Thanks for the wonderful day. I stopped taking Ibupropin about 7 the next morning.

Here’s a post written by Pete Schuler to our running group.

Ted Wathen

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word "irony" has

several shades of meaning:

1."The use of words to express something different from and often

opposite to their literal meaning".

2. "An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast

between apparent and intended meaning".

3. "A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or

rhetorical effect".

4. "Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually


Examples of irony are abundant in life. Many of us can remember from

our 11th grade English Literature class an excellent example of

dramatic irony from Shakespeare's great tragedy "King Lear", in which

the Earl of Gloucester is unable to see the truth about his good son

Edgar until after he is brutally blinded by the evil Duke of

Cornwall. Elsewhere in Shakespeare, it is the court jesters, or

fools, as they were called, who often prove to be much wiser than

other, more noble characters.

In politics, we wage war to preserve the peace. No reference is

needed here.

In religion, we must die in the flesh before we can achieve the

rebirth of the spirit. Again, no reference needed.

So it should come as surprise to no one, irony is also alive and well

in the world of trail ultrarunning. I should have known better than

to believe in the literal truth of a name. Nature does not lie; it

simply is. Men and women, on the other hand, often distort the truth

to suit their own needs. I know this from the many years I have

spent as a trial lawyer.

Race Director Gary Cantrell calls the 60-mile, shorter version of

his "Barkley Marathon" in the steep, densely rugged mountains of

eastern Tennessee: "The Fun Run". A few years ago, one particular

runner (I will not add to his shame by identifying him), who failed

to complete a single loop, referred to "The Fun Run" as "endless

suffering without purpose".

Many ultrarunners consider the Barkley to be the most

difficult "organized" trail run in the United States. In each of the

20-mile loops, the runners (a term I use very loosely) experience

20,000 feet of elevation change. For those completing the 100-mile

version, that's experiencing over 3 times the elevation of Mt.

Everest during the event. But don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting

that some ultra runners aren't crazy.

With 14,000 feet of elevation change over the 31 mile "Louisville's

Love'n The Hills" training run, Eric's course is clearly no Barkley,

but it can certainly be described as being in the same ballpark. But

then we must remember that "Love'n The Hills" was extremely well

marked, and there was an actual trail to follow. Eric is also a kind

sort, and greeted me with a nonjudgmental nod after I DNF'd after

running only about 21-miles in his event. To contrast, Gary Cantrell

sadistically plays "Taps" on his trumpet as each defeated Barkley

participant comes crawling in, looking like something the cat dragged

in, after missing a time cut-off or after merely just giving up

(assuming, that is, that they can find their way back.).

The second loop on Eric's "Love'n The Hills" course, the McConnell

Loop, is one steep climb after another. Ted told me that there were

9-climbs in this 7-mile portion. I'll have to take his word for it.

I tried to count them, albeit unsuccessfully. Most of my brainpower

was focused just on putting one foot in front of the other, and not

losing my balance. With about 2-miles left to go on the loop, I came

upon a dazed runner. He was carrying no water. He looked totally

exhausted. He wanted to know how much further he had to go on the

loop. "Just a little further. The worst part is over," I lied.

The Siltstone portion was not much of an improvement. As I started

the climb up the first big hill, I began to gasp for oxygen. My legs

felt as though I were swimming in a sea of lactic acid. The thought

of calling my wife on my cell phone to come pick me up so I could go

shopping with her the rest of the afternoon actually seemed like a

pleasant thing to do. I did recognize that this thought, in

particular, was not a good sign. Quickly, I plotted my exit

strategy: I would struggle along to Bearcamp Road, then hike back to

the finish at the visitor's center. Before even getting to Jefferson

Hill Road, I was considering bailing earlier, but just as my will was

at its low point, Ted miraculously appeared, not unlike the vision of

our Lady to Bernadette at Lourdes, and encouraged me to keep moving

to Bearcamp Road. Despite the fact that I'm not overly religious, I

did pray a little for my physical own recovery.

"Love'n The Hills": clearly I did not, as most runners do not. But

maybe there is some hidden truth here. Running hard, running hills,

running long, and racing, involve pain and learning to endure it. We

hate the way it makes us feel, but we seem to always come back for

more. Ask Brenda Gutmann how much it hurts to complete Leadville.

How many days after that race do the memories of all the misery

subside, and the joyful planning for the next year's run begin?

Perhaps I really was "Love'n The Hills", but it's just too soon after

the race for me to know it.

Maybe it's just the irony within the irony.

Thank you so very much for the race summary and results. They are




Good race report, Eric!

With runners like Brenda, Tom P, John S., Herb H., and Mike A. it looks like I missed a good time.

I was under the weather with the bug going around in January and am only now coming back. Hope to make it next year. My wife and I had been looking foward to visiting with family in Louisville.

Of course, we hope you make it to our neck of the woods again as well. We'll arrange for some snow to throw on the HUFF course next year.

By the way, if you ever have the opportunity to take a photo of Chief Little Turtle in his new surroundings, I would love to be able to share that with the artist.

Best wishes,

Mitch Harper

Fort Wayne IN


Hello Eric and Robin,

The 50K course was absolutely beautiful. Thanks

again for putting on that run.

