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.

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