Liberty-Wentzville’s Eldredge & Glavin take on LOViT 100-Miler-Part #1

This is the first in a series about two Missourians running the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail Endurance Run.

A pair of St. Louis area runners and Liberty High School (Wentzville School District) staffers went to the extreme to raise some funds for the school’s booster club while trying to complete a remarkable challenge. 

The Wentzville School District in St. Charles County has been the fastest-growing district in Missouri annually for about the last two decades. The district opened a 3rd high school, Liberty in 2013, near the Lake St. Louis and O’ Fallon border, just west of Highway 64/40 and south of Interstate 70. Along with Wentzville-Holt, Timberland, and Liberty, the district opened a 4th high school, North Point in Wentzville, north of I-70 for the 2021-22 school year. 

Eldredge was hired as Liberty-Wentzville’s athletics and activities director before the school opened in 2013. Eldredge hired Toby Glavin as head cross country and track and field coach. The pair made a trip to southeast-central Arkansas last weekend for a great physical test, trying to complete the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail 100-mile Endurance Run, aka “LOViT100”. The event offers 100-mile and 100-kilometer (62.1 miles) run options.


Eldredge ran cross country and track at Francis Howell High School in the Weldon Spring area and at Lindenwood University in St. Charles before getting into coaching. Eldredge ran for Hall of Fame coach Steve Miller, helping Francis Howell to a state cross country team trophy as a prep. While at Lindenwood, Eldredge competed for Hall of Famers Clark Wille and Vince Bingham. He and the Lions earned multiple national team trophies.

Eldredge coached back at his alma mater Francis Howell while finishing college. After graduation, he began coaching and teaching. He started at Northwest (Cedar Hill) then later in the Wentzville School District at Frontier Middle School and Timberland High School. Eldredge also had a successful run as head cross country and distance coach at his alma mater Lindenwood.


Toby Glavin ran cross country and track at Jefferson City High School for Hall of Fame coaches Jim Marshall and Dennis and Roberta Licklider, where he and the Jays won a handful of cross country and track and field state trophies. Glavin went on to compete in college at Missouri S&T (University of Missouri-Rolla) for coach Sarah Preston/Moore and at Missouri State University (SMS/Southwest Missouri State) for coaches Houston Franks and Ron Boyce.

Glavin eventually got his start in coaching while at Missouri State, coaching at Greenwood Laboratory School for head coach Gerald Masterson, on the Missouri State University campus. Glavin later moved to his hometown district, coaching at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Jefferson City High School. 

The duo has plenty of post-collegiate training experience and some racing experience in half-marathons and marathons. Though, more recently they have moved past the 26.2-mile marathon distance and into the ultramarathon realm. 

Covid Cancelled

They were trained and ready to run the Praire Spirit 100k in Kansas in March of 2020. However, the coronavirus hit the U.S. just a week or two before the event, which forced its cancellation.

Glavin said about the cancellation, “It really didn’t bother me that much because I enjoyed more of the training and the (people I was) running with, so I wasn’t disappointed…”. In training for that 100k, Glavin and Eldredge had a longest training run of 35 miles. 

Ozark Trail

Eldredge found a new goal a few months after the 100k cancellation. He and three others and their pacers/safety runners and race crews, including Glavin, staged their own event. They challenged themselves to run 107 miles of the Ozark Trail in Missouri in October 2020. 

Eldredge was the only of the four who finished the Ozark Trail run, while Glavin ran an eight hours leg to help him get to the finish. Eldredge finished in 31 hours and 19 minutes. After helping as a safety runner and crew member, that experience for Glavin was a fun one that made an impact. Regarding the LOViT 100-miler, Glavin said he and Eldredge had discussed training and running an official ultramarathon since the Ozark Trail experience, because “That was just too much fun not to give it a go.”

After the Prarie Trail 100k cancellation, Eldredge’s Ozark Trail run had multiple goals. “…part of (the) focus for me was to draw attention to our booster club and raise some funds, in addition to going after this personal goal of running 100 miles.” Eldredge’s journey was shared online urging viewers to give a boost to the boosters by considering a donation to the booster club. 

Boost the Boosters

On this journey, the pair had a similar quest. Eldredge said, “This past spring, early summer, I started to have that itch to do something kind of big again, and I wanted to help those people that help us out, again if I could. The personal goal was always going to be there, but if I can link it to something else, besides me (that would be another great goal). So I talked to our booster club president and I spoke with Toby about it and about putting something together (to benefit the booster club) and so we started training in the fall for this day.”

