Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grand Slam

A lot of people have been asking about the Illinois Trail Ultra Grand Slam. The web site (including the Slam participants for 2008) is now up on the Clinton Lake race site. The idea behind the slam is simple--complete all four trail ultramarathons and you get an award! We'll track finish place at each ultra and name an overall male and female champion too. The two champions will get the regular finisher award plus an extra prize. The four race directors are still discussing the awards so let me know if you have suggestions. There are no extra fees or application forms to compete in the Grand Slam. You just register for each race and then complete all four to become a Slammer! Is that cool or what?

The Grand Slam starts with Clinton Lake 30 Miler in March and ends with Farmdale 33 Miler in October. In between you'll need to do McNaughton Park 50/100/150 and Rock Cut Hobo 50K. Why have an Illinois Grand Slam? I thought it would be fun and encourage more people to run ultras in Illinois. The four trail ultras already existed and I spoke with the other RDs--they were all supportive. I hope the Slam increases the number of participants at each race and I also hope it creates an impression of Illinois as a state with great trails and ultra races. Why these four races? You need four events to have a grand slam and these are the only four TRAIL ultras in the state. I like Howl at the Moon and I'm sure the Chicago Lakefront 50 is a great race, but they are not trail races. I love trails and want to encourage people to get off the roads and onto trails. Maybe the Grand Slam will help with that effort.

2 comments:

Ian said...

Chris, where is that mountain on the Grand Slam website? Doesn't look like Illinois high point http://www.summitpost.org/mountain/rock/152963/charles-mound.html but maybe it is found on the Clinton Lake course :-)

Chris said...

After 4 trail ultramarathons you may feel like you are climbing a mountain like that one!