Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eric Johnson, First on foot

Without question the last 65 brutal miles is what defines the Arrowhead 135. On Monday, February 2 in the frozen reaches of northern Minnesota, 26 people started and placed their bets they'd finish 135 miles away. Sixty hours later at race end there were 18 DNF's. The only similarities between the Arrowhead and a summer 100 is that you wear running shoes, which is where all resemblence stops. Add another 35 miles, all of which are done in a deep freezer and your're in for it.

As I mustered my way through the second night in temperatures that dropped to -35, I wished for an extra check point. Problem is, there are only two, total, one at approximately mile 36 and the second at 72. That provides a lot of real estate between the runner and the finish to be completely on their own, and is a painful test of self-reliance, which is exactly why I love winter or artic ultras so much. Perhaps in no other aspect of the extremes of organized ultras is self-reliance so absloutely critical. That along with sleep depreviation, a 25 pound sled and no pacers or extra drops, not to mention the mind blowing mercury drops of -35, and you've just met the Arrowhead. Maybe the last 65 miles of Pierre and Cheryl's race should be called "Pierre's Payback".

You also better pray it's not windy at -35, and that you don't need to stop and add any moleskin to your already sorry looking feet. Because if you get it to stick without subjecting your toes to frostbite, I doubt your fingers will be so lucky, I promise. There are plenty of reasons why the sub-culture of active winter or artic ultrarunners is so small, which is also why the active sub-culture of ultrarunners who participate in extreme heat events like the Badwater 135 is so sparsely populated: the margin of error is extremely tight, and if the ultrarunner has any physical or mentally weaknesses, they will be forcefully and painfully exploited, and they will suffer. A Navy Seal once said "It's mind over matter, and if you don't mind it doesn't matter."

Meet you at the starting line next year, and I hope that you don't mind.


Challenge for few in ice

Film taken by Brazilian TV crew during the 2009 Arrowhead.

Link to Brazilian TV report on Globo Videos


João Prestes and Márcio Villar face the adverse conditions of Minnesota, in the United States. Brazilians speak on the difficulties of the test, disputed in a very cold place.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Jeremy's tale of the trail

Thanks again to Pierre and Cheryl for putting on the best race I have ever done. It was one of those once in a lifetime feelings completing this bugger. But I hope to be back next year for another totally unique experience. By bike? We'll see...I still have something to prove by ski, though. A little less time and a bit more glide (and grace). Well, mother nature will always decide that. It's exactly one of the best things about the race. One is always at the mercy of the weather at the end of the day (with a little luck and experience thrown in there, too).

Here is yet another tale of the trail.


Link to Jeremy's Blog

Everything falls apart at 4am.

Everything falls apart at 4am. Parties wind down, cramming for exams becomes intolerable, sleepless nights become restless mornings. In this year's Arrowhead 4am is when the cold set in, the shelter was full, and wax wouldn't stick to my skis...

Matt Maxwell

Link to Matt's report here.

Frostbite Falls alumnus

Hello ,

2009 was my 3rd Arrowhead Ultra. I got initiated the hard way, during the 2007 Arrowhead Ultra, where brutal weather, poor trail conditions, and mechanical issues pushed me (as I pushed my bike for 80 miles) almost to my limits. The biggest change for 2009 was the addition of a Pugsley to my gear list (Thanks to my wife Jackie) and 2 prior finishes to boost my confidence.

During the pre-race meeting, Mike Curiak shared slides from the race in Alaska, I think I could have stayed all day and listened to stories. My Brother-in-law John made the 500+ mile drive from Wisconsin to be the finish line official and offer support. My mother in law also made the trip North to offer support and bring me her special "Arrowhead cookies". I had my gear laid out for weeks but almost forgot to pack a drop bag (which would have been OK, I could have fed a small army with the extra food I had at the finish).

I started the race at 07:14 am and finished 34 hours, 46 minutes later. The race start weather was close to perfect, the trail conditions were not. We had 3-4" fresh snow and the trail was soft, this made riding harder, especially for the athletes breaking trail in front. The race leaders have my respect and awe, the pace they set is amazing. It is nice to see all of the racers in the first couple of hours, and all the gear variations they employ.

