Manitoba athletes did some cross border shopping last weekend, and scored a few deals.
Forget Grand Forks: bargains like these could only be found a little further down the Interstate – in Park Falls, Northern Wisconsin. Yes, the Tuscobia Ultra-Marathon Race was the destination for these brave prairie souls.
Only one word can describe those who compete in these events: tough; 150 miles (241 kilometres) of tough; 75 miles (120 kilometres) of tough; slush and snow tough; blizzard tough.
Athletes choose the vehicle they will use to try and complete their respective distances: run, ski or bike but any choice will not grant them reprieve from the punishment they will endure.
Sue Lucas of Dauphin placed second overall, and first in the women’s 150 mile (241 km) foot race, and set a new course record. Her time of 54 hours and 30 minutes was more than 5 hours faster than the third place competitor.
Lucas states that although she was nervous going into the race, she kept on telling herself, “I’m not going home without finishing.”
Her task was not only completing the race itself, but just getting there. Sue had to drive 3.5 hours from Dauphin to Winnipeg, stay Christmas Day in a hotel, catch a flight to Minneapolis on Boxing Day, then she had to carpool for 4 hours with fellow Ultra Marathoner John Taylor to the start of the race at Park Falls, Wisconsin.
Lucas’ future plans for the New Year include competing in Minnesota’s Ultra Marathon Arrowhead 135, and upon successful completion, Manitoba’s own Activ Epica for the triple crown — the Order of the Hrimthurs (“rhyme-thurs”) – an award given to racers in the upper Midwest/international winter ultra races.
Dan Lockery placed second in the highly competitive 241 kilometer bike race, with a time of 26 hours and 18 minutes.
“My preparation … was similar to last year,” Lockery states. “Long rides/races … (including) Cyclocross … and extra resistance training.”
“Mentally … I (stay) patient, positive and focused, while spending time with experienced people in the endurance community. My stubbornness helps.”
Local cycling legend Lindsay Gauld set a new course record in the 75 mile (120 km) cross-country ski competition, with a time of 16 hours and 6 minutes.
Both Lucas and Lockery are looking forward to Minnesota’s Arrowhead 135, held at the end of the month.
For more information on the Arrowhead 135, go to http://www.arrowheadultra.com/index.php
For more information on Manitoba’s own winter ultra marathon to be held on February 15th, go to http://actifepi.ca/