Letters from 2001
(I will add them as they come in!)

You guys are the best. In all my 26 years of running I have never experienced a race like this. It was billed as a
challenging off road race with more than the usual number of obstacles and you did not dissapoint. In my opinion - a nasty course with stream crossings, fences to climb and gut wrenching hills is what running is all about - in its purest form. As a first timer this race will become a tradition for me and I will be sure to spread the word of your event up here in Minnesota. Good luck and see you next year.
George Mitchell, Jr. Bib # 429, Place # 838 for the males.

Great course, food, volunteers. This undertaking is incredible. You and your help are awesome. T-shirts are great! One question though, why don't people understand the concept of lining up in the appropriate pace group? I lined up with the 7 minute mile group expecting to run with 7 minute milers. My first mile split after passing many people, including walkers, was 10:34. I did expect that my first mile would be slow since it naturally takes time for the people ahead of me to get into his or her pace, but it was ridiculous. Now I guess I know why so many people line up at the front. Six great years of running the Farm Race!

So I was running the race. It was a nice day, warm, sunny, everything was going
great. We come to the first crossing of the creek. I am reluctant to jump
across, for all the mud that was awaiting me just below. Well my decision was
made fast, for I was pushed from behind by a teammate of mine. As I fall
straight into the mud, I realize how the tables had turned. Then when I try to
jump out, my shoes decide to stay behind. Both of them! Then when I realize
what had happened, the person behind me jumped right on to them, pushing them 9+
inches into the ground. I reach down to pull those babies out, and they decided
they were great just where they were. They werent coming out. So I ended up
leaving them behind and running the rest of the race in my socks. Luckily I
have quite the farmers feet, so it didnt hurt too bad. So if you heard about
that crazy guy that ran without any shoes, yeah....that was me.
Cory Johns, Team Volcom
Runner # 2509

I ran today for the first time. I could not hear the speaker system when standing at the back of the line up. So getting a more powerful speaker system might help. I overheard one runner who questioned what a 9 minute pace was. You might have two divisions--the "serious" runners who want to just run the course and not play in the mud and the "walkers-just for fun" runners. You might start the "serious" runners a few minutes before the other group.
I really enjoyed the race and look forward to running again next year.

A beautiful setting, the best running shirt in my wardrobe, enough donuts to feed an Army and enough water in the creek to make it interesting. While I was fortunate enough to be up far enough in the pack to run my pace and have a great time, many others were not. I think the race may have reached the point of actually being too big, and needs some adjustments. My wife and two other friends lined up where they were supposed to according to the pace signs, and they were terribly disappointed because instead of being able to run 9:00 pace, they had to stop and walk when people played in the mud. They even had to slow down for many people who were walking in the first mile.... We all agreed that since many people come from out of town and even state to run a race, not a fun run, there could probably be a staggered start for people who want to really "run" the course, and a start for those who do not know their pace, and enjoy stopping to play in the mud. This way each group could get what they paid for. As always, thanks for the awesome amount of work that goes into organizing this event, it is world class for its type and I hope it keeps up with the strain of entrants.
Dave Lipinski Finisher # 587

Well this was my first time racing here, and man, it was the greatest! You can't get any
better.. well maybe shorter. The atmosphere of this race is unbelievable... I'm already
planning costumes for next year! THANK YOU!

What a wonderful day for running in Nov. in Iowa. The race has grown so much since I last ran. I told my nieces I wouldn't have any trouble finding them before the race. Ha!! Probably close to twice as many people as I remembered.
Very festive and a good time but seemed hard to run at the pace I would have liked. Definately too many people to be able to pass on the close trails. Would it be possible to start at two different times? I would sure hate to see a cut off number and have someone miss out on the fun. It's not that I'm wanting to set a PR on this type of course but I would have liked to be able to keep a steady pace. Hey I'll run again, just for fun. Thanks for a fun day. Connie Nedved #2121

This was my second race every and I loved it! I would like to do this at least 3 times a year. It was so much more fun than running on the road. You may have to have two next year just so you can enable a good pace for all. I started at the 9 minute pace and it was stop and go for about 2-3 miles. Still I had a blast.
Thanks! Another thought. Im intereste in trail running. It would be very cool if someone were to open a trail run. Thanks again!
Zane Vredenburg

Thank you to each and every one of you involved in the LHF race this weekend. This was my first time being
there and will not be my last. My son was ready to make hotel reservations before we left town to be sure
we were ready for next year. We both had an incredible time. The food. The organization. The
many volunteers(with smiles on each and every face).
You certainly set the standard for DOING IT RIGHT in putting on a race from beginning to end. By the way,
we had decided to come to the race even before we knew the weather was going to be picture perfect, so the
potential for cold weather for next year will not scare us away. Next year my wife and daughter are
entering also. They thought it looked too fun to miss. Thanks for a great weekend.
The Nelsons from Cherokee

What a treat this has become. I say the more the merrier andbe damned with orderly starts. Send all of the whiners to the back of the line.
Dave Swenson

Good race as always, actually it was a little warm. I know, crazy to even say that.
Starting line is a real problem. Maybe seed them from year before results and have fencing and a real start line. The trouble is everyone up front knows there is no start line. My other question is where did the distance change from last years 5.35 to this year's 5.25 then 5.30? Seemed like the exact same route to me.
Comment, how about some fruit next year afterwards?
Thanks, Mike Froehle

