Thursday, August 16, 2007

Running with the Marathon Man and my new job as map maker

Yesterday morning I went for a short run with local running legend Jerry Dunn. Jerry became somewhat well known in the running community when he ran 200 marathons in the year 2000. That's some friggin dedication there. I think I once watched "The Goonies" once a day for 30 straight days. For details on his exploits, check out his website at .

Jerry is also the director of two local races: the Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon, which I hope to run for the first time next June, and the Lean Horse Ultramarathon, where I will be running the 50K in 9 short days. When I registered for Lean Horse, Jerry noticed that I lived close by and offered to go on a run sometime. The running community here in Belle is very small, especially when you're talking marathoners who get up at the buttcrack of dawn to run. I have run with someone else (not including races of course) exactly ONE time in the six years that I've been running and that was when I went to San Francisco for work and met up with a friend, and marathoner, who lives out there. So, I took Jerry up on his offer and we ran a few miles together around Spearfish yesterday before I went to work.

During our run we of course talked about Lean Horse and I mentioned at some point that I had made my own map of the 50K course so that I could see the elevation profile for just that race (rather than try to decipher it from the 100 mile elevation profile on the race website). Jerry thought that was a good idea and asked if he could use it for the website. I said sure and emailed him the link later that day. He apparently liked the map because he called me yesterday evening and asked if I would make maps for the 50 and 100 mile courses also. I'm a geek who likes doing that kind of stuff, so I agreed and just sent them off to Jerry this morning. So, coming soon to the Lean Horse website ( you'll be able to see some of my extremely amateur map making abilities on display. Hopefully no one gets lost because of me....

Jerry also told me that there'll be somewhat of an ultrarunning celebrity running the Lean Horse 100 Miler this year. For those of you out there who follow the Badwater Ultramarathon, you'll probably recognize the name Akos Konya. For those not in the know, Badwater is a 135 mile race that starts in Death Valley and ends at the Mt. Whitney portal. The course goes from 200 feet below sea level to approximately 11,000 feet above sea level. And they do it at the end of July when temperatures in Death Valley typically top out around 130 degrees. Akos has taken second at Badwater the past two years and this year he actually broke the course record. Unfortunately for him, some guy from Brazil broke the course record by more. Anyhow, Akos is obviously fast and tough and the Lean Horse course (that rhymes) is much more kind than Badwater, so it appears likely that the course record will be broken this year.

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