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Local woman running 1,200 miles on Ice Age Trail

Posted at 6:51 PM, Sep 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-06 19:51:28-04

Running the entire Ice Age Trail, that's 1,200 miles, in just 20 days. That's what local Milwaukee runner Annie Weiss will be trying to accomplish starting Saturday. 

"It's been hard," says Weiss. "I mean with a full-time job and then training is a full-time job as well. It's been early mornings, up by 3:30-4 a-m."

Annie Weiss is a 33-year-old ultrarunner, meaning long-distance running is her niche. But that doesn't mean this 1,200-mile challenge will be a cakewalk. Weiss has attempted this trek back in the spring of 2017. After eight days and 400 miles, she got sick with a bacterial infection and had to quit. 

Her husband, Brian Frain, a runner himself, says that was a difficult time. 

"It's bothered her ever since then," says Frain. "I know it will be a huge weight off of her shoulders when she completes it." 

There is a men's and women's record for running the entire Ice Age Trail. It's 21 days for men, set by Jason Dorgan, and 35 days for women. Melanie McManus set that record.

Weiss says these current records don't accurately portray how fast Midwestern runners truly are. Weiss' goal is to beat both and finish her run Friday, Sept. 28th. 

"I just really want this," says Weiss. 

Weiss trains at least three to eight hours daily, eats several meals and maps out alternate routes and plans for her run with her husband. 

Frain is Weiss' main supporter. He keeps a daily blog of their excursions and has a Youtube video as well. Frain is truly supportive. He originally came up with the idea of the run for himself, but Weiss had other ideas.

"I stopped dead in my tracks and said 'I think that's a great idea. I'm gonna do that,'" says Weiss. 

"I would much rather just be along for the ride than actually have to do the 1,200 miles myself," says Frain. 

Weiss starts her run on Saturday in St. Croix Falls, then she'll follow the trail that winds eastbound. It's not a straight shot and will be a long road, but Weiss says she's up for it. 

Together the couple plans to avoid last year's mistake of having a set pace of 50 miles. Sometimes Weiss ends her 50-mile day in a field, far from a good resting point. This year, she'll run to safe and easily accessible stopping points allowing for a less complicated run. 

Meanwhile, Frain will check on her every one to two hours, giving food, water, bandaging blisters, whatever is needed, he'll be there, he says.  

To follow the journey, click here.