Living History Farms Race 2004


bryans wrote:

Hello.

I enjoyed watching my nephew participate in this year's Living History Farms off road race. Everyone seemed to be having a good time. But something that happened in the pre-race events bothered me. The PA announcer invited everyone to say a prayer. And then the prayer was broadcast over the PA system. Why was this done? Did it ever occur to the race organizers that perhaps some of the people in attendance might not be Christians? Or that there may have been non-religious people there, perhaps even (horror of horrors!) atheists? Well, there were. I was one of them. I felt it was completely out of place to say a prayer at a public event such as your race. If anyone wants to pray, any time, any place, they ought to. But must it constantly be forced upon those of us who have no desire to do so? Apparantly in the current climate, the answer to that question is yes. Going to church to pray, or praying
silently, just won't cut it anymore. It must be public, which by the way, is in direct contradiction to Jesus' teachings, and if some of us don't want to pray, or we feel uncomfortable with being essentially forced to participate in, or at least listen to, something we'd rather not, then too bad for us I guess.

I know I am probably in the minority here, and this may sound like the ravings of an evil atheist. We are, of course, the bad guys. Nonetheless, I would suggest that in the future, you reconsider saying public prayers before your race.

Thank you. Respectfully,
B L

I have been thinking about your letter. I am sorry that it seemed to offend you that we had a "nondenominational Invocation" before the race.
As I analyzed your letter, I came to the realization that, as a "bleeding heart liberal" I am not the only outsider in today's world.

But the real question that you present is "is this a public race?".

That is a question that I am not sure of the answer to. One must pay to enter the race and it is held on private property. The race is administered by a non-profit 501 C3 corporation. It is closed to those who do not register.
I would hope that some legal opinions could be sought on this subject. This is not the only race in the area that has a invocation before the event starts. As a point of fact though it is one of the few that does not use the "public" roadways.

I respect your opinion on this and will consider it for the future. I do however believe that I have the right to continue this "new" tradition and you have the right to make a decision on whether or not to be a part of it.
Steve Bobenhouse

Just a note to the runners

I have discussed using "chips" for this race with many people over the last few years. We all have two serious reservations.

1. Chips have a consistant transmission range of about 2-3 feet. That precludes wearing them above the knee. The chances of the chips being "jammed" into the mud are extremely high. This raises two possibilities. You lose it and pay the $80 fee for not turning it back in. Or, when coming across the finish line it, being caked in mud, doesn't register correctly. Delaying results even longer or possible not giving any at all..

2. The "Race" is a race, not a time trial. What I mean by this is that the winners are not necessarily those with the fastest time. They are the first across the line.

It is possible that had you started even with someone else you might have ran a faster time than they did. It is also possible that they would have "known that you were there" and ran even faster themselves.

USA T&F rules state that chips can be used "to qualify for events or to set age group records" but are not allowed to be used for finishers awards in "races". As the course changes every year, there are no course records.

As other systems of timing come about we will consider them but at this time we do not feel comfortable charging people a $80 deposit (AMD type chip) to participate in this race.


I had not heard of the Living History Farms race until 6 days prior to the main event. An Iowa native, and friend of mine, mentioned the race and wondered if I'd be interested in waking at 5 AM, driving the 250 miles to Des Moines, and running 6 miles through creeks and hills that required rope assistance to climb. I was game!

What a race! My right foot's killing me (landed hard on a rock), my right knee is missing some skin, and my left shin has some kind of rash. I couldn't be happier! The course was amazing, the festive crowd was awesome, and the race volunteers and staff were truly 1st class! I am telling EVERYONE I know that runs about this race.

This is the kind of race I have been searching for! I strongly recommend this race to any one who is considering it. It was tough, and that last hill almost made me walk, but what satisfaction at the finish. Next year I've already lined up my wife and some friends to make a weekend of it. A little advertising and promotion of this event in some major media markets in the Midwest could double the number of participants. Thanks again for the great day....see you next year!