Key memories for me from the 2009 Arrowhead Ultra are:
- The race leaders drafting early in the race
- Skiers not getting much glide
- A brat and juice at Gateway
- The leaders breaking trail, following their tire tracks when I was able
- Good soup and grilled cheese at Melgeorges, wonderful volunteers
- Wishing for more logging so the trail would be faster
- Leaving Melgeorges at 5:30 am, seeing wolf tracks in Josh and Chuck's tire tracks that were only 2 hours ahead of me.
- How long it took to get to the tee-pee and how beautiful it was.
- How flat the last 22 miles are and how far it is from Bayview to Fortune Bay
- How glad I was not to be saddle sore.
- Cold feet
- flying down hills thinking "this could be the most spectacular crash in Arrowhead history"
- Frozen thermoses
- 29 below the last night, and how tough the racers were that were still going.

In closing, the Arrowhead Ultra is a world class race with great organizers, volunteers, and racers. The memories from each race keep me looking forward to the next one. My only regret is that I don't get to know all of the people better who are involved in this great event.

See you next year,

2009 Racer #11,

Ken Krueger

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Navy Guys

Luke--by the Numbers:
$ 15,023.10 raised for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation
135 Miles
53 hours 27 minutes
2 hours of sleep
2 sleds
4 or 5 layers
3 checkpoints and 1 tepee
Countless powerbars and gu’s
4 days of school missed
40 hours of driving
1 race, 1 goal

Blaine-Highs and Lows:
......Of course there were highs and lows during the race. Sometimes we would be able to pull each other out of it, and sometimes we would both be low, and we would remind ourselves to listen to our head and our heart, not our body. The times when we were both high, we would sing songs. I think I even did a couple of cartwheels at some point during the race.

...I had started to fall asleep while moving and running off the trail, so I followed the blinking light on the back of Luke’s sled, sometimes waking up and realizing I had been sleeping for ten minutes and had kept on moving. At those temperatures, it is very important that you don’t sweat too much so you don’t get hypothermia, and I had started to sweat. I took the mask and bandana off my face which had been warming the air I was breathing in so my lungs wouldn’t freeze. After this point, I only remember tiny segments until I opened my eyes and was in the hospital....

Luke's full report

Blaine's full report

3rd place/bike finisher Dennis Grelk

The Arrowhead 135 was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Truly a stepping stone for larger more self sustained multi-day events, whether it be racing or touring. Much was learned, yet there is much to learn.

I can't put my finger on what it is that makes this sort of event so appealing to me, all I can say is that this was the most enduring event I've ever done, and yet the most lucrative. The gear and knowledge required to finish this event is the most expensive and rewarding that I've ever strived for. Who knew racing at 8mph could be so addictive?

Many thanks to Pierre and Cheryl Ostor for putting together such a great event, and to all the volunteers and fellow racers for helping make the event what it is.

Full Report Here

Dennis Grelk

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Canadian, Olympian or just another candidate for therapy?

It was 4 am and I was struggling to push my 70 pound Surley Pugsley bike up one of the interminable hills and I found myself thinking about where this event fit in among the races I have done. I’ve found that there are two basic levels they fall into. This didn’t reach the “ Please let me keep going for just 5 more minutes level. It was more where I found myself asking why a supposedly sane and well adjusted 60 year old would want to do this to himself. For those of you who’ve read of some other race I’ve been in, you’ll recognize a common theme but it once again seems totally appropriate to this event....

Lindsay Gauld

For more,

Click Here

Canadian Bill Shand

The temperature is -28C. It’s 2:00am. I am crawling inside my sleeping bag trying close up the zippers before my hands go completely numb. This was not part of my race strategy.....

.....As I reflect back on the race, I have to question some of the decisions that I made. Those decisions did get me to the finish line without injury in my fastest time yet but I took some unnecessary risks and things could have gone very differently. I was really happy to make it to the finish but I have some work to do before next year.

This is my third time finishing the Arrowhead. It sure isn’t getting any easier.

Bill's full report:

Click here

Arrowhead 2009: Disappointment

Right now, one word sums it all up for me: Disappointment....

Links to Kid Riemer's report:

Link to Kid Riemer's report at Salsa blog

....Props and a shout out to all the fine folks that gave it their best this year. It was great seeing you and I look forward to our paths crossing again.


Click Here for more

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sam McGee was right

Neuburger Family aka the "Tipi People" pulling gear up Wakemup hill to set up tipi at the shelter.

Sam McGee is the title character in the poem "The cremation of Sam McGee". It seems like a fitting poem for the race. It is about a guy from Tennessee that goes dog sledding in Alaska I think, he freezes solid and then his friend cremates him only to find him sitting in the fire alive and warm for the first time since leaving home. Very fitting I think. I found myself thinking this at times in the tipi..."Why he left his home in the South to roam 'Round the Pole, God only knows."

