Thursday, September 29, 2005

Item of Interest - Human Performance Lab Anniversary

Thought our endurance athletes might enjoy reading about the early years of the human performance lab at Ball State University. Ball State is located about 35 miles southeast of The HUFF.

Gail Koch, writing in The MUNCIE STAR ,reported today:

Forty years ago, Ball State University's Human Performance Laboratory was nothing more than a storage room in the back of a gymnasium.

Today, the lab is recognized as one of the nation's top research centers for exercise physiology, conducting research on topics that cover everything from aging to space flight.

To celebrate its achievements, the HPL will host the Midwest American College of Sports Medicine annual fall meeting today through Saturday at the Horizon Convention Center. The conference is expected to attract 500 researchers, educators and students from around the world.

One of those attendees is Bill Evans, the first graduate to complete his doctoral degree from the HPL in 1980. Evans now oversees the nutrition, metabolism and exercise lab at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Like so many other alumni of HPL programs, Evans can't speak of the lab's success without mentioning its founders, Leroy "Bud" Getchell and long-time director David Costill.

"Dave was the first person I knew who really thought about exercise in terms of biology and science," said Evans, who studied at Ball State from 1974 to 1978.

Up until the late 1960s, much of what the country was learning about exercise was through studies conducted in physical education programs, Evans explained....

You can read the rest of the story in The MUNCIE STAR here.

Yours truly went through the Human Performance Lab nearly 20 years ago. The verdict? "VO2 Max. is pretty good now; but you could up your mileage considerably." I followed that advice for awhile...and need to follow it again.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Clif Bar presents Athlete of the Month
May 2005
Chicago Athlete magazine.

Cameron Stuber
Running 2:36:45 and being the first Chicago-area finisher at the Boston Marathon is only half the story. The weekend prior, Cameron Stuber, 28, of Chicago, was in Milan, Italy, representing his hometown at the Stramilano Half Marathon as part of a sister city exchange.

After notching a half-marathon PR in Milan (1:09:42), he enjoyed a few days of sightseeing before embarking on the voyage across the Atlantic to Chicago, then taking flight once more to Boston.

"I flew back Wednesday, worked Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and flew to Boston on Sunday," said Stuber. "I didn't run much between the half marathon and the marathon. I took a few days off and got a massage." Hardly the most conducive prep week before tackling his first marathon, but Stuber still hoped to run in the 2:25-2:27 range on the hilly Boston course.

After all, Stuber has never shied away from a challenge. He ran an ultra last December before ever running a marathon, winning the HUFF 50K in Huntington, IN.

"On the bus ride to the start I just kept telling myself, 'I've already done a 50K, this can't be too bad.'"

Though the famed Newton Hills ultimately got to Stuber after being on goal pace through about 16 miles, he won't go as far as calling his finish time a "Heartbreak."

"I wouldn't trade my 2:36 for anything," he said. "Whether I ran the time I wanted or not, it was a great experience. If you don't get the time you want, that's why you go out and race again."

Copyright 2005 Chicago Athlete magazine. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


The 2005 medals are designed, prototypes cast and the rest will be here in plenty of time for The HUFF on December 17, 2005. Thought you might be interested in the ad featuring the 2005 medal which is appearing in Chicago Athlete magazine.

Monday, September 19, 2005

FAQ Regarding Relay Teams

We received an emailed question today regarding relay registration.

The writer asked:
Can a person who is running the whole race, also run as the first person on a relay team? If so, how do I sign up that way?

Our answer: That's been a recurring question. I'm glad you asked it; it's significant enough for our race that I would like to post it on the web log for the race at

The first year that the relay became part of The HUFF we did allow a 50K participant to be counted as having run the first leg for a relay team. However, it was decided after the first year that we adopt a rule that a member of a relay team cannot also be counted as a 50K participant.

It became more important to have this rule with the introduction of chip timing. The 2005 race will mark the third year of chip timing. A relay team is only issued one chip; the chip and strap need to be transferred from the runner completing a leg to his teammate who will run the next leg. A companion rule is that no participant can wear more than one chip.