John in Minnesota

There are somethings a person must do at least once in their life...and if possible several times...and in regards to this the Living History Farm race is certainly that event...sadly i could not get off from work the weekend of the race and could not participate...I did however do the race in 2001 and 2002...and would greatly recommend this race to all runners of all abilities...From the packet pick up to the post race to the actual people, its a wonderful weekend experience in Des Monies Iowa...its an adventure and worth doing it...I have been running since 1985 and have done hundreds of races...been all over the USA and in these travels I would say my top five experiences would be Living History Farm , LA Marathon, NYC Marathon, Siberian Express , and the Strawberry 10 k in Glenwood Colorado...I hope to be able to participate in the 2005 race, and although I'll be another year older, just remember everyone, keep running and staying in shape...THE ADVENTURE IS ALWAYS CONTINUING...
I just wanted to say THANKS for lighting the tunnel... GREAT addition to the race and made the tunnel experience a much better and safer one... particularly with the increased mud and water this year.

GREAT event, as usual. I'm always impressed with how well the event is run and how cordial, for the most part, the 4000+ runners are throughout the course.

Thanks again! See you next year!

M.R.


Hi, just wanted to say thanks to the guy that gave me a shove on my derriere at the first creek crossing. I had waded through the creek and was trying to figure out how to get up the muddy bank, when I was PUSHED up the bank with a shove to my butt. I looked back and saw a friendly face smiling at me. Thanks to the guy for giving me something to smile about for the rest of the race!

Back of the Pack,
L M (female) Indianola, Iowa

P.S. This was my first race of any kind ever! What a great time! Sure, I was tired afterward and got a nasty foot cramp while changing clothes after the race, but now I have plenty of great memories till next year.
Dear Living History Farms Race Committee,
This was my first time running your fabulous race. I have wanted to do it for years but was never quite brave enough. This year I threw all caution to the wind and entered, but my running partner wasn't able to join me in the race. I decided to run anyway, alone. And I am so glad that I did! I met so many fun and friendly runners and had a wonderful time. Not to mention a heck of a workout! I loved all the mud and can only hope it rains this much again the week of next year's race. I'll be there, guaranteed! This is hands-down the best race I've ever run in, and I've run in a lot My son entered the kids' race and had a really good time as well. Thank you!
Sincerely,.
B K
Traer, Iowa
I came to Des Moines from Central Nebraska (288 miles), not to run a fast time (results prove this) but to have a "fun" time. It was definitely that. I found the race very well organized and the course though having obstacles but not too difficult to navigate. Every volunteer was pleasant. I have always wanted to do your race and actually registered the past couple of years, but was unable to get away because of work. All the participants I met or came in contact with were very patient and friendly. Several even
stopped me from falling or sliding several times. The only times that mattered were all the "good times" that everyone had. I think the starter who said "just smile" set the tone for the race. Thank you!
Mike
Central Nebraska


This race ROCKS. Thanks for all who made it happen. See you next year!

SE
What a great time - Thanks so much to all of the organizers and contributors... it made me feel like a kid again!!!!!!!!

Wow! I've run many, many races from 5Ks to Marathons and this is my new
favorite race! Somehow I always managed to find myself too busy to do this
race in the past, now my schedule will work around the LHF race! great event,
well run and a ton of fun!

............... I was proud of my city. Thanks to this wonderful event!
Top notch all the way!

Kudos to all involved it was so much fun I want to more races like this, but
there aren't any! You guys are the best!

I just wish I would have gotten gloves... small error on my part.

Thanks again for a great event!

J B
Thanks for an entertaining race. I would just like to apologize for my sword, I
tried my best to keep it away from other runners.
-The Ninja

See other letter




Outstanding effort once again. I love that thing even though every time I'm climbing the final pasture hill, I swear that I will NEVER do this again. Ten seconds after finishing, I am already looking forward to next year!

Timing chips? Are you kidding me? This is CROSS COUNTRY. Don't change a thing!

C C
Bellevue, NE
Thank you.
The Living History Farm race is my favorite race. It is fun to see all the people, costumes, etc. It is just a fun run to participate in.
I've run about 18 of the LHF races dating back to the "early days" and I think this has to be one of the best! The three days of rain before the race made the run quite a challenge. However, it was an incredible time running through the deeper-than-normal creeks and muddier-than-typical trails. As I get older my times get slower but my level of fun goes up. As I told many of the others that accompanied me from Nebraska, I don't run this to race the event, I run this to experience the event. I get a kick out of the high school and college kids with their costumes and team "uniforms." Despite walking for much of the first mile, starting in the middle of the pack is the best way to get a good feel for what this run is about for most of the 4200 that showed up - a time to have fun and relish the fact that you can participate while many others can't (or choose not to).

