“Typically, we’re a 50-60 percent success rate,” Iron Horse Ultra 100 organizer, Ben Poulin, says this year’s race proved to be especially hard for runners to complete, “this year, we had three of the 12 runners complete the race.” Making the 9th Annual Iron Horse Ultra 100 success rate of 25 percent, “definitely, quite a bit lower than we normally see.”
Finishing the race was Adam French (right) finished 1st at 20h58min. Hiroshige Watanabe (left) at 24hr15 min also his 93rd Ultra. But it was Jose Rios (middle) who stole the show finishing in 25hr 58 min. From a 6km/h pace to a 10km/h pace in the last 20 km. “He didn’t cross the finish he blew threw it. Amazing.”
Runner started the race on Saturday morning in St. Paul and had 27 hours to complete 100 miles. There were 12 soloist runners entered into the 100 miler. The race also offers 100 kilometres solo treks or relay style 100 miles, with group teams. Runners take to the fields to run from St. Paul to Lindbergh to Elk Point, then Stoney Lake, back to Elk Point and back to St. Paul.
Some runners opted to lower their distance from 100 miles to 100 kilometres. This decision had to be made on their first stop in Elk Point, “out of 27 that started the 100 kilometres, 19 finished. Three of those finishers were 100 milers, who dropped down to 100 kilometres.” If runners opt down to 100 kilometres they will not receive a qualified time; however they will receive a completed record. Runners use qualify times to gain entry into other races.
Weather played a factor in the lower success rate, explains Poulin, “we generally promote our race as an entry level course to ultra distance racing. As our third place racer put it, ‘if you don’t respect the distance, the distance won’t respect you.’ You come into this and get that nice weather and sunshine, I think people went a little too hard, too soon. It finished them too early.”
You can’t take any course for granted, even if it’s a nice day. – Ben Poulin Organizer Iron Horse Ultra 100
Poulin says the volunteer force was unbelievable this year, “our jobs became so much easier, than it was in the past. There was so much help before the race and so much help after the race.” Organizers continue after the race with clean up and course take down. “There were people who signed up for one job and were done. But stuck around to fill in the gaps, where they were needed.” Poulin says the committee was very pleased with and grateful for all the help they received.
For more information on the Iron Horse Ultra 100 visit @ironhorseultra100 on Facebook.