Kurt,Carrie & Caytlin Neuburger and Chad & Kelly Brancamp
Wakemup Tipi Checkpoint#3 Volunteers

Link to Tipi Report

Link to Photo Album

Halfway point junkie

Lara checking in at the staggered start

The trail was a magical place for me. I am so very grateful that I put myself out there. Walking is so very slow but well worth all the time I had to enjoy my surroundings as I traveled. That is one thing you have when you walk.... time alone. Walking and time became my friends for I felt no exhaustion and I was able to take in the beauty of the trail.
Yes, me feet hurt but I kept my spirits up and enjoyed the stroll through the woods. And along the way I found something special in my journey.

Please let the wonderful Volunteers know that I appreciate everything they did for me. They are a very special group of people.
Thank you for giving me this experience.
Lara Sullivan

Link to full report

Jack Prentice


I will see if I can find the Jack London in me. If I write anything, I would again write from the perspective of "Ultra Learner". This years AH was very disappointing to me, but I did learn from the mistakes I made and will be back in 2010.

Maybe next year we could host an AH 135 social hour(s) after the Saturday gear check ends in the same meeting room. I would be willing to pop for a few cases of beer or wine and some snacks. You could have the projector scrolling old pictures along with 2010 rule updates/changes, etc. Or anyone willing to tell some stories about past trips would also be cool, the AK biker really had some neat pics and stories.

Also, my parents made it up again and they were much more relaxed about my participation this year and where again in complete amazement of what you organize and the people who travel to complete in the event.

Have a great spring, stay in touch. Let me know when you want my $$ for 2010 AH!!


Jarom Thurston USA/Brazil

(a quick update on my condition from the BR135 & AH 135 mile Ultra Marathons back-to-back)

I just got back from Brazil the end of January after running the BR135 for the second year in a row (but this time in a conservative 56 hours) and then had only eight days to get back to run the Arrowhead 135 in International Falls, Minnesota. The race started Monday Feb 2nd and finished Wednesday night the 4th. I'm back in Utah now but miss the Brazilian summer weather!

I ran a great race for over 30+ hours, but unfortunately had to make the tough decision to drop out at mile 90 (sad but true). The hardest thing was the fact that I was leading the race from about mile 75 to mile 90 and by over two hours from the 2nd and 3rd runners, but I was seriously too affraid for my life and safety. This race is VERY VERY dangerous as it's a race with very little support, you must be self-supported and there's only two check points/aid stations both in the first half of the race...the second half, about the last 60 miles there's no support and temps reached -15F degree the first night and I struggled to get through it....the second night reached -34F (ouch) and I knew I would have a difficult (and unsafe) time if I continued on alone for the second night w/o more support going on no sleep.

This was my first ever attempt at a winter race/ultra event and I was discovering that there's a big difference from other warmer climate ultras. So I stopped, despite being in the lead, at mile 90, just before the sun went down on the second day. After waiting for two hours for snowmobiles I finally saw the 2nd and 3rd place runners catching up to me as I was heading backwards on the course towards Highway 23 (where I knew if the snowmobilers would be back for hours I might be able to flag down a car for a ride). I congratulated the two runners and told them I was not going to continue on any farther and wished my best in their efforts to finish the race. About 3 miles back I was able to find a ride with the father of one of the two Naval Academy athletes and spent the night in their cabin at Mel George's on Elephant Lake.

There were two of my brazilian friends who came to run it too. One dropped out after 18 miles the other miraculously recovered from hypothermia the first night and continued on to finish in 58 hours!!! He had tried running this race last year (2008) and almost lost his feet to frostbite by the first checkpoint, but came back to try again and DID IT! (Way to go Marcio Villar) The course record holder had dropped out about 52 miles into the race. Even the Race Director, who runs it every year abandoned the race at the second checkpoint!!!
The whole event was filmed and recored by a Brazilian TV News crew (Globo TV) and will air soon so I'll have to send you a link to it to watch when it's available online. (But in Portuguese, sorry.)

On the race site blog and they mentioned my foot. I did have some pain in my right ankle from the BR135 the week prior but that wasn't why I dropped out. The main reason was that for the first time in an ultra marathon I was affraid for my life and safety if I were to continue on a second night w/o support and sleep in those conditions. Pulling a 30lb sled of equipment, water, food and clothes in the snow after 135 miles in the Brazilian mountains just a week before was proving too much. I underestimated this race and was NOT mentally prepared to be fully self-sufficient out there 2 days and two nights. So I played it safe and threw in the towel. I'm sure running the BR135 one week prior didn't help my chances either, as I was very much still recovering from that extreme challenge too.

