1994 Langdon High School graduate, Chris Olson recently made a remarkable accomplishment; he completed a 50 mile ultramarathon on July 26 and is signed up to do it again next year!
Posted on 8/9/14
By Dee Entzi
Olson, who was born and raised here in Langdon, is now residing in Grand Forks while he serves as a Training Officer in the Army National Guard. While growing up in Langdon, he was involved in several different sports, but admits that he wasn’t a standout in anything. It wasn’t until Olson hit adulthood when he found a sport he had the talent for and more importantly, a sport he enjoyed.
“I like the camaraderie. It really is an individual sport but everyone out there has the same goal (to finish the race) with a small percentage going out to win the thing,” states Olson.
While on his last deployment to Washington, D.C., Olson’s roommate, who was already an ultramarathoner, talked him into joining him on some trail runs.
“There is no shortage of trails in the D.C. area and it was nice to get out of the city and go run through the woods for a while after work. After finishing my first ultra, I sort of became addicted to the sport.”
This was Olson’s third ultramarathon, but his first 50 miler. He completed two 50K ultramarathon’s within the last year. Prior to that, the longest he’d run was 10 miles in the Army 10 Miler.
“I know it seems a bit of a jump but I’ve never run a marathon. I went straight from 10 miles to 50K, “ remarked Olson.
Since Olson is now a seasoned runner and is also preparing for his first Ironman triathlon, his training for the ultramarathon the last several months has simply consisted of increasing his run time; as he is already doing extensive training regiments.
“The course was an “out and back” so it started and ended at the Carlton, MN high school. The trail went through Jay Cooke State Park to the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth where the turnaround point was,” said Olson who finished the race in 12:52:55. “The cutoff time was 14 hours so I made it with plenty of time to spare.”
Olson is looking forward to participating in next years ultamarathon with the hope of beating his current time. Since completing his longest event, he has continued his training for the Ironman coming up on August 24 in Louisville, KY, while also fulfilling his military duties. Olson served with the Marine Corps from 1996 to 2002, and has since served in the Army. He has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Washington, D.C. Olson’s hometown of Langdon would like to wish him luck on his future endeavors and thank him for his 18 years of military service.