On Eagles Wings…..

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Dances with Dirt – Gnaw Bone

First off I have to say thanks to my fellow RUT Members for not telling how bad those hills and picker bushes really are out there in Gnaw Bone Indiana, second…why didn’t you warn me!  It had rained all week so the first two miles was all mud, the type that likes to try to take your shoes off, and since you do that first leg twice more fun mud at the end also.  The ski hill in the beginning was a monster to climb at the start of an event, it quikcly got you warmed up, and then on the way down on the way back I am so happy that I did not tumble down it.  Actually if I did tumble down it I probably would not of felt that much because most of my body was numb at that time.  A group of about 20 of us missed one of the turns and ended up going about 4 extra miles overall so that really added to our final time. After that at each turn where the ribbon was not obvious I took a second to look for it.  Lesson learned here is to never follow the person in front of you and always keep looking for trail ribbons so that you do run the planned 31 miles instead of 35!  No matter how much you trust the person you never know if they are actually paying attention.   
Picker pushes or plants that had thorns were everywhere!  My legs looked like I fought a cat and lost.   At least I did not realize how bad they were until I was done.  The hills were monsters.  Switchbacks all over the place and I swear it took about 20 minutes to climb some of those hills and finally get to the top.  Starting out at the bottom of a hill and looking up the trails to see people way up at the top made you ask “how did they get up there?”.   Going down the hills were fun and fast.  Just turning the corners on the switchbacks on the way down could make you meet your demise if you were not careful.  Those were some huge cliffs!  I have to give the people that train on those hills everyday lot so credit because we have nothing like that around here to train on.  Even the monstrous Dutton Rd. hill in Rochester, MI does not compare to the hills on the Gnaw Bone course. 
The course was really tough and I would say it was twice as hard as Dances with Dirt – Hell.   Some people I talked to after I finished said it took them over 90 minutes longer on this course due to the hills so I did not feel that bad with my time.  If we did not take the extended tour in the beginning I would guess that my time would have been less than 7 hours and not 7:50.  
All in all an awesome course and yes I would probably do it again with very little arm twisting.  Once again Randy and his RunningFit event team did a great job and put on a first class event. 
Last of all I want to wish good luck to all of the Team in Training participants that will be racing in the Bayshore Marathon and the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon.  All of you are ready and will do awesome!

May 21, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Wow, great job on those hills.  I know for a fact they are pretty gnarly.  I\’ve started hill training to get ready for the Red Eye Relay and man, they just never get any easier.  But it helps to live around here. 🙂  I wish I\’d been able to come over to Gnaw Bone and volunteer and/or cheer!If you enjoyed this race, you might also like the Tecumseh Trail Marathon in December. 😉

    Comment by Unknown | May 22, 2008 | Reply

  2. That was funny about having a cat fight and losing. Liz is not going to be pleased when she hears of this damage to the Al calves!!

    Comment by Unknown | May 26, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi Al! I just tagged you on my blog!

    Comment by Unknown | June 16, 2008 | Reply

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