Posted on the Ultralist:
Date: Sun, 1 Nov 2009 18:35:46 -0600
From: Juli Aistars
Subject: Re: Running through the ages and 24 The Hard Way and Chicago Lakefront 50/50 Race Reports
Don and Listers,
Your race reports spurred some interesting thoughts about what is possible at any age. I had the pleasure of spending some time on the course with you at 24 The Hard Way, and I was amazed at how easy it looks for you. I really enjoyed seeing you again and having a chance to talk and encourage each other along the way. I was ready to post a double report on 24 the Hard Way and the Chicago Lakefront 50M when I saw your report and then this response to Marie. I have many thoughts on the 48 hour event and will write to Marie
offlist. I recall after San Fran One Day last year, Marie lamented that she had not done as well as the previous year and then she proves she still “has it” with a stellar 93.4 miles :). In addition to your performances and Marie’s, there are many examples of “older” runners who still run quite well. Your string of runs this past few months and your performances are incredible. I thought it was interesting that you are 71, Marie is 61, and I am 51–all of us still out there and having fun, and still striving to do better, despite our ages.
24 the Hard Way and Double Dirty Dozen, 6 events run simultaneously, was a very unique event that I stumbled upon when I was in withdrawal from having to miss North Coast. I had run Hinson Lake 24 hour on 9/19, the Milwaukee Marathon on 10/4 and Glacial Trail 50K on 10/11. That would give me just about two weeks of rest before another 24 hour on 10/24.
I went to the website and found out it was the Mother Road crowd putting on the race and that drew me, having enjoyed both MR events. I am not sure why this race was not well-publicized, but it is a most unique event.
There were 29 runners entered in 24 The Hard Way and 6 in Double Dirty Dozen-24. The events offered were 6/12/24 hours on either bike path or trail as well as a 1 hour run on Friday evening. The venue was beautiful Bluff Creek Park in Oklahoma City. The trail loop was about 2 miles and the bike path loop was .97 miles long. We could cheer each other when our routes came close, and at night we could see the lights of the trail runners. In short, this was a well-run event with warm Oklahoma hospitality, just like the MR events. Chisholm Dupree and all those hosting made you feel like a special guest at a family gathering. Katharine Miller, women’s winner of Double Dirty Dozen-24, greeted us enthusiastically and introduced herself when we arrived at the park in the morning. What a nice feeling that was!
I enjoyed sharing the course with Listers Don Winkley and Karen Riddle. As always, you don’t get to meet or talk with everyone you had hoped to and I felt bad when I found out Lister Earl Blewitt was there, but I did not get to talk with him. I met and socialized with many of the runners along the course. Some were: Michelle whose goal was just to stay out there and keep moving for 24 hours, Forrest who always wears black and is teased about his “runner’s” name, Karla Holgers who is a bubbly, fun-loving girl who was
attempting her 2nd 100 and ran extremely well but succumbed to a sick stomach and sore feet and stopped short of 22 hours, Karla’s fiance and crew, Paul, Leon who was a very tall guy who was a delight to talk with,
Harry Dupree, Chisholm’s father, and John Hargrove who hosted the pre-Mother Road dinner in 2006. I walked some with Harry and John and talked with them on and off. They were the nicest gentlemen. Harry, age 71, was doing his first long run after a bout with illness 3 years ago and has the most positive attitude.
Val and I met Danny Ponder and his wife Betty at the beginning of the race, because we were set up near each other. He ended up winning 24 The Hard Way with 114 miles. Betty was out most of the time helping her husband and when I was looking for a bottle of water, she pulled one out of her cooler. This is what I love about ultrarunning–the camaraderie, the laughter, making meaningful connections with other runners,
crew and volunteers, seeing old friends, meeting new ones, how we watch out for each other. It is like life should be, not about things, not about ego, but about the relationships you form, being kind and caring, no bad intentions. Congratulations to all who ran and mark your calendar for next year, October 23 and 24. Come to this event before the word gets out, and it goes lottery! Here is a link to the photos–there is a good one of Don Winkley checking out the clock…
Checkout 24 The Hard Way