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River City Running Newsletter

Updated: Dec 6, 2018

March 2018

In memory of Sir Roger Bannister

Here are some upcoming running club events in March:

1.      St. Patrick's Day Run (17 mile base loop; option for ~21 miles) -Saturday, March 17th For anyone looking for a nice little run to celebrate St. Patrick's Day,please join us for a 17 mile run - with the opportunity to add on for ~21miles... what could be more fun?  We'll start from the Y at 7:00AM Saturday, March 17th.  Green running gearis optional, though heavily encouraged. We will run our normal route over to the Kwik Trip by Schmidty's (withoutthe Ebner Coulee Add-on, that is).Feel free to take advantage of the Kwik Trip (aka Aid Station #0), beforecontinuing onward and upward to Irish Hill. At the top of Irish Hill, stay on Highway 33 and run to the ScenicOverlook (on the LEFT side of the road); this is Aid Station #1.  I willhave water/Gatorade behind one of the first trees to the left of theparking lot as you enter the first entrance (same as previous years). This should be just shy of 8 miles. Turn LEFT back onto Hwy 33 and take a LEFT onto CTH OA.Take CTH OA down the hill until you run into CTH FO.Turn LEFT onto CTH FO and take it up the hill.Turn RIGHT onto CTH F (we are now heading toward Bliss Road and back tothe Y).CTH F will swing to the LEFT, follow it around the bend (past Three TownRoad) and watch for Aid Station #2.Aid Station #2 will be the metal electrical "box" on the RIGHT side of theroad, near Kim Lovejoy's house ~ very close to mile 12 (see 2nd map -blowup - below).Stay on CTH F to Alpine Inn and proceed down Bliss Road to Main Street andback to the Y. Complete route should be very close to 17 miles.An optional add-on would be to run up to Grandad Bluff Park to view ourfabulous city below.  A second add-on, up Ebner Coulee Road should make it~21 miles - just for fun :)!

2.      Incline to Nodine (50K; shorter options available too) - Saturday,March 31st The annual Incline to Nodine will be held Saturday, March 31st.  As in thepast, we will start from the "newer" Kwik Trip in La Crescent @ 6:00AM. The full route is a 50K, but people are welcome to do an out-and-backroute for shorter distances. We're basically taking Hwy 6 out of La Crescent, connecting toHwy 125, which will take us up to the frontage road along I90 that takesus to the Kwik Trip at Nodine, then Hwy 12 into Nodine, to Hwy 1, to AppleBlossom and down into La Crescent. Aid stations will be provided at the following (approximate) mileage points:               

3 miles, 6.6, 9.8, 13, 15.7, 18.8, 22, 25, 27.5 miles We will once again offer a shorter (much less fun, I'm afraid) option...we'll confirm closer in, but current expectation is to have a smallergroup meeting at the La Crescent Kwik Trip at 9:30 to run a ~10 mile BurnsValley/Apple Blossom loop and looking to join the ultra-crew for theirfinal descent into La Crescent following the Decline from Nodine... This group should still hit the first aid station (~3 miles) and would hitthe final aid station, which is placed behind the guard rail starting downApple Blossom.📷

 New Newsletter Editor: 

After about 4 and a half years, I am stepping down as the RCRC newsletter editor. The next issue sill be published by Len Pitt. He is more than capable and, I am sure, will bring something new to the issues. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to volunteer. -Eric VanOsdol

Going Backwards

Dave Bange

A number of years ago, the RCRC began what turned into be a long-running tradition.  On New Year’s morning, we gathered in downtown La Crosse for our first run of the year.  For some long-forgotten reason, we decided to run the Chileda Classic 10K course (that race no longer exists), except that we ran the course in reverse.  Why?  Well, that too has been forgotten.  I suppose it just seemed like a good idea at the time. In subsequent years the club president would send out a reminder for our annual New Year’s Day run, giving the time and place, and writing, “We’ll be running the Chileda course backwards.”  Inevitably a few people  would jokingly, “Are we really going to run backwards?”  Perhaps tiring of this recurring joke after several years, the annual reminder would say that we would be running the Chileda course in reverse.   But last week I found out that running backwards -- even for long distances -- has become a reality.  In fact, it’s growing in popularity, especially in Europe.  There is now a bi-annual world championship for retro running (Europeans apparently like a more “sophisticated” term than running backwards), and an association that compiles records for this at all distances for men and for women.  Really.  This odd track meet was held in Switzerland in 2006, including distances from 100 meters to a half-marathon.  It was grandly named the International Retro Running Championships.  It attracted a mere 50 competitors, but that was the start.  By 2016 the 6th IRR Championship drew over 160 participants to Essen, Germany.  Possibly many of the runners were attracted by a  likelihood of gold medals in an international event, even if that event isn’t quite the Olympic Games.  One winner reportedly said that it was thrilling to watch their competition chasing them as he approached the finish line.  That’s something you can’t manage in a regular 5K, is it?   By now you might be wondering whether does anyone retro run a full marathon?  Well, of course.  Marathon runners have been known to do far stranger things than run backwards.  So just how fast has someone run a marathon backwards?  Incredibly -- at least to me -- the men’s record is 3:38 by a German, Markus Jurgens, and the women’s record is 4:26 by a Canadian, Kathryn Clewey.  Both record were set in 2017.  This retro running seems to be catching on, and possibly attracting faster runners. Another question you may be wondering about is, “Has someone run a major marathon backwards?”  After all, it’s got to be a bit more challenging to weave among thousands of other runners when you can’t see what’s ahead of you.  And if the runner ahead of you should suddenly, well ... .   The fact is that people have run large marathons backwards, sometimes with a partner to warn them of obstacles like slow runners, potholes, and  water stops.  This past November Justine Galloway of San Diego ran the New York City Marathon backwards, finishing in a time of 6:06:51.  Although this didn’t qualify her for Boston, apparently people in Boston are anticipating that at least one person will retro run Boston in 2018.  No word yet on possible retro runners in Chicago, Gandma’s, or Twin Cities.  With a bit of practice, you could be the first to do one of the largest Midwest marathons, and become an indelible part of its history!   If for some reason you’re reading this, and thinking that retro running might be a fun thing to try, here’s some tips from those with experience: (1) start by walking backwards, (2) when ready to have a go at actual running, pick some place free of obstacles and other runners, like an outdoor track, and (3) wear something to protect the back of your head in case you should hit a solid object or trip and fall.  Bike helmets are probably too heavy for running.  So what do the some experienced retro runners recommend?  A sponge.   

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