Jarom Thurston -

Link to Jarom's Blog

Marlin Ledin reports

I've posted a report on my blog at

Link to Marlin Ledin Blog

Here's a paragraph anyway...

"It was about 35 miles to Melgeorges checkpoint. I figured I had gone 20 miles since the last checkpoint. A snowmobile pulled over and told me I had 28 miles to the next checkpoint, Melgoeorges. That meant I had only gone 6 miles. I couldn't believe it. I was excited and satisfied with the newly presented challenge ahead of me. I was warm, had energy, and was happy. All I needed to do was keep movin'. Needless to say it was a very long 6 more hours of pedaling, walking, and beautiful scenery engulfed in complete silence and solitude. This is why I had signed up, for adventure and a humbling challenge, and this is what I was getting."

Thanks Pierre and Cheryl! ~You Rock! I can't wait for next year.
Marlin Ledin

Walter Kremsreiter

Pierre & Cheryl,

It's almost 2 weeks since the Arrowhead Winter Ultra 135. Like so many others I had high expectations of finishing this intense survival race that few attept and even fewer finish. I was in the company of more than a few skilled, determined competitive endurance athletes. Only the toughest in the world will attack and finish this survival test of ones mindset and physical capabilities.

There are more details involved than any other race I have read about. I say read about cause the Arrowhead is not only my second Ultra, it was the second time I've ever attempted a race over a 5k. I've only run 2 5k's in the last 15 years.

Pierre you gave me the chance to compete with some of the greatest. While I know I'm not the only one to DNF, I'm stuck in a dilemma of pride. We all got some pretty cool items. One being the T-shirts that we all can wear to show off this wild race. But not having finished I don't feel I should have the honor and privilege of wearing it. I would hate for those that had finished to look at me wearing this shirt and be like "That dude DNF'ed! Where does he get off wearing that shirt?" I have always felt one should earn the honor of wearing something like this. So what to do? I haven't figured that out yet.

Thanks for the most awsome experience, a great time and just for giving a dreaming finisher a shot. I'll be back next year, better planned, better trained, more experienced, 'cause after this every other race is just a stepping stone, a training run if you will, for the Arrowhead 135.

So until 2010, good luck and be safe,

#47 Walker Kremsreiter

In therapy with Charlie Farrow

Freudian therapist: “How are you doing today? Where were we? Oh yes, you were going to start at the beginning. That is, the beginning of the Arrowhead 135. Tell me about this event. Were you able to enjoy healthy social intercourse with the other competitors? Did you use some of the coping mechanisms we worked on?”

For the full unabridged story....see 2009 Arrowhead 135 Parts III, II, & I on my blog...

Itz not short...but the really is LONG :)



Bert Chamberlain

I participated in the Arrowhead 135. I didn't finish but I was very pleased with my attempt. It is my opinion that a large part of challenges like the Arrowhead is how the race is organized from the directors to the volunteers. My impression of the Arrowhead is all positive. From the participants to the volunteers everyone was making sure that people were safe and having fun. I especially want to point out the caring and professionalism of the volunteer nurse. Thank you. I want to give kudos to the volunteers on the snowmobiles who had for the safety of the athletes as their top priority. They would check and recheck anyone that they had a concern for. A job well done. Even the athletes who did not finish the race wanted to be sure that everyone was safe. The attitude of the athletes and the volunteers comes from the leadership of the directors. I congratulate the leadership of the the Arrowhead 135 for having a very successful event. I plan to try again next year. Thank you, Bert Chamberlain.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dave Gray 2009 race report on Surly Blog

I had just returned from the grocery store at 4pm Saturday night, after dropping $92 and some change on “race food”, when the nausea set in. I dismissed it as pre-race jitters and the effects of sleep deprivation after spending much of the previous night readying my gear for my 4th Arrowhead 135 race. Unfortunately, the queasy feeling failed to cease,.........

..............As more finishers, non-finishers, volunteers, family, and friends showed up, a fuller picture of the race progression started to unfold. I enjoyed every racer’s account of their journey. We geeked out on gear, traded trail stories, and speculated on the whereabouts and health of the racers still on the march. Dad and I had to hit the road around 2pm. I would have enjoyed hanging out with more of the riders after the race, but the schedule didn’t allow it. Next year, I think I’ll stay in Tower an extra night before returning home.

Pierre and Cheryl Oster (the race directors) and all of the generous volunteers did a great job again this year. Hats off to you all. To the racers and their support crews, especially mine – my Dad…Thanks for playing. I hope to see you again sooner than later.


