May 31, 2011

Highland Biathlon 2011

Well the day started out good, I woke up early and felt good, grabbed my gear and headed to Highland for the Lions Club Biathlon. This was the first time since 2008, that I would be competing in this race.

My plan was to just go out and have fun, work hard, but not worry about my time. For the past year, I have been doing nothing but training for long endurance races. Every runner knows what that means, long slow runs, never working on speed. So I planned on using this as a test to see how far my speed had dropped. Since I planned on using this only as a training race, I lent my Zipp wheels to my friend John, he wanted to try them out and see if he was going to buy a set. I sold John my Felt B2 a couple years ago and the wheels that were on the bike came off my Pinarello FT2 that I was riding in this race, I had never even tried the wheels out before I sold them to him. Come to find out, I really loved the wheels. I told John I would buy them back if he decided to get rid of them.

I made it to Highland, setup my bike in transition, got my race number and chatted with all my teammates. Not only were there 26 Metro Tri Club members there, but I must have known at least 30 more people, from training and racing over the years, so I was really having a good time, chatting with everyone.

Doug and Shane, a couple Zilla’s, were going out for a warm up run and I went along with them, we did about a mile warm up then I headed to the bathroom for one last pit stop before the race. It was really getting hot and humid and I was completely soaked and the race had not even started.

The announcer called everyone to the starting line and we had a moment of silence for those who have lost there lives for our freedom, then the gun went off and the crowd took off for 5 miles of running fun. It was NOT running fun for me. I thought I was on a good pace, I came by the mile mark in 7:30 and hoped to keep it around that pace, but by the time I hit the 2.5 mile mark, I was about 2 minutes slower than I wanted to be. I struggled through the run, just before the 4 mile mark a little girl was holding a sprinkler and I ran right under it, I wanted to stop and just stand there, but I think there would have been a riot because everyone wanted a piece of that hose. When I turned down the last straight away, I saw Becky from the bike shop cheering me on and taking pictures and then I ran by Justin and Matt on there bikes doing some cheering. That helped get me through the finish of the run, but my time was the worst it had ever been for this race.

I kept telling myself that this was just a training race and to take it all in stride. I quickly got on my bike as Jeff Sharpe rode past, I thought maybe I could stay with him, but I lost him after a mile or so. It took me about 4 miles to get in a zone and really start moving, but once I did, I started passing people, a lot of people. My average mph was going up and I was holding it above 18, thinking I might be able to maybe pull out a 20 mph average by the end of the race. Just as I was hitting the corner with about 3.5 miles to go, I felt my tire wobble, when I got around the corner, I thought I might crash, but I got my bike stopped, flat tire. Ok, so I had a bag with a tube and tools on my bike before the race started, but I said, oh this is a short race, I’m not going to get a flat, so I took it off, to be more aero dynamic since the wind was so strong. When I flatted I almost starting laughing thinking about taking the bag off my bike.

So I talked to the corner marshal and said I could just walk in the back way, it was only about a mile or so, but he said, “don’t do that I will call a truck to pick you up”. We stood there and chatted and I was cheering all my friends on as they passed. I know they were saying the same thing I say when I see someone flatted out in a race, “that really sucks”. It did really suck, but I kept chanting in my head, “I was using this for a training race, no reason to be upset”. John the friend I traded wheels with came by and I yelled to him, cheap wheels, laughing because I sold them to him. Then the corner marshal did something to really brighten my day and make me feel like getting flat was not all that bad. Wait for it…. Here it comes, he said “I’m really sorry you got a flat you were doing really well” then he says “what age group are you in, the 25” I thought I must have heard him wrong, so I said, I didn’t hear you what did you say, and he said it again, “are you in the 25 age group”. I smiled really big and said, “no, I’m 47, but I’m starting to think that having a flat on this corner wasn’t so bad”. He said “wow you look really young”. I’m not sure, but I think I was falling in love with this guy, even though he probably needed glasses. After about 20 minutes a guy pulled up in a truck and gave me a ride to the finish line. He pulled my bike out and I thanked him and he was on his way to pick up other poor souls with flat tires.

I saw my friend Mike when I came in and he asked why when John saw me he didn’t stop and give me his wheel, I guess we are always friends except when racing. You know I will never be able to let John live this one down, in fact I’m sure he rigged that wheel to get a flat, so he could pass me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

All in all, it was a good day, I was happy to see so many friends, the sun was shinning and lots of people cheered me on throughout the race. Thanks Everyone! Oh and I went home and drowned my sorrows in a giant piece of apple pie, so all is well in the universe.

