This was my first John Dick Memorial Crusty 50K. This is a very low key race. More like an organized fun run. Its run on trails in the hilly and scenic Kettle Moraine. It offers a 10K "loop" course and runners simply do as many loops as they want. Its actually 2 out-and-back legs one with a small loop at then end. The course changes from year to hear, but they tell me that this year's course was the same as last. There is an unmanned aid station at the end of the first leg, with water, gatorade and a few snacks, and a manned aid station with water gatorade and lots of snacks at the other end.
I planned on doing 3 loops, and would see how I felt. Maybe 4 loops. I tried to recruit some of my Armelian running group to join me, but that was not productive. Some of them are planning to do Ice Age, but they still declined.
The weather was unusually warm for February in Wisconsin. It was about 40 degrees at the start. The trail was snow packed by snowmobiles, and offered surprisingly good footing. It was very runnable. There were a couple sections of ice, which I found within the first 20 minutes. Coming around a turn, and a downhill, I hit ice. No wobbling, no attempt at recovering from this fall. Down. Boom. Ouch. I got up, and withing about 10 seconds, nothing hurt. Okay - falling early is good, because its still easy to get back up.
I started out running with Deb V for a bit, then ran with a couple from Minnesota - Lynn and Daryl. They had a 5 month old puppy with them who was waiting in the car - Lexi. I met Lexi before the race - she was SO CUTE!
By the time I got to the manned aid station on the first loop, I caught up with John R and Kathryn D. I enjoyed running with them for the next 2 loops. John and Kathryn are veteran trail runners, and know EVERYONE. John pointed out everyone as we passed them on the out-and-back stretches, and had a story for everyone. All nice stories. John also pointed out the location of the infamous Betty S incident of 2007.
I ran with John and Kathryn for 2 full loops. At our third stop at the aid station, I decided headed back out before they were quite ready. I didn't want to stop as long as they were, I like to keep going. As I finished my 3rd loop, I was feeling really good, so decided to do another loop. I ran this one mostly solo. Saying hi to familiar faces as we passed each other. I saw Lynn and Daryl, and they had decided to bring Lexi out for a loop. She should get the award for cutest participant. And most energetic too.
At the end of my 4th loop, I ran with Barb F for a bit. I finished the 4th loop, and still felt really good. So I started a 5th loop. I did wonder if it would be a mistake, but the weather was warm enough that I could walk without freezing. By the 5th loop, most of the trail was still in pretty good shape, but lots of sections had turned really messy, with thick puddly slush.
I finished my 5th loop feeling better than I do at the end of many marathons. I proceeded up the road to the finish, which was the doorway of the Donald Mackie picnic site building hut thing. I walked in, and the chili smelled so go, and lots of post-race goodies too.
So there it is, my first every ultra. Dave O was there taking pictures. Looking forward to posting those soon - he usually sends them to us in about a week. Sorry, no pictures from husband/webmaster Bill. Maybe next year.