Link to the full report on Surly Blog

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Big Wheel Building: A135: The Whole Story.

(Photo of Pierre on the first turnaround section of the Arrowhead Trail, courtesy of Mike Curiak)

Mike's race report with beaudacious prose and photos are found at the following link:

Big Wheel Building-- A135: The Whole Story.

Mike's Arrowhead slideshow on Picasa

Viddyou slideshow with music.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Final Finisher Tim Roe 6:08pm Feb. 4, 2009

Tim Roe completed the Arrowhead on foot at 6:08pm Wed.

Of 59 starters, 24 finished the Arrowhead in under 60 hours and 1 was disqualified.

26 bikers started, 15 finished.
26 on foot, 8 finished
7 skiers, 1 finished.

Official Firsts/Lasts:

First biker, first overall- Terry Brannick, RI Started at 8:30 am Mon. and finished at 5:30am Tues. in 21 hours.

Charlie Farrow, 2nd bike, 2nd overall, Duluth, MN started at 7:32am and finished together with Brannick at 5:30am Tues. in 21h 58 min.

First foot, Eric Johnson, Ogden UT, 13th overall, left at 7:13am and finished at 6:08am Wed. in 46h 55min.

First skier, Jeremy Kershaw, left at 7:40am and arrived at 3:14pm Wed. for 21st overall in 55h 34 min.

Youngest Finisher- Luke Finney, Us Naval Academy, age 20, left at 7:14 and finished 12:41pm Wed. for 4th foot and 19th overall in 53h 27 min.

Last Lone Wolf award to Melgeorges checkpoint at 11:50am Tues., Jason Giddings, biker, who eventually dropped on trail.

Last finisher, Tim Roe, started Monday on foot at 7:24 am and completed the Arrowhead at 6:08pm Wed. in 58h 44 min.

Temps dipped to -34F degrees in Tower the second night and usually temps are at least 5 degrees colder in low spots on the trail.

To see detailed results chart, click on link--
Results.htm page

6th & 7th foot finishers

6th on foot: Marcio Villar, Brazil finished on foot at 5:48pm Wed, started 7:40am Monday, Intl Falls.

7th on foot: Carles Conill, Spain finished at the same time as Villar, but started 7:11am Mon. Intl Falls.

Tim Roe is a few miles out from the finish.

First and only skier finishes

Skier, Jeremy Kershaw completes the Arrowhead and crosses the finish line at about 3:14pm Wed, First skier, 21st overall.

More news on participants

John Taylor, foot, dropped 2 miles before the tipi checkpoint on Wed.

Skier, Jeremy Kershaw was seen running, carrying his skis at about 16 miles out at 12:30pm. Now he is 2 or 3 miles away from the finish.

Brazilian Marcio Villar is struggling. He was previously seen about 16 or 18 miles away from the finish at 12:30pm on Wed. Now he is out about 6 miles from the finish.

Carles Conill is now behind Villar at 12:30pm but his exact location is not known at this point. Tim Roe is still out on foot as well.

The sun is shining and it has warmed up considerably since the morning when it was -30F degrees.

These are the last 4 people left to finish. Everyone else is safe and accounted for.

19th and 20th overall arrived at finish

Biker, Phil Jemielita arrived at the finish on bike at about 1pm. Wed. for 17th overall.

Foot racer, Matt Long arrived at 2pm Wed for 20th overall and 5th on foot.

16th overall, 13 bike 52 Steven Moulds 54 M Bike
17 th overall, 14 bike 45 Philip Jemielita 52 M Bike
18th overall, 15 bike 48 Nicholos Wethington 26 M Bike
19 overall, 4th Foot, Youngest 42 Luke Finney 20 M Foot

Foot racer, Matt Long arrived at 2pm Wed for 20th overall and 5th on foot.

Youngest finisher on foot and Bike finishers

Luke Finney, (foot) age 20 is the youngest finisher to complete the Arrowhead, at 12:41pm Wed., 4th foot, 19th overall

16th overall, 13 bike 52 Steven Moulds 54 M Bike
17 th overall, 14 bike 45 Philip Jemielita 52 M Bike
18th overall, 15 bike 48 Nicholos Wethington 26 M Bike
19 overall, 4th Foot, Youngest 42 Luke Finney 20 M Foot

Steve Moulds, bike 12:42pm Wed. 16th overall

Nick Wethington, bike 12:42pm Wed. 18th overall

2nd & 3rd Foot finishers

2nd foot: Garrett Mulrooney, 9:40am Wed.

3rd foot: Iso Yucra, Bolivia 10:10am Wed.