I think the prayer at the start and the national anthem recording that allowed everyone to sing along were neat additions - especially with the state of the world we live in we could all use more prayer and greater sense of national pride.

My only concern(?) would be whether you are grooming the next generation of race directors and course designers. Not to be a gloomy Gus but, as I noted, we're all getting older and it would be a tragedy to have this race discontinued because those of you that have been intimately involved in this race since it's inception may someday no longer able to perform your functions. One other thing - you should invite "the Penguin" from Runner's World to run this event. I'd love to see his perspective on this spectacle.

Sign my name as Baldrunner from NE

To celebrate my fortieth year, I wanted to compete in 40 races, mostly bicycle races, and I reached this goal on the Saturday before the Living History Farms Race. However, my MOST MEMORABLE RACE of the year, and worst placing overall, was my 41st, the Living History Farms Race. Those who were there could feel camaraderie of the joy of effort. I talked with dozens of smiling friends from all over Iowa before, during, and after the race. Thanks for bringing all of us together again!

I had not run in the LHF race since at least 1988, primarily because I didn’t like the uncertainty of the course or distance. Now that’s what I crave! Thanks for the wonderfully unique experience with a surprise around every corner!

Methinks that some runners (who have never planned/organized/executed a race) are spoiled. The $20 entry for the LHF Race earns you an attractive long-sleeved t-shirt, fabulous organization, dozens of portable toilets, hundreds of volunteers, hundreds of trophies and food prizes, cider and doughnuts, accurate and timely results, and a meticulously marked course at the most unique race setting in the Midwest. Furthermore, each year the race organizers donate thousands of dollars to the non-profit Living History Farms. At a bike race, that $20 entry fee goes to pay two mandatory officials, other United States Cycling Federation fees for this and that, insurance, and a few medals or cyber-points in a five or six race series. Bathrooms are as close as the nearest tree, and the water comes from the bottle that you bring. What did you get from that $20 (or $40) that you paid to the soccer club for your kid’s last tournament?

I brought five middle school boys from my school to run the race, and all of them were talking about “next year” even before we made it back to the van! They were wasted, muddy, laughing, and grinning!

J.R. Ankeny, Iowa


Saturday was my first race ever. It was a great time and showed what true friendship is. I ran with my best friend who has been working out like a mad dog for the past several months. I ran my first mile in several months the week prior to the race. We decided to run the race together and not worry about time. Our goal was to laugh and finish. We accomplished both. Even though I had to walk several times and she could have kept running, she stayed with me. We finished the race together and had a great time.

Thanks for letting my jump in creeks and get really muddy my mom used to get pretty mad at me for that when I was a kid. It was great to sweat and climb and push myself to the limit. Next year I am going to be in much better shape so my friend doesn’t have to wait for me.

SK Des Moines

This was my fourth consecutive LHF run. I must confess, I've never understood the joy in such treacherous running. In advance of running this race, I commented on the fact that I always ask myself "why are you doing this?" between mile 3 and 4. This year I buckled under peer pressure again and lined up with the rest of this crazy lot.

This year was different. I didn't focus on my pace or who I'd passed. I just enjoyed the run, striking up conversations and observing many of the outlandish costumes. I also went for maximum mud coverage and impressed myself with how big of a splash a 40 year old guy can make. In the end, I actually placed better than in previous years, but more importantly I had a blast. Throwing caution to the wind, I even ate two post race doughnuts and several glasses of hot apple cider! If they lined us up for another lap, I'd have done it!

I'll be back next year, in costume at that! I will drag my (then) nine year old daughter along too and see what she thinks of the whole experience! Thank you to all the race organizers and volunteers for making this such a memorable event!