May 27, 2011

Photo Friday

Adventure racers will eat anything after 10 hrs of racing.
  That ain't no Bonk Hard baked potato hiding under those runny beans.

May 24, 2011

Conquer Castlewood 2011

No paddling, can you believe that, stupid rain. I know what you’re thinking, every race report I have ever written says, I hate paddling and I do, but in a short race where the paddle is just a couple miles, I’m ok with it. I’m really ok with it when it comes at the beginning of the race and can be used for a nice warm-up that keeps my legs fresh for a fast mountain bike ride.

So at this years Conquer Castlewood race, there would be no paddle. The water was up and there was no beach to be found, so the paddle leg was cancelled. I was not at all happy with the circumstances and my teammate, Allan was not happy with the change either, but he is a super fast runner, so I didn’t think it would really make much of a difference to his time. Instead of starting the race paddling we would sprint a 1.5 mile loop, I call it a sprint not a run because that’s what it ends up being. The loop consisted of trail with sand and mud, at one point there were so many people that I was pushed over to the muddy side of the trail and ended up ankle deep in the mud. I kept running with mud and sand weighing my shoes down and my feet kept hitting slimy sections and sliding around. I had been running next to Chuck for the entire leg and then at the mile mark Chuck pulled away, and I chased him all the way to the bike transition.

I was about 2 seconds behind Chuck at the start of the bike, but he quickly left me when we hit the field section. I really hate to say it, but he is stronger than I am. There Chuck write it down, you might not ever hear it again. Since the run was so fast, I was tired and the mountain bike leg just didn’t feel as good as it does coming off a paddle leg. After the loop around the big field I started to get my legs back and turn on the heat, passing a few guys, then my friend Mike passed me, he is always saying how he is slow, he is not slow, he flew past me. The problem was we both got to the steep part of Grotpeter and there was a line of riders stopped and walking. There was no way to ride around them, so we both jumped off our bikes and ran up the hill, then hopped back on and took off. That is when Mike pulled away from me like I was standing still. I was still passing people but at the top of Grotpeter where the trail turns back into the woods next to the road, I caught 4 guys and we were on a narrow single track section, and I couldn’t get past them. I was riding way slower then I should have been, but there was no way around. I finally made it around the first 3, but was still behind one more guy and I didn’t get a chance to pass him until I was almost to the road crossing by the rangers station. I don’t know how much time that cost me, but if I had to guess it was at least 3 minutes. So I turned the heat up again and bombed the rest of the loop into transition. I was in and out of transition in 25 seconds and running back down the trail to the section that was filled with sand and mud. This time there were a lot less people so I could pick a better line. I passed Mike in the sandy section, I think his smoking fast bike time, might have taken a toll on is legs, he looked good, but said he was slowing down. I kept pushing thinking maybe I could catch Chuck, but it never happened. I gave the race my all, but my time wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I really need to get in better shape.

Still I had fun and my partner Allan smoked both runs and the bike, I just don’t know how he does it. Allan, I promise next year I will be in better shape.

Chuck and Megan had a great race too, Megan is my stand in on the Rock Racing team.

Allan and I were in the first wave of the race so after we finished there were lots of racers still out, including my friend Kate. Another friend, Keith and I headed out on our bikes to cheer on our teammate Kate, she had started in the second wave and was running the last half mile to the finish so we rode with her into the finish. This was her first Conquer Castlewood and she was really having a great time doing it. She crossed the finish line with a smile on her face and another great accomplishment under her belt.

This is such a fun race, that I encourage everyone to do it and after the race when you know everyone, it’s like one big fitness party. It’s one of those places that you can stand around, sweaty, muddy, bloody and stinky and everyone around you thinks it’s just normal.

Chuck's Bloody Eye

Ballwin Parks and Recreation, you put on an awesome race!

To read Kate’s account of the race, check out the Super Kate blog.

And a big THANKS to Lori for taking all the great pictures, it’s so nice to have a photographer follow us around and document all our adventures.

May 23, 2011

Bike Rumor

ROCK Racing made it onto the BikeRumor Pic of the Day with this picture of us getting in some mtn bike training crossing Keifer Creek at Castlewood State Park.

