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john in europe.jpg

John (at left, in blue behind Kenny Souza) thought of creating this epic race while in Europe during Powerman Zofingen in 2005.  Shortly after coming home he went to the Shawangunk Mountains of the Mohonk Preserve and created this race and that first year a dozen cold and wet racers completed the event.

John McGovern

Long Course
Female Record Holder Mimi Boyle


A spectacle of suffering some would say,
Once in October and now in May.
With the Shawagunks as a backdrop in clear sight,
We arrive with feelings of terror and fright.
Pre-race jitters are one-times-a-million,
As we all grab our chips near the pavilion.
Mother nature is cooperating which is huge,
Yet warm temps and clear skies offer little refuge.
McGovern’s pre-race speech is short and sweet,
The horn goes off and we move our feet.
A five-mile run that continually climbs,
Legs are burning and you start to whine.
Starting the bike we hope for the best,
But each road looks hillier than the next.
The 3rd loop up to Mohonk makes you weep,
Why do we do this…we should still be asleep.
Turning into the T2 and what lies ahead,
A 15-mile trail run that will leave us half dead.
But remember what Billy Crystal said in The Princess Bride?
Half dead is not fully dead, so show some damn pride.
Time to get our weary ass out on that dreadful course,
Wake your legs up and show them who’s boss.
Run the first loop and hear people cheer,
But you’ve got 2 more to go before you get your beer.
Run loop two, but it’s more like a walk,
The voices in your head are starting to talk.
“This is the last time I ever do something like this”
I could be getting a pedicure in the city at Bliss.
I should be lying on my couch eating Doritos,
John McGovern owes me a year’s worth of tasty mojitos.
But on loop 3 it all becomes clear,
You realize why you come back each year.

The suffering is a spectacle like no other,

You beg it stop, you call out for your mother.

But it doesn’t end until you see,
The pavilion ahead at the end of loop 3.
It’s an oasis of sorts that only AmZof finishers would attest,
That makes you realize this is the best.
You’re 4 steps away from the finish line,
Your legs are screaming, but your soul feels sublime.
You climb those steps and it’s all so surreal,
HELLO kegs of beer and a hot tasty meal.
Many have stayed to see you finish,
The hours have passed, but the crowds not diminished.
You sit and reflect your decision to race,
You look at your time and your outrageous pace.
So why will you sign up for this next year?
Is this really worth a stein of beer?
You look around at the others in pain,
And it hits you in the head like a drop of rain.
We did something unthinkable out there today,
Our legs said STOP, but our minds said “no way”.
Most difficult course without a doubt,
It eats you up and spits you out.
But you finished and you’re left in this state of zen,
If signups for next year were available you’d grab a pen.
It was a day of catastrophic disaster,
But you can’t help think “I know I’ll go faster”.
And so that’s why I love this race,
It’s a pure test of will presented face to face.
Thank you Catskill Mountain Sport for inventing this event,
Though it’s course I do lament.
For I will be back year after year,
And yes…if not for the sheer competitive camaraderie, then quite certainly the stein of BEER!

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