GREEN BAY — It’s the kind of run that can make your feet hurt just thinking about it. On Saturday 96 runners took part in the Green Bay Running Club’s fourth annual Ultra Marathon on the UW-Green Bay campus.
An ultra-marathon is any race longer than the standard marathon length of 26.2 miles. In the Green Bay race, instead of having a set distance and seeing how fast you can run it, runners signed up for a specific amount of hours to run and tried to cover as much distance as possible.
“A lot of people that are looking to return a 50 K which is 31 miles,” said race day director Scott Conklin. “Some people are pushing further than that. Some people just wanted to run a marathon, get another marathon in. It’s a way to test your limits and just see how far you can run.”
Runners could sign up to compete for six hours, eight hours or from sun up to sundown, about 15.5 hours – especially grueling with hot temperatures and plenty of daylight this time of year. All the divisions started at sunrise. The 96 runners taking part was the most in event history.
Experienced marathoners said the different type of race presented a unique challenge.
“It’s a little different because you have to slow yourself down but otherwise it’s just like any other day and any other run,” said Green Bay’s Mike LaMere, who ran for 6 hours. “Just enjoy the day and enjoy the weather and the atmosphere out there is great.”
The Green Bay Running Club had several aid stations along the Cofrin Arboretum Trail, which provided a 4.75-mile loop for the runners to conquer. Organizers said they made sure to bring more ice than planned as temperatures climbed heading into the weekend. There were also spectators ringing cowbells and waving signs to encourage the runners.
“You get to see familiar faces a couple times when you come through here there’s a lot of cheering going on,” said Oconto Falls runner Lori Whitt who ran in the 6-hour division.