Iron Horse Ultra 100 pulls in record number of athletes
The fifth annual Iron Horse Ultra 100 took over the Iron Horse Trail this weekend for a grueling 100 kilometre or 100 mile run, attracting outdoor adventurists from all around.
Sure enough, 100 runners participated in the Iron Horse Ultra 100, a race held in four separate categories; 100 mile soloists, 100 mile team, 100 kilometre soloists, and 100 kilometre teams.
This year even saw a new course record, set by Calgary’s Oleg Tabelev, who finished the 100 kilometre solo event with a time of 10 hours, three minutes and 11 seconds.
“This race is all about dedication. We have tons of volunteer dedication, dedication of the runners' training, dedication from just everybody. The community really came behind us this year,” Race Director Monique Poulin told participants at Sunday's award presentation. “We are very happy with how our fifth annual event turned out. The runners were challenged and happy, the weather was great and the volunteers tireless. We could not put on an event like this with out the great support from all our sponsors and the community.”
The course covers either 100 kilometres or miles along the Iron Horse Trail, and sees runners depart form Reunion Station in St. Paul before making their way as far as Lindbergh, only to return all the way back to Reunion Station on foot.
The Iron Horse Ultra 100 annually attracts a rare breed of thrill seeker, often from across the globe. This year was no different as Nathan Harris of New Zealand finished off a wild adventure through North America with a 100 mile solo run through the Iron Horse Trail.
“I started off hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, it’s a trail that runs from the Mexican border up to Manning Park in B.C.," said Harris. "I hiked the first 1,300 miles and then went into Colorado and hiked the Colorado Trail which is about 500 miles, and then went back to the PCT and hiked another couple hundred and just got sick of hiking. So I bought a bike and cycled the rest of the way (to Vancouver).”
During his trip, Harris was "just messing around on the internet and came across" the race website. He then made plans to arrange a flight from Vancouver to Edmonton so that he could be in St. Paul for the start of the race.
"It seemed like they had a real emphasis on achieving your goals rather than just supporting really fast people, so I just wanted to come out and see if I could do it,” said Harris. “It was beautiful, there's just a really cool vibe to the whole thing. Everybody is just really friendly and out to help you.”
The majority of runners, especially those who opted for the 100 mile course, could be found running through the darkness on the Iron Horse into the early morning hours. Stuart McCracken, a member of an eight-person 100 mile team, finished his 18 kilometre leg of the course at roughly midnight, and said it was a great experience
“This is my first kick at the can . . . I've skied marathons, but never ran them,” said McCracken, adding that the weather was “perfect,” even past midnight. “This is the best run I've had all year.”
McCracken's teammate Christian Brazeau said that their team, which is based out of Wainwright's Denwood Outdoor Athletic Club, thought the event would be a great way to test their abilities.
“We just wanted to try a long distance race as a team, and this was the closest one,” said Brazeau. “It was nice. It was technical, there were hills, it was a good mix of everything . . . We'll come back next year for sure.”
Local artists Sabrina Michaud and Gladys Fleming created custom medals for the event. The pottery medals crafted in the shape of a leaf were awarded to all participants that completed the race.
100 kilometre soloist
Oleg Tabelev; 10:03:11
Curtis Arends; 10:30:01
Joelle MacDonald; 11:49:48
100 mile soloist
Adam French; 19:41:04
Adela Salt; 21:09:06
Bert Blackbird; 21:55:37
100 kilometre team
Donner Party; 10:22:44
K Men; 11:09:60
100 mile team
Chasing Trail; 17:14:28
Team Uno; 18:44:14
Overnight Sensations; 22:12:50
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