Monday, October 27, 2014

Poker Run 2014

This is the 4th annual MUDD Poker run!  I made a picture map of the course that measures at 3.5 miles. If you are familiar with the trails you will probably know all these spots. We will lightly mark the course with pie plates and arrows. If you feel lost, remember: Take the wide gravel path any direction it will get you back to the Sternes Woods Pavillion. 


1. Have fun!

2. You get 2 cards at the beginning of the run to start your hand.

3. Every loop ran you receive 2 cards. But you can not have more than 5 cards in your hand. It is your choice on whether you want to take a card or not. If you have 5 cards, you will need to discard cards before you take more.

4. Run as many loops as you like. Eat treats. Socialize and have fun!

5. Best hand at the end of the day wins the 2014 Poker run Trophy.

6. We will also have a trophy for most laps ran!

Run at your own risk, you are responsible for your own safety. MUDD or anyone helping organize this game is not responsible for your safety. This is a group of trail-runners getting together playing a game on the trails. 

Link to POKER RUN event page on facebook

Start Poker run by heading up the gravel path on the left, then turn left towards leg bone.

Turn Left at Leg bone

Keep heading down leg bone trail. This is "Brice's trail corner" Do not take Brice's trail.

Turn right off of legbone heading into pines. This is a straight shot that ends at the bike path.

This is where "Brice's trail" comes in. Stay on path

Stay on this trail "Brice's trail" crosses here

Turn right on bike path

Turn off of bike path to enter back on the wide gravel path
It looks like this 
Head up this hill

Turn left into the "fun track"

Follow this trail until you turn left towards the loopy hill. This turn is at the bottom of the hill the bike riders like to make ramps.

The trail ends at the power lines. Turn right 
Cross over the bike path

Then follow this trail

It ends here, then take a right.

Then take a quick Left.

Head this way

Stay to the left.

Turn right into the Pine forest

Cross over the wide path

Stay straight on trail. 

The trail ends here. Take a left and follow the wide gravel path back to the Pavilion.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

MUDD Ultrarunning Dudes & Dudettes Trail clean up day Veteran Acres/Sternes Woods

MUDD Trail Clean up crew
We had a great turn out at our trail clean up date. We started at 8am and had at least 30 people show up in shifts to work through 2 pm, then enjoy a hot meal afterwards. Our job this week was clearing trees in the wetland area of Sternes Woods. The Crystal Lake Park District crew went through the week before and cut down many invasive trees. Buckhorn, walnut and honeysuckle were a few. These are trees that are not natural to the wetlands. If the area around was not so populated, what would naturally occur is fires would come by lighting strikes or other natural causes. The natural fires would burn down the seedlings of these invasive plants. Instead these trees have grown so large they are sucking up the water table. The Park would like to return the lands to their natural state. This will make for a healthy wet land area and improve our water table. So we piled all these branches into a big pile and burned them. Everyone worked hard and we got a lot done.

After we all finished working we came back to the pavilion where John Fiornia made us all delicious food in his dutch ovens. Our work crew menu included

Breakfast- pre work food. Note that all this food was made on the fire from scratch:
Hot coffee (best coffee ever!)
Hot apple cider
Hot apple fritters

Mac n Cheese
Potato soup
Beef stroganoff
Hot coffee
Hot apple cider

The dog "Paddie" had a harness and pulled heavy logs to the fire.  He had been practicing this skill because him  and his master are training for a race where the dog pulls his master (Brian Korte) on skis. The dog was so proud to help.

Korte family dog "Paddy"

John Fiornia cooking up his delicious creations in a Dutch oven over an open fire

On the same day we had runners that had volunteered at the Frozen Gnome 50k. They decided they would run their own "Underground Frozen Gnome or UGFG". Some ran the whole 50k and others paced a lap or two. The runners were able to fuel up on the hot food John made. When they finished running many helped with the clean up, then the first shift volunteers finished and ran laps with the UGFG runners. This meant the five UGFG finishers always had someone to run with.  They even got a Frozen Gnome finisher medal and pint glass when they finished. It was such a fun day with so many things going on! We arrived at the park at dusk and left at sun down. A perfect way to spend a Sunday. I love our trail running community!

We had a huge bonfire burning the invasive plants- We just needed some marshmallows

Hard at work and having fun

So sweet

Joe Gow

My lovely friend Karen McVey and Kellie Walsh

Making new friends
Cold but having fun

young kids and teenagers enjoyed helping
Working "selfie" with me and a few of my "besties"
Ha ha! Look at all the trendy words I got in there.

