Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Last Weekend in September

What a great weekend. Went to the Carpenter Nature Center's Raptor Release on Saturday. The skies threatened rain but changed to partly cloudy and warm sunshine. What a great opportunity to see these amazing animals up close and learn more about them as a species. The knowledgeable volunteers shared the individual bird's stories.

Three raptors were scheduled to be released in the morning. The bonus bird was a gorgeous young eagle that flew low over the audience before heading towards the river. The morning seemed to go too fast and then we had to leave. Friends were meeting at the Gasthaus for Oktoberfest and we had to be there early to get a table.

The Gashaus was "party central". Running legends Dave & Luther were there. Larry & Marilyn, Jim & Rose, Jim's brother Don shared one table and a big bag of kettle corn with us. We talked to another table of runners that were swapping stories about their training for the upcoming Twin Cities Marathon. Dancing the polka must be good for the legs! And the famous Pennycook was there. He is famous for the story he once told us about running the TCM "on memory" with his longest run of 6 miles. A week later another runner told us Pennycook had been at the 20 mile training run. Hmmm.

Throw in a long run (4 hours) on Sunday at Afton SP with great weather and it becomes another perfect weekend. It was good to see so many people out on the trails, walking with their friends, family and dogs. One group of 3 women were enjoying the horse trails and asked us to take their photo. Hope it turned out !

While there were lots of butterflies along the trails, this one really stood out for me so I stopped to take a photo. The Audubon butterfly book called it a Giant Swallowtail. In addition to the unusual pattern (most black and yellow swallowtails we see are Tiger Swallowtails), this one is yellow when the wings are closed.

Hope your training is going well, too. See you on the trails !

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hills tonight & Links to Superior Sawtooth Races

Worked out 3 times this week. Going to do hills tonight at Afton. Hope the rain stays away.

Individual Race Reports of the Superior Sawtooth Races

Photos of the races are located at these sites:

Photos by Jen & Zach Pierce:

Photos by Londell Pease: link

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Superior Sawtooth 100 & Superior 50 Sugar Loaf Aid Station

We spent the night at the Sugarloaf Aid Station, mile 71.6  Someone from Larry's crew had arrived early and set up the shelters, tables and dropped the supplies off. We set up our tent, sleeping bags, air mattress, food, beverages, lights, and stove. We had the PBJ sandwiches made and the food fairly waterproofed and ready for runners by the time the rain started.

The first runner blasted in at 10:15 pm, almost 3 hours faster than last year !!!

The 100 milers and pacers were sporadic during the night. Some were quite cold, but all continued. They were just incredible.

Jim Wilson was in good spirits.
John Taylor kept saying thank you, I'm shivering but that's normal, I'm OK.
Valeria LaRosa looked great and she was in first place when she left the aid station.
Sheryl Wheeler was in second place and doing great.
The Saari's were organized and running great.
Brian Peterson flew through the aid station, almost as fast as the first 50 milers.
Results should be available soon at:
Superior Trail Race

It got pretty crazy when the 50 milers started coming through. Just had to focus on getting them what they needed and getting them out of there. It was much better with 4 people this year. Last year we only had 3 volunteers at the aid station. This was so this was much better.

Some of the 50 milers:
John Horns cruised through like it was just a run in the park.
Steve Krampe looked great - welcome back to running Steve !!
Phillip Gary Smith was close to the course sweeps.

We were busy for most of the morning. As things started winding down, other volunteers came by, to see if we needed anything. Then they helped with the final teardown beginning around noon. We headed home around 2pm. What a long day. We were too sleepy to drive so we pulled over at the scenic overlook in Duluth to take a little nap before finishing the drive home.

Ran at Battle Creek Park on Sunday. Managed to stay ahead of the mosquitoes. Then off to Carpenter Nature Center's big fund raiser on Sunday evening. It was really fun.