This DOES allow a member of a relay team to run two legs of a relay. This sometimes becomes necessary if a relay team loses a team member at the last minute. Indeed, some teams whose members are supposed to meet at the race find themselves in a spot when one of their team doesn't show up. It would work an unfairness if the two members couldn't go ahead and participate.

There were many scenarios we tried to avoid with the adoption of these two rules. For example - preventing two relay runners from contacting one of the elite runners and asking whether they would mind being counted as a member of a relay team. This prevents teams from having a "ringer" with little effort.

It sounds as though you would really like to have your friends participate with you while you run the whole 50K. Please know that if it is a matter of finding a third member of a team we can try to help you do that. If you have some special requirements (such as people who can run a particular pace) let us know. We'll try to make a match.

New Course Changes Surveyed

We received the following question today about The HUFF course:

I have already registered for my first HUFF this year. I am very excited, and would like to do one of my training runs there. I live [about 90 miles away], and want to take a road trip to do a lap with my wife. Is the trail marked well enough, or is there a map that I could follow so that we do the same lap as the race lap?

The reply:

There have been a few changes on the HUFF course. Jerry Diehl, Bob Berger and myself were just out measuring the new areas this weekend. The DNR has worked to reroute trail so that it avoid areas which are prone to flooding even during moderately high water levels. HUFF runners should enjoy having a much easier time in keeping their feet dry during the race.

The HUFF course has been marked in the past with HUFF reflective markers (pictured here) on the orange trail posts. The DNR, in most cases, has moved the existing markers with the HUFF logo to show where the new trail goes.

So, if you start out your training run from the Kil-so-Quah campground and head west on the trail going nearest the access road you will not encounter any changes in the course until just before the Observation Mound near Highway 5. There you will encounter a very short trail change which keeps runners out of a low spot. It is a definite improvement and should not present any navigation problems.

You will then emerge at Highway 5; you will go south on Highway 5 across the dam; as soon as you pass the DNR office (the first office area is the Army Corps of Engineers) you will head east toward the little guard shack. Past the guard shack you will then enter the Kekionga trail right at the entrance to the campground. You will head south briefly, then generally east. Keep heading east past the Model Airplane field, cross the gravel drive leading to the Model Airplane Field and Archery range. The path is all the same until you emerge at the south boat ramp road. (This is an asphalt surface you will cross).

The Indiana DNR has just put in a new state-of-the-art shooting range on the south side of the reservoir. Due to the terms of their grant, they had to create a much larger 'safe' area around the range. This has meant that, on the south side, a short new trail has been created just after runners cross the boat ramp road. That trail leads runners out onto Division Road.

Once you are on the road, you will then have to run east on Division Road (perhaps we ought to call it ('Diversion Road') to a point just past the shooting range. You will then go north (toward the reservoir) on new trail. The DNR did a masterful job on this new section of trail and it certainly makes for a great running experience in the woods. This is a substantial new section. Runners will continue then to hook up with the winding area of tall trees before reaching Aid Station "B" (where the trail crosses Division Road). So follow the trail all the way to Simpson Road.

Runners will still complete the rest of the Kekionga Trail as they have in the past from Division Road to Simpson Road (200E). So, go north on Simpson Road, cross the bridge and go just a short distance before ducking back in the woods. Shortly after leaving Simpson Road runners will then encounter the second major change. This was done to keep runners out of a low area by the reservoir. This area was prone to flooding and muddiness. The trail now ducks into the woods before reaching the downhill that took one down to the low area. The new trail is a very beautiful run through the woods before it reconnects with what had been the old trail at the top of the hill that came up out of the lowland.

You then will keep heading west on the existing trail. There are some trails that diverge off the trail between the hill and Kil-so-Quah campground. As a general rule on this section, "When presented with a 'fork' in the road, take the path on the left."

There is a trail map at the DNR office on Highway 5. They have a supply of maps in a kiosk near the parking lot.

The weekend course survey data is going to be analyzed by Jerry Diehl. We will then make decisions on where there may be modifications needed to keep the trail distance as close as possible to the original distance of the Kekionga Trail as used for the race. The DNR was striving to keep the distance the same as the original trail.

