Monday, March 23, 2009

Our 2009 Starter !

Jims 2001 Badwater Bio.
Jim Benike
In the spring of 1999 I was gazing at my RTC calendar trying to figure out which races would give me the most satisfaction to run in. Lo and behold a run caught my eye. It was called the Aviary Migration Run. Hey, I love running on trails and here was a race where I could join others breezing through the trees. I signed up for that first trail race of my life and have never regretted it. What a blast, even though the hills nearly killed me that first time. There were 48 people at that race and I finished 15th with Pete Gillman owning the 10 mile course, running a 1:06:22. The Aviary Migration, which became the Gut Buster, was a great course around Oxbow park west of Rochester . Jim Benike and his wife Lorraine came up with this race and were race directors for the first few years and Joe Lovett took over after them. In 2006 I was contacted to see if we could switch the race over from Oxbow Park to Chester Woods Park where I had been saying for years " somebody should have a race out here ".
Thus the Chester Woods Trail Run began.
I have always admired Jim ,not only for putting on a first class event at The Aviary Run , but for his many ultra running accomplishments. I know Jim has ran the Arrowhead 135. Which is a 135 mile run from International Falls Mn to Tower. This is run in the middle of winter with temps dipping to -30 F. Another extreme ultra Jims done is The Badwater Ultramarathon. Badwater is another 135 mile run only in the opposite temperature extreme. Badwater starts in Death Valley and ends at Mt Whitney Ca. One more ultra under Jims belt is The Marathon Des Sables.That's only a 151 mile trek across the Sahara desert on uneven rocky trails and sand dunes. I believe Jim has also done The Western States 100 , but that seems pretty easy in comparison to the last three.

Park activities

If your like me as soon as you finish a race you dash off to some other function that is planned for that day. If you have the time after the CWTR kick back and enjoy your time in the park. The picnic shelters are always available for some picnicking. There is some fantastic fishing in the reservoir or you can rent a canoe, kayak or paddle boat. The reservoir is second to none for bird watching. You will see all kinds of birds nesting in the dead trees in the flooded reservoir. Ask me and I can tell you where the eagles nest is. Some days you can watch the mother eagle feeding her Babbys.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I've often thought about just how many runners we can accommodate at the race. It might be a little tight when the runners hit the trail but once the faster runners pull away there should be plenty of room to pass.
Parking is where Chester Woods really shines. I actually counted parking spots and there should be enough spots for about 450 vehicles. When you come to the race you'll pass a fishing parking area on your right , a campground on your left, and then its just a big loop with picnic shelters and a beach parking area. The beach area is a great place to park as its close to the registration area at picnic shelter #5.
So bring your friends. Lets see if we can fill the park with runners traipsing through the woods and having a great time.

View Larger Map

The satilite picture is actually old and doesn't show it but, the road is a complete loop now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What has running done for you ?

The other day I came across an interesting thread in the Runners world on-line forum titled " What has running done for you ? " As I read the different comments and viewed the pictures it was unbelievable, the physical transformation was one thing, but you could also see the confidence in the faces of these people as they changed their lives. My hats off to anybody that has the courage to step out of their comfort zone and get themselves physically fit.
Here is a link to the RW forum.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Beyond the Epic Run

I went to a preview of a new documentary movie called Beyond the Epic Run. This is a film about a Swiss couple , Serge and Nicole Roetheli . Over the course of five years Serge ran all over the world across six continents piling up over 25,400 miles. This is a very good movie that runners and non-runners alike will enjoy. I went to this movie with Rochester Track Club friends, Renee Saxman,Lionel Cheng, and Matt Schrader. At the movie we met up with our new friends from the St Cloud River Runners , they are a lot of fun. Lionel and Renee do a much better job of describing the movie on their blogs which you could find here.http://runningroentgen.blogspot.com/ and http://ramblinrenee.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Summers com'n

As I'm sitting here typing this its about -3 outside. Keep in mind that on race day June 6th the average temps in Rochester are low 53 and the high is 75. The trees will be fully leafed out so the canopy above will provide cool shade and there is always a cool reservoir to jump into when you finish :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

5k Fastest gal

Here's a picture of Lily Tamire of Rochester. Lily cruised to a 23:06 finish. She held off Therese Schumaker who was only 4 seconds behind her . Hope to see you in 2009 Lily
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5k fastest guy

Here is a picture of Kyle Dammen from Austin #187 in the white tee shirt. Next to Kyle is his twin brother Kevin. Kyle smashed the 2007 winning time running an 18:35 , Thats 5:59 per mile. Kevin ran with Kyle and ran a 18:37. Somewhere in this group is Michelle Dammen who also ran the 5k. Thanks Dammen family hope to see you in 2009.
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Fastest Gal

Here is a picture of Cindy Blenderman from Rochester. She is no stranger to winning races around here. Cindy's small in stature but pound for pound is tough as nails. She demolished the 2007 winning time and ran a 1:17:38 in 2008. Hope to see you in 2009 Cindy.
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Fastest Guy

Here is a picture. of Kirk Walztoni from Eagan Mn. Kirk is the record holder in the 10 mile race. He blazed through the course in 1:03:46 thats a 6:23 per mile pace. Some of the volunteers at the top of Big Dam Hill commented that he looked effortless as he dashed up the hill. Thanks for coming in 2008 Kirk, we hope to see you again in 2009. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I thought I would mention a little about our trophies. We award trophies to all age group winners as well as overall winners in both the 5k and 10 mile. The trophies are kind of unique, Larry makes some really nice walnut pens and pencils and after the first year I decided to make oak pen/pencil holders with a lazer engraved Chester Woods Trail Run logo. It takes a little work but , we wanted something nice for the efforts that the runners put out.