May 13, 2011

Most Durable Person Contest

Robin is in the running to be the Most Durable Person

Robin's New Superfly 100

I know lust is bad thing, something we aren’t supposed to do. I can’t help it, I was lustful and I couldn’t hold back the urge. It didn’t matter where I saw it, or when I saw it or what it was doing when I saw it, my mind would go directly to lustful thoughts. I had to have one, there was just no way around it, the lust would never end if I didn’t get it.

So I did, I bought a Superfly 100 and now people will lust after my bike, I will no longer be getting all glassy eyed and fantasizing about what I could do if I had a bike like that. I might even become a fast woman, now that I have one.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, I need another bike like I need a hole in the head, how could I ever justify getting a new bike. I can’t, so what I have decided to do is sell one of my bikes. So… drum roll please, I’m selling my Giant Anthem Advanced. The Giant was my bike of choice before I got the Trek Top Fuel, but now I never ride it and I can’t even claim it as a backup bike because I have both a Top Fuel and Superfly. I guess the Giant will soon be a memory in my stable of bikes, it was a great bike, but has outlived its usefulness and now needs to go to someone who will love it, like it deserves to be loved.

This event is so momentous in my life (my first 29er) that I documented it every step of the way. My Superfly was shipped to the Cyclery in Edwardsville, my favorite bike shop, where everyone knows my name.

I found out when I went in, that I wouldn’t be the first to see my new bike, because my son saw it a few days earlier when he was in the shop buying me a Mother’s Day gift. I was still excited to be the second person to see it.

Allan unpacked the bike and got it on the stand ready for Big Andy to work on it. (by the way, Big Andy is no longer big, he is more buff, but I can’t make myself call him Buff Andy) As Allan unpacked my Superfly, I ran out to my van to get the cage, Ergon grips and computer that my kids bought me for Mother’s Day and brought them in to be put on my new love. I really wanted a Bontrager Evok 3 WSD saddle, but the bike came with a Bontrager Evoke 2. When you have as much junk in your trunk as I do, you would want the WSD saddle too, it’s just a little extra padding where it’s really needed. I had planned on swapping out the tires for tubeless Kenda Slant Six tires, but unfortunately there were no rim strips to be found, so I couldn’t go tubeless right out the door. That’s ok, I will just stop by the shop when they come in and have them swapped out.

Andy started working on the bike while I stood around and drooled. I chatted with the shop guys about SRAM vs Shimano. This is my first encounter with SRAM, I hope I like it. Most of the guys are SRAM lovers, but there was one SRAM hater in the room. I guess I will make my own decision on it, once I have used it for a while.

Andy showed me the carbon armor on the bottom, telling me it was almost indestructible.

He got my gears all setup and working, although he hit a few snags in the process, but being the skilled guy that he is, he found a way to get me on the trail.

He also cut off about 3 inches of handlebars, this will stop me from throwing myself off the bike when I roll through the narrow single track with tight trees.

Andy fished up the build and fitted the bike to me, and then I took it out for a test ride in the parking lot. It felt great and looked incredible.

So last night after work I took it out for its maiden ride. I have an off-road race in two weeks at Castlewood State park, so I took the Superfly out to test ride the course on it. I was ready to have the ride of my life, I was so excited I could hardly wait to get off work and get on the trials.

I met Chuck at Castlewood and he was as excited about it as I was, we pulled our bikes out of our vans and checked the air pressure. Since I don’t have tubeless yet, I had to put a little more air in then I usually ride. I had me tires set to 32 and 30 psi. The tires felt hard and were bouncing around way too much. The Bontrager tires were ok, for road and hard packed dirt, but they weren’t doing me any favors on the rocky, rooty trails. Even where the gravel was not very deep, my wheels were just spinning. I don’t like these tire at all, I’m not sure why anyone would want these. It was so bad that I had to stop and let air out of the tires, down to almost 26 psi. I didn’t know any other way to get the tires to grip. Now I had to worry about a pinch flat and I didn’t have a spare tube.

I was also having problems stopping, I had the brakes on so hard that I was afraid I was going to break the brake lever off and I still wasn’t able to stop on the steep down hills. At one point a guy was climbing toward me and I barely was able to stop in time to get out of his way.

Shifting was really not fun, my thumb wouldn’t reach the shifter, so I had to turn my hand and arm in positions that they are not made to go into just to shift.

The handlebars are bent at some weird angle, and I really hate them. And worst of all, the seat completely sucked, I hate it, I have to get it replaced right away.

