The Bear Trax 20K and Brownie shuffle benefit the Nancy Sellars Foundation
. Nancy was an endurance athlete who was killed by a drunk driver in 2008. I didn't know Nancy, but I know several people who knew her.
The event takes place at Lapham Peak State Park
in the Kettle Moraine Southern Unit. For those familiar with state parks in this area with running trails - there is Scuppernong, Nordic and Lapham. Lapham is the hilliest. I've have logged many miles in all 3 parks.
Registration and packet pick up were at the Homestead Hollow site. Very well organized. We arrived to hear Mary Gorski MC'ing, and awesome music playing (lots of Red Hot Chili Peppers). We saw familiar faces - legendary trail runners Tom and Loraine Bunk, Tom Held from the Milwaukee Journal, Jeff Weis of the Badgerland Striders, Kris Hinrich - Lakefront Marathon race director, John Rodee - experienced ultra runner, to name a few.
The 20K course was well marked, and winded and twisted around just about every trail out there. It primarily used the ski trails which are plenty wide, giving us lots of room. We were treated to one small section of the Ice Age Trail where we trekked single file up a killer hill. I got to enjoy trail sections that I had not been on before, and lots of hills, puddles, mud, and great weather: fog and drizzle.
I planned to run this at a moderate effort - pushing the pace, a little. I finished feeling strong in 1:53, which I was reasonably pleased with. A 9:07 pace. Not bad for a rugged trail run. Tho, I did finish behind someone in a full bear costume. Pretty sure Bill enjoyed pointing this out to me.
Race perks included a very nice technical shirt that I can actually wear. They offered a small that fits. Woo Hoo! (Those familiar with my blog know that my pet peeve is not getting a shirt small enough to fit.) The back of the shirt features the course elevation profile - very cool. Those that pre-registered appeared to get additional freebies, but I was a day-of gal today.
Post race snacks included bagels, cinnamon rolls, bananas, water, gatorade, and very much appreciated hot chocolate. It was a bit cold after the finish. Post race raffle was followed by the awards. I received a lovely Bear Trax mug and beanie baby bear for my second place finish in my division.
Loved loved loved the course. Mary Gorski did a great job of MC'ing. Well organized, great size event, perfect location (15 min from home - that's tough to beat.) Looking forward to next year's event.