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Voyageur Quest Stage Race Added! August 26, 2010

Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events Schedule.
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The first annual Voyageur Quest Stage Race has been added to the Where’s Chris Scotch campaign for Katelyn Atwell and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  Admittedly, I am probably not recovered from last weekend’s events, but we didn’t hit our goal of 100 donations so I am back to the trails!

The description from the Race Director seems quite apropos in summing up why I chose this race:



Bear Lake, Superior Trail
“Races in the Quest Stage Race Series exemplify the personal quest each of us takes to achieve our goals.  Quest stage races are designed to challenge you – to define the meaning of quest.

A quest is defined as the act of seeking something great, an expedition or a search for something rare.  During a Quest stage race you’ll be seeking and finding rare insights into who you are and the beauty of the natural world around you.  You’ll find what it takes to dig down deep for those hidden reserves of strength, the beauty and grace of those runners with which you share the path, and the determination to continue on your own quest.  You’ll find the majesty of a blue lake so grand that you can’t see to the other side and the visions of a people who found the land you stride on sacred.

In a Quest stage race it will be up to you to find your way.  You will need to determine how much food to carry, what to eat and when.  You’ll follow an established path, but it will be up to you not to stray.  In a Quest Series stage race you’ll be challenged and you’ll need to use your wits and your experience to find what you’re seeking.  A Quest Series stage race will offer more in the form of challenge and reward than you may be accustomed to.

Join us on a Quest stage-race and find yourself.

“More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for clarity”  -Francois Gautier

The August 25-29, 2010.  4 day trail stage race (plus prologue) on the rugged Superior Hiking Trail in Northeastern Minnesota covering 105 miles.  The 2010 race will cover some of the most remote and rugged trail at the Northern end of the Superior Trail where you’re more likely to encounter a moose or a wolf than another human being.


Cooper will be running the first two legs with me, on Thursday and Friday.  I relish the chance to run with my li’l nugget and am happy he will get out of the house for some exercise.

Cooper a couple weeks ago in the Baptism River.   Taking a break on his 18 mile training run.

Thank you to everyone that has donated.  Your contributions are appreciated very much and every little bit helps.  I am asking for another contribution – find at least one person in your life that might find it worthwhile to donate to St. Jude. I invite you to share my blog with them so they can get a sense of the Where’s Chris Scotch campaign and see if anything resonates with them.  The donation link directly to St. Jude is:


Where’s Waldo 100km and Portland Century – Recaps August 25, 2010

Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events - Recaps.

It just felt right.  The whole trip to Oregon.  Camping on the cliffs filled with old growth behemoths as the sea lions serenading from the Pacific.  Getting an out and back training run in on Thursday morning  along what is now my favorite 8  mile stretch of trail.  Watching the pink and purple hues blanket the horizon as the pack climbed out of the dark of early morning on race day.  The spectacular views of the Mt. Bachelor, Sisters and the rest of the Oregon Cascades , time after time.  Riding 100 miles through and around Portland getting perspectives of the city and surrounding area I never would have seen otherwise.  It was one of the most satisfying “long weekends” I have ever experienced.  And the spectacular scenery, invigorating salty ocean air, rugged and diverse landscapes only get credit for a portion of the total experience.  Don’t get me wrong, Oregon is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, but the trip was so much more.

I have a longstanding love affair with Oregon, and to be able to combine my efforts for Katelyn in a place I am so fond of, with great people, was very special to me.  Again, it was Katelyn’s inspiration that I drew upon over the 62.63 miles of hard, steep, lung burning climbs  and fast, twisty, quad punishing descents.  It was only 6  few weeks ago that I first ran on a trail – the Afton Trail Run 50km in an effort to stretch my own limits while spreading the word of Katelyn’s story.  I felt something brewing at that race, “a spark” that I was curious to learn more about, so I entered   The Voyageur 50 Mile and turned that spark into a small flame.  Wanting to spread Katelyn’s story, and the life saving work of St. Jude to more people, and yearning to push myself even further into the unknown of trail running and ultra marathons,  I registered for Where’s Waldo (and the Portland Century).  Again, having no idea if I can run this far – and this time the hills of Afton didn’t scare me, but the Cascades loomed over my head.   Leading up to the race I had the now normal pre-race jitters, self-doubts and fears, but I felt armed with the lessons I have learned from previous races.  I also had the support of family and friends.  Everyone that has been supporting me – through donations, encouraging words, advice on training and running, and by helping with my pup, Cooper, gave me the confidence that I could get through the athletic endeavors of this weekend.    More than anything, this sense of community moving toward a goal is what drives me.  We are making an impact.  It just feels right.

I was fortunate in that I experienced this trip with family, old friends and new ones.   Two other runners from Minnesota were signed up for the race, Kami and Helen.  I have been lucky enough to run with them and get to know them a bit over the past few weeks, which has paid huge dividends for me.   Helen mentioned once that if I was going to continue running ultra’s on the trail, I should think about getting some trail shoes instead of battering my feet to death in my road shoes.  Who knew?  Not me for sure!   Just being on the course with these two very accomplished runners gave me confidence.

