Thursday, December 22, 2011

50k Record Holder/Winner

Rochester's own David Sanderson won our first ever 50k event and of course is now the record holder with a time of 4:02:04

50k Female Winner

I thought I'd better get a picture of our 50k winner/ current record holder. Rebecca George from Baxter Mn.
Rebecca's time was 5:05:26

Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 Mile Female Winner

Cindy Blendermann still holds the record that she set in 2009 but Erin Manlove from Minneapolis came very close to beating that record running 1:12:37 that makes her the second fastest female to ever run the 10 mile race at Chester Woods.

10 Mile Course Record Holder

Mike is number 3089 in the black shirt
There have been only three people to run the 10 mile race under one hour. Ben Marvin and Kelly Mortenson in 2009, and now Rochester and the University of Minnesota's own Mike Torchia; has smashed the old course record by three minutes running an astounding 54:25.

That's an average 5:27 minutes per mile over a tough course.

Growing pains

I finally have a little time to reflect on the 2011 version of the Chester Woods Trail Races. With the addition of a 50k race we are exploring all new territory in the race directing world. It does add to the complication of getting food and water to the aid stations. We had more food available to get to the various aid stations but ran out of time to get it delivered. The multiple loop course proved a little complicated for one of our volunteers giving directions :-) All in all the 50k went well and we will have a better version for next year.
The 5k and 10 mile races had a few runners taking wrong turns also and I have plans on possibly changing the final stretch to the finish line. Also I may start the 5k first so most of the runners are off the course before the 10 milers catch up. I will definatly have more signs directing runners around the course.
We have always averaged aroind 200 runners so I planned on tee shirts for 200 well we jumped up to 300 runners in the last week of preregistration and race day registration. Next year I will plan on enough stuff for 400 runners.
Bear with us as we prepare to grow and plan on a bigger and better CWTR in 2012.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Jim Li's 2011 Chester Woods Photos

We have without question the best race photographer around. Jim Li is kind enough to get up very early and snap a ton of professional quality pictures. Click on the link, and enjoy I like the full screen slide show for the best views.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Top Notch Compitition

I am super excited to watch the races on Saturday. We have some great runners competing in all of the distances. I see Roxanne Ready, current female 5k record holder, is back to defend her title. In the 10 mile Ben Marvin, our fastest ever 10 miler is back. Mike Torchia Rochester's fastest HS CC runner is going to run the 10 mile course for the first time and the winner of the Woodbury 1/2 marathon, Onamia's Brett Wilson will be in the mix.
On the female side. Cindy Blendermann is back to defend her record time in the 10 mile.
In the 50k Matt Howard is going to set the bar high. Matt is a past winner of the Afton 50k and places near the top in a lot of ultra runs. I don't know a lot about the female 50k runners but I do know there are some very, very good athletes in the race.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Trader Joes

I'd like to thank Trader Joes for providing some delicious treats for the Chester Woods Trail Run.

Remember to thank our sponsors by visiting their stores :-)

And give a big cheery hello to Mark Ekwall #5216 (from Trader Joe's) as he and his son Nick take on the 50k run!!!

Race News

On line registration is now closed for all races. You can register up to 7:50 on race day for $20.00 for the 10 mile and 5k. I noticed that the on-line message for the 50k says that you can register for that race starting at 7:00AM :-) this is wrong, and you would be one hour behind the 6:00AM start. If you missed the deadline for the 50 send me an e-mail by Thursday June 2nd and we'll work something out.

Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee

Chester Woods Trail Races welcomes Caribou Coffee. They will be serving freash delicious coffee near the registration/finish area before and after the race :-)

Tee Shirts

Good news/ bad news. In the last few days the number of people registering for the Chester Woods Races is astonishing. It's looking like we could double the numbers from years past. The bad news is I don't think we'll have enough tee shirts for everybody. What I am going to do is; All preregistered runners get first crack at the shirts we have on hand. Any shirts left over will be given out after the preregistered runners get theirs. Once we run out you can put your name shirt size and address on a list and I will re-order and mail your shirt out to you.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chester Woods Trail Run Goes International

Espen and Ann-Kristen

Our good friend Ann-Kristen Gjertsen is back visiting from her home in Kolboth Norway and she is going to run the 10 mile race. Ann-Kristen and Espen have always been a part of the Chester Woods run with their pictures on the home page on the race web site. Unfortunately the picture were taken by another runner and you can only see them from behind :0 The pictures were taken in 2007 at the first Chester Woods Trail Run.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Meet The Runners

Rochester's Sandy Dalquist

This year Sandy's going to do something no other female has ever done at the Chester Woods 10 mile race. Sandy will be our first girl to compete in the 70 and older age group. Sandy set a new single age record at the Fetzer race this year and just continues to look fantastic. YOU GO GIRL !