Luke Finney is 2 or 3 miles away from finishing.

Including Luke, 8 people out on the trail left to finish.

On foot at Elbow lake shelter

#55 Tim Roe was seen bivying at Elbow lake shelter south of highway 23 at 1:45am Wed.

Marcio Villar just left the same shelter at 1:45am to continue south on the trail.

Dropouts last night-

Mitch Rossman,foot
Jarom Thurston, foot, Hwy 23 got ride to Melgeorges, then to Cook to visit Blaine in hospital.
Kevin Martin,foot, near tipi got ride to finish.
Rick Wagar, foot, picked up by snowmobiler north of Hwy 23 to the road where he got ride from family member.

Dropouts since Melgeorges

There are still 8 people out on the trail including Luke, a few bikers, runners and 1 skier, Jeremy Kershaw.

Dropouts last night:

Mitch Rossman, foot
Jarom Thurston,foot
Kevin Martin, foot
Chris Finch, bike Hwy 23
John Kurth, bike Hwy 23
Jason Giddings, the last lonely wolf. dropped at Hwy 23
Rick Wagar, foot Highway 23
Blaine Tonking, foot

1st foot finisher Eric Johnson #13 is 13th

Eric Johnson, lucky number 13, finished (1st foot and 13th overall) at 6:08am Wed!

Biker Ken Krueger finished 6pm Tues, 11th place overall.
Biker Joel Austin finished midnight Wed am, 12th place overall.

Several bikers passed by the tipi and bivied on the trail south of the tipi, 16 miles out from the finish about midnight. (Nick Wethington, Steve Moulds and ?)

Chris Finch and a couple bikers, Jason Giddings and John Kurth, were picked up after midnight around Hwy 23 and went to hotel in Orr.

2 Navy guys on foot called on their cell phone to the finish line early Wed. am. They were south of tipi near Cook and Vermillion Rd crossing. Blaine Tonking was feeling sick and hypothermic, ambulance took him to Cook Hospital where he is fine. Luke Finney is continuing on the trail.

According to the weather channel, currently, the temperature in Tower is -29F (pure temp)
Orr is -27F and that does not include wind chill.
Intl Falls is -28F degrees.
Usually it is about 5 degrees colder in low, remote spots on the trail.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

3rd and 4th place bikers/overall

Last Lone Wolf

Jason Gidding Biker is last to Melgeorges Check point so Myrtle Turtle, AKA last lone wolf award. He left Checkpoint at 2:01pm (14:01) along with bikers John Kurth and Chris Finch.

Only bikers finished so far on Tuesday.
3rd place- Dennis Grelk 9:08am Feb. 3rd
4th place- Lindsay Gauld of Canada finished on bike at 10:11am Tues Feb. 3rd.
5th Place-Dave Pramann 12:03 pm
6th Place-Greg Ames 12:41pm
DQ-Lance Andre 12:09 (he finished but left the trail searching restaurant and got a ride back to the trail, a no no!)

7th Josh Peterson 13:47
8th Chuck Lindner 14:16
9th Mike Curiak 14:36
10th Bill Shand 15:14

Lara Sullivan, only woman on foot, also left checkpoint about the same time but turned around and returned to Melgeorges and dropped out.

Breaking news before I go!

3rd biker arrived at finish 9:08am Tues 2/3/2009-- Dennis Grelk

Congrats to all three biker finishers!

North of Melgeorges or at cabin checkpoint now

Marcio Villar (Brazil) left Gateway 5:43pm due in cabin shortly.
Blaine Tonking and fellow Navy Luke Finney left 6:15pm and at Melgeorges this am.
Iso Yucra left Gateway on foot at 6:30pm
Rick Wagar foot, left 6:30pm
Mitch Rossman left 6:40 on foot
Mike Stattleman 7:17pm

Many people on foot left together from the Gateway store last night about 8pm, including only woman on foot, Lara Sullivan, Carles Conill(Spain), John Taylor, Joe Richie, and Tim Roe.

Melgeorges foot arrivals-
Pat Susnik (dropped) and Matt Long arrived on foot at Melgeorges early Tues am and left 9:15am
Garret Mulrooney arrived at Melgeorges this 5:45am and left 9:30am
Pierre Ostor arrived this am and dropped at Melgeorges
Kevin Martin arrive 6am, left 10:10am (dropped)
Eric Johnson Melgeorges in at 6:15am
Jarom Thurston (Brazil) arrived 6:23am, left at 7:45 am (dropped)

Bikers arrived Melgeorges and still here--
Martin Ledin 2:03am was a little nautious but feels good now and wants to go back out, ultimately dropped.
Steven Moulds left 7:50am
Nick Wethington left 7:35am
Todd Sample left 7:45am (dropped)

Joel Austin left 8:15am
Phil Jemielita left at 9:40am

It is now 9:18 am and a few more people came in while I was over here typing. I must sign off now and go back to the cabin so you won't here from me for a while.

