Saturday, April 30, 2005

I made the Newspaper..

I guess the photo won't copy, here is the link:

And, no, I didn't lose 70 pounds from walking and the race I'm doing on May 21 is a 50K not a 50 Mile and I am doing another 100 on June 4/5 at


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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Berg first in 100-mile race

By Jennifer Edwards
Staff Writer

JULIE BERG won the 100 mile McNaughton Trail Run in Pekin, IL. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

Julie Berg competed in her first 100-mile ultra-marathon race in Pekin, Il. and placed first among the women.

Berg completed the McNaughton 100-Mile Trail Run in 29 hours, seven minutes, running a 10-mile looped trail 10 times.

“In addition to the sheer magnitude of actually running 100 miles the race within which she competed is also known as a killer for its constant up and down terrain,” said fellow Big Lake Runners Club member George Wallin. “Hill after hill.”

Berg, who lives in Orrock Township and once served as township supervisor, works as an office specialist at Big Lake High School.

“The race was set in a state park and there were three river crossings,” said Berg. “The course was spectacular. The foliage was green and the wild flowers were incredible.”

The course passed through the start and finish area where there was food and drink available. As it began to get dark, Berg pulled out a headlamp and flashlight and kept running through the woods.

“Bats were attracted to the light and kept flying at me,” she said. “It was freaky. I could hear wolves howling in the distance. I pretended they were dogs and kept going.”

She walked from midnight until around 4 a.m., she said, following the course with her flashlight and reflector ribbons marking the trail. During that time, she seemed to be the only one out there.

“At the river crossings there were grab ropes stretched across to hang on to so you didn’t get swept away,” she said. “One was knee deep and another was waist deep. It was pretty scary in the dark, but I loved it. I’d do it again in a second.”

Berg describes her passion for running as an addiction.

“It replaced alcohol,” she said.

She started by walking and lost 30 pounds.

“Then I would walk for seven minutes and run for two,” she said. “Then I walked for six minutes and ran for three and kept building up like that. I’ve lost about 70 pounds running. I joined the runners club. I competed in the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth and in the Twin Cities Marathon in 1999. Then I found these ultra-runners online three years ago. I thought they were crazy.”

Berg competed in her first ultra race, the Ice Age, in Whitewater, WI. She had to complete the 50- mile course in 12 hours to qualify. She barely made it, finishing in 11:59.58.

“I was hooked,” she said. “But training was tough, especially this last winter.”

With the blessing and support of her family, Berg began running 80 miles a week and 10 hours a day on the weekend, training with her border collie, Topaz, who ran with her.

Berg, who turned 40 this year, plans to run another 50-mile ultra race May 21.

“I’m down to only running 30 or 40 miles a week,” she laughs. ‘I know it sounds crazy but now I’m hanging out with these ultra runners it just seems normal.”

For winning the race, Julie was presented with a plaque and a silver belt buckle. She also won free admission to next year’s race.

“I’m definitely going back to defend my title,” she said.

Big Lake, MN

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Jen said...

Julie, Do you wear the buckle? I think you should start collecting them like coins. I hope you feel better now and good luck on your next race, Jenna

Nico said...

WOOZIE........ Go get that page of the journal laminated. You did deserve that reward so much.

Miss Tenacity said...

Julie - awesome!!!

I just started reading your site, after being referred by Maggie.... I was looking for other ultrarunner/weightlifters. :-)