Sunday, February 1, 2009

Riddle Run Finish

Yesterday I finished another Riddle Run 28 miler. There were 10 finishers among the 102 starters. I've now participated in all 10 Riddle Runs (only Buffalo Tom and I have done all 10). Looking back at my running logs, I find that my shortest run was 12 miles and my longest was 33 miles (after finishing the standard 28 miler, I ran an extra loop with Kristi and an extra mile with Ken). I have now accumulated a total of 221 "Riddle Run miles." That includes 6 full 28+ mile finishes. Not bad. I can't wait until 2010.

This year, I was going to call it quits after 8 miles. I was cold and my feet were completely numb. I had just finished a 3+ hour 4-mile loop with Louie and Bruce. Bruce did his loop on crutches (in the snow & ice). Even though it was slow, I had a great time chatting with Bruce and Louie. They are crazy runners. As I tried to warm up in the car, I thought a lot about that loop. The Riddle Run isn't about fast times or winners and losers, it's about meeting old friends. And establishing new friends. And persistence. Jeff was the ONLY finisher back in 2000. He had persistence...and no fire & buffalo waiting at the finish line to greet him! Bruce had no chance of finishing 28 miles. Hell, he didn't even have a good chance of completing one icy loop on crutches. But he persisted. And it was an honor to join him for that long and slow loop. I'm sure he's hurting today. Bruce gave me the inspiration to get out and keep going. I finished the full 28 miles in a time of 8:56. Slowest 28 mile finish in Riddle Run history. But it was a finish none-the-less.

Rob was the men's winner in 4:56 (pictured here with Riddle Run organizer Jeff) and Becky was the women's winner in 5:32. Congratulations to both of them. Rob has a nice blog posting about the event with pictures. As is tradition, the two winners get a chance to register for the Clinton Lake ultra (even though it is officially closed). This perk is known as the "Condron rule" (after Matt who won Riddle Run last year and hadn't registered for Clinton yet). Becky was already registered for Clinton Lake. Rob has a couple days to decide if he wants in...he'll probably forego Clinton in favor of the Illinois Marathon a couple weeks later. The offer is not transferable to anyone else.

A big "thank you" to Jeff for starting this great informal ultra run. And a special thanks this year to Bruce for demonstrating what the Riddle Run is all about...hope you are feeling OK today.

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