Focus on a race Interview

Instep Lapham Peak Trail Marathon

05 Jul 2012 05:00
Jean-Loup Fenaux

§staticmap(11696,5,450,250)Hello, on September 8th 2012, you’ll be organizing the Instep Lapham Peak Trail Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The race will be at the Lapham Peak State Park which is located in Delafield, Wisconsin, about 25 miles west of Milwaukee, WI and 45 miles south of Madison, WI.

This will be the first edition of the race. What was your motivation to create it?

I have been running/training at Lapham Peak State Park for the past 30 years and consider it one of the greatest places to run. The place is beautiful and is a challenging environment to train on. I wanted to share what I would consider a great place to run, race and/or train. The other motivation is to help raise money for a local runner who had a tragic accident and help off-set his medical costs.

My running has taken me all over the United States and Lapham Peak is still one of my all-time favorite places to run. It is just a wonderful place with lots of beauty and challenge. I think others will enjoy running Lapham Peak as well.

Credit : Lapham Peak Trail Races
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The marathon course will be 4 loops of the black loop/Moraine Ridge Trail, and the half-marathon will consist of two loops. The Lapham Peak trail map states, “this loop is 7 miles”, but it is not. I checked it with a measuring wheel and it is 6.5 miles on the dot.

The black loop has some rolling hills along with a few very steep short hills and three longer hill climbs; there are flat spots as well. The trail itself is wide (most places 12-15 feet wide) and consists of grass and hard packed dirt (unless it rains a lot) with some rocks and a few roots. It is not technical, rocky or absurd but you will have to keep your focus on the trail.

Marathon and half-marathon runners will run up to the top of the tower on their FIRST LOOP ONLY. It is a small diversion and will get us to the right distance for both races. Plus, if it is a nice day, you will love the view from up top. Always stay to the right and respect other visitors who are utilizing the tower. You will run up, circle the top and run down and back to the black loop. Everything will be marked for you to follow. The following loops you will stay on the black loop – it is one and done with the tower.

The 10K course will also be run on the black loop/Moraine Ridge Trail. The only course difference between the marathon, half-marathon and 10K races is the 10K will not run up the tower or run up Two Tier hill but turn left to the evergreen grove parking lot (right before two tier hill). There will be plenty of signage, cones and volunteers to guide you along the course and to make this turn.

The start and finish is at the trail head by the evergreen grove parking lot. This is a great place for spectators. Friends and spectators can walk up the road to the homestead hollow parking lot (I am guessing about a half-mile or so) and this is a little over halfway for the runners on the black loop.

Credit : Lapham Peak Trail Races
How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

I think for a first year event my expectations would be around 300 runners. The maximum is 600 and most I would think would be trail runners, those who are runners and want to try something different than a road marathon and then those who just want a different type of challenge as a runner.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

The distances for this event are a Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K. This is the only event on this weekend I am hosting.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

The race is September 8th and the weather is usually very nice. I would expect in the morning to be in the 50s and rise up into the 60s. Though being in a transition from summer to fall one could expect colder or warmer temperatures.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

This is really a straight forward come and race event. We will have some food for the runners and beverages afterwards.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Delafield before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Everyone has to walk to the top of the tower and view the landscape. On a clear day it is a very beautiful view. There are many local establishments but the Delafield Brew House is a great place to go afterwards for a drink and food. The other local sightseeing place would be a place called Holy Hill ( which is another beautiful and historical landmark.

Credit : Lapham Peak Trail Races

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Instep Lapham Peak Trail Marathon?

If you want a great trail to race on that will challenge you then Lapham Peak will provide you with everlasting memories.

Interview with Russell D. De Lap, race director. Russell has been a distance runner for 35 years with over 130,000 miles logged. As a profession he coachs college kids and just enjoy being around the sport of distance running.