News & Stories

Run Club makes a dash at the Trail Loppet

Run Club in training before Trail Loppet

The City of Lakes Run Club had been training for the City of Lakes Loppet for 11 weeks. Beginning practices on the heels of the Tri-Loppet in June, the group of thirty had been meeting twice a week throughout the summer to train, motivate, commiserate, and learn the trails together. “This is the largest Run Club the Loppet has ever seen,” said Loppet Foundation director John Munger who came out for several of the groups runs.

Trisha enjoying her Surly after the race.

With Coach Robin Brandt laying out the training plan, as well as several dedicated facilitators who helped guide folks along the trails, the group met biweekly for alternating hill and long distance workouts. The group would gather Monday evenings before the run to hear guest speakers highlight topics ranging from neck and back care, to ultra-marathon running to yoga. The rest of the week group members were on their own to do strength training, intervals and mid-distance runs. Athletes from diverse racing experiences joined the club: some were marathoners new to trail running, some folks were hooked on half marathons, and some were just interested in a new challenge.

Reuniting post race on Monday, the group bypassed their regular work-out time to recap their races over beer and coffee at a local coffee shop near Wirth. “Kathleen would have won “most Surliest Runner” said her husband Jeff Van Wychen “if she had not washed the blood and dirt from her knees after taking a spill in the first mile after hitting a root”. The group, who had run the trail in the aftermath of the early summer tornado, was impressed how well it was cleared for the race.

Run-Club celebrates post-race at Cuppa Java.

Reliving the painful climbs, the feelings of exhaustion, and the elation that it was all done, the group chuckled over their race-day experiences. “What kept you going?” asked Ingrid Remak who competed in her first half marathon that day. “The shame and humiliation of not finishing and having to show my face at Run Club,” replied Trisha Davies chuckling. Without a second thought, Heidi Erickson chimed in, “the Surly at the finish of course.”

The group mediated over the work-outs from this past season, and began brainstorming the Run Club model for next year. “It’s interesting that you people sign up to do this race again,” said Davies who, still in post race shock, was surprised folks are so willing to put their bodies through that course again. “It’s inertia,” said fellow Run Club member Cynthia Osterling. “You get to a point and you just can’t help but sign up.”