2005 – New Women’s and overall 100km course record set Again
Our tenth year! If we were celebrating a marriage instead of an ultramarathon, this would have been our “tin” anniversary. But we feel like our trail race over the green hills of southern Wisconsin is more precious than that.
We take the occasion to reflect on ten wonderful years of sharing the Kettle Moraine State Forest trails every June since 1996. That year, Kevin Setnes founded the race as Wisconsin’s first and only 100-mile run. Jason and Timo took over the reins in 2001 and added the 100-kilometer event and the 100-mile relay. Over the years, the Kettle Moraine 100 has grown in size and reputation. In the 100-mile event, Eric Clifton holds the male course record of 15:57:09 (1999), and Donna Perkins’ female course record is 18:12:30 (1998). We’ve welcomed other elite runners from around the country as well, and we expect to have more in the future.
In style and personality, we think this remains a Midwestern race. It comes naturally to us to try to make our guests feel welcome. We offer every opportunity to run a satisfying trail ultra: a well-maintained trail, a clearly-marked course, enthusiastic volunteers, well-stocked aid stations, lovely scenery, nice shirts, and distinctive awards. We try to do better every year. We impose very few rules on our runners. The strictest rule is the one we impose on ourselves as race directors: “Runners first.”
Our goal each year has been to bring as many runners together as we can to enjoy the fine trails in these parts, including the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. It’s a joy for us to see ultramarathon veterans running with newcomers tackling their first 100-mile, first 100-km or the team event. We love the special camaraderie of this sport.
This year, Stuart Kolb of Green Bay, Wisconsin, decided to run our race as the first 100-miler of his young life (age 43). Leading all runners right from the start, Stuart’s blistering pace had him challenging the course record for much of the day. People wondered how he could keep up the pace in the oppressive combination of heat and humidity. He finished in the second-fastest time ever run on our course.
Another tough masters runner, Tracy Thomas, now of Champaign, Illinois, won our female 100-mile title. Tracy recently relocated from California, where she would revisit just three weeks later and complete the Western States 100.
In our 100-kilometer race, Kami Semick of Bend, Oregon, continued what seems to have become a tradition at the Kettle Moraine: Kami is the third female in three years to win the event outright. She also set the overall course record. Ragan Petrie of Atlanta, Georgia, overall winner in the previous two years, came in second. Another good friend of our race, Bill Wilkey of Phoenix, Arizona, was the first male finisher and third overall.
We were very pleased that Montrail included our event as one of three 100-kilometer races in its Montrail Ultracup series this year.
We had very hot and humid weather here this year. It came to us a little abruptly. As a result, times were generally a little slower for everyone except maybe Stuart. As is somewhat familiar to us with a cozy 62 mile aid station, 26 of the 100 mile runners opted to forego the tough final 38 miles and accept the 100km recognition for the day. For those finishing the 100 miler, under such conditions, it is a great accomplishment. We are also proud of the relay teams who encompass two ultras of 50 km each and to shorter 19 mile sections. Someday we hope they will jump up to the more challenging races we have, now that they know the beauty of an ultra race.
During Saturday night, the runners were treated to a fantastic lightning show from the isolated thunderstorms menacing the area. There was one late-night deluge. There was also a scary bout of high wind at the Mile 84 aid station – the timely efforts of the crews and volunteers held the tent down, barely preventing it from becoming the Mile 85 aid station. The sky cleared by the time the sun came up on Sunday, and temperatures rose again for the final 100-mile runners. While sweeping the trail, we were a little taken aback to find a fallen 50-foot tree blocking one section, and thankful no one was present as it came down.