First two bikers finished Feb. 3rd 5:30am

Terry Brannick (1st bike/overall)and Charlie Farrow (2nd bike) finished at 05:30am on Tues 2/3/09

David Pramann was last seen hanging out at the tipi checkpoint. About 12 bikers went out from Melgeorges on Monday night or Tues am. 1 biker Ken Krueger left early this 5:30am.

The 2 guys Jim Bodoh and Bert Chamberlain arrived safely at Gateway store by 10pm last night. They dropped out at Gateway and the checkpoint closed down.

Many people on bike and foot came into Melgeorges over night and many are still sleeping, eating breakfast in the Cabin. It is like a huge crowded slumber party in the cabin with gear/food everywhere.

Dropouts last night-

Dave Simmons, dropped at Shepherd RD. and Hwy 53.

Dropouts at Melgeorges-

Dave Gray, bike
John Storkamp, foot, picked up by snowmobiler on trail
Jason Boon, foot, picked up by snowmobiler on trail
Pierre Ostor is here and contemplating dropping out.

Marcio Villar was having trouble at shelter but was helped into his sleeping bag by racers. Snowmobiler and Navy dad Troy Finney found him. Troy speaks Portugese and said he seemed okay and wanted to keep going. Marcio was about 10miles out at 7am and on his way to Melgeorges on foot.

There are still many on foot/ski and a couple bikers (Chris Finch, Jim Grijalva, Jason Giddings, or John Kurth?) bivying on the trail north of Melgeorges, about 19 people. The snowmobilers left after 7am to go north and meet up with racers.

A few skiers are still north of Melgeorges with no news Matt Maxwell, Brian Arms, Jeremy Kershaw and Greg Baxter.

The finish line snowmobilers left about the same time to go north and locate position of bikers.

Bikers that left from Melgeorges last night and still out on the trail--
Dave Pramann at tipi 1am today along with Lance Andre
Lance Andre (5:30pm Mon.)

Mike Curiak 7pm Mon.
Dennis Grelk 7:50pm Mon.
Lindsay Gauld 8:25 pm

Bill Shand 10pm Mon.
Greg Ames 11:39pm Mon

Chuck Lindner (3:35am Tues)
Josh Peterson same time

Ken Krueger left Melgeorges 5:30 am Tues.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Biker arrives at Melgeorges

Biker Marlin Ledin arrived at Melgeorges about 9:30pm.

Several bikers went through Elephant Lake quickly

Sorry, I missed a few names. I believe Mike Curiak rode thru on bike about half hour to 45 min ago. A couple other bikers blew by while I was typing, too.

Most of the remaining people at the Gateway left before 8pm to go back out on the trail, including Lara Sullivan on foot.

The snowmobilers are going out to check on them all now. Last they saw, they all looked good and the temps and wind are not so bad as predicted so far.

It is going to be a while before I post anything new...I must go back to the cabin with no internet access.

aka Madame FrogDog
Race Directrice

Still at Gateway recently, not sure when out yet

Carles Conill in 6:23pm foot
Pat Susnik in 6:35pm foot
John Taylor in 6:42pm foot
Brian Arms in 5:45pm ski
Greg Baxter in 5:45pm? ski
Joe Richie in 6:34pm foot
Tim Roe in 6:45pm foot
Mike Stattelman in 6:25pm foot
Lara Sullivan in 6:35pm foot

Still not at Gateway? Info as of 7:15pm

Jim Bodoh foot
Bert Chamberlain foot

Time left Gateway Store

John Storkamp 5:40pm foot
Dave Simmons 1:33pm bike (dropping now)
Ken Krueger 2:15pm bike
Garrett Mulrooney 5:48pm foot
Eric Johnson 6:13pm foot
Pierre Ostor 5:55pm foot
Mike Curiak 12:10pm bike
Bill Shand 1:15pm bike
Iso Yucra 6:30pm foot
Matt Long 6:02 foot
Marcio Villar 5:42pm foot
Kevin Martin 6:02pm foot
Chris Finch 5:40pm bike
Jim Grijalva 7:05 bike
Greg Ames 1:33pm bike
Joel Austin 4:45pm bike
Jason Boon 6:35pm foot
Luke Finney 6:15 foot
Jason Giddings 5:40pm bike
Philip Jemielita 3:32pm bike
Jeremy Kershaw 5:40pm ski
Nicholos Wethington 2:45pm bike
Rick Wagar 6:30pm foot
John Kurth 5:40pm bike
Martin Ledin 2:03pm bike
Steven Moulds 2:09pm bike
Mitch Rossman 6:40pm foot
Todd Sample 3:32pm bike
Jarom Thurston 6:23pm foot
Blaine Tonking 6:15pm foot

