Posted on the Ultralist:
Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2011 11:07:11 -0500
From: Juli Aistars
Subject: Badgerland 6/12/24 Race Report – Fun in Wisconsin!
I have heard about Badgerland 6/12/24 hour over the years. It was this past Saturday — the night 12 hour run would be perfect training for North Coast 24 hour in 2 weeks. Robert Wehner is the current RD of Badgerland and he is the nicest man who knows how to put on a class event. He is also RD of Glacial Trail 50K/50M. If I had to sum up Robert as an RD, I would say, “He loves the sport of running and he cares about people.” He is quite an accomplished runner himself. The event is a 24 hour with a 6 and 12 hour option, one during the day and one at night. It is held at Germantown High School on their track in Germantown, WI.
The night 6 and 12 hour are not eligible for awards or records. That made it more likely that I would not push too hard before NC. The 12 hour night run started at 8PM. When I arrived a few hours early, Robert went over the basics. It was chip-timed with a backup chip on a race number. He kept a chart with laps run each hour and total. He said the runners would ask, “But how many miles is that?” “They are overthinking it,” Robert said. “I don’t put up a leader board — this is more of a personal thing.” I liked the non-competitive spirit of this race — just what I needed since I came here to socialize and get in some night miles. It is human nature that when the atmosphere is competitive, you are more likely to compete :). I also wanted to run without sports drink since I’ve been thinking for some time that if I eat, drink water and use electrolytes sparingly, sports drink adds no real benefit. I have been using it less often, with no difference noted. I also wanted to practice eating more during a run, an area where I often fall down. I gave Val a break and let him stay home and sleep. I could take care of myself on a track run. The only thing I wondered is how the 90 mile drive home Sunday morning would be after running all night.
How many miles would be too many to run 2 weeks before NC? Has my training been good enough to run well at a 24 hour? I have been mostly running ultras and not doing too much “training”. I knew Marty Burian from the List would be there to attempt his first 24 hour. He is the one who put the idea in my head to come to the event when he posted about it. I said hello to Marty as he passed the aid station. He later had to ask, “What is your goal for the 12 hours, Juli?” Without thinking I said, “Sixty would be good.” Now I had committed myself. I have only run 2 12 hour events with a PR of 67.2M at San Francisco in 2008. I didn’t think 60 would be hard, but I would have to work. No sitting in a chair at trackside and minimal time off the track. Lee Meyers from IL was there running the daytime 12 hour event. His friends, Camille and Jeff, rode 90 miles on their bikes to crew him. Camille recently swam the Catalina channel, 26.2 miles. They wanted to get some miles in so they took turns running the track. I met Camille once before but I had not met Jeff. I enjoyed running and talking with them while they were on the track. Since the number of runners was fairly small, no one minded. I realized once I started that my table was too far from trackside and I mentioned to Camille that I had to move it. He and Jeff picked up the table and the popup and brought it to the edge of the track, kidding “Do you want it ON the track?”. What service and from two nice, good-looking 30 somethings 🙂
In a timed event, I typically try to keep up an average of 6 miles an hour for as long as I can hold it. The main goal at most running events is to have fun. A track run provides the perfect venue to socialize since you get to see everyone often, whether they are walking or running. I met Dan Savin
while sitting at the timing table before I started. He is in his 60s and only recently discovered a love for running. His daughter Mandy, his inspiration, was running the daytime 12 hour and beat her PR from last year. Andy Thomson, from Matteson, IL, home of our Troubadour, is also in his 60s and a nice man who introduced himself. At 4 hours I reached 24 miles. I ran 25 minutes, walked 5 for about the first 6 hours, then consistently kept up a run for the last 6 hours, albeit at a slower pace. It got a little close to the wire as far as reaching 60 miles. I was determined I would do it or die trying :). I kept moving and the encouragement from Robert and everyone on the track was so helpful. Robert has a way of making every runner feel special and toward the end, he told me each time around how many laps to go to reach 60 miles. You gotta love ultrarunners! I reached 60.97 miles. Yes!
I enjoyed every minute, no real suffering, no blisters, no bonking. There were times when I felt extreme joy just in the act of running and being in
the company of others who also love running — laughing, talking, encouraging each other. It felt good to push in the last few hours, competing against myself to reach 60 miles. Pure joy… this is why I run.
The rain early in the evening left everything damp. The first few hours of the night run, it was very warm and humid and then it cooled to maybe the
40s before sunset. These are two conditions that set off my exercise-induced asthma, humidity and cool temperatures. I usually shy away from using an inhaler, but decided that I would use it every 4 hours. The difference was noticeable when my breathing became ragged and then the inhaler improved it. I prefer not to depend on medications, but sometimes it makes a real difference, especially when only used on an “as needed” basis. In talking with Mike P. from the Tampa area at Ft. Clinch 100, he said he had a friend who was a very good runner who used asthma medications daily. He wondered if she ran well because of the medications. In other words this might be a performance enhancer. I told him people with asthma are at a disadvantage because of their disease and the medication is only compensating partially for that disadvantage so I did not believe it could make you run better than you normally would. He said he tried using an inhaler once to see if it helped his running, even though he does not have asthma. He said it made him feel awful and his heart beat fast. I said, “I rest my case.” What do others think? I know several runners with asthma and some joke that the inhaler is their “performance enhancer.” I would love to know how some of the Listers would view this…
I also had the pleasure of meeting Eugene Bruckert from Arlington Heights, IL. He lives close to me in IL but our paths had not crossed before. He is
76 years old and trains 30 miles a week, doing marathons and 50Ks. What a delightful man he is! I tried to talk him into trying a 100 mile event and
he said he will try to do it at 3 Days at The Fair next year in 72 hours. He was there this year but said he was not sure if he had met Pete Stringer.
Pete — did you meet Eugene and maybe he just didn’t know your name? I enjoyed getting to know Marty Burian a little better. I met Robert’s wife,
Sally, and had a chance to talk with her at the post-race breakfast. She runs for fitness and supports her husband in his ultrarunning and RDing. I
liked her very much! I also saw one of my favorite Wisconsinites (besides Mary Gorski), David O’Brien. I met his wife Kathy and joined them for the
post-race breakfast. They have been married 52 years and have this wonderful communication and mutual respect — how about it? It is possible! 🙂
Congratulations to everyone who ran, especially Marty Burian who ran his first 24 hour event! In the last few hours of the run, he was still able to
run well. I think he has found his niche :). I can’t wait to read his race report describing his experience.
There were other races going on this weekend which I would love to hear about including the beautiful and challenging Iron Mountain in VA and the Bloody 11w with Abi and the gang. Race reports should be rolling in :).
Inquiring minds want to know…
I am excited about seeing everyone who will be coming to North Coast in 2 weeks. Two veteran elite women runners will be there — Sue Ellen Trapp and Lorna Richey. I met Lorna last year at Ancient Oaks and have gotten to know her better. She is warm and friendly and working her way back to running competitively. She has a special brand of determination and I know she will reach her goals.