Russell House says he has been training for eight months and 1,338 miles in total for the Kettle Moraine 100 this weekend.
House, a senior in agricultural and biological engineering, said the coming 100-mile race is a qualifier for his ultra-running goal, Western States 100, which consists of bigger elevation differences.
“You have to do a qualifier to get into a lottery to get into (Western States), and it’s taking eight to 10 years to be in the lottery to get in,” House said this week on campus, “which is why I’m starting now.”
Sticking to his training plan, House marks every absence and writes justifications for each on a self-made spreadsheet.
Running six days a week, House said he believes running changed his lifestyle by challenging him to be both diligent and time-conscious.
“I’d get up at 4 in the morning so I could get in my running and be somewhere at 7 a.m.,” he said.
The physical exercise has also given the runner some mental toughness.
“This is really hard,” House said he occasionally thinks, but tells himself, “Yeah, but you’re also ankle deep in mud, is it really that hard?”
Preparing for the race in Wisconsin that begins at 6 a.m. Saturday, the Owen-Putnam State Forest 50/50 bronze medal winner sets his bar low.
“My goal is to finish in under 24 hours,” House said, “and if I do place in any way, that’s just icing on the cake.”