They were supportive.” Black people, primarily of African and Caribbean descent, comprise six-percent of the population in the state of Wisconsin. But in private plenty of people (close friend groups or families or social media friend groups) will openly admit that they don’t like blacks, Latinos, or Muslims. I wasn’t happy, but we kept it moving. "I figured that if I give myself a bigger purpose to run for, then when things get really hard, it's going to make it easier to continue on," he said. But Woltering’s experience was far different than what the news reflects. And, that also had only positive [reactions]. Not any more than the initial thoughts of any black or Asian or gay or Muslim or transgender or atheist or feminist who might encounter someone from a group that they’ve had a negative encounter with. Coree and Tom can’t just stop in a typical small town cafe in rural America and act like a loving, married couple without considerable worry. Yes, there is still much room for improvement, but I for one am very proud to be from the U.S. of A. His comment is one loud dog whistle. Of course I understand that racism still exists, and we should do everything we can to correct that, but I don’t think the solution is to constantly push an agenda that promotes hate and divisiveness. He says some parts of the historic route were beautiful. There are some really good people out there,” in the world, he says. He gets frustrated at times with the assumptions that people make based off of their age gap. As far as the bravery of running in a speedo, I don’t really have much comment on that. "It's pretty funny when you start to think about it because everyone thinks of running as being this super healthy sport and, in general, it actually is. My son is asked if he is Mexican in school (which is clearly not a positive thing in this town). Thanks for reading and commenting, and I hope you’ve enjoyed Coree’s story. Of course people care, because, as people, they’ve experienced certain things and have learned/heard certain things growing up, and it’s impossible to cognitively or emotionally ignore those things. I don’t share your rosy description of rural Illinois (or Wisconsin or Iowa). I certainly believe that Ron is wrong to say that the “overwhelming majority” of Americans are “loving and accepting.” But that does not mean I also believe that “most Americans [are] hateful.” That’s a false dilemma you’ve created. "I was eating and drinking condensed chicken soup, Spaghettios and was eating all this stuff cold, not even heating it up, just eating it cold on the side of the trail," he laughed, saying he consumed between 6,000 to 8,000 calories a day. Rather it’s to point out that our language, perspectives, and ideas have been, and continue to be, shaped by our history and much of that history is, in fact, deeply racist. The incredible generosity of Americans in times of disaster—and I think there have been studies that show that conservatives tend to give more to charity than liberals—is one piece of evidence that perhaps this country is not the hateful, racist, xenophobic place that it’s lately been painted to be, or perhaps that the biggest cause of the generational—or should it be said, systemic or social or cultural—problems in the black community is not what rural, white Americans think about them. They’re happy that he and his husband have been accepted by his friends and the running community. The Ice Age Trail is a 1,200 mile (1,900 km) trail in Wisconsin so called because of the geologic features left behind by the glaciers that once covered Wisconsin. He beat that record by nearly five hours. Coree Woltering. Coree and friends scouting the Ice Age Trail. I have to admit I’m a bit disappointed when Coree does not run in his Speedo though! This is my big beef with rural America: the proud, vocal racists or anti-gays are few. Woltering, 30, of Ottawa, Illinois, raised money during his run for the volunteer-maintained Ice Age Trail and Feeding America, which provides more than 4.3 billion meals per year to people in the United States. Coree finished this FKT in 21 days, 13 hours, and 35 minutes. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. And I understand how anyone who has heard racist or ignorant comments would mistrust the community from which those comments came. this article is long overdue and it makes obvious that it has been published here because of recent and systematic racism in us. 2018 Western States 100 Q&A/Race Report. Let’s keep it real. Follow Morgan on her website and Instagram account. Not content with seeing his training go to waste, the athlete took on the crazy challenge of recording the fastest known time across the. His posted … I know plenty of racists and people who think homosexuality is a sin. It’s the dishonesty that bothers me. I can’t wait to see where he goes next. Thanks for the time you put into your reply. After they left the farmhouse, many more caloric deliveries were made by fans, which fueled the remaining miles on one of Woltering’s most treasured trails. Mentality, he says, is the key to endurance events and he trains his mind us much as his body. People in the south have gone so far to the denial of the big R word that they try to say that slavery was not necessarily racist. Remember that in private, middle and wealthy conservatives make fun of rural folks plenty. Photo: @clubdecorredoresok on Instagram. It’s not an overstatement to say this sport saved my life. Of course, due to living in homogeneous communities and thus lacking in many cross-cultural experiences, they are bound to have misconceptions. Do you think we should judge people by their skin color and sexuality?” You just pretended that the commenter RWD said or suggested something like this, when this is not at all true. Meet Coree Woltering: On His Ice Age Trail FKT and Diversity. I have done well with running and continue to get better. I was like, ‘Here we go!’ And ‘Speedo Man’ was born. Emphasizes Woltering, “There is so much hate and bad news going around in the world right now. As he moved forward with this huge physical, mental, and logistical undertaking, he didn’t have enough mental space to fully reflect on the elevating unrest countrywide. "But when you're doing something of this magnitude, you're just using whatever you can to keep going.". Do you find it hard to imagine this story being aired in video form on NBC Nightly News or CNN? Woltering says, “To be here seems insane because I honestly didn’t know what ultrarunning was six years ago. This FKT is only the beginning for him. That agenda is absolutely coming from the left, and that’s what I meant when I said those with that agenda would not be happy to see this article. By the way, that’s true of any and every culture and sub-culture; and that’s true regarding every other issue (e.g. If systemic racism is so entrenched in America, how can those good people and good actions exist? The 30-year old has his sights set high, as he attempts to run the entire 1,147-mile trail in just 20 days or less. Is that wrong? And yes, it did bother me that Ron turned this positive biographical story (which was clearly well-received) into an attack piece on liberals. "If it's storming, and I know that I'm gonna be racing somewhere where it could be rainy, then I'll go out and run in the middle of a rainstorm. I know it’s difficult to find the same energy to run during the pandemic cancellations. Again, it’s only natural to misunderstand those who are not like yourself. Ever since you came and talked at the Clark Building at Colorado State University last spring, you’ve been a monumental inspiration, Morgan! IG: @coreewoltering No. 50 Miles: 5:30:15 Accomplishments. There will be many who will be livid if they read this, as it will disrupt their narrative that this country is nothing but a bunch of white-privileged bigots. That doesn’t mean I’ll move away, but it does mean that I’m a little afraid of the folks out here who fly Confederate flags (though I’m doing my long runs anyway). Are you seriously trying to say that liberals are going to be so darn angry (livid even) that this piece was published because it proves that white people are in fact good. At the same time, I also ask myself “why has this site said nothing of the uprising we’re seeing all over this country and the world?” “Why has IRF remained silent when so many other companies and brands have spoken in support of Black and brown communities?” It breaks my hear to think that we don’t care. It’s just a form of political correctness. They are welcoming of strangers and very good at hospitality–probably much better than most urban progressives in big cities and college towns. It was his first time flying to a race, and he forgot a pair of racing shorts. Photo by Lauren Thomas. I think these positive encounters need to be celebrated because that’s what really matters, that’s what’s going to make our country a better place. It took 21 days, 13 hours and 35 minutes – along with 14 pairs of shoes – for 30-year-old Ottawa, Illinois, native Coree Aussem-Woltering to run the entirety of the 1,147-mile Ice Age Trail. I invite you to explore our archives for our commitment to covering women’s competitions equally to men’s and to see our in-depth coverage of runners, running groups, and run cultures from around the world. Drunk driving, alcoholism, sex trafficking, abortion, homelessness, debt, pornography, prostitution, early sexualization of children, morbid obesity, and on and on and on. Again, just twenty years ago, conservative groups were outraged that the Ellen show was portraying homosexuality as a normal lifestyle. But can’t people like Ron and me be allowed to think that the best possible America is one in which each individual—whether it be a rural white policeman or an urban black youth—is judged by the content of his character and actions? I didn't cover the mileage that I needed to, but I was still able to keep my ankle moving. But if someone is hungry out there, they aren’t choosing that.”. Marathon: 2:26. “Any time we went into civilization or talked to people in the community, they were open and accepting. “It was absolutely comfortable and totally fine. Wow, let’s see, where to start? Everyone was like, ‘Yeah, okay, and…? Coree Woltering has recorded the fastest known time for running the near 1200-mile Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin. However, I agree that in everyday speech it’s essential to normalize ‘gay marriage’ as ‘marriage.’. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Photo: Carly Ries, Morgan Tilton is an adventure journalist who writes about the outdoors with a focus in travel, industry news, and human endurance. All photos courtesy of Coree Woltering unless otherwise noted. But by and large, “It’s not everything you see in the mainstream news. hahaha – you know, I failed to ask! You’re totally right – he really is just getting started with his ultrarunning career. Rather I’m hoping to be one little bit in sparking a bigger conversation about the extent to which it may not be enough for us to just accept the current state of cultural inclusion, or the rate at which we profile the non-white athletes in our our sport. I don’t say this to suggest all these folks are full of hate; but again, saying the majority of Americans are so loving and understanding just doesn’t ring true to me. “Speedo Man” racing at the 2019 The North Face Argentina 50k. But, those folks are almost never honest about this in public. “Tom is older than me by quite a bit, so that always adds an interesting dynamic. We’ll go places [like restaurants] and people will look at him and be like, ‘What can I get you?’ And, I’m like, ‘I’m here, too.’ And, people will see me in my element during a trail race and afterward say, ‘You had a great run. The fact is, this is a rare, accurate depiction of the overwhelming majority of our nation as a loving and accepting community. He is a very accomplished sky diver, and he’s done great things. :). because, in the end, I think it will be the character of each individual–and its resulting actions–that will largely determine how much collective good there will be in our country/world. This country is full of hate and divisiveness right now, but you know that it’s coming from both sides. Only about 65% of Americans today approve of gay marriage even though it is legal. Following in the footsteps of his mom, aunt, and uncle, he attended Illinois’s Greenville College (now called Greenville University), located a few hours south of Ottawa, on an academic scholarship. I am not saying that I don’t see color in people or that I can understand fully the experiences of those who are not of my tribe. Ice Age Trail Fastest Known Time (1147 miles, 21D, 13H, 35M) Western States 100M Finisher. The Ice Age Trail group is for trail users of the 1,000-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail. Ice Age Trail Days 1 & 2. (I remember maybe 20ish years back they were in town for the Super Bowl and they were all walking around with these hats that looked like a big piece of cheese?) And one family said, ‘We have a farm that goes by the trail. Blacks and the gay/transgender community are not the only people who experience injustice, yet in some circles even bringing this idea up—All Lives Matter, for example—is grounds for being cancelled. Thanks for your feedback on this RWD. “I couldn’t care less about the color of your skin or the preference of your sexuality” is such a loaded sentence, I am really disappointed that you didn’t pick up on how problematic it is. 12 to 16 hours aggrieved white America ) are getting your redemption kind of condescending generalization,. Whole experience, ” in this area and their own family makes gay jokes in private and why ’. People out there, Coree Woltering completed the near 1,200 miles of the sections! 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