Overall, I would say that the DNR has done a great job in creating new and interesting trail sections to replace those that have been crossed out. Except for the short Division Road segment - I think HUFF runners will be well-pleased with the results. It certainly removes some of the uncertainty in the event of high water.

An Email back today from our future 2005 HUFF finisher:

Thanks for the quick reply. I was not expecting such effort in the response!!! See you at the Huff!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Reflections on Life Gained at The HUFF

These comments were posted by ECO-LIPS organic lip balm President Steve Shriver following the 2004 HUFF 50K.

Lesson Learned at the HUFF 50k(31 Mile Race)

Last weekend I ran the HUFF 50k (Huntington Ultra Frigid Fifty) in Huntington, Indiana. It is a little over 31 miles of trails, a truly beautiful course around the reservoir. Runnng on mountain bike trails, especially in the winter poses many challenges. Of course, Eco Lips protected my lips while my Patagonia outerwear protected the rest of my parts during this winter endeavor. My motto on long runs, thanks to my mountaineering mentor, is to pick an all day pace. A pace that wont wear you down gets you to the summit and/or the finish line. Well, I got over-anxious in the HUFF, and stayed in the top 20 for the first 22 miles, then it hit me! I had 9 miles to go and just felt terrible. I havent done a long race in a while, so I had forgotten about all of the variables involved that can either help or hinder you. I finally worked through the mental and physical challenges and finished in 4 hours, 39 minutes.

Ok, so I can learn from this, and apply it to my next race (and other aspects of my life for that matter):

Start slow
Choose a sustainable pace
Keep the end goal in mind, and visualize finishing
Persevere; dont listen to the voice in your head telling you to give up!
Finish strong!

Now I have to go sign up for another race, to give this strategy a try!


The HUFF 2004 medals are out and about. The medal design and the delivery delay has provided inspiration for one of The HUFF veterans who posted this very funny item on the Ultra Listserv. (Obviously one of the most politically incorrect HUFF veterans but Rich is not going to let PC squeamishness stand in the way of an over-the-top creative streak.)

My name is Trouby Kool y'awl
An' hey like I doan nevah hafta crawl
I walks to my mail box an' there IT is
A big fat veelope with a postage-paid viz
Comin' from The HUFF, y'all
Hip-hop hooray, y'all
It's been a-comin' an' a-comin' for nearly one year
I told th' squeeze we's celebratin' so bring me a beer
Get down, y'all, raise up yer hans
Boogie kool, y'all, all y'all bitchiz and mans
Inside tha veelope is dis cardboardlike s---
Ya rips open th' card, y'all, an' there IT sit
Dis cool steel circle, y'all, with words around IT
An' some figgers an' names I doan know a bit
Like, Dude, whatza "chief," A "Chief Coesse"?
Like right now my Hoosier history's in such a messe
This chump onna front's got pecs an' delts
Wearin' feathers an' claws an' mebbe fur pelts
Gots bling danglin' throo holes in eacha his ears
Lookin' so cock, y'all, it blings me to tears
But th' dude onna back's got too much pelt
With a dead president hat mebbe made outa felt
Uniform, dude?
Like some kinda Red Coatin' man?
Skin's lookin' dark but mebbe jus' tan
Can't tell Indian or maybe he's French
I seen dat name on a Bourbon Street bench
"Coesse"? "Genovese"? "Thibaddeaux" jive?
There ain't no Indian chief like that alive
So, Duke, whatchoo mailin' us anyway, Dude?
I doan wanna rap diss or seem like a prude
But dat "chief" onna front is practically nude!
An' I doan gawk, y'all, I doan wanna seem lewd
But right dare on dis medal raht down below IT
Dat "chief's" showin' nipple on his left t--!
So whuh doeszit say? "The HUFF 50K"?
My December '04 Finisher's Medal just came TODAY??
== ======== === ======= ===== === ==== ========
Yurz troubly,
HUFF 'n' PUFF Daddy
with his "Postage PAID Ft. Wayne, IN,Permit #760" worth 50 cents

[All kidding aside, I KNEW my buddy Mitch would come through. His HUFF 50K definitely belongs with first-class events. And well worth your '05 early entry fee of 3,500cents!]

