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Run Woodstock: Review

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 Run Woodstock kept the 60's alive for 3 days of running

Run Woodstock made its official debut last weekend in Pinckney Recreation Area, courtesy of Running Fit. From Friday night to Sunday morning the event held 9 separate races for the hundreds who attended. The course was tough, and some of the distances runners took on were even tougher, but in the end it turned out to be one wild weekend for all the hippie runners who showed up.

The theme was ‘Peace, Love, and Running’ for the weekend. This was more than just a race, this was an event. The participants all came in tie-dyed shirts, there was a stage and band (playing songs from the 60’s obviously), and of course, plenty of running. Not too often will you find an event with almost every conceivable race distance offered, Run Woodstock was not far off. They offered a 5k, 5 mile, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, 50k, 50 mile, and 100 mile run.

The course was all off-road, and extremely hilly. The trail run explored the woods and all the typical obstacles you come to expect from trail runs. The path was challenging, even if you were paying close attention. Roots, rocks, and branches added an increased sense of danger. Many of the runners found themselves face first on the ground on more than one occasion. Add some serious hills on top of all this, and you have one tough course on your hands.

Roughly a 16-mile loop, the marathons and ultra marathon runners had to make several laps around the trail. The 50k and 50-mile races have been a regular occurrence with fellow Running Fit events, like the Dances with Dirt series. What is new to a lot of people is the 100-mile distance. Running 100 miles is no joke. These people started at 6am Saturday morning, and the leaders didn’t finish until Sunday morning around 3am, others came in later Sunday morning after daybreak. A good portion of the 100-mile runners were force to drop out due to injury or fatigue over the night. At the 24-hour aid station the ultra runners came in between laps and got a little rest over night. Everything from soup and lasagna to M&Ms and Jolly Ranchers were available to snack on, some even took a little time to fill up on some warm coffee. Taking on 100 miles is hard enough by itself; now add lots of hills, 12 hours of darkness, and plenty of roots and rocks to trip anyone up on. Anyone who finishes this distance will have some serious bragging rights for the rest of their life.

This was the first of what could be many Run Woodstock’s. Just to make sure people would show up and participated they kept it reasonably simple this year. Now that they know it will have a decent turnout, expect a bigger and better weekend next year.

For more info: www.runwoodstock.com

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