Monday, November 18, 2013

MUDD Poker Run 2013

MUDD Poker Run 2013

Thank you to Keith Daniels and Julie Bane for starting this great MUDD tradition of having a Poker Run! Keith was out a few times during the week and then again on the Poker run morning; creating and marking a fun 3.75 mile course winding through prairie and single track at Veteran Acres/Sternes Woods park.


1.Have fun!

2. You get 2 cards at the beginning of the run to start your hand.

3. Every loop ran you could receive 2 cards. But you could not ever have more than 5 cards in your hand. If you had 5 cards you had to turn in 1 or 2 cards to receive another card.

4. Run as many loops as you like. Eat treats. Socialize and have fun!

5. Best hand at the end of the day won the very special Poker Run trophy

They are off on a 3+ mile hilly loop through the beautiful trails of
Veteran Acres and Sternes Woods
John and Nandini mastering the Carina pose
Bad A$$ club- the final four running
Pouring rain, high winds, and dodging lightning bolts did not slow them down
All the extra mileage these hard cores ran didn't help them
win the best hand at the Poker run
Michael Johnson, Brandi Henry, Jean Lenard, Carl Galdine

Blair Piotrowski was award Poker Run Champ 2013 with 4 of a kind

Blair Piotrowski MUDD Poker Run Champ 2013

Monday, November 11, 2013

North West trail run 5 & 10 miler- MUDD Ultrarunning Dudes & Dudettes aid station

Runners heading out of Sternes Woods MUDD aid station -North West trail run
photo credit Royal Hartwig

MUDDers getting the aid station prepared for the runners
Geoff Moffat, Michele Hartwig, Julie Bane, Jean Lenard, Jeff Lenard, Tim Kruse, Tasha, Nick

1st and 2nd overall for the 5 mile race
on a final sprint to the finish line
Mark Jensen is 13 years old. I am a big
fan of this kind young man.
He was beat out only by a nose. I'm so proud
of Mark. His father Bill Jensen is my
good friend and trainer. Final time 34:15 for 5 miles.

The MUDD Ultrarunning Dudes & Dudettes have been "manning" the aid station at the North West trail run in Crystal Lake, IL for 4 years. The weather was beautiful and all the runners had a great time. You can't beat the trails at Veteran Acres/Sternes Woods. The MUDDers look forward to volunteering at this race every year! It's a wonderful tradition.

The race director of the North West trail run is Bob Walsh. Bob is a great member of the running community in Crystal Lake. He is always there to help others. Bob will be hosting a 5k Turkey Trot at Lippold Park in Crystal Lake on Thanksgiving morning. The race is FREE. You just have to bring a donation of food or money for the Crystal Lake Food pantry. If you bring money in form of a check please have it made out to the Crystal Lake Food pantry because they can make that money go farther at the grocery store than Bob can. It's a great way to start your Thanksgiving morning.

Tim Kruse and Geoff Moffat waiting to direct runners
North West Trail run

Leaders in the 10 mile North West Trail run race
Christopher (Coco) Rodriguez

Runners heading into the MUDD Ultrarunning Dudes & Dudettes
aid station at Sternes Woods- North West Trail Run

Geoff Moffat directing runners
North West Trail run- MUDD aid station

North West trail run
Killer hill at mile 4

North West Trail run
nearing the top of the killer hill
Jeff Lenard, Michele Hartwig, and Sarah Finn Young.
Sarah was so fantastic! She was so kind to come out and thank Jeff and I
after the race. She told us our words kept her going. This is the note she sent us when she got home:
"Thank you for everyone who came out to support running today. My name is Sarah Young and today was the first time I did 5 mile run/walk. Also first trail run. I was nearly ready to pack it in and just finish walking when I hit the water stand. There were 2 people who encourage me to keep going, I did. They reminded me that it was to be fun. Today left an impact in my heart, and for that I say Thank you."

My daughter Tasha and her friend Nick

Jeff Lenard and I directing runners at a tricky corner. I jumped from
station to station bringing cookies to everyone.

Tricky photography of runners by my son Royal Hartwig

The Headless Helpers

North West trail run heading into the MUDD aid station

Ben Willis, Mark Perry, and Sarah Willis are human arrows
at the North West Trail run

North West trail run- Leaving MUDD aid station
Mark Perry, Julie Bane, Jean Lenard
North West trail run- Gerome greeting the runners as they
head into the MUDD aid station