So at the end of the first lap, I was almost in tears, I just spent a fortune on this fantasy bike and after being on it for just 6 miles, I hated it. Chuck suggested that we make some adjustments. So I pulled out my toolbox and he adjusted my shifter levers so that I could reach them, then he adjusted my seat, it was too low, then he tried to figure out why my brakes weren’t working, but wasn’t sure what it was.

He swapped front tires with me to see if the brakes did the same thing on his bike and they did.

We decided to ride with the tires swapped to see if we could figure out the problem. First the bike rode much better with just one Kenda tire on it. Chuck started complaining right away about the Bontrager tire, he said he felt like the tire was bouncing him all over, and that was exactly what it was doing to me. He didn’t know how anyone could ride with these tires. His comments vindicated me a little, at least I wasn’t being a whinny girl, there was something wrong with those tires.

We continued riding and Chuck said that the brakes were getting better and maybe there was just some kind of oil on them from the factory and it had to wear off before the brakes would work correctly. My shift and brake levels felt better and I could now reach them. I still hated the handlebars and saddle though.

Now I plan on swapping the handlebars with my handlebars off my Giant Anthem and replacing the Bontrager 29-3 tires with Kenda Slant Six tires.

I’m also replacing the saddle (I’m affectionately calling it satan’s saddle) with the Bontrager Evoke 3 WSD.

It’s so hard to stick more money into an already expensive bike, but I think this is the only way that I will ever come to love this bike the way everyone else loves their 29er.

I was envisioning this experience to be one of total euphoria, but when I rode the Superfly, it was like falling out of a dream and into a nightmare. I am hoping that after I make all the changes to the bike, it will roll right back into that dream.

Now for the big decision, which bike is my “go to” bike, is it the Trek Top Fuel or is it the Trek Superfly. Which will make me lightening fast and make me feel like I might know what I’m doing. Which do I choose? Which should be my race bike and which should be my “just for fun” bike. I guess in the end it comes down to one thing.

Which of the bikes makes my butt look smaller, that will be my new favorite mountain bike. You tell me, leave me a comment and tell me which bike is the best for me.

Photo Friday

"Dude, Is my bike Ok?"

May 10, 2011

Vino Fondo 2011

I know what you’re thinking, didn’t she say in her blog last year that she would never do this race again. You’re right I did, but you know how it is, time passes and the pain fades. I hate to say this and it might almost kill me to do so, but Chuck was right, last year when he said every time she says she isn’t going to do a race again, she does it again. So here I am writing about the Vino Fondo once again.

In 2010, Chuck, Jeff, Krystal and I did the Mondo (longest distance) which was 132 miles. This year in order to talk me into going, Chuck had to agree to do the Midi (middle distance) which was 87 miles. We both have not been on the road bike much this year due to intense off-road training for Adventure racing. We have been logging all of our bike miles in the woods on our mountain bikes. So heck why wouldn’t we just jump into an 87 mile race which was made up of what I call Missouri mountains because the hills are so steep and long, that they have to rival some of the mountains in the US.

After driving through rain, wind, thunder and lightening, we arrived at the Mount Pleasant winery. I had this feeling of dread, thinking I’m in no shape to be attempting this and here I am in the worst weather conditions for road biking. Too late to turn back I was already here and would have to ride. We ran across the street from where we parked and picked up our race numbers and the free breakfast. Chuck ate some of his, I just drank the orange juice out of mine and took the apple with me for later. We hit the bathrooms then headed back to the van to get geared up and ready to go. The weather started to clear, it was still pretty windy, but the rain had stopped. We were both decked out in our Icebreaker gear, we even got a couple comments about it in the parking lot.

Next we pulled our bikes out and made sure the air pressure was right and everything was functioning properly.

We rolled up to the starting line and were standing right next to the St Louis University team.

We actually know one of the team members, he works at Boeing with us. We stood around for a few minutes debating on the best strategy to get off the starting line. There were so many people starting at the same time that we didn’t want to end up in one of those starting line crashes. You know when one guy either can’t get clipped in or just falls over and the domino affect happens, then half the field is laying on the ground and we haven’t even rolled out onto the road yet. We decided to just roll out real easy and not get too close to anyone in the mad rush to start the race. Plus we knew from last years race that the first 4 miles or so was on a road that was covered in pot holes and gravel, so we didn’t want to hammer through there.