Meet The Runners

Woodbury's Jim Mc Donell

Besides running the 10 mile, Jim volunteered to help out before after and the race. How great is that!
While Jim is a mild mannered but very good trail runner in the summer. Look out when the snow flies. Jim's true passion is snow shoe racing. Jim is easy to spot being the only person sporting the "Brave Heart" face paint and wearing shorts( or a kilt) and a singlet in 20 something temperatures.
Thanks for coming down and joining us again this year.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This N That

A bunch of us ran most of the 10 mile course last night. It was another great night for a run on the CW trails. The grass is getting long on the trails but, park staff always takes special care to mow the race course before our event.
Registrations are still pouring in. We are truly becoming a national event we currently have runners registered from six different states and every corner of Minnesota. Years ago I actually counted and we have enough parking for about 500 vehicles. This is one of the great things about our location, you don't have to hike very far to get to your car.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our Co-Starters for 2011

Picture by Renee Saxman

(Dennis and JoAnne are on the left)
Anybody that has been around the Rochester running scene has come across some very special people. Dennis and JoAnne Johnson have been involved in the Rochester Track Club since its inception. Dennis was one of the first RTC members to recieve an Outstanding Service Award in 1980. I couldn't be more proud to have these two outstanding people starting our races

Monday, May 23, 2011

Holy Cow !!!

Registrations are coming in for the various race distances like crazy. I'm keeping hopping transfering all the information to our spreadsheet. And soon I will assign bib numbers to all pre-registered runners. It looks like we will smash all attendence records this year.
I will be helping out at Med City as much as possible this weekend as well as manning the Rochester Track Club booth at the fittness festival at times. I will have info and registrations for Chester Woods.
Join Jim Parry as he runs 7 marathons in seven days, starting tonight. He will be running laps around Stewartville so you can hop in and run whatever distance you want. I will definately be running with him later this week. Here is a link to his blog with more info.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Female Record holder

No girl has ever run faster than Cindy Blenderman in the 10 mile race at Chester Woods. In 2009 Cindy ran a 1:11:38 beating her own record from 2008. There are many guys that wish they could be as fast as Cindy!
I am very pleased to say that Cindy plans to come back and challenge her record in 2011 !!!

Record Holder Returns

Nobody has run a faster 10 mile time at Chester Woods than Ben Marvin. in 2009 Ben blazed a new course record running a 58:08, averaging 5:49 miles over a hilly 10 mile trail run. There have only been two people to run the 10 mile course under an hour Ben and Kelly Mortenson (59:22).
I'm thrilled to say that Ben plans on coming back this year and challenging his record.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Race News

Registrations are now pouring in at record pace. Thank you very much!! I see a lot of familiar names and a bunch of new ones. I will do everything I can to make this a fun memorable event.
For those of you that are traveling here Chester woods has a great campground and you can make reservations by calling
There is a lot of road construction on Hwy 14 from South Broadway to Marion Road and all of 37th St on the North end of town. It shouldn't be a problem early on a Saturday morning.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Matt and Mark's Woodland Adventure

Matt Schrader, Mark Mueller, Andy Becker, Katie Schneider, Dave Berg and I ventured out to Bill Barnacle to do a little off road running. What a perfect night for a run, thousands of bluebell flowers lighting up the valley floor, a couple shallow creek crossing, and and plenty of creatures chirping and singing their spring songs.
We did have one little problem to start off with, Matt forgot his shoes so... he had to adapt to becoming a barefoot runner rather quickly. Now Dave runs barefoot all the time and has no problem keeping up, if not leading the pack many times. Matt was a different story there was the constant screams of ouch!!! @#%#@ ACORNS @$%#@ ROCKS, @$%$#STICKS.
Well needless to say Matt fell behind and Mark took pity and stayed back with him.
Soon enough we looked back and couldn't see Matt or Mark. We stopped and yelled a couple times and figured they doubled back to the parking area.
Andy, Katie, Dave and I had a blast zigging and zagging on the gnarly bike trails and eventually worked our way back to the cars. Oh, Oh Matt and Mark weren't there. THEY WERE LOST IN BARNACLE LAND.Well Dave took the counter clockwise route, and Andy and I took the clockwise route, and Katie stayed at the base camp. After walking a couple miles back on the trail, with our shouts and whistles echoing through out the woods, we met Dave. STILL NO MATT AND MARK! As the sun was quickly setting down below the hills we were weighing our options and suddenly I hear the faint sound of , hello ??? I called back and sure enough there was Mark with a walking stick, looking like Moses leading his people out of the desert, with Matt leaning on his shoulder, Matt's never been shy of being over dramatic.
We had a good laugh and found our way back to the cars where Katie was patiently waiting for us . Andy and I cracked open a couple beers and toasted another interesting story to tell as the full moon rose in brilliant splendor.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Woods Are Coming to Life

