Monday, May 16, 2022

RunShowUSA coming to Chicago's Rosement Des Center in June


Coming to Chicago's Rosemont DES Center on June 4-5 is The RunShowUSA.

Proud to announce I am an ambassador for the 2022 The RunShow USA expo being held in the Chicago burb of Rosement at the Des Convention Center, June 4-5. Please join me the event that will feature experts in running, celebrity runners, runner workshops, runner booth to pick up anything and everything runners. Click on the link above to get more details and click on this link to get a free weekend pass (parking not included)

Stop by to hear speakers talk about all things running including Gary Robbins, Sally McRae, the Miravator, Henry Ward, Galen Rupp and Carl Lewis and many more.

Visit vendors at their booths both local and national attendees

Get running advice from the experts including how to, injury recovery, nutrition, training tips, screenings clinic, information on races and training programs

Shop for running products including Hoka One One, Coors, Nathan Sports, ASICS, Altra, Fleet Feet and more. The list is growing weekly

Information on races from Ornery Mule Racing, Fleet Feet Sports, Badwater and others

Back to it: Ice Age Trail 50 volunteering


     (photo/logo owned by Ice Age Trail 50)

Past two years for events have been different. Honestly not sure how else what call it but different. Most events including those I loved being at were cancelled, postponed, moved once, twice, three times.....when they came back first it was the smaller races or races that could limit their numbers or restructure their format. One local trail ultra for example, that was canceled in 2020 was held over 3 days in 2021 to limit runners each day and the results combined. End of 2021 saw many events being held and a congested calendar as early year events were moved to the end to join the traditional end of year races. Most runners took it all in stride just happy to be back. I was lucky to volunteer at a few events in 2020 and 2021 all held with caution and safety. When not running or hiking trails, I can be found volunteering to help runners meet their ultra-goals.

Ice Age Trail 50 is held in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine. Nearest town is La Grange not far from Whitewater. It is held in May each year and hosts a 50 mile, 50k and half marathon all on single track and double trail.  In a normal year the race draws around 900 runners. Like most spring 2020 races it was cancelled then the makeup date in the autumn went the same way. Finally in 2021 the race happened but pushed back to September. Two and half years had passed since the last Ice Age Trail 50 yet finally it was a go, but the numbers were down due to deferment allowed or other races that clashed with it. And I volunteered.

Fast forward six months and Ice Age Trail 50 was back to its May calendar date and a normal sized field of runners. I think I had to be one of the first to volunteer as not much could keep me away. Around 10 years ago I had reached out to the race's volunteer coordinator wanting to help at the race I heard about. Angela assigned me to the aid station at Highway 12 and I was welcomed by long time aid station captain's Mary and Craig with open arms. I have returned every year and that was the case in 2022.

(photo by Ian Stevens) 

Arriving early the race van had dropped off the supplies and everything was set up very quickly. One canopy for hydration drinks (Heed, coke, water, mountain dew) and the other for nutrition (PB sandwiches, MMs, bananas, gels, salty foods). We set up a runner's coned path from aid station to guide them to the road crossing. The runners hit this aid station at miles 17.3 and 26.3 so at each point we check them in with me along with Pat and Beth charged with the 17.3 mile as they came down hill into the aid station. 

                                                            (photo by Ian Stevens) 

On a hot day that no runner had time to acclimatize too we were surprised to see the first runner arrive at mile 17.3 in two hours followed by the second runner 2 minutes later. The second at mile 17.3 would return a while later after a marathon in first place and go on to complete the course as a returning champion.  The female winner arrived in 4th place and moved up to 2nd place overall leading it appears start to finish and another returning champion. The heat took its toll on many runners with a number dropping at 17.3 and more at 26.3 while others just slowed down and soldiered for more trail miles.

Having not done much running myself in the past two years I am totally inspired by these ultra trail runners but then I always am. Many friends were running, many runners I remembered from years past and crews I recognized. Mixed in with the familiar faces were plenty of new to the distance, the race or even trails. It is a joy to see and I will be back in 2023

For anyone thinking about volunteering do it. Ice Age Trail is a great race to spend some time helping overs. This race treats runners very well and the same goes for the volunteers who get a volunteer T shirt (based on the runners T), a meal back at the race finish HQ, a free day parking pass if one is needed and priority entry for the following year if you decide to run. Most races run on volunteers including road, paved, trail and distance from 5k to well even 3100 miles (yes there is one in New York). Many races have a charity nonprofit element or give back to the local community. Go on volunteer for a race.

Race results: 2022 Ice Age Trail Run (