June 14, 2017

Chippewa 50k Trail Race


April 29, 2017

 This was my fourth year running the 50k distance and the 5th year running the Chippewa Races held at the end of April every year in New Auburn, WI on the Ice Age Trail. I had just spent the week down in Northern Illinois with family after my Father passed away. It had been questionable as to whether I would make it to this race or not. I was able to make it and the plan for the day was to just enjoy a day to myself out in the woods. Time to reflect on the recent events over the last month and my Dad's death. April was not a fun month at all.

This course is an out and back with several aid stations along the way. As with most out and back races the out for me being near the back of the pack means I pass almost the entire field of runners on their way back to the finish line. I had four hours for the first half and 5 hours for the last half to finish. I was not worried about making cutoff's as I have successfully completed this distance and race three years prior to this. This race was for me. I was not going to try to keep up with anyone and intended to run at my own pace according to what was comfortable for me.

I did spend some time on the trail with friends at different times of the race and it was nice. Robyn has been killing her races so I knew I would not be able to keep up with her but there were others on the course that were running closer to my pace. I got into the turnaround aid station with about 15 minutes to spare. Spent some time eating and refilling my pockets with cliff bloks and then headed back out. That 5ish mile section to the next aid station always feels extra long for some reason. It is nice trail in the woods on single track. This course definitely has its charm. In the spring the leaves are not filled out and you can see lots of the countryside and the many lakes all along the trail. This course is described as rolling hills and it is definitely that! Those hills start to take their toll. The accumulated hills had me starting to hurt around mile 21 and I decided to take some ibuprofen to soften the aches and pains. This helped me to get my second wind and I was able to run much of those last 10 miles. That and quite often towards the end of races I start to get barn sour and just want to be done!

I did not set a new PR with this race but I was able to complete it sub 8 hours so was very happy with that. I had not run this distance since last September at Goosebumps 24 hour and it was nice to know that even with a Morton's Neuroma I am still able to run and complete a 50k trail race. 

Robyn and I at the start

Dave and I at the start
Here we go!

In the first few miles still feeling good!
Behind the Visitor Center about 2 miles in for the day
The final hill!

Just found out I was a Grandma as of 8 am that morning about 2 weeks early!
Finishing swag!
8/15 Grandmaster Females
45/62 Females
144/174 Overall

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