First off, let me say congratulations to everyone who competed in the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival on Saturday! That's one of the big events of our area and I hope some of you have stores to tell after another great adventure (please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with some pics and I'll happily post them).
Saturday the 13th was also the finale for our 2014 Sasquatch Dash series. Last year we had a bigger crowd of supporters, and I think that was mainly due to the fact that we were a week after Chequamegon instead of sharing the date. However, as you can see from the above image, we had a nice turnout for our semi-formal/mostly fun race series. I do have to say though that our pot luck at the end of the event was FANTASTIC! You can tell a lot from a group from the quality pot luck you can get them to generate, and these guys did awesome--seriously folks...great work on the food!
We were scrambling a little bit to get a course organized this year because BRC was hosting a wedding and we had to stay out of the farm area. Eventually we decided to use Lion's park as the staging area because there was good parking, electricity, picnic tables, etc. However, there were two issues with Lion's park: 1. we had to cross 87 and run on some pavement (which turned out not to be a big issue) 2. there was a water hazard about a mile in on the Ice Age trail section of the course (which turned out to be kind of funny).
Those of you who do a lot of trail running know that crossing water is pretty common. Our water hazard was about a five yard river crossing that was around knee deep. The water was clear, so it wasn't so bad, but honestly, I didn't want to subject our runners to water (and only did so because it couldn't be avoided). I tried to be fair about announcing that there would be some water. Everybody was informed, and the water wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it was still pretty funny to see the logjam that occurred when the runners came up on the water and started glancing around for a non-existent alternative path. In the end, everybody had a solution for crossing, with varying degrees of effectiveness. The secret was to just accept you had to take a plunge and proceed--which everyone figured out.
- I was in a group with Eddy, and when he saw the water he started mumbling, "no...no...no..." Then he started looking left and right for an alternate path (there wasn't one), before reluctantly stepping across.
- Both Tammi and Ben attempted to shuffle across an old dead log that was sitting next to the water, and I believe they both nearly made it only to slip and soak one foot right at the end.
- Cory decided to "sprint" through the water, as if submerging his feet really quickly and then pulling them out again would keep them from getting "super" wet.
- Alex went so far as to put a camp chair and a dry pair of shoes at the end of the Ice Age trail section, then he stopped and changed his shoes in the middle of the race! (that was actually pretty clever)
- Sean has been running the whole year in running sandals, so he had no problem with the water at all.
- I did what I always do and coated my feet with vaseline at the race start. This provides lubrication even when your feet are wet so you don't get blisters.
The rest of the race went well, including a section at BRC of long grass that soaked your feet just as thoroughly as the river did. The course was tough, and we had a few people take some wrong turns (which is kind of part of the deal for this series), but nobody added more than a mile to their race.
Ben will have a more formal write up in the next day or two including results and the final standings. I just wanted to shout out a quick THANK YOU to everyone who participated. We're having a lot of fun with this series and plan to keep it going next year. I'll miss seeing all our regular Sasquatch runners throughout the winter, so hopefully some of you will swing by Cyclova or BRC for some cross-country skiing lessons (just send me an email if you're interested, I do free lessons in the morning before work most Saturdays).
Oh, and believe me that if you were capable of finishing the Sasquatch 25k course, you will have no problem whatsoever with the Gandy Dancer Marathon (which is flat as a pancake). Today (9/15) is the last day to register before the next price hike, so click here and sign up!
Keep your eyes peeled for Ben's Sasquatch 2014 final series wrap-up! Thanks again, and we'll look forward to seeing you next year!