramarathons and only one or two marathons a year. The … MORE

This was the fourth time I’ve run the Sioux Falls Marathon. For the last few years, I’ve been running mostly ultramarathons and only one or two marathons a year. The only reason I did this one is that it is close to where I live, so travel time is short and I don’t have to spend money on a motel. If it was further away from me, I probably wouldn’t do it as often. There is only one short stretch that is scenic, which is near the falls. Much of it is along urban bike trails and the last 10 miles or so is along the Big Sioux River with no shade. This race is know for being very hot and humid some years, but this year we were lucky as there was plenty of cloud cover for the first 4 hours. The race was well organized and volunteers were plentiful and enthusiastic. I was a little disappointed in the swag though. The finisher’s medal was a rather smallish, plain medal in the shape of the state of South Dakota, and the shirts were very thin “t-shirt” hoodies. They had soft granola bars, bananas, ice cream bars, and beer from a local brewery. We started and finished at Howard Wood Field this year, rather than starting inside the arena. I actually kind of liked it better as it didn’t seem as crowded.

DIFFICULTY
2
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5
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2
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2

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This course was run on a loop of approximately 6.4 miles. There were two long, steep, steep hills with about 400 feet elevation gain each per loop. Combine that with … MORE

This course was run on a loop of approximately 6.4 miles. There were two long, steep, steep hills with about 400 feet elevation gain each per loop. Combine that with July heat and humidity and you have yourself a real challenge. To give you an idea, there were 16 runners signed up for the marathon, and only 9 completed all 4 loops. Granted, the race directors allowed runners to drop down to a shorter distance should they choose, and quite a few chose to do it. The trails were very pretty with a lot of wildflowers in the meadows, and were marked so well that you would have to really try to go off course. There was plenty of food for sale afterwards, but it was kind of pricey. The race was really well organized with encouraging and dedicated volunteers. I registered too late to get a shirt, and all finishers were given a cow bell as a finisher’s award. All in all, it was a very nice race, but not for flatlanders.

DIFFICULTY
5
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5
SCENERY
4
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2
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This race was one of the races in the Mainly Marathon's Summer Camp series. Unlike their other series where you can run a race in different states on consecutive days, … MORE

This race was one of the races in the Mainly Marathon’s Summer Camp series. Unlike their other series where you can run a race in different states on consecutive days, all of the races in this series were near St. Cloud, MN, the hometown of the Mainly Mararthon’s owners.

This particular race was at Bend in the River Regional Park which is located near the Mississippi River. The park is an old farmstead, complete with farm buildings near the start, and was all on gravel and dirt roads. After we made a loop around the parking area, we headed out on a gravel road that paralleled the main highway and the river. The first half of the out and back course had a few patches of shade, but was mostly out in the open. The second half was heavily shaded and had three different overlooks were there were benches with concrete block retaining walls where you could see the Mississippi River. It did get pretty hot in the second half of the marathon, but nothing that couldn’t be managed by slowing down and staying well hydrated. The restrooms near the start/finish area had sinks with running water, and I stopped there a few times in the afternoon to douse myself with water.

The bling for Mainly Marathons keeps getting better and better. I especially liked the cotton t-shirts which had a well-designed summer camp logo and the medals were very nice too.

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2
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5
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Yes, this was one tough course with a little over 100 feet of elevation gain per mile. For the third year in a row, the G.O.A.T.z. trail running club move … MORE