Yankee Folly of the Day:Seriously now, all these Indiana printed materials go to great lengths to explain the historical significance of the NEXT finisher's medal to be had in a couple MORE months, but not one word explains who the fritz this "Chief Coesse" NOW is, emblazoned thru some metallurgical process taking nine months and struck within this circular chunk sitting right herein my hand! Enquiring minds of pseudo-Native-Americanbookworms need to know!

Reprinted by permission of the author. All right retained by the author, Rich Limacher. Content is the sole responsibility of the author.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Chief Little Turtle's Daughter memorialized

An 1880's engraving of Miami Indian Chief Little Turtle serves as the major focus of The HUFF 50K logo. When The HUFF 50K began featuring a different historic Miami Indiana figure on the reverse of the finishers' medals the image of Little Turtle's granddaughter, Kil-so-Quah, was the first used. There will be a memorial dedicated to Kil-so-Quah this coming weekend in Huntington County. The following is from the September 9th Fort Wayne News-Sentinel:
A historical marker honoring Kilsoquah, granddaughter of Miami Indian Chief Little Turtle, will be dedicated at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 18 in Glenwood Cemetery in Roanoke [IN]. Kilsoquah was believed to have been about age 105 when she died around 1915. She is buried in the center of the circle at the cemetery. The dedication ceremony also includes a cemetery walk, with re-enactors portraying prominent people buried there. Photo credit - Indiana State Museum

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Historic Roush Lake Water Levels

Thought runners might be interested in the water elevations that occured after last year's HUFF. The J. Edward Roush Lake has gotten to deep levels in past summers. Indeed, the summer of 2002 saw lake levels reach the highest points since the reservoir was completed in the mid-60's. The January 2005 winter accumulation was quite unusual. The high flood level was accompanied by a deep-freeze which created a thick layer of ice. When the Army Corps began releasing the water it caused much of the ice to come crashing down on the trees and brush below. This created a fascinating place of huge ice chunks more familiar to Sir Ernest Shackleton than to our intrepid HUFF veterans.

The full-page chart can be seen at the Army Corps site:

Friday, September 09, 2005

INDY Star reports on triathlete planning on the 2005 HUFF

The August 17th edition of the Indianapolis STAR and the Noblesville Ledger reported on triathlete Henry Lane, Jr. of Cicero IN, who plans to run The HUFF 50K on December 17th. The full story by Ted Schultz can be found at: "Among the men, Henry Layne Jr., Cicero, finished eighth overall and sixth in the men's open division in 51:26 in his first Cicero Triathlon since 2000. Layne had been in California, where he competed in a couple of Ironman Triathlons (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run), but took about a year off from competitive racing and training after moving back in April 2004.
Layne, 36, who was third in the men's 35-39 division, worked a 24-hour shift at the Noblesville Fire Department until 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Since he had to go on a pair of overnight runs with the department, he didn't get much sleep before the 9 a.m. race.
Layne also is coming off a calf injury that kept him from running for about three weeks. His run time was about 19 minutes, 21/2 minutes off his normal pace.
Layne is entered in this weekend's Great Buckeye Challenge, a 51/2-mile run, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run dualathlon in Dayton, Ohio. He also plans to compete in the Mideast Regional in September at Eagle Creek, the Huff 50K trail race in December in Huntington and the 135-mile Badwater Ultra Marathon early next year in California's Death Valley.
"If the calf gets me through next week, it should give me the green light for the Mideast Regional," Layne said."

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Runner Matthew Forss of Cascade WI at the 2004 HUFF 50K. Photo by Andrew Hancock and reprinted by permission of the Huntington Herald-Press, all rights reserved.


Welcome to the HUFF 50K Trail Notes. This will be the place for keeping folks updated regarding the upcoming HUFF 50K Trail Run on December 17, 2005 at Huntington IN. There have been some changes to the trail we'll tell you about. And the committee has been meeting to improve the experience for every runner and every volunteer. Oh, yes, we'll even talk about the medals. (Many are mailed, the rest will be prepped on September 11 and mailed September 12).

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