B D
Ames, Iowa


Wow, what a race!! This is my second year running, and I brought two friends who had never run this! I LOVED IT!!! My only disappointment was that it wasn't snowing, raining, or sleeting! The creek was up, the mud was in great form, and the puddles were plentiful!! I can't wait for next year!! This is indeed a highlight of my racing season! As a race director of a small race, I know what a job this is and I want you to all know how much I appreciated the things you did! The registration was efficient and friendly, The start was well planned- I appreciated the prayer and the anthem! The course was AWESOME, with mud everywhere! The fellow runners and volunteers were in good spirits! The finish chutes were well organized, with smooth transitions between chutes. The results were up and posted in a timely manner, allowing time for a second mug of delicious cider and another donut! Plus I loved the trophies! The only issue was that the start was a little tight and the 2 1/2 to 3 foot poles on the south side of the parking lot as you made the first sweeping turn to the West were potentially fatal to shins of runners who jumped up on the grass rather than staying on the parking lot.
Volunteers and organizers, please realize how much my family, friends and I enjoyed this race. We stayed all night at a great motel, ate a couple of meals in town, and had a blast! I plan to recruit more friends for next year!
I will gladly drive 4 hours to enjoy this event again! Are all Iowa runs this fantastic? I may have to come up in the summer!!
Paul
Lawrence, KS
This is the third year my son and I have participated in the 10k. My
wife has also participated in the 1 mile run the last three years. At
the first creek crossing I was struggling to climb the hill and someone
stopped to reach back and help me up. It felt great to get some help, so
I made a point to help someone else and the next creek crossing. We have
enjoyed the positive attitude that everyone has at this event.

My son is Brian and he earned third place in the 14 and under age
group. However, there seemed to be a mix up with the times, because the
initial posting showed that he earned fourth place. Would you please
consider sending him a third place trophy? If needed, we can send money
to cover costs - shipping, etc.

Thank You,
D H
Davenport, IA

We'll get it taken care of.


Another outstanding race. Thank you for the great race day
weather(considering it is late November). The rainy days prior was a
good touch and made for an even more adventurous course. My only
disappointment was that it seemed like there were fewer "costumes" this
year. I am interested in getting a 2000 Living History Farms shirt(my
first LHF race) as I can not find my original. I am planning a t-shirt
quilt and it would be missing something not to have my first LHF run. If
there is anyone out there that has one and wants to give it up, please
contact me with a purchase price. I can be reached at

K K


Hey my name is C. K. and this is the first time i've ever ran a race like this in my life. I think it was a good touch to let us go into the timber choosing a way to go and I personally picked the chest high water on the right. Of course I didnt know it was chest high water until I jumped into it and had to scrape my way up the enbankment. Thank you to everyone that helped put this race together, I look forward to another one next year.
This is the 3rd year of running this race and by far the best year. Having my 9 year old son run with me is a memory that I will never forget. At the 4 mile mark my son said " This is great Dad. Can we do it again next year?" His attitude was this same at the end of the race.

Thanks again for a great race. You all do a great job putting it together and we look forward to next year.


This is Brady Smith from Jewell, Iowa. I was one of the extremely late arrivals to the LHF race this past Saturday and was told to contact Fitness Sports about getting my t-shirt mailed to me. If you would like to contact me, please do so either at this mail account or at b_smitty18@hotmail.com. Here are two actual mailing addresses in case you just want to mail the shirt...i would prefer you use the first one, however...
B S
Waverly, IA

We only received 4000 of the 5000 shirts that I ordered in time for the race. more are on their way. We will be sending them out.


I've run many, many races and for the first time ever, a woman cut in front of me while in the chutes! Doesn't everyone know once you enter the chutes, you don't cut in front of someone????
Other than that - the LHF race was once again a blast! Thank you.
C N
Great race. Thanks for sponsoring this "Iowa fun." It was interesting to see Cal Murdoch tabulating the results. What a job. Because my age group was so slow (W55-59), the results weren't tabulated until late, and I discovered that I was a winner when I looked on the website tonight. Do you still have any turkeys?
Thanks alot.
M.A.G. - age 58
Coin, Iowa

We have your tropy and a turkey, but how do we get them to you? The trophy is one thing, but the turkey?


I appologize, as race director of many races, I feel bad about asking this quesiton. Never in my wildest immagination did I think I would have placed in my age group. After getting home and looking at the results found out I got second in the 55 to 59 age group. If there is any way possible I can pay for the postage and inconvenience, could I get the award? Thank you very much for putting on another outstanding race.
Don

We'll get it to you.

By the way, this course is not condusive to 10K P.R.s!


I ran the living History farms race today. I am interested in buying another t-shirt. I was told to e-mail, because they had more coming. Please send me info on this, i would need a Medium. How soon would i be able to get this? Where do i need to go to get it. i live in Marshalltown. Thank you
Jenni
Steve, The race was great! Everything was set up well and went perfect. The only thing I would add is some water to drink out on the course and I wish we could have mud and water like this every year! I love this race and can't wait for it to come around each year Thanks

We'll work on it.