Yes, this was one tough course with a little over 100 feet of elevation gain per mile. For the third year in a row, the G.O.A.T.z. trail running club move the course to another location. This time it was at the Chalco Hills Recreation Area southwest of Omaha in the Chalco suburb. Just to give you an idea, we started out by going up a sledding hill that was almost as much elevation gain as a short bunny skiing slope. Right after that, we went down a long, gradual downhill through a row of trees for about a half a mile. That was the easiest part of the course, but all runners know that whatever goes down, must go back up again. We then took a hairpin turn onto an exposed power line with some really big rolling hills that were mostly uphill for about another half of a mile. After that, there were more hills, but not as long or as steep as in the first mile. There weren’t any really scenic vistas as we were in a suburb of Omaha, and there wasn’t much in the way of wildlife, although I did see white-tailed deer on the trail right in front of me that was standing in the sunlight and looked beautiful. I also heard a lot of birds singing along the trail, but didn’t see many of them except for a pair of Northern Cardinals. The swag was really nice as is usually the case with the G.O.A.T.z. trail running club. We received a nicely colored cotton t-shirt, a wooden finisher’s award for those who stayed out on the course for the full time, and a very nice looking trucker’s cap. The main aid station was well supplied, although I didn’t rely much on solid food for this one, but instead relied on a combination of Maurten sports drink, Tailwind, Coca cola, and Powerade.

DIFFICULTY
4
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5
My Report
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2
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4

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Sinks Canyon is named for a geological feature in which the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River dives under a granite escarpment and disappears, only to reappear just a … MORE

Sinks Canyon is named for a geological feature in which the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River dives under a granite escarpment and disappears, only to reappear just a short distance down the canyon. The race began just a few miles upstream of this feature and was held mainly on single track trails. The trail started out easily enough, even though the start was above 7,000 feet elevation. It followed the river downstream for about a mile before turning around and gradually ascended along the side of the canyon wall. Once we got to the first aid station, the course continued uphill until we came to a road which ascended along the side of fossil hill, which is one of the highest points in the area. I’m not sure, but I think we had to divert this year to run along the road which was a gradual uphill climb. We then turned onto the Wolf Trail, which was an old jeep trail that went straight uphill. This was the toughest part of the 18K course as it was very steep 1 mile climb to near the top of Fossil Hill where the second aid station was located. I had to stop about every 50 yards to catch my breath and to keep my heart from beating out of my chest. From the aid station near the top of Fossil Hill, we went around the backside of the ridge on single track trails and then followed the top of the ridge down towards the bottom of the canyon. After we crossed over at a pass in the canyon wall, we then followed the trail back downhill to the start. There were wildflowers growing everywhere including Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Wyoming Paintbrush, Lupines, Penstemon, and many others. The only wildlife that I saw were red squirrels, but there are mule deer and even moose that are known to inhabit the canyon. The course was very challenging with close to 2,000 total feet of elevation gain in 11 miles, which is why I didn’t choose the longer 50K course this time which had over 6,000 feet elevation gain. The steep climbs were worth it though for the scenic views and beautiful flora along the trail. Swag was minimal, and included only a technical shirt and a pint glass at the finish line, but there were delicious gourmet wraps at the finish, which made up for the lack of a finisher’s medal.

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4
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5
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The Alaska Endurance Trail Run is held on the wide, unpaved cross country ski trails adjacent to the University of Alaska Campus. The trails are varied: mostly dirt, some of … MORE

The Alaska Endurance Trail Run is held on the wide, unpaved cross country ski trails adjacent to the University of Alaska Campus. The trails are varied: mostly dirt, some of which is covered with wood chips, as well as grassy fields with wet spots. In fact, there are quite a few soggy places which makes keeping one’s feet dry almost impossible. The only wildlife that I saw on the trail were red squirrels, although I did see some moose sign. It was interesting to run through the night when the sun did drop below the horizon for a couple of hours, but it never really got dark. In fact, I didn’t need a headlamp at any time. There were no finisher medals, but running in Alaska is enough reward in itself.

