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Ultra Part 2 - Ultra Dreams and Demons

This is Merideth's story about her first ultra - the Pikes Peak Ultra 50k. PPU is one of the harder 50ks in the state, with over 7k of climbing, including summiting Mount Rosa at over 11,500 feet before dropping back into the city. I have it split into four parts for easier reading.
Last year, I found a love for trail running. It started with the peer pressure of friends to sign up for the Pike’s Peak Ascent, but was solidified through the running of other local trail races and adventures on the back country trails of Pike National Forest. My confidence in myself as a runner really started to establish roots in trail running. I didn’t feel like I had to be fast. I just had to be strong and determined. Check. I could run a half marathon up the side of one of the tallest mountain peaks in Colorado and complete 5-6 hour long runs in the middle of the wilderness. What else could I do? A few weeks after I completed the Ascent, I was continually researching trail running so I could lear…

Ultra Part 1 - Prologue

This is Merideth's story about her first ultra - the Pikes Peak Ultra 50k. PPU is one of the harder 50ks in the state, with over 7k of climbing, including summiting Mount Rosa at over 11,500 feet before dropping back into the city. I have it split into four parts for easier reading.

I am a runner, but you would never know by looking at me. I don’t fit a stereotype of what one might think of as a runner – lean, tall, strong. My sister and father have had running in common for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I remember watching my dad leave for hours at a time to complete his runs, as well as watching him run across the finish line of our annual local 10k in rural central Illinois. When she was in middle school and high school, I remember watching my sister at track meets – tearing up the track in the 400. Her junior year of high school, she even ran on a relay team that won second place at the Illinois state track meet. I remember wanting to be a runner so I could have that in…

Summer Recap

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It's been a busy few months and I've been remiss on the athlete updates and results. Lots of racing and training going on for Thelen Coaching athletes over the summer. Quick recap of all the great things going on right now. Hopefully I didn't miss anything!

May
May brought some fun events and some serious events. Merideth traveled to Southern Utah for the Ragnar Relay Zion, racing with her family. The trail relay events are as serious as you make them and Merideth and her team had a blast. They ran hard but also enjoyed the family time camping in the desert.


Also in May, Brenda rode in the Santa Fe 50 mile ride, smartly making the choice to drop to the shorter distance when the weather proved more then challenging. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor and making the smart choices can mean more time to train and play later.

Over Memorial Day, Dianna and Merideth ran in the High Drive Challenge 10 mile race, running to summit of High Drive and back down. It wa…

April Results

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The end of April saw lots of events and races for Thelen Coaching athletes!

Jen returned to the Rattler Trail Run in North Carolina, where she raced the 10k event again. She had a great race, with a PR of over nine minutes on the challenging trails of San Lee Park in Sanford, NC. Last year at this time, we'd just started working together and the 10k was a hard event for her. This year, even with a greatly reduced training load to allow for the extensive studying required for the Physical Therapy OCS exam, she had a great time and felt strong the entire way. And she placed second among the women for the 10K!

In Colorado Springs, Merideth took on her longest trail race to date, the Cheyenne Mountain Trail Race 25k. It's held in Cheyenne Mountain State Park, on a rolling, challenging
course. There's more climbing then it appears on first inspection, with three major climbs and plenty more short, punchy hills. Add in the unexpected technical challenges and it's a harder r…

Iditarod Trail Invitational - Conclusions

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This is athlete Dennis Staley's report from his trip to Alaska for the Iditarod Trail Invitational 130 Fat Bike Race. I've broken the report up in to 4 parts for easier reading.

2018 Iditarod Trail Invitational: A Race Report by Dennis Staley WARNING: This report is long-winded, contains typos, and is likely to be quite uninteresting to anyone other than my Mom. And even she might get bored Dénouement: Winter Lake to Anchorage Upon reaching the finish line I checked my Garmin InReach Satellite Messenger, to find a message from Tracy Thelen, my MTB coach, congratulating me for finishing and informing me that I was the first 130 mile racer to reach Winter Lake Lodge. That was a pretty sweet message to receive, and in all my eloquence all I could come up with for a response was “holy shit." The racer accommodations at Winter Lake Lodge consisted of a crowded, wall-tent with a small woodstove as the sleeping space, with a makeshift port-a-potty behind it. I stashed my bike near t…

Iditarod Trail Invitational Part 3 - To the Finish

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This is athlete Dennis Staley's report from his trip to Alaska for the Iditarod Trail Invitational 130 Fat Bike Race. I've broken the report up in to 4 parts for easier reading.

Skwentna Roadhouse A few hours later I saw the sign indicating the turn off the river for the second checkpoint. Expecting the roadhouse to be situated just off of the river, I was a bit perplexed to have several minutes of riding through the trees on a snowmobile trail. Fortunately, the trail was well-packed and fun, and the break from the monotony of the river was a nice change of pace. Finally, I rolled up to Skwentna, mile 85.2 (mile 90 in the race materials), around 11:30 AM.
The Skwentna Roadhouse offered a warm fire, ample seating, and some expensive but delicious spaghetti. A mere $25 got me a big plate of carbs and protein, which I polished off quickly. The same cast of characters occupied the checkpoint: Jill and Kim were eating and drying clothing by the fire. Pam arrived shortly after me, an…

Iditarod Trail Invitational Part 2 - Yentna to Skwentna

This is athlete Dennis Staley's report from his trip to Alaska for the Iditarod Trail Invitational 130 Fat Bike Race. I've broken the report up in to 4 parts for easier reading.

Yentna Station Entering Yentna Station was a bit of a temperature shock, as fire was roaring in the woodstove at the entryway. There was a place near the fire to warm boots and clotheslines above to dry clothing. I ordered a grilled cheese, chicken noodle soup, and coca-cola (the only time I ever drink soda is on 50+ mile rides…) for a grand total of $14, and left a $6 tip. After ordering, I chatted with Pam. She conveyed her intention to continue riding though the night until reaching the “Trail Angel,” King Bear Lodge at mile ~77 before stopping for a nap. I briefly considered doing the same, but was concerned they would close up shop for the night and I'd be forced to bivy after a long day. Instead of chancing it, I decided to be safe and sleep at Yentna. Plus, I was plenty tired and helpless to …