Ice Age 50M Report 2012 – Juli Aistars

ice age trail 50 logoPosted on the Ultralist:
Zach Bitter won this years Ice Age 50 mile race in 6:05:45 — one of the fastest times in the 31-year history of the event. Denise Bourassa won the women’s race in 7:12:37. The race takes place in La Grange, Wisconsin. Race results and website at the link below.

Date: Mon, 14 May 2012 23:14:23 -0500
From: Juli Aistars
Subject: Ice Age 50M report from the tail end

I ran the Strolling Jim on May 5th in hot, humid weather. I knew my legs would be tired for Ice Age and I feared not making the 12 hour cutoff for 50 miles.

I had reason to be afraid…

There were 286 official finishers — I was # 285.

There were 78 female finishers — I was # 78.

I did not fall, I did not get sick, it was not too hot — I have no plausible excuse. I never felt so deliriously happy to finish with better times. There is something to be said for squeaking in under the cutoff.

Despite the slow time, I had a great time. I saw and talked with many friends, old and new. I met some new runners including Rachel who was running her first 50 mile event. She was tiny and blond and 28 years old. Her marathon PR is 3:52. She finished in just over 11. I missed some runners I saw on the list but didn’t spot them on the course, like Bill Thom. Doesn’t that always happen? I was happy to see Shannon McGinn there.

The Ice Age trail is beautiful and challenging. The aid stations are run by the same loyal people every year and they do an excellent job. I worked the Route 12 aid station last year as a volunteer. This year I had a chance to see it from a completely different perspective. I remember one of the ladies telling me last year that her kids worked the aid station for years and now they are grown up.

I had a blast battling the clock, being just minutes under the cutoff for the last 13.5 miles. I made it by 3 minutes and 40 seconds with the help of the incredible encouragement at the finish line and Brandi running the last several yards next to me saying, “Look at you run!” I felt like the winner instead of almost last place when I got a hug from Lorraine Bunk. We all want to be like Lorraine — at least the women do… I got a hug from Beth O’Nines, the person who is most responsible for sparking my love for running in 1998. John’s Ice Age photos are fantastic and it is all over our faces how happy we last finishers were when we beat the clock, the unstoppable clock.

Congratulations to the winners, finishers and all who started! There were at least 3 finishers who covered the distance but did not make it under 12 hours. It happens every year. They are gracious and happy they finished the distance. The Ice Age clock does not forgive even a second.

Race results:http://www.onlineraceresults.com/event/view_event.php?event_id=8452
Race report: Kristin Korevec
Race report: Jeffery Lung Primal Plunge: The 2012 Ice Age Trail 50
RAce website: www.iceagetrail50.com
Race photos: by John Zinzow (past RD of IAT-50 : 1999 – 2004)

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