LITTLE WOODS PROGRESSIVE ULTRA
This is a first-year event put on by local ultrarunner, Travis. There are several "last man standing" races out there in the big wide world of ultrarunning, but I hadn't heard about them until Travis decided to host his own here in the St. Louis area. The general principle is this: there is a loop of trail, and a set time interval. Everyone starts each loop at the same time, and if you finish under the time interval, you can continue on. If you don't finish under the time interval, you are eliminated. For the Little Woods course, our loop was 4.1 miles with 200 feet of climb, and our time interval was 1 hour. About 60 or so runners started, most of us never having participated in a "last man standing" event before, me included. And it was SO MUCH FUN! Because we were only competing against the clock, and completing 4.1 miles in 60 minutes is decidedly non-strenuous, the social aspect of the race was amped up. I ran each of my loops with different people and had a great time getting to know them.
|The potluck aid station!
|Completing the first loop with a bunch of new friends!
Ahhh, who doesn't love a good race acronym! This is the SHivering Icy Trail Run: a nighttime trail half-marathon put on by ROCK Racing, and it's in its second year. I won the women's race last year, and was super excited to come back and test myself again on the Lost Valley trails. Except the winter weather didn't cooperate, so Chuck and Robin re-routed us onto the gravel doubletrack instead of tearing up the wet singletrack (smart decision! GORC thanks you!). Still in training mode for my Epic Adventure Birthday Party, I pre-ran the slightly shortened course (11 miles instead of 13) by myself at 2:30p, then came back for the official start at 5p.
|The opening climb up The Mound.
And then, for the last piece of training before my Epic Adventure Birthday Party, Jeff, David and I joined up with our adventure racing friends Mike and Rachel from rival team Bushwhacker to take on this 48hr rogaine. Normally, when we hang out with Bushwhacker, it's at races where we are trying to make each other hurt as much as possible. One of my distinct memories is from 2012 Thunder Rolls, where I was racing with GearJunkie/WEDALI, and we were running close to Bushwhacker late in the race. We were all struggling with the heat, and as we passed them, Scott from Bushwhacker moaned "Stop doing this to us!". That is really what it's like racing against top teams in the Midwest - a knock-out, drag-out fight for the win. So when Bushwhacker asked Alpine Shop to team up together for POCAR, we didn't hesitate a minute to say yes. Isn't this how everyone socializes with their friends...a 48hr trek in the winter woods?
|pre-POCAR gear explosion!
In the meantime, check out the race report from our friends at Monkey's Fist Adventure Racing!