I noticed that Chris Reed (runner # 2470) was listed as a 19 year-old, when it should have been 29.

got it changed in the results. Thanks


I ran the living History farms race today. I am interested in buying another t-shirt. I was told to e-mail, because they had more coming. Please send me info on this, i would need a Medium. How soon would i be able to get this? Where do i need to go to get it. i live in Marshalltown.

Send me your info and we will notify you!



S & C wrote:
Ref below from your website. I drove to the race today with 5 passengers and never saw or heard anything about the gloves. I'm sure there were a lot of other disappointed drivers there also.

Here is how to get to the Race Site

Car Pool and Get here easily!
Share a ride and tell war stories. Parking is very limited. Drivers only of vehicles with 3 or more passengers will receive a special gift of Living History Farms gloves.

Send me the Name and address and we will get them to you.
We gave away almost 600 pair so I do think that most got them

Thank you! I did look for them, but evidently not in the right place. Where were they? Had a great time!

S & C

They should have been handed to you at the first intersection on the Farm grounds as you were driving in. Somehow we missed you.

Steve

We got there about 7:15. Maybe you hadn't started yet. We came through the entrance by the Girl Scout office.
Thanks again!
S& C


This was my first time running in the LHF race, and it was great! I'm really, really excited for next year. All of the energy coming from so many people is incredible. I did not encounter one rude person. Everyone was cheerful and friendly. Thanks a lot for a really fun expierience!

S A
AWESOME, Once again, you have pulled off a great cross country race---mud and all! Thanks for you hard work and letting us play for a morning!!!
Have a Great Day,

B M
4th year participant


Thanks to the organizers and volunteers! You people did a superb job, and it was my observation that about 4000 runners had a great time. For me, this was about as much fun as an old guy can take.

But I didn't get a chicken because another old guy finished 19 seconds ahead of me. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't really need a chicken that bad. After all, the bottle of wine I shared with my wife Friday night at Cucina was 24 bucks, which would have bought several chickens. But the truth is, if I would have pushed myself closer to the front at the starting line, I might have won that chicken, given the fact that I literally walked for about the first minute after the gun with the crush of people ahead of me funneling onto a fairly narrow path. The bad thing about a 58-year old starting toward the front is that about 500 20- & 30-somethings just might trample me into the mud as they try to go around. Either that or I get carried away and burn myself out in the first 800 meters.

So what's the answer? How about using timing chips? I'd gladly pay a few extra bucks on the entry fee to make the finish times more accurate. Now maybe my wife is right. Maybe I'm a little too competitive for my own good. After all, stewing about loosing out on a winning a chicken for most of a 5-hour drive home is probably going over the top. But hey, I've always felt that anything worth doing is worth doing right - and as fast as possible.

So will I show up again next year, even if you don't use timing chips? Probably!
Will I have fun next year? Probably!
Will I harp about not winning at least a chicken next year? Probably!
Do I need counseling? Yes!

Jees, there were a couple of very fast 54-year olds in this race who will be in my age group next year, as will the 3 guys who beat me this year. So unless you want to see me risking my life up there with the 36-minute people at the starting line next November 19, just get the damn chips!

G P

P.S. I'm still picking cockle burrs out of my running outfit. The race announcement told the truth about the mud and the cold, but you need to warn about the cockle burrs for full disclosure!

P.P.S. Was that really an 11-year old who finished 26th? Have the Kenyans been fore warned?

See above


Just wanted to say the LHFR was great this year. The mud was awesome, it was hard getting up those hills. You all did a great job putting things together like always! See you next year!

K-Killer-Fdodge
Great race, packet pick up well run. We'll be back
next year!
I LOVED IT! IT was probably the most fun thing I have ever done!!!! Thank you so much.
K W
Hoover High School Cross Country Runner
The race as always is the most fun I have all year doing something that pains me for an hour. However, I think its time you address the numerous costume props i.e. ninja swords, tennis rackets, butterfly nets. The ninja sword came about six inches from my eyeball--the costumes are great the props I can do without.
Still a great time once again.
T S
Omaha

Point Taken!


