Monday, June 6, 2011

2011 FANS 24 Hour Volunteer / Race Report

This was my 1st 24 hour race and where I ran the distance to make the 2010 US National Team.  The last 2 years I have had the privilege of returning to volunteer and watch the races unfold.  This is a great race and cause - to learn more go here:

FANS12 / 24 is a 2.42 mile loop around Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.  In the last hour of the 12/24 runners can choose to run a 220 meter our and back - only full laps (long or short) receive credit.

The day started hot and muggy - Temps quickly into the mid 70s and by noon low 80s - I think it hit 86F and was sunny by 10:00am and throughout the rest of the day. There was no wind to provide any relief until 4pm a light breeze started to signal a better evening and night to come.  The night was pleasant with lighter humidity.

The weather took its toll early on many runners who suffered varying forms of heat exhaustion.  Many strong runners were forced to sit and get their bodies under control.  Everyone I spoke with was having a hard time eating calories, many just not hungry but there was also a lot of nausea.

In a day not made for record attempts - Many still pushed for their mileage goals.  Others quickly backed down and just tried to get what they could out of the day.  2 national class runners did what they could to stay on track for their record attempts:

Carolyn Smith - Fox Point, WI - Multiple time 100K US National Team Member - Was looking to break the women's course record and National Age group record she had set in 2010 in FANS 12 hour race.

Connie Garder - Medina, OH - Had come up @ .3 mile short of the 24 hour Women's record in the 2007 ultra-centric 24 hour race.  Rumor has it she want the record pretty bad and has made a couple of attempts recently - 2010 she ran 141 in the US championship race @ NorthCoast 24.  I would guess the only reason to come to FANS24 on MN would be to make a run at the record.  She was the best 24 hour runner (Male of female) in the race.

Somehow Carolyn stayed smooth and steady through the heat and humidity.  In the end she broke the record as she ran the 220 out and backs securing a new National Age group and course 12 hour record of 83.?? miles (I will update when they post).  She was also the overall 12 hour race winner.

Connie pushed as long as she could to stay on record pace.  Connie has shown before how great she is at the night time portion of the race, so we held out hope.  I have no idea at what point she knew it was not to be - Maybe 14-17 hours into the race.  We took her 100 mile split in right @ 17 hours.  I would have to say that I am impressed that she continued onward after knowing it was not a record day.  Many national class runners might have pulled the plug to fight for another day.  Connie continued until the very end winning the overall 24 hour race in 127-128 miles (I will update when they post results)

In the end the 12 hour run overall champ, the 24 overall run champ and the 24 hour overall walking champ were all women - WOMAN POWER!


  1. Thanks for trying to help me during the race but it was already too late. oh well learn and race another day.

  2. I wish I could have done more - It was a great day to sit and drink beer and cheer ... not so much to run.

    I hope you are feeling good now!

    Michael Henze

  3. Thanks for volunteering during the wee hours of the morning and providing a place to sit for a couple of minutes on the backside of the lake.

  4. Awesome, no doubt I felt this would be the place i get my first exposure of how the day played out.

  5. Nice write up DB. Damn right woman power. Awesome!

  6. Thanks for the great blog post... also, thanks for being there for all of us! The volunteers at FANS are the best.

    (I was also impressed that Connie continued to run for the win, even when she knew the record was out of reach...)