One of the reasons I like talking to runners is that, on a whole, I find them a pretty inspiring bunch. To get out there day after day – through the cold, heat, snow, rain and anything else that Mother Nature throws at them – says a lot about their determination.
That’s one reason I’ve been showing up lately to run with a group – some of them have overcome some incredible odds just to get out the door. Plus, I like to hear other people’s stories about races and what they might be experimenting with in training.
But Monday before work, when I swung by a northside convenience store for some coffee, I didn’t expect to run into Tim Bauer, who ran in a 50K in Wisconsin two days earlier. He’s one of the runners I met at Beyond Running on Tuesdays. We ran hills together one day, and I borrowed a workout from him last week in hitting another spot east of town.
Over the weekend, I searched the 50K race Web site to see how he did but the results weren’t posted. So I asked Tim how he did, and I didn’t quite believe him at first. It had been a grueling race, with tough hills early in the out-and-back race. He decided to hang it up at mile 22, which was probably a pretty good call considering the final 9-mile stretch had some brutal hills.
What amazed me most, though, was Tim saying he was planning another ultra trail marathon in the fall. Undeterred, he plans to keep running ultras and trail races. He’s a strong runner, so I’m confident he’ll conquer the next one. Plus, some of us are looking at carpooling for regular hill workouts – perhaps even weekly – this summer, in preparation for the Ragnar Relay from Lacrosse, Wis., to Minneapolis. And of course, some of us are looking at running the half or full marathons at the North Country Marathon outside of Walker, Minn., which is a great trail race, and the Twin Cities Marathon, which offers up a few tough hills of its own.