Bib pickup yesterday at Three Sons in Milford IA.  For those of you taking U of O’s entrance exam, answer key is at the register 🙂

The University of Okoboji is a fictitious university in the state of Iowa. The university was the creation of three brothers (The Three Sons of their dad) in the early 1970s, who printed T-shirts with an “official” school crest.  The word “Okoboji” refers to several lakes, and to the town of Okoboji, in the Iowa Great Lakes region that are popular recreational destinations.


The university is home of the undefeated Fighting Phantoms.


It is common among those claiming to be alumni to display university decor, such as car decals and T-shirts without informing unsuspecting out-of-staters that the university is fictitious.  The name is now used in connection with several annual fund-raising events for charity, including bike rides, a marathon, and a winter games competition.  A local radio station, KUOO, has joined in the joke and refers to itself as the “campus radio”.


5 o’clock alarm, early 6am marathon start.  Luckily, my evenings digs were only 10 minutes away – not a whole lotta sleep after last night’s live ‘Little House’ performance.  Double lucky?  Air conditioning.  5am, already 78 degrees.  Gonna be a July hot one.

Watched a lotta ultra races on YouTube while Bighorn training…including Badwater, a 135-mile endurance run thru Death Valley in JULY.  120+ degree heat, last year 84 of 97 finished.  Key?  Hydration AND a cold wet sponge (over the head/back of the neck).  Hmm…

Start/Finish at Arnolds Park Amusement Park.  Small marathon field, no more than 100.  5K turnaround at Okoboji’s The Inn, then clockwise circled West Okoboji Lake.  Plan today: slow steady pace.  ‘Steady’ the plan; goal: even splits.

With the exception of a fast first mile (7:25/min pace), held a steady 9:25/min pace thru 14.  Multiple views of Iowan summer vacations: lotta boats, whole lotta skiers.  Lost my way 3 times – almost a full mile off-course at mile 18.

[Check out my Strava pic/out-n-back line ‘bove 160th St.  Luckily, sun-bathing residents provided return directions.  ARGH!]

Port-a-john at mile 19, negative splits next 4 miles.  12 min/pace, but moving.  Took advantage of every opportunity to water douse my hat/head/shirt/arms/neck.  iShuffle died, 7 miles to go.  It’s a crutch [I know] but helps calm madness/’the voices’ after mile 20.

Walk, jog, sponge bath.  Kept moving forward.

Seemingly out there by myself – but I did it, I finished.  HOT day: 94 degrees & high humidity.  Just under 5 hours (mere 30 seconds under).  Medic placed a bag of ice on my neck.  Said my thanks, collected a medal & retrieved my rental [car].  No drama 🙂

3 hour haul to Minneapolis, air conditioner on HIGH.  Flying home tonite.  Home sweet Colorado home.


U of Okoboji Marathon, Triathlon, Half Marathon & 10K – Marathon (Jul 15, 2017)


Haga, K R   4:59:31.95

City: Louisville, CO
Bib #: 679




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