At the Corporate Cup race in Omaha (16,000 registrants), there is a "pen" at the front for the runners meeting a time standard (50 minutes for 10K I think) during the previous three years at the Corporate Cup itself or you can provide race results for another race time in the previous 12 months. Everyone who qualifies gets a "seeded pass" card that must be turned in before they let you into the fenced area.
When the race is ready to go, they take the fences down. You could use something similar based upon past Living History finishes or results. I started about six rows back this year and I had a lot of kids, overweight guys, and people participating in the fashion show around me (I finished 30th). That being said, they didn't cause me any problems but I made sure that I did a lot of passing before I got off the gravel road section. I think it would be more of a problem if we didn't have that "passing zone" at the beginning.
Otherwise, a super effort by everyone involved. Any chance that the date could change so it doesn't always land on the same day as the Junior Olympic regional cross country championships? I bagged my own youth XC team this year (running simultaneously in Lincoln, NE) to run Living History. I don't think I can get away with that again!
Craig Christians, Bellevue, NE

Fantastic! My first adventure/cross country race, and it was awesome! For me this race was special, because two years ago I weighed 294 lbs, and could barely walk a 5k. Friends and family who meant well have tried to lower my expectations of what I can accomplish, so I will not be dissapointed. They have discouraged me from trying things I might fail at, such as this race. But this race tells me I can push further, accomplish more, surpass everyone's expectations.
Watching as others stopped at the gullys and hills and said "no more, I quit", and continuing on, was the ultimate high, and next year I will be back for more!
Mimi Hart

I understand the race is a fundraiser, and I am thrilled so much money was raised for Living History Farm, but I have to tell you, the race was just too big. I typically run at an 8:30 pace, and due to the number of participants and the narrowness of the trail, I found that we were forced to walk about 25% of the time. I love seeing all the people having a fun time, but when I post times over 12:00 miles, I start to lose my enthusiasm real quick. Would it be possible to have a "recreational" division or to stagger the starts by pace groups or something to prevent such a huge mass. I lined up with the 9:00 min/mile sign thinking I would be a little slower due to the course and the number of people, but a 9:00 mile would have been a dream. Basically, unless you were one of the first 200 or 300, there was no way to "run".
As I say, I appreciate all the work and don't mean to be a wet blanket, but without some changes, I can't see me
entering the race next year, and several people I have talked with since Saturday feel the say way.
For what it is worth.
Gary Jones

I was not able to run the race this year, but saw a t-shirt yesterday at the Omaha Running Club meeting.
Is there any way to get one of those t-shirts if you have any extra? Of course I'd pay whatever shipping costs there are. Or, my sister lives in Johnston if you have some place she could pick one up for me.
Thanks for the info, and hope to make it in 2002!
Michele Lastovica, Omaha, Nebraska

Thanks for an excellent job of coordinating this huge race. We had a
fantastic time. This year my oldest son and my youngest daughter ran
the race with me. This was the first race for my daughter and she is
hooked! She can't wait until next year. My son is a regular along with
me and we are thinking of having a team next year. Thanks again for
such a wonderful race

It was a great race and we may see you next year. I was glad to be able to
jump the streams and keep my feet dry which tells you that I didn't stay
inside the flags all the way. Please consider starting 1/4 mile east in
the pasture where we ran downhill and jumped over the poles. This would
allow for natural spacing if we had a wide start line and only fast runners
would be at the tunnel together.
Merlin Wright

My running partner and I were probably in the middle of the pack if not a
bit toward the back for the whole race. Both of us finished, but she always
finishes before me no matter what the distance, 5K or 10K. We got our
water, stretched down, got some yogurt and donuts, even separated for a time
to walk around and do a warm down. So, total, we had been done with the
race for almost 45 minutes when my partner realized she no longer had her
car clicker (that little remote for keyless entry) tied into the loop of her
shorts. So, back we went toward the finish and started walking the course
(AFTER, of course, first checking with race coordinators for any chance
they'd made it into their hands). So it's James and Amy and I, and we're
walking and talking about the race, how much we loved it, how great a
challenge it was, how much fun we all had, all the while, looking down to
the ground in hopes of finding that clicker. We climbed back over fences,
those equestrian-like gates, under the big bridge where all the spectators
stood and cheered us on a whole hour ago, and even back through a couple of
those wonderfully muddied streams. Okay, so we're about two miles into the
course, and James and I are just talkin' away as we cross over one of the
really muddy streams in a tree-filled area. Amy, on the other hand, is
still quite focused on the ground and has yet to cross over this same stream
when she lets out a small gasp/scream combination. James and I turn around
from ahead of her to witness her pulling out from the mud, her clicker. It
was literally buried. We don't know how she even caught a glimpse of it
because of how deep it was already pushed into the mud, but it caused us to
stop and praise God for directing her eyes toward that area of squishy mud.
It was so cool. So, we made our way back (found a shorter way), and that's
it. I can surely speak for all of us when I say that the LHF Race was
definitely the most fun race we've ever run! Thanks,

Great race at Living History Farms! Wonderfully organized, seamless process
and clearly, the most fun you can have running 5+ miles.
Thanks and keep up the great work!
Mary Sellers

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