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A VSDH runner was very nice and sent this email - Thanks Kathy!
I want to give everyone involved in Saturday's run a BIG thank you.  This was my first trail run ever - practice or otherwise.  I'm a pavement pounder from Minnesota and when we were heading to SD for the Sturgis rally - I thought this would be a great way to end our vacation.

I anticipated that this run would be hard, but never imagined how difficult it actually was.  I thought giving myself a 3 hour goal (I average about 2:03 for my half marathons) would be more than adequate.  Wrong.  I finished in 3:19 and I am extremely happy with that.  I even fed a few tears of joy and amazement in myself once I crossed the finish line.

The aid and supplies around the course were AWESOME!  I never thought I would be so glad to see a piece of watermelon and some pretzels!  The people working were AMAZING!  Everyone was so friendly and made me feel like I belonged even though I had no clue what was going on.  The course was EXTREMELY challenging for me, but very well marked.  I have no sense of direction and the fact that I never once questioned that I was lost is a feat in itself for whoever marked the trail.

I am so glad I participated and feel so accomplished!  Even though our shirt is a tech tee, I will be wearing it next time we go out because that baby gives me A LOT of bragging rights.  I am going to draw on this experience for my marathon in October.  I've done multiple marathons, but even those didn't push me as hard as this run.  I think a lot of it was not having any idea what I was in for.  Falling on my butt, tripping, getting stung multiple times and at times knowing that I could probably walk backwards faster than my forward progress is an experience I'll never forget.

All that said, I WILL be back!  My mind is already thinking of things I can do in this flat little town that I live in to help me be better prepared.  Definitely going to plan rally time a little different because it was no fun grabbing my sub and eating it on the motorcycle to make it to the hotel to grab a 5 minute shower before jumping back on the motorcycle and heading for home.  The food afterwards all looked great, I wish I could have stayed and socialized.  Oh well, next time!

Thanks again!  You all did a great job, and I look forward to breaking my 3:19 PR!

Kathy R.
Cold Spring, MN

From Justin Otsea  via Facebook "I'd just like to say thank you to everyone for putting on such a fantastic race! This was my first proper trail running experience, and its got me itching for more..The volunteers were fantastic, the shwag, the best ever, and everyone participating helped make this just an overall incredible time! Thanks again!!!"
 Thanks Justin!

"Just wanted to drop you a note of thanks to you and the Black Hills running club for organizing and hosting the Thunder Run on Sunday. It was a treat for me to be able to work in a race like yours into my holiday plans! The directions you gave me to find the starting line were perfect .
Your club is blessed to have such a wonderful natural asset as the Black Hills. As someone who works in tourism, I can appreciate what that area of South Dakota must mean to the residents and visitors. It is a special environment. An event like the Thunder Run gives a person like me a whole different glimpse into the place and people.
I’ll be honest – the run was much tougher than I had thought it would be. I’ve never run for so long on a single track. It’s not for the faint of heart! I appreciated the signage and the advice to just stay on the trail – I would have hated to wander off. I might still be wandering around lost.
All the best with the rest of your series.
Keep running!"
Bob Davis
Strathmore, Alberta, Canada
From Jacquee - first time trail runner ( and she went on to smoke her division...geez )
"Thank u so much. I can't express how much fun that was. I luv being on the trail! I'm still on a high. With my bad ankle I need to be very cautious, but it's so worth it. Thanx for all your help! C u soon!"
From Sarah 'Pearson' Sjomeling via Facebook "you guys are so awesome! I am so glad I got to come out and run!"
"Thanks to all the RDs and volunteers for the fun runs ! They've all been fun and, for some reason, hard as hell !!" Gary Haven
More kudos from Gary H. - yes, we do have to pay him....Thanks Gary!
"Lesley and Mark ( and R.D.s)--you guys have done a great job of showing off the Black Hills and also, the joy of trail running Thanks !!!"
"Here's the quote  from Nathan--maybe you could use his quote on the website?" Heck ya we'll put Nathan's kind words on the web page! Via Amy Yanni & her article for the RC Journal: a quote from Nathan Morey, who is an ultra runner from Pierre and participates in the trail series.
 “Yes, I'm a big fan of the trail series. I really enjoy going on long 
runs in wild places so that is my primary motivation for traveling to 
the Black Hills to run. The trail running series is a great way to 
meet like minded runners. I think that trail runners in general are 
pretty laid back and focus on the enjoyment of running without 
arbitrary boundaries. If you are a person who enjoys the outdoors and 
you would like to add some adventure to your running Black Hills trail 
running is definitely something you should try.”
*Nathan drives all the way from Pierre - Thanks Nathan!! We're glad you do!

Once again, a well marked, well organized, beautiful trail run.

Thank you for all your work on the trail series. What great fun! I am just sorry that I missed a few of the early races.

Thanks to you and everyone else for putting the trail series together this year. It was a ton of fun and I'll be back again next year for sure.

Thanks for putting on a great trail series. I had an awesome time at each race and look forward to next year!

I'd like to thank you more than I could have imagined how this series has been for me. I really didn't even fully understand what it was about until sometime after the Fat Tire run. The support on every run has been fantastic! Thanks to everyone who has helped out and allowed me to do the fun and easy work of just running (ha ha). I never knew trail running could be as much fun as it is. Now I only hope I'll be able to make the Nov 7th. race. That is looking the hardest as I'm scheduled to work right now but I'm doing what I can to change that. I assume anyone involved in the trail series will be running the 10k portion. Is that correct? I'm not sure how this whole thing was conceived but it was a brilliant idea and I can't wait for next year.
All the best,

Hello! I just wanted to tell you how much fun I had at your trail race on Saturday. I'm from Rosebud but live in Denver so I thought that a Rapid City trail race was going to be over rolling hills! I was so wrong but had a great race anyway. Everyone was really friendly and the bonus was the giveaway (name drawing) at the end. Thanks so much for putting on such a fun run and I hope to catch you again sometime soon on my way through town! Good luck to you on your racing series!