Challenge of 100-mile week run worth it

On part of Wayne Beyer's runs, he spotted Killdeer such as this one, who will fake a broken wing to lure predators away from their nests.

There are times to find the fun in what you’re doing. COVID-19 and it’s crazy times surely exempt you to try something crazy to challenge yourself. Is running 100 miles in a week crazy enough?

The idea birthed a few months ago when watching another runner You Tube a 100-mile running week. Training hard for a 32-mile Bighorn Mountain Trail Run (probably qualifies as crazy, too) in mid-June seemed wasteful after it was cancelled.

Family members confirm craziness but waste little effort to convince otherwise because they know stubborn Bohemians do not change their minds. They are convincing to carry a cell phone and munch an energy bar with Gatorade every quarter marathon.

We are blessed by four rivers in the vicinity and live within a few blocks of three of them – Red, Ottertail and Bois de Sioux. The Wild Rice River is just five miles of town. “Run the Rivers” theme was born!

Starting on Sunday along the meandering Ottertail River, crazy thoughts again set in and if you’re running 25 miles, you might as well run 26.2 miles to run four marathons in seven days.

The Bois de Sioux River was Tuesday’s companion on a perfect running day in the low 50s. Some Bel Jos homes have lush football field yards. Just a couple miles out of town the Bohemian Cemetery features the circus monument honoring a couple lightning victims. The pavement ends after 2.5 miles. The gravel roads are much softer for your feet.

Colorful wood ducks fly from the shores. It is sad to see a couch and television tossed alongside the river bank. Our natural resources too often get violated.

Farm equipment is massive and quadruple the size of the 4010 John Deere tractor on our childhood farm. Dogs do not have to be leashed in the country and I thank them for being good watch dogs and appreciate their bark does not phase into bite.

Killdeers dance on gravely approaches, fake a broken wing and call kill-dee, kill-dee, trying to entice a would-be predator from its nest. No worry, the elder is not concerned about extra steps today.

Thursday’s run destination featured the Wild Rice River. There are fewer bridges to cross as many aren’t fixed after falling in disrepair so the miles are mostly run adjacent to the river.

The steel sign leading to the former Russ-Betty Thane farm brought back memories of red fox and whitetail deer hunts through riparian woods. Deer with saddle brown fur coats feed in emerald green small grain fields.

Little rainfall during recent days resulted in dust storms from every vehicle. Farm land is planted with a variety of crops and the checkerboard landscape highlights the ‘Bread Basket of the World.’

The last run on Saturday was along the Red River of the North. It is a beautiful day and tennis players, zoo-goers, golfers, fishermen, campers, frolfers and gardeners recreate in Chahinkapa Park and the Kidder Recreation Area.

Roads go by industries like Primeboard, Minn-Dak and Cargill that use agricultural products to provide hundreds of jobs. Ditches with cattails and stagnant water support nesting ducks like mallards, blue-winged teal and shovelers.

Today’s target was Albert Johnson’s farm a dozen miles north of the city to remember and pay respect to a childhood friend who didn’t quite reach retirement age. It is nice to meet and offer condolences to his son in the yard where Albert’s father Richard hit baseball after baseball to Minnesota Twin wannabes in the late 60’s.

The senior felt strong the first three runs but was more challenged with tiring muscles during the final leg. It is good to test one’s self discipline and run while exhausted.

Towards the end of the final run, grandson George Skypes and says “great job, Grandpa” as good as a two-year old can say it. Now that lightens the weight of your legs!

A glass of chocolate milk is my reward for finishing every run. After burning off over 3,700 calories each run, it is OK to indulge. And OK for being a little crazy, too!

Wayne Beyer is the director of Wahpeton Parks and Rec.

Load comments