I think this is our fifth Endurance Challenge Wisconsin, and over the years we’ve added racers and races. At this point we’ve raced the 5K (4 of us), 10K (3), marathon (1), and 50K (1), so all we are missing is the half-marathon, marathon relay, and 50 miler. Plans are afoot…
In previous years, we’ve rented an RV and made a long weekend of it, but this year we only spent one night and the morning, so tent camping made more sense (financially especially). It’s such a great location in that we can easily walk to the race festival grounds from the campground and back, as needed.
We got to the race site Saturday afternoon, picked up our bibs, wandered the race festival and then made camp. A walk over to the lake beach ended up delaying dinner, so we ate in the dark. It wasn’t too cloudy, so there were quite a few stars, but a bright full moon made the stargazing a little less exciting than other years.
After a decent night’s sleep, we got our two eldest kids to the start line for the 10K race , and then soon after, I started the 5K with our 9-year-old. After about a mile of running together, my legs starting hurting quite fiercely, so I sent him on by himself, knowing I’d see him coming back on the out and back course and that my wife was waiting at the finish line. I decided to relax, enjoy a walk in the woods and then run the last mile. That’s pretty much how it happened, with a short walk to catch my breath for the final push.
After the race came the fun part. First, our 10Kers came in, tired but happy. Then I met Kim, who works with The North Face and us TNFLocals. She introduced me to Stephanie Howe, an ultrarunner who just happened to win the Western States 100 in 2014 (first female, 18th overall) – wowza! And, even though it was a quick hug and photo, fellow TNFLocal Tricrazeee and I finally met.
After drinking a few beers (the benefit of racing with underage runners!), we got the 2 younger ones to the start of the Kids’ Race. Our 9-year-old, racing just behind the Minion, was tripped up at the finish line, but still won a new TNF backpack – sweeeeet!
Back to the campground for an amazing brunch: bacon and french toast, it was time to pack up and head home, but not before stopping at the welcome station for ice cream (yeah, we go all out on this weekend).
This is one of those family traditions that will continue to be built upon, I think. For next year we are thinking of inviting friends and running the marathon relay and taking over some camp spots, so the weekend will be busier and more fun than ever!