On my last run this morning before the marathon on Saturday, I was thinking a bit about what races or series of races I might want to try next year, and it fit in well with a 'current events' story in the trail running world right now...
There's an interesting news story occurring around the "Grand Slam of Ultrarunning" and instead of trying to explain it here, I'd suggest you read this report, as it's a good synopsis of what seems to me to be an interesting but also ridiculous story. From that story, the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning is:
...a fun sideshow to watch. A few dozen folks get into Western States, decide it’s their year to do it, then sign up for the other three hundos: Vermont, Leadville, and Wasatch, all taking place over the next few months. It is, in my mind, the ultimate FKT.
It got me to thinking...is there a "Grand Slam of Wisconsin" or an "Ice Age Trail Grand Slam"? Here are a couple ideas...
"Ice Age Trail Grand Slam" could consist of FOUR 50-milers that contain a lot of Ice Age Trail: May's Ice Age Trail 50, July's Dances with Dirt 50, September's North Face 50, and finally the October Glacial Trail 50.
"Ice Age Trail Mini Slam" could be completing the 50k race at each of those events...but then again, when it comes to 50k's, how does one leave out John Dick in February (although rarely run on the Ice Age Trail; due to conditions, it's mostly snowmobile trails) and Chippewa Moraine in April (all Ice Age Trail)? Including those two events could the "IAT Six Pack"!
What if we picked the biggest, most-historic, or most-prestigious races in Wisconsin? Kettle, Mad City, Fall 50?
There could be a series of races where there's one completed at each distance (50k, 50 mile, 100k, 100 mile).
I'm guessing someone reading this HAS completed one of these ideas already--maybe not in a year, but in a career--and if so, please share your thoughts in a comment or on Facebook! For additional references and a calendar, check out this page courtesy of RunningInTheUsa.com.