Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Psycho Runs Race Report

4th Annual Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run
and Psychopathic 5K
Feb 9, 2008
by Ben Holmes, Race Director

The fourth annual Psycho Wyco event was once again a well-executed Fun-Fest, hosted by our fun-loving flock of Kansas City Trail Nerds. The wooded and hilly three-loop course consists of bridle trails & single-track trails, with just a skosh of pavement. The course's trails can be very challenging, due to rocks & roots and the sometimes muddy conditions, and the constant barrage of rolling hills. But remember, as the race motto states, "This is Kansas, so how tough could it really be?" In spite of the toughness of this course, Psycho Wyco still draws a fair number of first-time 50K runners.

Since it's a 10.35 mile loop course, we also offer a 10-mile and 20-mile option. This year, we added an additional and separate 5-kilometer race, on an out-and-back course.
Rick Mayo, 3rd Place 50K Male
Photo by
Dick Ross

Weather is always a factor in the Midwest, at this (or any) time of year. Last year, we had an inch of ice on the course, and had to resort to NASCAR-inspired pit stops, staffed with "shoe-screwing" technicians wielding cordless drills, with attitude. This year, we had a week of snowfall prior to race day. On race day, the temperature started-out at about 28 degrees, but it warmed-up into the forties in a hurry. At the same time, there were three additional distance events going-on, with a total of over 400 participants. So by the third loop, the runners experienced quite the Midwest Mudfest Extrordinaire, stirred-up by a veritable Cuisinart of 800-plus runners' feet. Woo-hoo! Thirty-five of the 108 event starters decided to take the twenty or ten-mile option, in fact.
Gena Bonini, 1st Place 50K Female
Photo by
Dick Ross

Despite the slippery course conditions, there was a new course record set in the men's race of 4:19:46, by first-time ultrarunner Mattew Laye, of Columbia, Missouri. He led the 50K field from the start, and was never really challenged during the race. The battle for 2nd place was fought by Matt Becker and Rick Mayo, with Matt toughing-out a solid sub-five-hour performance. Rick, a veteran Trail Nerd, has improved his race times significantly this past year, and ran a smart race with a lot of heart. In the female race, St Louis Ultra Grrl, Gena Bonini (45) took first place, followed by Katie Spaeth (26), of Kansas City, Missouri. Jacque Jackson of Lee's Summit, Missouri took third-place honors.
Matthew Laye, 1st Place 50K Male in 4:19:46!
Photo by
Dick Ross

Last year's first and second place finishers, Caleb Chatfield and Kyle Amos respectively, staffed the Famous Amos Family aid station, this year. Kyle and several of the Nerds, including myself, had run in the Rocky Raccoon 100-mile race the weekend prior, and those same Nerds ended up working our Psycho event. Having the experienced "ultra talent" staffing aid stations and performing the special duties required to pull-off a successful ultra event, sure helps! Only ultrarunners know what ultrarunners want and need at an event.
Photo by Dick Ross

We had many Trail Nerds finish their first 50K at this year's Psycho Wyco event. Emily Horn, Travis Spears, Jeremy Bunch, Laurie Euler, Heather Wyckoff, and James Burlingame were all first-time ultrarunners. James' longest run prior to his first 50K was 10 miles. He toughed it out, and finished with a 50-kilometer-wide smile on his face. Laurie finished, holding back tears. Emily raced the last 30 yards to the finish line like a "woman possessed." It was fun seeing so many first-timers finish, despite the course conditions and difficulty. It says a lot about the aid station volunteers, and the help they can provide.

Many Psycho Wyco runners opted for the 10 or 20 mile courses. Some of those dropped down to those distances from longer distances. But we had three runners "bump-up" to the 50K ! One of those runners, (Jeff Behrens) didn't want to be counted in the 50K results, and did an extra lap, just for the fun of it. You've got to love that! We also had Duke Stamper, (a canine trailrunner) do the 20-miler, while pulling his buddy (James) along.

We added a new 5K event this year, and called it the Psychopathic 5K. It started at the same time as the other events, but was on a different out and back course. It was a tough 5K, and that's evidenced by the finish times recorded. Jeremy Covey, of Cameron Missouri was first male overall, in a time of 23:46. First female honors went to Christina DeHamer of Overland Park, Kansas, in a time of 31:27. Keep in mind that Jeremy usually finishes a paved 5K in seventeen minutes and change, and Christina usually finishes a paved 5K in under 22 minutes. And a few entrants took over 45 minutes to finish. Proof positive that this course is tough!

The long-sleeve technical shirts and the mugs for the 5K were a different design and color from the other races. Jason Crosby came up with another terrific design that "pops-out" at you.
The motto for the Psychopathic 5K is, "the psychopath of least resistance is uphill on the way back." The race lived up to it's motto, and then some. I was pleasantly pleased with having over 100 entrants sign-up for this first year 5K event in the middle of a Midwest Winter.

All of the events went smoothly and everybody seemed to be having a lot of fun. Having amenites like homemade soup, cookies and the Amos Family "Scoobie Snacks" was a plus. James Barker did an excellent job once again with his homemade chicken noodle soup and his vegan lentil soup. Vicki offered her much-raved-about vegan bean soup at the main aid station to all of the finishers.

Our sponsors really stepped-up to the plate: Krispey Kreme doughnuts and Starbucks Coffee (Shawnee Mission & Monticello location) helped keep our bellies warm and toasty. Vasque trailrunning shoes was the series sponsor. Dick Ross and his helper took over 1100 photos. Garry Gribbles Running Sports provided gift certificates and an awesome packet pickup location. Dynamic Earth gave away Vasque shoes and some high-quality outdoor equipment items fit for the trail. Dirty Girl Gaiters provided some colorful prizes. Raul Flores' RaceDay Timing Solutions provided timing and results for the events. Skye Livingston offered Psycho Psports massage for free and at reduced prices. And Dr. Jesse Walden was once again providing Active Release Techniques to alleviate pain for many of the runners.

This event just keeps getting better and more people want to enter it, each successive year. It's all because of the great volunteers and our active group of Trail Nerds and their families. As Peg from Team Garmin said, "The course was well-marked, volunteers were great, aid stations and finish line amenities were plentiful. And we all loved the homemade soup at finish and the cool schwag—dog tag finishers’ medals, mugs and tech race shirts. Exceptional job. We’ll be back next year."

We also had some very good comments, including:
"I really appreciate your race and all that goes in to managing it. I am especially impressed with how the back of the packers are treated. This was my 268th ultra or marathon and I rank your race as #1 for all aspects of race spirit and organization. Thank you."- Les Martisko Ph.D.

Happy trails,
Bad Ben

More photos, race reports and information can be found on the race's web page.
All photos below, by Dick Ross.

Pre-Race Briefing with Bad Ben.

Psycho Wyco Race Start

The shirt for the Psycho Wyco Race.

Shirt for Psychpathic 5K race.

Eudora Cross Country Girls

On the course.

Angela Shellito shows off her event shirt.

Emily Horn finishes her first 50K.

Team Garmin

Matt Becker, 2nd Place 50K Male, and all-around nice guy.

Jackson Jones with his mom Brandy. Jackson finished the 10-mile course!

Jacque Jackson, 3rd Place 50K Female

Kendall Hughes and Jeff Behrens

Duke gets his finisher's medal.

Up and coming Trail Nerd, getting a taste for the gold.

More photos, race reports and information can be found on the race's web page.