Monday, April 23, 2012

More MUDD - The Earth Day 50k trail race

Part three of MUDD it appears by my current titles but this time slightly different, maybe the same.

Earth Day 50k was held Sunday April 22nd at Veteran's Acres in Crystal Lake, Illinois. The race was put on by Michele Hartwig and her MUDD running group which I am a proud member of. For this race I volunteered and before I go on this was a first class event.

Originally I had wanted to run this 50k but my lack of training this mild winter (what is with that) meant plans changed. I offered Michele my services for race day and was assigned to be on the timing crew.

I arrived at VA early and helped do some set up at race HQ before joining the time crew. Michele had a great bunch of timers lead by Steve Conn. There was not really much to do besides call out numbers and times. This crew was well polished, as were the aid station crew, the cheerleaders and the course markers.

There was around 70 plus people including relay teams signed up for this first time event  and I think close to that number of volunteers.  The course was a small mile loop (tacked on to first main loop) and five six mile (main) loops for a total of 31 miles. Most of Chicagoland is flat but out in the northwest are some nice hills as I reported a few weeks ago. Most of each loop was single track with maybe 1% paved, 20% wider grass/dirt/gravel trails and plenty of hills, roots, rocks and a little mud but plenty of MUDD.

Majority of runners were trail and ultra vets but there was also a nice showing of ultra virgins including a couple of ladies who originally had signed up to do the relay together but challenged each other to do the whole thing (and they did), way to go Jenn and Carina.

Race started with the National anthem played on the trumpet. Some runners went out on a blazing pace. Trey Robinson took the win in around 3:43 which on that trail system is flying. I heard he ran a 2:34 at Chicago marathon last year. Trey was 30 minutes ahead of the 2nd place finisher John Kiser but should add John's time was inspiring as he was close to double Trey's age. Way to go John. The ladies had a three way battle for honors between Shelley Cook, Karen Webber and Sarah Jurgaitis with Shelley taking the win in 4:48. Results are here:

Each finisher was award an unique finisher "medal", a round piece of wood from VA with a medal  mounted on it. Race champs and age group winners won wood logs with a metal plaque mounted on it, the champs was actually craved into the wood. Very unique.

Every runner also got a goody bag with a few items from sponsor including INOV-8 and a great T shirt with a simple design that says "Earth Day 50k", see the photo at top. Both aid stations were well stocked with ultra staples and the start/finish line AS had a bakery worth of goodies thanks to a number of runners and volunteers who had kindly supplied some treats.

Later in the day I got to run a loop of the course with a couple volunteers/crew members. This course was so well marked it was just about impossible to get lost although I knew one runner who did. Each turn was marked with a pie plate arrow and red/orange flags but I guess if you wasn't paying attention or in the zone a turn could be missed.

This was a great great day. Michele, Dorn who designed the course and created the awards along with all the MUDDs did an awesome job. There was nothing but smiling faces all race long and some amazing efforts. Next year this race will either sell out in record time or Michele will have to increase the number of runners allowed to run , you've all been warned. MUDD Earth Day 50k is a winner

One of my favorite photos from the race. (borrowed from Carrie's FB album). All smiles and Gnomes.


Tim said...

Shucks, I never got a finisher's medal. Nice blog though. Thanks for volunteering!

Michele Hartwig said...

Awesome report Ian!!! Thanks for helping. I always love spending the day with you. Tim, I can mail you a finisher medal.

Michele Hartwig said...

Awesome report Ian!!! Thanks for helping. I always love spending the day with you. Tim, I can mail you a finisher medal.

Ian said...

Tim, you was at Earth Day 50k. Oh wished I had known that, darn