Hi Friends, Congratulations on an excellent race!
My friend & I were pleasantly surprised that the rain we got the week before was not much of a factor at all in the condition of the course. OK, it was a little wet under the interstate.

This was my first race. I don't know why but I tore the bottom tag off of my number before the race & left it at home. (The folk at the registration were very helpful & didn't tell me I was stupid. But I admitted that up front!) Anyway, they took down my name on the change sheet (?) & told me to tell the guys at the end of the race. When I got to the end, a guy slipped a green substitute tag on his ring. I asked if they needed my number but he said he didn't.

All that to say a sheet of instructions ("Living History Race for Dummies") in the packet might help. E.g. (1.) "Don't tear the bottom off your number. You'll need that when you finish. (2.) Bring your bag with you to the race. You may want to put your muddy shoes & socks in it when you're finished.

Re: Picking up the packets. Try to have them available earlier, say, 4:00 p.m. All that went in "the packet" was my number & the t-shirt.

I wasn't there for the awards. Sorry.

I had a great time. It was a lot of fun. I'll be back next year if at all possible.

J O

Good Idea!


Hi, Steve, thanks for putting on a great race this year, it was a lot of fun to
see so many crazy people out there running.

I do have one problem though, when I registered I was assured that if I register
early I would get a t-shirt in the correct size, but it seems that all of the
medium t-shirts were gone by the time I picked up my number so I decided to not
take a t-shirt because I knew that a large would fit like a dress. I was
later told that many who registered even later than I would be sent a t-shirt
because they had run out all together. I was just wondering if I could be
sent a shirt in the correct medium size. I would be happy to pay for any
postage.

My Name and address are as follows.

N M

The design of the shirt is great, I hate to miss out on them.

Thanks,

I apologize! I had to order the shirts in August in order to get the 5000 LONG SLEEVE ones that we need. No supplier stocks this many LONG SLEEVE shirts. It's been a problem in the past and we keep trying. This means I cannot wait until your order comes in to order the shirts.

This year, Adidas mixed up the order and only sent us 4000 initially. By the time we noticed this, and I contacted them (late Oct.) they said that they would try to get us the last 1000 (and all of the double XX's). It obviously didn't happen in time for the race. We were taking orders at packet pickup for those of you who didn't get there in time. We get the shirts from Adidas because they are a sponsor. They;

1. Donate 1000 of the T-shirts (value $6000)

2. Donate 6 pair of shoes and numerous other door prizes

3. Give footwear to the commitee members (thats how they get paid)

As far as holding the shirts for you that you ordered, almost 500 runners were no-shows. This is very typical for most runs (10%) and everyone understands that things come up. So, do we give the shirts out to those who do come.

We have decided that it makes sense to give them out on a first come first served basis. That is why we say on the entry form that "shirt sizes are not guarenteed on the day of the race". However, we do always take orders for extra shirts for those of you who get there late, and to my knowledge, no one has missed out.

Not a defense, just an explanation. Hopefully we can come up with something better. By the way, we ran out of all sizes not just smalls.


Just wanted to thank you all for putting on a FUN race. It was my first race of any kind, four years ago, and it is still a blast. All the volunteers make it easy to show up and run; hassle free. The mud this year was pretty good - muddier than I remember it being the previous three years. Also, don't remember my shoes getting as soaked ever! I also want to thank all of the other runners for being friendly and having a good time. It's great to see what you all come up with for running attire - maybe one year I'll get that creative. See 'ya next year!

MS
This was my first LHFCC and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the event. This was the first 10K event that I have "competed" in this year, and it was an even tougher way to test my fitness. The event was well executed and seemed very organized. I definitely plan on participating again next year and beyond. Two suggestions: More mile markers on the course if possible. I noted a 4 mile marker, but not much else. Also, can the packet pickup possibly start a bit earlier next year, say 4 or 5 PM?

Good idea


Thanks to the organizers and volunteers! You people did a superb job, and it was my observation that about 4000 runners had a great time. For me, this was about as much fun as an old guy can take.

But I didn't get a chicken because another old guy finished 19 seconds ahead of me. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't really need a chicken that bad. After all, the bottle of wine I shared with my wife Friday night at Cucina was 24 bucks, which would have bought several chickens. But the truth is, if I would have pushed myself closer to the front at the starting line, I might have won that chicken, given the fact that I literally walked for about the first minute after the gun with the crush of people ahead of me funneling onto a fairly narrow path. The bad thing about a 58-year old starting toward the front is that about 500 20- & 30-somethings just might trample me into the mud as they try to go around. Either that or I get carried away and burn myself out in the first 800 meters.

