Back to the Ice Age (Trail) - Page 2
The Kettle Moraine 100 Endurance Runs, as the races are collectively known, were founded in 1996 and have occasionally drawn top talent to eastern Wisconsin–former Comrades Marathon winner Kami Semick owns the 100K course record of 9:45:13, set in 2005, and 2010 Badwater 135-mile and 2011 Javelina Jundred 100K champ Zach Gingerich set the 100-mile course record of 15:51:09.
George says she was on pace to break Donna Perkins’ 100-mile course record of 18:12:30, which has stood since 1998, but that she was slowed by a technical section in the second half.
“The cool thing was that I was way back in the pack early on, but I ended up passing a ton of people after mile 30 or so, probably over a hundred, by the time we hit the turnaround,” says George. “At mile 24, I saw my kids on the side and they were like ‘mom, you’re almost in last place!’ And I said, ‘You just watch!’”
She said she hopes to return to the course next year and go for the record.
Most of the race is run through Kettle Moraine State Forest on the Ice Age Trail, a National Scenic Trail that traverses over 1000 winding miles between Wisconsin’s eastern and western borders, minus a few unconnected pieces.
“The course was part open fields, part in the woods,” says George. “It had roller-coaster hills, short ups and downs where you could actually run most of them instead of walking. And the trails were perfect–there were no potholes, and not many roots or rocks.”
The trail hosts several other trail races, including the Ice Age 50 in May, which is run in nearly the same spot as the Kettle 100 runs, launching from nearby La Grange. This year’s Ice Age 50 was part of the Montrail Ultra Cup and drew an elite field, but local runner Zach Bitter bested the group that included Timothy Olson and Michael Arnstein, among others, in the course’s second-fastest time ever (Scott Jurek ran what is now the ninth-fastest time at Ice Age when he was 24).
The Ice Age trail also hosts the Glacial Trail 50-Mile and 50K in Greenbush, outside Milwaukee, in October, as well as the Chippewa 50K and 10K outside Eau Claire, in the western part of the state, in April.
More information on the Ice Age Trail can be found here.