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Kettle Moraine 100 Mile

June 8, 2015
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People often ask Brian why he runs. In response, he talks about how as kids most of us ran to and fro from everywhere. Brian never stopped running.

There is something incredibly zen about running long distances. After your first few steps, your brain stops telling your legs to move, the message is originated from your spinal column (Dietz, 2003). This “mini-brain” in your spinal column is incredible at sending rhythmic signals to your legs and is smart enough to help you navigate around changes in terrain (Frossberg, 1975). When people have been running for a long distance, it starts to feel like you are gliding along a path and that feeling is probably better than anything. Sorry – I digress.

Here is a photo-story of what it is like to run a 100 mile race. Brian ran the Kettle Moraine 100 Mile Race over the weekend. He is an incredible ultra-marathoner and his shoulders met with runners from Hawaii and even as far as Japan.
I hope you enjoy these photos and make sure to tap (mobile version) or hover over (desktop version) for stories behind each of these images.


The beginning of the day flew by. There were a few administrative announcements and before we knew it everyone was lined up for the race. This is the starting line for the Kettle Moraine 100 when the timer read “00:00:01”.


Meet Nick, he and I were the crew for Brian. Nick is an incredible runner in his own right and has ran several 100 mile races before. Nick was able to predict exactly what Brian must be feeling throughout the race. Nick and I drove back and forth from aid stations to check up on Brian, fill up his water bottles, and to feed him. Oh, and so that I could take pictures.


A map of the full race.


Nick leading Brian into an aid station pretty early into the race.


This is one of my favorite photos from this series. Most of the race was through trails very similar to this.


We met up with Brian at aid stations like this. There was water, salt tablets, fruit, candy, sandwiches, and runner’s pre-made bags at each station.


Brian is a beast.


More accurately, there is a lot of sweat and a little bit of sunscreen here.


It’s the little things that must feel like luxury during races like this.


Brian meeting us again at an aid station. He was doing pretty good here and we gave him his phone to call his wife for the next leg.

I left this weekend so inspired by these ultra marathoners. Brian battled it out for most of the morning but dropped out at the 47 mile mark after dealing with some hydration issues and scary heart palpitations. It is still an incredible feat to run that distance and he is going to be back to running 100 mile races in a few months.


Even this water tower had a nice Five ‘o clock shadow. As we were getting ready to leave town the thought of this picture left me with a smile. Whenever you are around a bunch of runners things stay pretty much this way. The water tower said it better than me.

Dietz 2003. spinal cord pattern generators for locomotion. Clin Neurophysiol. 114:1379–89
Forssberg H, Grillner S, Rossignol S. 1975 Phase dependent reflex reversal during walking in chronic spinal cats. Brain Res. 85:103–7

Any thoughts?