Inaugural Prairie Spirit Trail 100 & 50 Mile Ultra Races / March 23, 2013

Eric SteeleWOW…what an “EPIC ADVENTURE” our Inaugural Prairie Spirit Trail 100 & 50 Mile Ultra Races were a little over a couple of weeks ago! None of us could have ever predicted or fully prepared for the magnitude of “ultra-experience” we were all given the opportunity to partake in. Massive congratulations to everyone who was gutsy enough to toe the starting line, in either race on March 23, 2013!

In nearly twenty years of directing and competing in ultra races, I have never witnessed such relentless intestinal fortitude and raw determination from a group of runners then I did atPrairie Spirit, especially late in the race Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday morning…that, combined with the Epic Ultra Brigade’s incredible high energy and outstanding hospitality at all aid stations has forever raised the bar in my collective experience about what makes an ultra “TRULY EPIC”…WOW, once again!

Words cannot begin to fully express the massive gratitude I have for all individuals who made up the Epic Ultra Brigade at our Inaugural Event…thank you very, very much!!! You are all deeply appreciated for not only giving part (possibly all) of your weekend up to assist our runners, but to do it in such nasty weather conditions and maintain an incredibly hospitable and caring attitude for all of the runners was truly exceptional behavior and I was deeply moved by the outpouring of generosity I witnessed from all of you.

The feedback I have been receiving from runners is how outstanding and caring all aid station personal was, this coupled with high energy and tons of encouragement made virtually all runners really aware of the fact that they were being personally tended to. I can’t commend our aid station staff nearly enough on their attention to the finer details of caring for runners in races of this duration…and to think this was an Inaugural event and everyone operated in such a cohesive and professional manner, in spite of the blizzard, was truly amazing. And of course, “quite epic”…indeed!

From Harrison, Bobby, Andrea & Joe in Princeton, to Leslie, Coleton & David in Richmond, to Emm, Pat, Dale & Lauren in Garnett, to Ben, Coco & the Trail Nerds in Welda, to Jim, Sean and Carl in Colony, to Warren, Frank & Tom in Iola and to Eric, Shawn, Polly & Sam back at the finish line, along with the KDWPT Park Rangers (Jim & Trent), the Inaugural Prairie Spirit Trail 100 & 50 Mile Ultra Races would not have been possible without you…thank you, once again! We’ll have stories to tell for many years, quite possibly the rest of our lives, about this one!!!

In spite of all the chaos and challenges that Mother Nature threw our way, which made things really scary for a time, I am super-elated to have been a part of it and was beyond impressed by how nearly all individuals handled themselves under conditions like we experienced. And though, unfortunately, certain things did not quite turn out the way some of us had planned (myself included), there WILL BE a next time…COUNT ON IT!

Do we have a date set for next year’s Second Annual Prairie Spirit Trail 100 & 50 Mile Ultra Races? Of course we do! March 29th, 2014, is the official date AND I have a “special little surprise” in store for everyone that competed in the 100 mile event and unfortunately had to DNF…if they register within a couple weeks of when it opens and come back here to take care of unfinished business…stay tuned! 2014 registration will open in a couple of weeks.

Our charity of choice for our Inaugural Event was the Kansas Chapter of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and we donated $450 on behalf of Hannah MacBeth to them, as well as, $250 to the Prairie Spirit Friends of The Trail Organization, out of race proceeds.

As most of you know, our sport is all about pushing it, taking it to the limit…and then beyond, being “stretched” more so to speak…mentally, physically & spiritually. In closing, I can sincerely state that I was “stretched to the max” at our Inaugural Event, as an RD, in ways I have never been before…as I’m sure everyone else involved was. Once again, I am very grateful to have been a part of it…what I witnessed from runners and staff a little over two weeks ago was nothing short of miraculous and pushed my belief in the overall drive and capacity of the human spirit to an entirely new level.

See you in a few weeks for another Epic Ultras Inaugural Event; The FlatRock 101K!

Stay Epic,


Inaugural Prairie Spirit Trail 100 & 50 Mile Ultra Races “Official Results”
100 Mile Starters: 54
50 Mile Starters: 63


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