Jim Parry, Dave Berg and myself went for a very pleasant 12 mile run at Chester Woods last night. What a beautiful time of year to run the trails. The Plum Trees were in full blossom and the smells were intoxicating. Tuesday May 17th I am going to Bill Barnacle for a nice 4-5 mile run. Come join us, we are meeting at the Marion BP at 6:30 and proceeding to Bill Barnacle State Woodland . Last year we went about the same time and the Blue Bells were so thick and bright it would take your breath away.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

God's New Running Buddy

Paul Melby 8/2/75 - 5/14/2011

Although our hearts are heavy with sorrow, we take comfort knowing that in spirit you'll always be with us when our legs are tired. Cheering us on with that beautiful laughter that we all love so much.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Sneak Peak

Here is a sneak peak of the 2011 tee shirts there will also be caps available for those who would prefer one of those.


I thought I'd give you an idea of what the Chester Woods Trail Races offer for awards. Because the 5k is a Youth Grand Prix race we've expanded the age group awards to 10 and younger 11-12, 13-14, 15-16 , 17-19, 20-29,30-39, 40-49, 50-59,60-69, 70 and older. There will be male and female awards
For the 10 mile its 19 and younger 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and older.
There will be 1st place over-all awards for male and female in all races
For the age groups that have a large number of people registered I have 2nd place plaques also.
All 1st place finishers will receive a hand turned, laser engraved pen with the Chester Woods Races logo engraved in it.
All 50k finishers will receive a finishers plaque with the logo engraved in it and they will also get a pen.
Larry and I put a lot of effort into trying to provide some unique awards that are just a little different than what you will see at most other races.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Roll and Stroll for JDRF

I'd like everybody that reads this blog to support a good cause for a friend of everybody that runs around here.Tom O'Leary has a daughter that has type 1 diabetes. The O'Leay family started an event called Roll and Stroll For Juvenile Diabetes and have raised thousands of dollors to research a cure for JDRF.
Here is a link to the Roll and Stroll blogsitehttp://rollandstroll.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=5

Friday, April 29, 2011

Dirty Magazines

Once again we will be providing dirty magazines for Chester Woods runners to read. There will be complimentary issues of Trail Runner magazines available at the registration table. And the male and female winners of the 10 mile race will get a free subscription for a year!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chester Woods 2010

Here is a easy link to 2010 photos from the Chester Woods Trail Run.
Just click on the picture :-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

50k Route

The 50k race will start on the east side of the picnic area near the beach house. 50kers will want to park their cars in front of the beach house as you will run by there at 12 miles and 21.5 miles.
The runners will make a loop around the road in front of the picnic shelters and procede on to the east meadow loop. After about 2 miles you will run through the campground and on to the Chester Lake trail. Follow the Chester lake trail by the beach house, 2.38 miles and out near the park entrance. From hear you will run through the horse trailer parking area on to a minimum maintenance road. At about 4 miles you will turn in to a nice wooded trail that takes you out to a ridge overlooking the Chester Woods valley. At 4.54 miles you will hit the second aid station and continue along the ridge trail. At about 5 miles you will run down a wonderful long gradual hill for .75 miles then you will cross Bear Creek and run alon the edge of the west meadow to aid station three at about 6 miles. The 50k will run on the 10 mile route until mile 7 where you will take a right and do a 1.79 mile loop on the zieman trail on the far south end of the park. This is a beautiful trail running through Aspen groves and hardwood forests with one killer hill in the middle :-) After completing the loops you will arrive back at aid station three, which is now aid station four about 9 miles. You will continue on the old ten mile course through some sand, More hardwood trees, across the creek and up that big dam hill where you will find aid station five 10.5 mile. From the top of the dam overlook you will run along the lake back to the beach house, now aid station 6. At the beach house there are flush toilets, you can grab something out of your car etc... before you start your next loop. Loops two and three do not include the east meadow and campground. Just run down the road and back through the horse trailer parking area to get back on the course. At the end of the third loop run up the hill to picnic shelter # 5 to the finish line. We will have a sign pointing to the finish area.
Check out the links on the right side of the blog for maps and pictures. I would like for 50k runners to attend a short meeting at the Chester Woods fishing area on Friday June 3rd at 6:00PM I will hand out bibs and explain the transition through the picnic area. If you can't make it I'll do a very short version Saturday at 5:45AM.

