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Having Fun in the Name of Running

Climbing_ravine_2 I don’t have many regrets in life.  But waiting to run the Living History Farms race until now is one of them.  It was sooooo much fun!  There are bigger races, but I can’t imagine any being this zany, treacherous, and fun all rolled up into one.

Amy’s post and pics captured so much of the atmosphere of the race, so I just wanted pass along the highlights from my perspective.

  • The revelry.  Even in the midst of the race, you could hear runners laughing and cheering as they crossed the streams and scaled the Himalayas of Iowa.
  • Boys_kilts_2 So many young runners.  High school age runners decked out in home-made costumes while whooping and hollering war chants.  You've never seen more enthusiasm and painted chests—makes a cheering section at a high school football game seem mild.  The only fun they enjoyed more than getting their friends muddy was getting covered in it themselves.
  • Running in an undeveloped, pristine natural setting. Much of the course changes every year and is defined by markers and flags.  But the grounds are rough and unprepared for runners, taking us over land and winding between trees that humans hadn’t touched for ages.
  • Amy_and_jim Hanging out with Amy’s husband, Jim.  We don’t see each other very often, so it was great to catch up.  People don’t come much nicer than Jim.  His love of law enforcement is a match for Amy’s love for running and cookies put together.  We talked about favorite items we have in common—cool sunglasses and different kinds of flashlights.

I'm thinking next year Amy and I might be hosting some sort of gathering and we'll be recruiting heavily among our BRFs to join us for this race.


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Kent A

I agree Tom I think it's the young (and older) runners who come with a spirit of play that make this run what it is. It isn't all about the time for 99% of them. (I've never asked the guys who win if they have fun climbing the hills or crossing the creeks or if winning or competing to win is their only reward.) It is about the play aspect of running. In typical road races the closest you get to "play" is the act of reeling in another runner as you pass them or the chase to the finish with a peer.

Now if only there were race directors around that could organize more of them. Say a cross country trail series or even just celebration of spring trail race near some Midwest city. :-D

Joe Thorn

Man, the way you both have described it makes me very interested for next year. I'm just over 4 ours away I think, so who knows. If you guys start promo-ing next year in advance I might be ready to go.


OHHHH ALL RIGHT ALREADY. I WILL DO IT. or maybe Cavegirl will do it. Geez, you guys are relentless.... :D

Glad you had so much fun. Treacherous and Zany?? hmmm, I still don't know but I will have to trust you.


I have already informed my husband and several of my friends that they are running this race with me next year.


Betsy, your choice of the word "informed" sounds very persuasive and certain. I imagine Steve and your friends understand in no uncertain terms that they'll be joining you.

Runnin' Ragged

I demand that all of you move closer to Ohio (Indiana perhaps?) so I can participate! ;) That race sounds like so much fun!


So Amy really DOES wear that jacket everywhere.

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They also required no break in period, I put them on out of the box for a 3 mile run and they felt like heaven on my feet. This is an excellent trail running shoe, especially if you are doing some serious mud trails.

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