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4
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4
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3
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3

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I signed up for this race because I knew that I would be traveling through the area on the weekend of it. I'm glad I did, because it was a … MORE

I signed up for this race because I knew that I would be traveling through the area on the weekend of it. I’m glad I did, because it was a very laid back, small race. The course was on the concrete bike paths of the Poudre River Trail. The start was near where the Cache la Poudre River crossed highway 34 near Windsor, CO and extended to Island Grove in Greeley, CO and then back again to the start. The course was about as flat as you could get, with no major hills. Most of the course was along the riparian areas of the Poudre River and passed by farmland with cattle and even one area with prairie dogs. Along the back half, the course bordered several water-filled ponds formed from mining activity. The scenery wasn’t anything to write home about, but the excellent race organization made up for the shortfalls in scenic vistas. Swag included a technical running shirt, a finisher’s medal, and food and beer at the finish. Hydration on the course included unflavored Tailwind, water, and Coca cola at some of the aid stations. What impressed me the most was that the race director had to make a mid-race detour along the course due to downed power lines from a storm the night before. She did this seamlessly, and even got volunteers out on the detour to direct us along with an aid station. This added an extra mile to the course, but at least we were able to finish our race.

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5
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On May 21, 2022, I ran the spring edition of the Witch Dance Trail Run in the Tombigbee National Forest near Houston, MS, but it didn't go the way I … MORE

On May 21, 2022, I ran the spring edition of the Witch Dance Trail Run in the Tombigbee National Forest near Houston, MS, but it didn’t go the way I had planned. I had a couple of problems that messed with my head going into the run which was causing some unnecessary anxiety, the foremost of which was that I hurt my lower back on the Monday before the race while bending over to fill my lawnmower with gas (damn you household chores!). The second and third were the hills for which I hadn’t trained, compounded by not running since I hurt my back, and the heat and humidity which I wasn’t prepared for.
I had signed up for the 50K which had a soft 8-hour cutoff. The race director said that if we were through the last full-service aid station within 8-hours, we could continue to the finish. The course was a 12.5 km loop on an equine trail. The first loop went well, but by the end I knew that I would not be able to keep up the pace because of the heat and humidity. I did the calculations in my head, and figured that it would take me at least 9 + hours to finish, which would have most-likely given me an official finish time. If I did that though, I would be hard-pressed to get my rental car back in time to avoid having to pay for another day’s rental charge, which I didn’t want to do. Besides, if I finished the 4 loops, I would have been so wiped out that I would not be able to drive back to the airport in Memphis safely by myself. Thus, by the end of the first loop, I had already decided to ask the race director if I could drop to the 25K distance, which he agreed to do.
Knowing that I only was going to do one more loop, I admittedly took my time so as not to succumb to the MS heat and humidity. It took me almost 5 hours to finish the 50K, but I was in good shape to do the 2.5 hour drive back to the airport. I know that given enough time, I could have finished the 50K, but I would have been miserable and most likely not have returned my rental car in time. I was, however, not the only runner to drop to the 25K. There were 15 people signed up for the 50K, and only 6 finished. Even the locals who were used to the heat complained that it was too hot.
The race director did give me a medal, which did not have a distance on it like the others. When I looked at it, I was worried that TSA wouldn’t allow it in my carry on bag because it was a cutout of a witches head, and the brim of the had had sharp points on it, so I took it out of my bag before going through security and put it in one of the plastic bins. Apparently, they must have confiscated it because when I picked up my items after they were scanned, it wasn’t there, or else I just missed picking it up because it wasn’t in my bag when I got home. I was still worth it and I’m glad I did it for the experience..
Sorry for the long-winded pity party. I’ll post a picture of a tree that I thought went along with the name of the trail for which the race was named (pun unintended).
P.S. My back didn’t bother me much during the run, but probably slowed me down a little and it is a little sore today.

