I hiked on this trail for the first time several years ago. At the time, I had no idea I would one day live a mile away from the Iola trail head. Almost immediately after we moved here I began training on the trail and day dreaming about one day organizing an ultra on it. I had become an "ultra marathoner" a few years back when I ran the Mother Road 100 in OKC, and I was looking for more epic (and local) "adventures."
The Prairie Spirit Trail would be a fairly easy course (no major hills, no real tripping hazards, no turns, easy access for crew vehicles...) However, I never got the motivation to go through with the whole "organizing" part. I got as far as e-mailing a couple folks...and that was about it. I got in touch with some folks involved with the Prairie Spirit Trail, and then I came across a blog, Running Freak, and was introduced to a man who had ran the entire trail...for fun! (My kind of guy). So I e-mailed Darin who shared the idea of an organized Prairie Spirit Trail Ultra. I hoped that someone else would realize the potential of this trail...and finally someone has.
I don't think I have had the privilege of meeting Eric Steele of Epic Ultras (perhaps once at the Heartland 100, I'm not sure). I hear he has done an excellent job organizing some other Ultras that have become some of the best in the Midwest. All I can say is...I'm in (assuming I can come up with the entry fee--ouch!--and can get my newly acquired metal plate and hardware in my left tibia and fibula bones to cooperate with me.)
Whether I make it to the starting line or not, I will be strictly following a 15 week training plan and am looking forward to it. Please check in from time to time to see how the training is going. I need the accountability.