|Waiting for the race start
Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to participate in theBadger 100 put on by Ten Junk Miles Racing. This race began in Orangeville, Illinois, ran 30 something miles to Belleville, Wisconsin, back to Orangeville, then to Belleville for the finish. It took place mostly on a rail trail - an old railroad track that was converted to a trail system once the railroad was no longer used. The trail was mostly flat, except for a detour around a tunnel on the trail that has recently been condemned.
After an informative and entertaining pre race briefing with the RD, Scott ("when in doubt, do like a train would do, go f'in straight"), we were off with temps in the high 50's (Nirvana for the south Louisiana folks).
Fawn and I worked out that I would see her at every possible crew spot - every 10 miles or so. There were aid stations every 5 - 7 miles on the course, which is perfect, but not every one had crew access. Because I would be relying heavily on my own nutrition, and maybe snacking off of the aid stations, it was critical to either see Fawn, or arrange drop bags to be left on the course.
I broke the race down into three legs, mentally - Orangeville to Belleville, Belleville to Orangeville, Orangeville to Belleville. So when I refer to leg 1, 2 or 3, that is what I mean.
On the first leg, my plan was to run right past the non-crew aid stations and take advantage of the cooler temps, knowing the second leg would get hot and I would need to slow a bit. As I would pull into the crew aid stations, where I would see Fawn, I would take the two bottles out of my pack, take the two pre-filled bottles that she had, then take off.
|Approaching mile 22, bottles in hand to exchange with fresh ones.
When I reached Fawn at mile 22, I knew a change of shoes was necessary soon. I started the race in trail shoes which are firmer than road shoes and have more protection from roots, rocks, etc. This trail was fairly clear of things that bruise your feet, but it was surprisingly HARD - felt like cement hard. My road shoes are pretty cushy since I have very dainty, wimpy feet, so I knew they would feel better, and I was right. What a relief. So, after changing shoes, I headed out again.
On the first leg of this race, you run past the future finish line and continue on about 5 miles until you reach Dot's Tavern. Dot's has been around since the railroad was in place. It was a spot where people could hop off of the train to get a quick beer before continuing on their journey. It is in an old wooden house, and the tavern is in the basement.
|Descent into Dot's and a few minutes of air conditioning.
|There were so many beautiful farm views on this run!
|Fawn and I with the Lindroths. Wonderful ladies, right here.
|It was seriously dark - no moonlight made its way to the trail. Beautiful time to be out there.
|Leaving the mile 80 aid station with Fawn, pulled chicken sandwich in hand (it was delicious!).
|Rene Villalobos, Scott Kummer, Me
|Leaving Monroe Aid Station
|Race swag. Coffee tastes better from this when you finish the race.
|When your feet are torn up but you have to fly home.