Dropped at Gateway

Mike Reimer
Stefano Miglietti
Pat White
Jim Reed
Jack Prentice
Walker Kremsreiter
Jaon Prestes, Brazil
Tom Rowe

Not Jeremy, nor Steven, Sorry!

More bikers just arrived at Melgeorges

Oh, Canada is now represented by former Munich Olympian Lindsay Gauld at 6:50pm.

Dave Gray (Surly) just arrived too at 6:54pm although he was feeling sick last night.

An hour or so ago, I saw some Italians wander in the restaurant and it took me 10 min. to realize it was Stefano Miglietti of Italy. We thought he might win the foot race considering his Alaska experience. Apparently, he went blazingly fast to Gateway Store, arriving at 3:15pm then dropping out. He says he feels great, no injuries but does not "feel right in his mind".

Last year bike finisher, Chuck Lindner of Warroad just arrived on bike, 6:58 pm.

I expect a fax from the GateWay store soon. Supposedly, only 3 people on foot still have not come in, about 13 are at the store ready to go.

Pierre Ostor had already left Gateway on foot about 6:15pm? John Storkamp left sometime after 4:15pm?

Finish line at Casino

The Fortune Bay Casino has offered a better situation for the finish line.
We have the 2nd floor bingo room all day/night until Wed. 5pm with a view overlooking the golf course where the trail finishes behind the Casino.

Go straight into the Casino doors and immediately up the stairs to the left. Go up 1 flight. Stay to the left at the top of the stairs and go into the room prior to entering the casino. Brian set up signs.

There is a late night deli for food/drinks and a heated shed for equipment storage.

Bikers in at Melgeorges

Dave Pramann arrived at Melgeorges at 4:30 pm, started 7:32am
Lance Andre just arrived at 4:45pm, he started at 8:15am

Lance must have passed Charlie Farrow as he was not far behind Pramann.

Charlie came in at 4:54pm

3 deer were standing, frozen, out on the lake staring at the first racer as he crossed Elephant Lake then they bounded off as he arrived at the shore.

Terry Brannick is probably not far behind...oops, he just arrived at 5:08pm and started at 8:30am. Don't have time to see if he is in the lead. You do the math!

Biker Mike Riemer dropped out at Gateway store.

Josh Peterson came into Melgeorges at 5:38pm.

Now the deer are back out on the trail on the lake. We can see them from the restaurant window. They just stopped abrubtly, frozen and staring again so maybe someone else is arriving? ...our early warning system. :)

The first 4 bikers left Melgeorges already in the past 15 minutes,i.e., about 5:30pm.

Biker Dennis Grelk just arrived at Melgeorges 6:15pm

Gentlemen (and Lady), start your engines!!!!

58 men (bike, foot or ski) and 1 woman on foot began the 5th annual event on a staggered start at 7:06am thru 8:30am with nice trail and weather conditions. It was about -8 degrees F on the trail with light snow in the early morning and clear skies the rest of the morning.

Dave Pramann in the bike lead as of 11: 40 at the Gateway store took off immediately.
Charlie Farrow following immediately behind, ran into the store as if he was doing the 50 yd. dash, grabbed a couple bottles of something, paid and ran off outside to get on his bike so as not to get too far behind Pramann. Josh Peterson in 3rd and Lance Andre in fourth.

Both Pramann and Farrow had started together at 7:32am and passed over Hwy 53 at about 9:30 am with a few other bikers a few minutes behind--- Josh Peterson, Mike Curiak and former Olympian Lindsay Gauld, Lance Andre and Terry Brannick.

Terry had started at 8:30am. Several bikers later, Dave Gray crossed the Hwy 53 about 10:20am and he had started at 8:15 along with Lance Andre.

Most of the runners started about 7:10am and everybody passed the turnaround by 10:20am. There are mostly runners, then bikers, and finally skiers, more evenly split than in past races. We cannot give you the breakdown at this time.

We expect temps to remain around zero until night when lows will dip into the minus 20'sF.