So what's the answer? How about using timing chips? I'd gladly pay a few extra bucks on the entry fee to make the finish times more accurate. Now maybe my wife is right. Maybe I'm a little too competitive for my own good. After all, stewing about loosing out on a winning a chicken for most of a 5-hour drive home is probably going over the top. But hey, I've always felt that anything worth doing is worth doing right - and as fast as possible.

So will I show up again next year, even if you don't use timing chips? Probably!
Will I have fun next year? Probably!
Will I harp about not winning at least a chicken next year? Probably!
Do I need counseling? Yes!

Jees, there were a couple of very fast 54-year olds in this race who will be in my age group next year, as will the 3 guys who beat me this year. So unless you want to see me risking my life up there with the 36-minute people at the starting line next November 19, just get the damn chips!

G P

P.S. I'm still picking cockle burrs out of my running outfit. The race announcement told the truth about the mud and the cold, but you need to warn about the cockle burrs for full disclosure!

P.P.S. Was that really an 11-year old who finished 26th? Have the Kenyans been fore warned?
Awesome course! As a first time runner of the race I would give it 2 thumbs up! Good variety, great trails, lots of mud, and great fun. Good job.

Tammy


Congratulations on an excellent race!
My friend & I were pleasantly surprised that the rain we got the week before was not much of a factor at all in the condition of the course. OK, it was a little wet under the interstate.
This was my first race. I don't know why but I tore the bottom tag off of my number before the race & left it at home. (The folk at the registration were very helpful & didn't tell me I was stupid. But I admitted that up front!) Anyway, they took down my name on the change sheet (?) & told me to tell the guys at the end of the race. When I got to the end, a guy slipped a green substitute tag on his ring. I asked if they needed my number but he said he didn't.

All that to say a sheet of instructions ("Living History Race for Dummies") in the packet might help. E.g. (1.) "Don't tear the bottom off your number. You'll need that when you finish. (2.) Bring your bag with you to the race. You may want to put your muddy shoes & socks in it when you're finished.

Re: Picking up the packets. Try to have them available earlier, say, 4:00 p.m. All that went in "the packet" was my number & the t-shirt.
I had a great time. It was a lot of fun. I'll be back next year if at all possible.

J O

What an awesome race! I'm muddy and tired, but I had a great time. thanks to the good samaritan who (literally) gave me a hand at the top of the last rope hill. I made it up the rope, but then couldn't find a solid surface to grab onto.
Many thanks for all the hard work you put into this--I'll be back next year for another round of slimy fun!
M S-S


. What a class operation – Good job!
While this is only my second year of running LHF, I still would like to tell you my opinion of it. I love the race. It is sooo much fun. The fact that so many people come out for it is wonderful. I do want to comment on the awards, however.

I realize that 4000+ people run in the race, so it cannot be easy to sort all of that out. You have runners that are done with their 2 mile cool downs while others are still finishing. I realize that the fitness levels are very different between those that are in the front and those that aren't. I commend you on a race that is well put together and designed. However, there has to be a faster way to do the awards.

Last year and this year, we waited for three hours just to collect our awards. November is a cold month and trust me....it isn't fun to stand and wait around to collect awards when you are wet and tired. There is a good chance that more people would stay around if the awards were quicker and sooner. You do give out the most trophies that I have ever seen and trust me, I have been to ALOT of races. But maybe you should consider a few things.....I finished fourth last year and third this year overall in the female catagory. I didn't get a trophy for finishing that high over all. Now I did get something for my age group which was great...but I, personally, would rather have something to tell me that I finish third overall than finishing second in my age group.

There are people who ran ALOT slower than me and ended up with a giant turkey and I ended up with a duck....don't get me wrong, I love the fact that you have different prizes than most races. Of all my trophies, I don't get many ducks and chickens. But it seems you reward those that run average and don't give enough credit to those that spend hours a day training--every day, to finish third at your race.

I hope this makes sense and doesn't come off as rude because that is not how I mean it, but I just want to give some food for thought.

K F
West Des Moines, IA

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