The race started and the roll out went great, to our surprise the bad road had been completely resurfaced, it was smooth as a babies behind and fast as lighting. We were rolling at a good pace right off the bat and were just behind the St Louis Cycling Club guys. We know these guys because we are also STLCC members and I have been riding with some of these guys for a few years now. Just in front of the STLCC group was the SLU team, so if felt like a good place to stay. We stayed on the wheels of both these teams until we crossed Hwy 94 and hit the first really steep climb. It was about a quarter mile long and I can’t even tell you want the grade was, if I guessed I might say 11%. It was tough, Chuck beat me to the top, but I didn’t really lose any ground, I passed a few people and a few passed me, I was in my smallest ring standing up and still barely moving. I was so glad when I hit the top of the hill. This year the race followed a new route that added some hills, gave us a few more flats, but I think overall the course was a little tougher than last year.

We hit the first water stop and decided since we were only 20 miles into the race and still have plenty of fluids and were packed down with Honey Stinger that we didn’t need to stop. We went on still behind the STLCC guys, the SLU guys had started to pull away. We were keeping a good pace and hit a few more hills when all of the sudden we didn’t see the STLCC guys anymore. The road was still crowded and we figured somewhere in the hills they must have just pulled away and dropped us. We fell in with a couple other riders and made it to the next water stop. We quickly got water and were heading out when we saw the STLCC guys again. We thought since we had a short loop to ride and would come back by the stop that they had probably already finished the short loop, we just couldn’t figure out how they got that far in front of us.

We took off, made it around the hilly loop and back past the water stop heading for the largest of the hills that were looming in the later distances of the race. At about 45 miles we were in a group of 4 and hear a group gaining on us, they come flying by and I hear my friend Louie say, “come on Robin, lead us in” it was the STLCC group, apparently they hadn’t dropped us, we dropped them and they were just catching back up. Now I’m not going to lie to you, I was getting tired, we had been fighting the wind and the hills for 45 miles now and my legs really didn’t want to go anymore. So what did I do, yes I did, I’m not embarrassed I’m going to say it. I grabbed the wheels of that group and used them for the next 20 miles. They pulled both me and Chuck through at a great pace and it gave me time to recover. By the time we hit the water stop at 63 miles, I was feeling really good. We stopped for water and I ate a Honey Stinger Rocket Chocolate, I was like a new person after that. While at the water stop a girl walked up and said “Hey is that on Icebreaker jersey” I said yes and Chuck said they are Icebreaker shorts too, then we both said in unison “we love Icebreaker gear”. She was very impressed, apparently she loved Icebreaker gear too. We were heading to our bikes when we came across John, I like to call him the Jelly Belly guy. He saw Chuck eating a Honey Stinger Waffle and asked him what it was, as Chuck was talking to him, I snapped a picture. Funny thing is, as I looked at the pictures later that night I see this guy behind them, I’m not sure what he was thinking, but I don’t think it was good.

Chuck and I took off to finish the race, we thought that we could take it easy until the STLCC guys caught up and then jump on the train. The problem was they never caught up. On the really big hill on HWY T, which I think is the worst hill of the entire course, they didn’t catch up. We were headed to the most talked about hill of the entire race, Schleusberg hill, riders are timed on this hill for the king of the hill competition. It’s really a series of small steep hills followed by a mountainous hill at the end. We started hill with 4 other guys, all but one beat me to the top of the hill, but they were not far in front of me, so I was in a good place. Then one of the guys says that we have one more really bad hill before the end. I was thinking, “you’re out of your mind they advertise that this is the last and largest hill, we might have some rollers, but that’s it”. WELL, it wasn’t, I was the fool, there was a horrible steep long hill that I though might be the death of me, but I endured it, although I was barely moving, and I made it to the top. After that everything was gravy because I knew that all I had to do was make it another couple miles and the race would be over.

We crossed the finish line, feeling pretty darn good, I mean this year, I was able to get off my bike and actually walk. Last year I just crashed to the ground then climbed into a van that took me back to the parking lot. Our ride time was 5:48 and our total time with stops was 6:09. We loaded our bikes, changed clothes and had the big shark guy take our picture at the finish line.

We went over to the winery for the post race feast and had pasta, salad and killer brownies. I think if I would have been able to grab a plateful of those brownies without anyone seeing me, I would have just eaten the brownies.

We ate and then stopped to talk to the STLCC guys. I snapped a picture and mused about what we should call it. Of course they knew exactly what it should be called. “The Vino Fondlers” I think this picture will go into my race archives.

