Monday, May 04, 2009

Operation Wyco Makeover, Phase One

We had a great work day Saturday at our first organized trail work day for "Operation Wyco - Xtreme Trail Makeover." 13 Trail Nerds showed up to cut, hack and whack a new route from Shelter 11 down to Wolcott Rd. For those of you who may not be familiar with that area, it is the gnarly, deeply rutted trail on the east side of the dam. We cleared nearly 1/2 mile of new trail that will eventually replace the current trail. Don't be alarmed, we didn't make it any easier. There is still the same amount of elevation change but it will utilize a series of switch backs that should withstand erosion and the wear and tear of horses much better.

John Bower, Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreations Department for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, addressed the group before we got started. Mr. Bower mentioned that our efforts will help make the trails a better place for citizens and visitors alike to enjoy the beautiful park. He said that the Parks Department appreciated our efforts and would also be working on the trails with us as we continue to make improvements.

Fueled by Starbuck's coffee and donuts, the Nerds completed cutting in the new trail corridor by 11:30am. We even took a few breaks to swing from grape vines, chat it up a bit and search for elusive morrels (no truffles spotted). Now we are ready for all the bench cutting that is planned for June 6th's National Trails Day Event (see attached flyer). If you haven't worked out your schedule yet, there is still time to get it on your calendar. We will be announcing an official RSVP line for the June 6th event in the near future so that we can track all the responses.

Thanks to the following Nerds for logging over 52 hours of trail maintenance on Saturday:

Sam Kevern
Deb Johnson
Stuart Johnson
Pat Robinson
Brett Hodges
Brad Bishop
Scott Dillon
Steve Myers
Greg Burger
Beth Hilt
James Barker
Sophia Wharton

Photos & Video

We may try to plan another maintenance day before June 6th (possibly May 23). So keep your eyes open for the announcement. Trail work may make your arms sore but it will make your feet happier later......

Thanks, Jim

Jim Megerson

Free State Trail Run

Well, what can we say? Weather-related issues can be an "issue" in Kansas. Luckily, the marathon was completely finished prior to the 5 sets of tornado sirens going off. Results are below. I'm sorry they took so long to get up.

The 40-mile and 100K Ultra Race results were problematic, due to the sirens, high-winds, heavy rain and confusion that started at about 10 hours and 30 minutes into the race. If you have any additions, submissions, confessions, questions or problems with them, please email me. Thanks.

2009 Trail Marathon Results v2

2009 40-Mile Results v2

2009 100K Results v2

Thanks for your understanding with the closure of the race prior to the stated time limit. There were impassible streams on the trail due to rains / flooding, and there were also high winds, lightning, and certain Park officials that told us to shutdown the race and hunker-down in shelters. One person (not in the race) was hit by lightning, just a short distance from the course.

We have the best volunteers in the world, and they worked extremely hard to make sure that everybody who could get off of the trails, safely did so. A special thanks goes to Phil Sheridan, for risking life & limb to sweep 10 miles of the course during the storm.

Thanks again for a great Free State Trail Run.

Happy trails,
Ben & Sophia


Dick Ross' Photos (

Brad Trimble's Photos

2009 Race Reports:

Jim M. (Marathon)
Dr. Mark E Ott (2nd Place, Marathon)
Bobbie (40-Mile)
Mircea (40-Mile)
A Girl Named Sam (40-Mile)
John (40-Mile)
Adam (40-Mile)
Nick (40-Mile)
David Wakefield (40-Mile, First Place)
Coleen (100K)
Lee from Topeka (100K)
Dan (100K)
Gary (100K)
Trail Zombie (100K)


Hui-Qing Yin (Photo by Dick Ross)

Emily "Mud Doc" Horn (Photo by Dick Ross)

Sloppy Runner (Photo by Dick Ross)

Sam & John (Photo by Dick Ross)

Danny Dehlin, winner 100K (Photo by Dick Ross)

Race Directors: Sophia & Ben (Photo by Brad Trimble)

Jim Davis (Photo by Brad Trimble)

Mona Latimer (Photo by Brad Trimble)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday Night Run

The Trail Nerds hosted the traditional KC Track Club Wednesday Night Run, this week. What a success! The weather cooperated, and we had 36 runners show up, and all but 8 of them ran on the trails with us. (The others ran or walked on the paved trails).

Casey Yunger

Caleb "Wankson" Chatfield, had just flown-in from Chicago, and he led a group of the "fasties" on a short and fast, 7-mile trail run. Casey "the Hunger" Yunger, ran the medium and extra-medium-paced runners. And Jim "Heatmiser" Megerson, helped lead the rest of the group.

Jim Megerson

Sophia "Original Mud Babe" Wharton, grilled beer-boiled brats, sirloin burgers, and black bean burgers to the awaiting hungry runners, as they rolled-in after their various wanderings in the woods. Brett "Ho-Lotta-Smiles" Hodges, helped where necessary. I just stood back and helped host the event with Sophia, and had a very good time. The throng even helped polish-off a container of my "cool, brown emulsion fluid." Meanwhile, Dick Ross was on hand to take some fun photos. Thanks, Dick!


Part of the group.

Me, sporting a Tejas Trail Nerds' Hoodie.

Girls, grills, and trails.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pod Trod & More Media

The Trail Nerds have been busy!

Last weekend, we hosted the first-ever Pod Trod MP3-Mile Challenge. Gary Henry was the official Race Director.

This race had three different courses, but started and finished at the same place and time.
All courses were approximately 3.1 miles in distance.
Participants did not know the courses in advance.
They downloaded one of the course's instructions in MP3 format (from our web site) the night before or the morning of the race. It was their choice which course they picked, and it was the "luck of the draw" as to which course was more difficult.
All entrants wore IPods (or other brand MP3 players) and followed the instructions given, to complete their selected course. (Runners had to provide their own IPods or MP3 players). They were required to pick-up "Trail Tokens" along the way to prove they completed the correct course.
If someone was "IPod Challenged" and couldn't figure-out how to download the attached files, they could run with someone who had an IPod, but were supposed to be wearing a shirt that had the words "I'm with Stupid" written on it.

This race had some fun categories and awards for:

Trail Savant: 1st place M/F for each different course
Special Idiot
Blind as a Cave-dwelling Fish
Instuctionally Hearing-impaired
Rock-banging Neo-Luddite
Lost beyond all Possible Reason

We've also had some really good press...besides a newspaper article, podcasts, and a one-hour radio show, we had a 5-page article from an "embedded reporter" who ran with us.

We also had a lot of fun at the Mud and Muck run.