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This race was put on as a fundraiser for Rover Rescue, a decentralized organization that fosters dogs that are available for adoption. The race was run on a 1.55 mile … MORE

This race was put on as a fundraiser for Rover Rescue, a decentralized organization that fosters dogs that are available for adoption. The race was run on a 1.55 mile loop that we ran 20 times around the scenic Waubonsie Lake Park in Aurora, IL. The area appeared to be a clean, upscale suburb of Chicago. It was an open course, so there were a lot of people walking and running on the path, some with their dogs, but it never felt crowded. There were plenty of people to watch as we ran, so it never seemed boring. It was a small race, so I spent most of the first half running by myself, but ended up running with a couple of other runners in the second half after most of the runners in the shorter races had finished. The swag included a hat, which did not arrive in time for the race, but the race director said that they would be mailed out. The 50K finishers were also given a small, but colorful belt buckle as a finisher award. There was water, HEED, Coca-cola, and Ginger ale provided for hydration, and snack-type food such as cookies and mini muffins for nutrition. It would have been nice to have some peanut butter and jelly sandwichs or wraps, but it wasn’t bad for a small race. The nice thing is that we went by the aid station every 1.55 miles. I had to be careful not to spend too much time at the aid station, as there was an 8.5 hour cutoff which I easily met by almost an hour. The trail was paved and was flat and fast with just slight undulations. Garmin Connect said that there was only 125 feet of elevation gain over the 31 miles, so it is a very fast course. There was one short stretch of maybe 200 yards with dense shade, otherwise it was fairly open which wasn’t a problem with this spring ultra.

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This was not only the inaugural running of the Mile 0 Flint Hills Trail Run, but was the first race done on the newly constructed east end of the trail. … MORE

This was not only the inaugural running of the Mile 0 Flint Hills Trail Run, but was the first race done on the newly constructed east end of the trail. The trailhead was impressive with a depot-style kiosk with historical information about the area and a nice iron archway in a local style. There was some loose gravel right at the start, but most of the rest of the trail was nicely groomed and smooth with a crushed limestone surface. One of the prettiest sections of the trail were between about mile 5 and 6 where it bordered the Marais Des Cygnes River. Even where the trail wasn’t right next to the river, it went alongside the wooded bluffs of the river valley made up of chert (flint) embedded limestone, the namesake of the “Flint Hills.” About a mile before the trail reaches the small town of Ratoul, the land opens up into open grassland, but most of the rest of the trail is bordered by shade-bearing trees.

The race was very well organized with police monitoring the places where the trail crossed public roads and a system where runners were checked in and out of the aid stations which were spaced a maximum of about 5 miles apart. Aid stations were typical of most ultras with PB&J sandwiches, fruit chews, pretzels, chips, cookies, donuts, and a good selection of soft drinks. I must have looked like I was in bad shape at one of the last aid stations as I was even offered some Fireball whiskey, which I declined. Finisher awards were made of wood, and we were offered soft drinks, pork sliders, breakfast burritos, and chips at the finish. Professional photographers were also seen along the trail.
All in all, the race was professionally run and was organized like a well-polished machine. It’s too bad that this is so far away from where I live as I would like to do it again and spend a little more time in the area.

DIFFICULTY
2
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5
SCENERY
4
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4
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The Delano Park 12-hour is a really well run fixed time race on a 1-mile crushed limestone course that meanders around the park. The course is mostly flat, with a … MORE

The Delano Park 12-hour is a really well run fixed time race on a 1-mile crushed limestone course that meanders around the park. The course is mostly flat, with a couple of ruts that are easily negotiable. The weather in this part of Alabama was warm but tolerable in early March, and was a welcome relief for this runner from the cold and snow up north. There was a little shade in just a few spots along the course, but not much as the deciduous trees had not leafed out yet. The day of race packet pickup was self service, but was easy to do. The one aid station at the start/finish was extremely well stocked with food and drinks. They had bottles of gatorade, bottled water, and several types of soft drinks. In the afternoon, they also had pizza. This year, they gave out heavy cotton sweat shirts, a swag bag with all sorts of miscellaneous office supplies, and a small finisher’s plaque. At the finish, they also gave us an engraved plate with our finish distance that we could add to the plaque. There was also a very nice dinner and awards ceremony at a church just a couple of blocks from the course. It would have been a very nice weekend had my travel arrangements gone as smoothly as the race. I had a travel delay at the DFW airport, but still got home the same day.

