Running 30 miles is challenge enough for many.
Compound that task with frigid temperatures, rain, and wind – and running that distance becomes impossible for most. However, despite the weather, on Saturday, November 3rd, 49 ultramarathoners hit the roads of Switzerland County to compete in Jeff-Craig Fire and Rescue’s Third Annual “Taterbug 30 Ultramarathon and Relay”.
The winner of the event, Douglas Ludmann from Union, Kentucky, completed the course in a time of 3:52:08. Close behind was Chris Puckett in a time of 3:53:38 and Mark Scott, for third, in a time of 4:04:52. Chris Puckett and Mark Scott both traveled from Indianapolis to compete in the race.
Kelsey Ewing, also from Indianapolis, won the female division just behind the men in a time of 4:18:03. She was followed by Rachel Parrella from Sellersburg, Indiana, in second, 4:28:16; and Jennifer Castelli from Inverness, Illinois in third, finishing in a time of 4:49:51.
Runners not up to the full 30 mile challenge, competed in the team competition, which allowed up to six runners to cover the entire distance in relay style.
A local team, “The Gym Class Heroes”, won the event in a time of 4:44:04. The team consisted of: Trisha Archer, Adam Archer, Katie Collier, Lance Collier, Cassie Courtney, and Kacey Sullivan. The second place team hailed from Fishers, Indiana, with one member traveling from Idaho to compete. The members, Katrina Guymon, Lyndee Kennett, Kelsey Lambert, and Sarah Yadon, finished in a respectable time of 4:50:31.
“The success of the event can be measured in many ways,” according to event organizer and director Adam Cole. “There were many bright spots for this year’s event.”
He stressed the uniqueness of this event and its potential to bring people in for overnight stays in the community.
“Of the 49 runners that participated on Saturday, 35 stayed overnight in the community. That is 72-percent of the runners that are in our county for an extended period of time,” Adam Cole said. “They traveled here from Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa, Idaho, Oregon, and Minnesota. Those are the kinds of events that make a difference in the community. Runners eat here, visit First Friday and attractions, and tell others about our community.”
Another bright spot, Adam Cole said, was the support given by Jeff-Craig Fire and Rescue.
“Without support from Jeff-Craig, this race would have never happened. This year the race made some money, and I am happy to say that all proceeds will go to the fire department, an organization that cares for this community and helps to keep everyone safe.”
The final key to the events success were the countless volunteers that suffered through the weather to provide support to the runners. Adam Cole repeatedly thanked the organizations and individuals that had a hand in the success of the event.
“Switzerland Baptist Church and its youth group provided huge support for this race and welcomed these runners with open arms. In all, close to 50 people helped to make this race happen, and together with local business such as Shell’s, Walmart of Madison, Danner’s Hardware, Snappy Tomato Pizza, Switzerland County EMS and the Vevay-Switzerland County Foundation we created something that is here to stay,” he said.
Adam Cole said that his goal for next year is to hit 75-100 participants.
If any organization or individual is interested in helping with next year’s race please contact Adam Cole at (502) 296-9477.