Taterbug 30 Ultramarathon
The long and winding road
Monday, November 04, 2013 10:00 AM
Some people like to visit Switzerland County this time of year to view the fall foliage that covers the area's steep hills.
Mark Scott, of Indianapolis, runs up Taterbug Hill on Fishing Worm Ridge Road. Scott won the fourth annual Taterbug 30 Ultramarathon. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchiefirstname.lastname@example.org)
Others come to conquer those hills.
Forty-nine runners, from as close as Vevay and as far as Michigan, Illinois and South Carolina, took on Switzerland County's Taterbug Hill along with 30 miles of the county's winding, hilly roads in the fourth annual Taterbug 30 Ultramarathon on Saturday.
Travelers familiar with the roads on the route - Fishing Worm Ridge, Plum Creek Road, Drakes Ridge and Bennington Pike - are familiar with the steep grades and the way the pit of your stomach is tweaked as a vehicle moves quickly up and down the paved ribbons of roadways that cut through the county's woods and farmlands.
For runners, the route is designed to cause calves to burn, sides to cramp and hearts to pump overtime if one is to finish in the seven-hour window they are given to compete.
Organizers are clear that the trail is a challenge. "It may be only 30 miles," the race website says. "But it will be run along some of the most challenging terrain in the state.
"The race is named for Taterbug Hill, touted to be the highest point of elevation in Switzerland County.
Co-organizer Amanda Cole said most of the runners spent Friday night in Vevay and were able to interact quite a bit before the race.
"Our oldest runner is 72," Cole said. "And he's a returnee." Additionally, Cole said over 30 volunteers help out on race day, manning drink stations, cheering on runners and working the start/finish line in downtown Vevay between the Switzerland County Courthouse and Switzerland Baptist Church. "We couldn't do this without our volunteers and sponsors," she said. "They make it run smoothly."
The first man and woman to reach the finish line on Saturday were Mark Scott, of Indianapolis, with a time of 3:47.55 and Alicia Heyne, of Louisville, with 4:14.29.