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5
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I was pleasantly surprised as I traversed over the two loops of the Go Long, Go Short, Go Very Long 50K course. Yes, there were a few industrial areas and … MORE

I was pleasantly surprised as I traversed over the two loops of the Go Long, Go Short, Go Very Long 50K course. Yes, there were a few industrial areas and construction that we went by, but the park areas near Turkey Hill and along the North side of the Arkansas River more than made up for the less than idyllic sections. For the most part, the course was very flat and paved with the exception of a short section of the trail near some construction. The one hilly part was when we went up over the top of Turkey Hill, which is considered an Urban Wilderness area by the Tulsa River Parks Authority. Of course, I didn’t like the idea of going up that hill on the second loop, but you are rewarded with a nice downhill stretch on the opposite side. There was a nice start/finish area in River West Festival Park, but the one big disappointment was the aid stations. There were enough of them for me and they were well manned, but the food and drink offerings were very limited compared to most trail marathons. The only drink offerings were water and NUUN drink, and the only food along most of the course were pre-packaged pretzels and peanut butter granola bars. Granted, they did have some delicious beef burritos and hot dogs at the finish, along with craft beer, but it would have been nice to have some more options at the aid stations. The finisher medals were really groovy, and the long-sleeve shirts were also nice. All in all, I would give the race a 4 out of 5, but if there was more at the aid stations, I would have given it a 5/5.

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Running for 24 hours on an 800 meter loop may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if you like to eat, there is fine dining at the aid station … MORE

Running for 24 hours on an 800 meter loop may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like to eat, there is fine dining at the aid station every half a mile. The course was actually a lot prettier than I thought it would be based on the pictures that I saw on social media. Yes, there aren’t very many trees along the course, but you can see the lake and the lakeshore. One downside is that the park is right on the flight path for the DFW airport, so there is a continual stream of low-flying jets flying overhead, which makes for a lot of noise. I found it hard to maintain conversations with other runners due to the air traffic noise. The running surface is entirely pavement, which can be hard on the feet if you aren’t used to it. There is one small upslope on one curve and a short downslope on the opposite side of the course, otherwise it is very flat.
On the plus side, the aid stations had real food such as soup, rice and beans, and pizza, as well as Hammer energy gels and snack food. The race shirts weren’t as nice as the ones last year that I received when the event was switched to a virtual run and consisted of a black, long-sleeved technical shirt. We also received a swag bag with a choice between a water bottle or a travel mug and a wooden finisher’s award.

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I didn't have a lot of expectations for this race going in due to the small size and small-town location, but boy did they ever over-deliver. There were less than … MORE

I didn’t have a lot of expectations for this race going in due to the small size and small-town location, but boy did they ever over-deliver. There were less than 15 starters this year (but over 10 finishers to meet the 50 State Marathon Club requirement) and everyone finished. Race organization and amenities were second to none. They had a packet pickup the day before at the Hebron Community Center and had a complementary spaghetti dinner for participants. There was also an option to pick up your bib and swag at the shuttle pickup the morning of the race. There was a short shuttle ride to the start, which was at a turnaround at a historical marker for the Oregon Trail. We had a shotgun start, and ran around the turnaround before heading east parallel to the actual route of the Oregon Trail. There was a 10-15 mph headwind for the first 9-10 miles, but then we had the wind to our backs for the rest of the race. The route was very well marked with mile markers and signs at the turns, but they still had volunteers at each turn to make sure we stayed on course. Aid stations were every three miles, so if you need a lot of hydration, I’d recommend carrying a bottle, but it wasn’t really necessary with the cool temperatures. There was another short shuttle after the finish back to the Community Center where they had some light snack food and water. Swag consisted of a technical running shirt and a small, but nice medal. I was kind of disappointed with the number of runners, because I felt that the humble and hard working race organizers deserved better.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
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