OK, go ahead ask me….. Yes I will do it again, but I really think I like doing the Midi distance much more than the Mondo. At least then I still feel human at the end. And one more point, this was the first time I had worn my Icebreaker gear for a really long race and I’m very happy to say that it was fantastic! No chafing, never too hot or too cold, and dry feeling all day. I was comfortable the entire race. Chuck agreed as well.

May 5, 2011

Runner’s World Trail Edition Editorial

Running in the US has morphed over the years to become not only a sport for the elite but also a sport for the everyday person. It seems that it is every runner’s dream to run a marathon, and many new runners train for a half-marathon so that they can go on to run a full marathon in the future. The running craze has moved from just a short term boom to a way of life.

And as more runners adopt this way of life, many are moving from the road to the trails, looking for the next big challenge. As a runner, what do you do once you have accomplished the marathon distance? Some runners train harder to try to achieve a faster marathon time or win age-group categories. But many everyday runners don’t feel that running faster is what it’s about; instead, they feel it’s the challenge, the feeling they get when they think, “Wow, I finished a marathon.” These runners soon tire of all the road miles. They know they can do it, so they wonder, “What will be my next running accomplishment?” These are the runners who are taking on trail running.

Trail running is such a different beast from road running. It’s much more technical to run on a trail covered with dirt, mud, rocks and roots. Plus there’s the realization that at any time you could fall off a cliff and be injured or die. This might sound like it’s not that much fun, but here is where you are wrong: It is the most fun a runner can have, and it is so much more challenging than any road run. It never fails – no matter how tired, stressed or time-constrained I am, once on the trail I feel like a new person who could run for hours with little effort. The trails just bring on a peacefulness you can’t find on the road.

You wonder where I’m going with this, don’t you? Let me explain. Runner’s World, a magazine I have been reading for 30 years and love to read every month, published a special edition on trail running last month. Since trail running is one of the sports I love the most, I read the edition cover to cover, soaking in every word. When I started reading through “A Guide to America’s Top Trail Running Towns,” I was so excited to get to the St. Louis area, knowing that the Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run (PMETR) would certainly be listed. There was no doubt in my mind that it would be there because it is one of the premier trails races in the Midwest – of course it would be listed.

I know this little editorial may seem self-serving, or maybe it sounds like my pride has been hurt, since I am the Vice President of the Metro Tri Club, which has put this race on for the last 22 years. It could be a little of that, but really think about it. This year will be the 23rd year for the Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run. The run started in 1989 and has never been cancelled due to weather conditions. Its motto is “No Wimps, No Whiners.” It is known as the toughest trail run in the Midwest and has been run in freezing temps (5 degrees Fahrenheit once), rain, ice, snow, wind and mud, the latter of which was the issue in the 2010 race. Mud so deep it sucked off shoes, so slick that runners slid down the descents on their butts. But this is the most fun a runner can have in the middle of December in the Midwest. Entry in this race is so coveted that it sells over 600 slots, fills in less than 10 hours and has a waiting list of hundreds who hope to get a slot. To top it off, the club holds 25 spots for servicemen and women who may be deployed and aren’t able to enter in time to get a slot, and every year we fill many of those slots with those who make it possible for us to have the freedom to run this race.

So, as you read this are you asking yourself the same question I’m pondering: “Why wouldn’t the Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run be mentioned in the trail running edition of Runner’s World?”

Runner’s World mentioned some of the local trail runs, and I have competed in two of the three listed. They are fantastic events and deserve to be on the list, but none has been in existence for as long as PMETR has been, none is discussed in the running circle to the extent that PMETR is. PMETR is the run that everyone wants to do but that many people are afraid to do because they have heard how tough the course is. Yet if you ask any trail runner in the area what the most popular and well-known trail run in the Midwest is, they will say PMETR. They will also tell you that they will get up at midnight when registration opens to register before the race fills. I can tell you this: I was at the CheckPoint Tracker National Adventure race in Moab, Utah, last October, and I saw a person wearing a PMETR wind shirt. Just last month I was at the Land between the Lakes Adventure race in Kentucky and saw multiple people wearing the PMETR vest from two years ago. There have also been sightings by other MTC members in the Seattle-Tacoma airport, Colorado and Utah. This shows how popular the race is.

I think the only thing left for us to do as a trail running society is to lobby for a PMETR cover story in an upcoming edition of Runner’s World. I’m in. Are you? If you agree with me, then go to the Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run to grace the cover of Runner's World Facebook page and like our page. Let’s get a Runner’s World cover for the Pere Marquette Endurance Trail Run.