Now We're Cook'n

A huge THANKS goes out to all runners that register early. It makes race planning easier and mostly it motivates me to make sure everything is going to be set up early for race day. I've made several trips out over the course checking milage between water stops for the new 50k and just seeing what the trails look like. The park staff has added crushed asphalt and new wood chips in several spots on the trails so the course should be real nice come race day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

5 Year Anniversary

2011 marks 5 years of the Chester Woods Trail Run. I poured over all the results over the last 4 years and came up with 8 people that have ran every year. Here's what I came up with. Jim Hannon, Patrick Steward, Matt Lindaman, Laura Lenz, Dan Valentine, Lin Gentling,Tyrel Clark and Justin Murray If there is someone I missed please let me know.

Monday, April 11, 2011

50k Loop number one

Here is a map of the 50k's first loop. For the next two loops you will run directly out to the horse trailer parking area to get back on to the course, skipping the east meadow and campground. Loop one is 12 miles and the next two are 9.5 miles Under map options select "satilite view"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Welcome Mayo Classmates

It looks like a Mayo High School alumni bunch is going to be running in the 5k and 10 mile races. Wow! Think of all those times when we would share some beers at various locations around Rochester. We'll do it again, only after earning it by running or walking a race. I can't wait to see you all on June 4th. GO SPARTANS !!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

7 Marathons in 7 days..and a 50k?

Local ultra running legend Jim Parry recently came to a Team RED meeting and told of his plans to run 7 marathon distances in 7 days starting May 23rd and ending May 29th by running the Med City Marathon. Jim is hoping to inspire and motivate kids in the Stewartville area by running his routes near the schools and encouraging anyone to join him during his runs. Knowing that Jim loves to run "ultra" distances I mentioned that we are doing a 50k at Chester Woods this year. I thought "no way is he going to be interested in running a 31 mile race after a grueling 183.4 mile week". I was wrong. Now the goal is 7 marathons in 7 days five short days of rest and a 50k trail run with some pretty decent hills. Now I think I'm motivated and inspired. RUN JIM PARRY RUN!!!!! http://mrparrysendurancechallenge.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kids age groups

Because the 5k race is part of the Rochester Track Club Youth Grand Prix Series, I am going to have awards for more youth age groups. The age groups will be 10 and younger 11-12,13-14, and 15-16.
I have noticed that the 5k run has become a real family event and I couldn't be happier.If a family wants to run in any of the races we will offer a "Family Deal" $50.00 for Mom, Dad and kids with 4 shirts or caps. You will have to contact me before race day and mail in registrations for this deal. There will be no "family" on-line registration.

Tee Shirts

I have had a few requests for tee shirts rather than caps so for this year I ordered a bunch of tee shirts in all sizes. I will reveal the design near race day. I still have a bunch of caps if if you would prefer one of those.

Monday, March 21, 2011

5k Route

5k Route
Wanna check out the new 5k route? Check out my slideshow. Matt"hurricane" and I ran the route with me snapping pictures the whole way. The lighting was perfect and even made my pictures pretty good.Enjoy!http://classic.kodakgallery.com/ViewSlideshow.action?&collidparam=152479053115.726638747115.1274183990889

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

50k Anyone?

I'm thinking about adding a 50k to the Chester Woods Races. If there is enough interest shown I will continue to pursue this idea.
I am thinking the course would be one loop of the 10 mile course adding the rest of the Zieman loop trail (about 2 miles), then the next two loops would be the same except you would not do the east meadow/campground part.
To keep it simple I would keep the price the same as the other races, only you must be pre-registered by June 1st. There will be no race day registration. The aid stations would be self serve for the first loop until the volunteers arrive,usually around 7:00AM.
I will have a short meeting on Friday, June 3rd at 6:00PM at the Chester Woods boat launch parking lot explaining the course and handing out packets bibs etc...You will have to pay a $5.00 park fee on Friday but there won't be anyone charging you at 6:00AM race day so you'll only have to pay once.
I will make up a male and female over all winner award and finishers plaques for all participants so register early so I get an idea of how many to make.

Please send me an e-mail even if you are just thinking about this race. I want to get some kind of idea how many people would run this race.
Jim Mason

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Youth Grand Prix Series

I'm proud to anounce that the Chester Woods 5k will be part of the Rochester Track Clubs Grand Prix Series.
The Youth Grand Prix Series (YGPS) is to help promote a healthy lifestyle by creating interest in running. The YGPS was created to promote participation in local running events and to recognize youth for their efforts.
There will be a very low entry price for any YGPS member and you can join the day of the race.
Here is more information about the YGPS.