Rosemary Evans


Thanks to you and Robin for putting on such a great run. I'm really excited that you decided to put on Louisville's first trail ultra. While it was billed as a "training run", it was obvious that you put a great deal of planning into it.

I know that being a race director can be a thankless job. First and foremost, you trade running for worrying. Especially in ultras, you never know when someone might get lost, hurt, or worse. Also there are "givers" and there are "takers". You clearly fall in the former category. When you are a race director, people often take it for granted when things go well. People also love to complain when sometimes they do not. People tend to forget that most race directors and race volunteers are not getting paid.

I thought the run was wonderful. Having the pre-race meal at Javier's was a nice touch, because of his interest in ultra running. The course was tough, but wonderful. The views from the hilltops was breathtaking in many spots. Despite the fact that a few of us old-timers had talked about for years putting on a trail ultra, we never thought to do it at Jefferson Memorial. The connectors that you suggested make it seem as though the full 31 or so miles was a complete course.

I think that we have a nice little ultra group here in Louisville; your event has gotten us together. Maybe we can get some of the oldtimers back out, like Tom Bennett (who used to do rogaines with Tom Possert, and Anong and Bill Pustow. Jose Wilke briefly had the world record several years ago for the the most completed 100-mile runs in one year: 13. His wife, Joan, is formerly the CRR president. She worked the water stop Saturday at Horine.

Thanks again for taking the time to put on this great event. It is especially nice of you that you sacrificed some of your own running time so others could enjoy. I wish you the best in your running career; you have accomplished so much already. Just let me know if you are thinking about putting this run on again. I can get you a number of volunteers, and race equipment, such as a finish line clock, if you decide that you would like to make some use of them.

Please also thank Robin for me as well. Thanks also to all of the friendly and helpful volunteers.

Pete Schuler


I just want to echo Pete's thanks. It was a great event on a beautiful day. As a beginning trail runner (I only did the first two loops), it was a great introduction to the sport and the people.


David Jones

Dear Eric,

Thanks again for organizing the 50K run. I think it will grow from here. Kim had a good time running/hiking with your mom.

Thanks to Robin, your parents, and everyone else who helped out.

Keep in touch, Tom

Hey Eric,

Twelve of the finishers have also done KUTS, four did

the Arches run last November, and three others who ran shorter

have also been to KUTS. So I knew most of the runners. That

also made Friday night quite enjoyable, since I knew many of

the people there. That's one of the fun aspects of ultras -

meeting friends again. I knew Mike and I had finished together

since I was actually a little surprised to catch him in the

last quarter mile; he usually runs faster than I do. I guess

his broken taped toe slowed him down a little.

You have a good course for your ultra; the trails

are real hiking trails rather than multi-use, so they are

in very good condition. I don't have that luxury for KUTS,

where horseback riders and mountain bikers cause much

erosion and MUD. You may have some problems in the future

with snow/ice in a few spots, like the one early on the

McConnell loop. But a snow run would be fun, and much

more challenging.

Assuming you continue LTH, then you can expect

the number of entries to increase, since it was a success

this time. I watched KUTS grow from 6 to 12 to 26 to 53 to

nearly 100 the last three years. You should expect increases

too. Even though there are lots of hills, the course is

one of the better I've run. If you decide to make it a

more formal run (increase the entry fee, have food and

drink at the aid stations, give shirts, etc), LTH will

grow like KUTS. You've created something which could

grow. That's good if you want to take on that responsibility.

It's been fun for me to see that happen with KUTS, but

it does take on a whole new set of challenges for the RD.

The word is going to get out about your run being a fun

thing to do. So think about what you want it to become.

I'm glad you hosted the run; we need more ultras here in

KY. The only two ultras last year in KY were my runs.

This year we have my two again, yours, and the fellow's

in western KY on the same date as KUTS. We all need to

work together and offer these nice ultras here. Also,

you have Cherokee Road Runners to help you there, and

you should take advantage of their help, although you

also have other running groups who could help you. I'm

just thinking that your run is going to grow, and you

should be planning for that. And I wish you much success

with your run.

And again thanks for the event. I'm disappointed

that I forgot to guess the distance; I was going to

guess 30.94 miles (close to the 30.98). Guess my guess

is a little late!!!

Best of running to ya. There is a small group

running at Harrison-Crawford Forest (IN) in two weeks.

We'll be doing about 24 miles. If you are interested,

then my friend Julie Hutson is hosting the run and

I'll help and run it too. You are invited.

Take care,



Great write-up about what sounds like a great adventure. You must be an

creative writing teacher as well as great runner;-)

What's on your race calendar for the spring? Are you coming to Double Chubb

and/or Berryman?

Jim Stroup

St. Louis, Missouri


Thanks for organizing the race last weekend. I am sure it took several untold hours inorder to pull it all off. I appreciate it. I hope you plan on doing it again next year. I'll be back. But boy that section between 21 and 24.5 miles was tough.

See You At The Top,


Thanks Eric and Robin for the photo:

Thanks again for a very nice race, no comment about the hills.

Wishing all is going well.