Sunday, April 26, 2020

Stump to Stump

To keep ourselves amused during these times of isolation, some friends and I are participating in the 906 Adventure Team bingo challenge. We have 14 days to do this:
When I saw "do something hard" I decided this was a good time to replicate my cancelled May race (  on my own. I'm barely working right now so really, what better time than now to run for 24 hours and be left hobbling for a few days. So, next Saturday, May 2 at 8am I'll start running 3.89 mile loops on the trail near my house and see how many I can do before 8am Sunday. Info for the "event" is as follows:

RULES-  I'll be following the rules of the original race as much as possible.

1- Only full laps count toward the distance. So, if I don't finish my last lap by 8am Sunday it doesn't count.

2- Breaks are allowed, but I'm not allowed off the course for more than 2 hours. If I take a break longer than that, it's over.

3- Pacers (I like to call them escorts)  are allowed after dark. I'm lucky on this one since most 24 hour races usually don't allow pacers. Because the neighborhood I'm running in has had its share of crime and I'll be the only one out there, I'm choosing to stretch this rule to allow escorts on the bike after dark too. Safety first. I like to follow rules, but I also like to be alive. As is the rule with any ultra, escorts cannot carry my stuff or assist me physically. They're bodyguards, not sherpas!

Staying active right now is tough for a lot of people. Staying connected is even tougher so the point of this 24 hours is to do both- to show that we can, despite tough times, keep putting one foot in front of the other to make forward progress and we can keep connecting with people, even if it's in different ways.  So, if you'd like to come out and connect with me here are a few ways you can, each with a varying level of "distancing" involved. (But that doesn't mean we can't be social!)

Escort: Obviously this one will have the least amount of distancing involved since you'll be either running/hiking near me or on your bike. That said, you're welcome to stay 6 feet away from me or wear a mask. All you need is a good pair of shoes and a headlamp. You don't need to be particularly fast. I won't be using escorts until after dark (8:30) so I'll probably be moving slow since I'll be 12+ hours in. It will likely be a lot of hiking! If you'd like to do this, send me a message with your preferred time. (Keep in mind we can't plan the laps exactly so you may have to wait for me to finish a lap once you're there.) If you really want to see me suffer this is your chance!

Hang at the aid station: I'll have an aid station set up in the yard. You're welcome to hang out there and drink beer, etc. as long as it doesn't become an "against the stay at home rules" party.  Again, you're welcome to wear a mask. There is a huge field across the street that's great for kite flying, frisbee, etc. St. Paul Parks are open to the public so feel free to use this space as well.

Cheer from your car: At the beginning and end of each lap I'll be cutting through the Battle Creek Elementary ( school parking lot. If you park there or anywhere along Ruth St. between the school and Upper Afton Rd., you can heckle me right out your car window.

Surprise me somewhere on the course: If you want to hike/bike part of the course or hang out on it, most of it can be easily accessed from Battle Creek Rd., Ruth St. or the Battle Creek Rec Center. Send me a message if you'd like a GPX file of the course.

I'm confident I can connect with as many friends as possible while trying to respect everyone's level of distancing. Just be warned- as I get tired I might forget all the rules and try to hug you. Feel free to yell at me as I charge you. I won't be offended.

If you do come out, keep in mind that stopping and going again is really tough so if you want to chat, the best thing to do is move along with me. We just won't count this as "pacing" if it happens during the day and it's unplanned.


If you're interested in escorting or just want to know about the course here are the details per lap:

3.89 miles

400ish feet of elevation gain

1.3 miles of singletrack, .25 miles of pavement, the rest grass/woodchipped ski trails

I will start and end at the stump in our front yard so I'll be calling this the Stump to Stump. A lap begins from the stump and doesn't end until I touch the stump on my return.
 Hope to see you all soon! Until then, stay happy and hopeful!