It had been too long since my last visit to Oregon and it was so great to be able to spend time with my relatives there.  My aunts, uncle and cousins seemingly drop everything when I announce I am coming to town and their generosity and hospitality are endless.    Uncle Gary’s presence , knowledge (he is a pretty accomplished athlete) and support at Where’s Waldo were calming and reassuring.  The Portland Century wouldn’t have happened without  Aunt Leann’s encouragement (or telling me to “man up”) and I am so glad we did this ride.  The three of us were joined by my friend Carrie and the 4 of us had a great time.  While not a timed event, it was a struggle for me to get through the 100 miles and 6,000 feet of climbing.  But the three of them made it fun and the miles melted away.  Doing a century ride is not something I ever wanted to do, but part of the point of this campaign is to jump out of the box and rip it to shreds – so I decided to do just that.  And I am glad I did as the experience was fantastic.  At the end of the race I was greeted by another aunt, Peggy, and her daughter Shanice.  They had been assigned the duty of sag wagon in the event I couldn’t finish the ride.  They sacrificed their day to be available should the call be made.  When we all sat down to enjoy dinner that night to tell stories and laugh about the day, it just felt right.

Thanks to everyone that believed in me in the days leading up to the events.  Thanks to Gary, Leann and Carrie (C1)  – You all made sacrifices and without each of you this trip wouldn’t have happened, much less been as wonderful as it was.  Thanks to Peggy and Shanice for being there should I have needed a helping hand.  Thanks to Kami, Carrie(C2) and Helen for always cheerfully putting up with the rookie and all my questions and blunders.  And if you ever need a quiche for breakfast, you know who to call – Gary!!

Where’s Chris Scotch wonders, Where’s Waldo? Perhaps in Oregon? August 5, 2010

Posted by whereschrisscotch in Races/Events Schedule.
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It was one month ago today that I entered my first trail run (Afton Trail Run 50k) and it has been less than two weeks since I ran my first 50 mile (Voyageur Trail 50).   Neither of these races were even a fleeting thought in my head when I embarked on my campaign for Katelyn and St. Jude this spring.  However, with the support of those following Where’s Chris Scotch, my family and friends and the new friends I have met along the route, I have been able to experience things I couldn’t even conceive just a short time ago.  And we aren’t done yet! For the one month anniversary of my foray into ultra running I am announcing the next event(S) in the Where’s Chris Scotch campaign to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude.  Yes, that’s right,  events!

Where’s Waldo 100k Ultra Marathon (62 miles summiting 5 peaks in the Oregon Cascades)

And in the vein of continuing to experience things I previously never conceived, (don’t just step out of the box, tear that box  to shreds) I will be entering a road bike event despite having been on a road bike only once in my life.

Portland Century (100 mile tour of Portland and the Columbia River Gorge)

These events are back to back – Where’s Waldo is on August 21, and the Portland Century will be the next day, Sunday August 22.  This is a call to action for me and I am asking you to step up as well.  I am not a runner (can I still claim that?)   and most definitely not a road biker.  And as hard as I tried, I could not find a training program that said biking 100 miles the day after a 100K ultra marathon was a sure path to recovery.  But why let these small facts stop us?  The goal of Where’s Chris Scotch is to raise funds and awareness for St. Jude.  And somehow I got the thought that doing my longest ultra yet,  and my first road bike ride,  as back-to-back events, might raise some eyebrows!

I am committed to competing in both of these events – can you commit to donating to the cause and spreading the word?  My goal is to get 100 donations by the end of the Portland Century ride on Sunday August 22.

100 kilometer ultra marathon

100 mile road bike race

100 donations for Katelyn and St. Jude

Any and every amount helps.  Thanks!


THE PURPOSE . . . August 5, 2010

Posted by whereschrisscotch in Uncategorized.
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The original intention of Where’s Chris Scotch was to support Katelyn  Atwell,  who can teach us all quite a bit about perseverance and dreaming big,  in her quest to raise $3 million for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
Where’s Chris Scotch was originally designed as a fundraising effort, in which I would run 3 marathons and and ask for donations in support of St. Jude.  As a non-runner,  this was an extremely ambitious goal, but I soon found myself trying Ultra distances (ultra distance = longer than a marathon, 26.2 miles), of which I have now completed 27 from June  2010 to September 2012.
Katelyn was the original source of inspiration for what has become a series of decisions and choices that have drastically changed my life.  Since the seemingly  chance encounter we  had in February 2009 ,  not only have I become a runner, but in the course of my fundraising campaign I have picked up new skills, learned more about what makes me hum along in this  thing called life, and met wonderful new friends, including my running partner for life, Helen.  We have since moved to California, another thing I never thought would happen, and we are enjoying life to the fullest with our dog, Cooper (and as of October 2012, Juneau), in the northern California Bay Area.  Funny how a little chance encounter was the catalyst for so much happiness and joy.

While I am no longer soliciting donations for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, I strongly encourage you to consider St. Jude if you are inclined to make charitable contributions. Their groundbreaking, and lifesaving, research was literally the difference between life and death for Katelyn, many other children in the past, as well as many more to come in the future.
Thank you for your support,

To follow my campaign for Katelyn and St. Jude on Facebook, go herehttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Wheres-Chris-Scotch/116601038374419