Eldredge expanded on motivation for wanting to run and complete a 100-mile journey on foot: “I think for everybody, it’s a little bit different. The race is sort of the icing on the cake for me…I don’t race very often. I love to train. I like getting out there and doing things that other people don’t do. So that’s what’s in it for me. Of course, a 100-mile race is something people don’t do very often, or not very many people do. But the commitment to prepare for it, I think is what maybe excites me the most. I like to do hard things.”

Glavin talked about motivation and the takeaways from the run and the months of training leading up to it. He said “I think the two things; just the accomplishment of doing it. I’ve always said I just want to do it. I don’t know if I want to do it again, but I just want to do it, to have done it, for the accomplishment, and the other part’s just the running, with friends. We’ve got a pretty good, and I think kind of a big group of friends that we all run together and that’s my favorite part is just getting out on the weekends (with them and running).”

Eldredge added about the support crew in Arkansas, “It’s a mixture of old and new friends. ‘How many of your high school buddies?'”, he asked Glavin. Then continued, “I think this weekend speaks to the power of high school sports and the school community and what it can be.” Eldredge went on to name the friends who were there for the race as support crew and the high school and college connections between them. Glavin expanded on that saying, “Yeah, it’s high school to college to career friends to new running friends.”

Preparation and Goals

Eldredge and Glavin started training last fall for the 2023 Lake Ouachita Vista Trail Run. The pair had not only put in many miles, but also worked at hiking hills, not at a running pace, but walking to preserve their bodies for the full 100-mile journey. 

Eldredge had already completed multiple ultramarathons. He made the trip to Arkansas to run his second-ever 100-mile-plus run, with the goal of finishing in 24-27 hours. Glavin, who’d completed one marathon and multiple half-marathons, had goals of running until at least sunrise Saturday (13 hours) if his body broke down on him, followed by finishing, with the highest goal of finishing in 27-30 hours. Their other goal, of course, was to shine a light on the booster club and move others to donate to it.

The Training

Fifteen-minute mile pace would cover 100 miles in 24 hours without any stops. When you’re capable of running at an 8-minute mile pace for 10-straight miles with no trouble, slowing down to 12 to 15-minute miles is quite drastic and simply hard to do. Jogging the same pace as a quick walk was hard to adjust to for the pair. 

Eldredge said “We’ve run time-wise for some really long efforts. But one of the things we’ve done in this training (build-up) is to try to simulate what our actual pace and effort will be in the race. So, we’ve run time on our feet, maybe longer than we did some other times, but without getting quite as many miles due to mainly the terrain and a focus on trying to stay at literally all-day effort.” 

For the last few months, the pair have been training six days a week for the most part, averaging about 60 miles a week, with a high of 70 miles a week and a low in the 50-mile range. But less important were the miles more recently, than the time on their feet moving, running, and hiking hills, to simulate what the body would go thru during the 100-mile trail race. 

The pair has had the recent routine of a 90-minute, 10-mile or more run before school one morning per week, a few shorter “standard routes” that were about an hour, and one very long run and one longer run per week. 

Eldredge added of the two longer runs per week, “One is typically long, maybe four hours, and the other one would be medium long, like two hours.” The pace of all these miles varied, with Glavin saying “It really kind of depended on where we were, if we had a chance to get on trails… It’d be slower sometimes (on those paths).” Whereas on the roads, they usually ran at around 8 minutes/mile pace, with Glavin saying “We never usually run slower if we’re out running on the roads.”

Race Facts and Rules

The LOViT 100-mile race was broken up into 23 legs. There were 11 different aid stations along the trail, most used twice, for a total of 21 spots on the 100-mile course. Aid stations offered food, and drink, often a place out of the conditions to recover and prepare mentally and physically for the rest of the extreme challenge. Legs between aid stations measured between 3 miles and 7.5 miles with athletes choosing to stop when and where they wanted.

Athletes who had support crews could get help from them at 10 of the 21 aid stations. Crew members could help change clothes, shoes, socks, and gear, restock race vests with food and drink, and much more. Athletes could eat their self-supplied food or that provided by the event at aid stops. 

Those without support crew had the help of the many volunteers with any needs that arose, along with the others’ crew members, a part of the friendly running, ultra-running community. At six of the aid stations, ones where crew members weren’t allowed, athletes had the option to provide drop bags of their own supplies that would be placed at those stations for use. There were cut off times. If athletes didn’t make it to certain aid stations by a certain point, they weren’t allowed to continue.

What a Course

There are two mountain systems in Arkansas. The Ozarks stretch from its northeastmost point just south of St. Louis in Missouri, southwest across northern Arkansas, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. Arkansas’s other mountains are the Ouachita Mountains, which run from central Arkansas southwest into Oklahoma. They provided a great challenge to athletes at LOViT.

Athletes were allowed to have “safety runners” join them on the course beginning at the 57.5-mile mark. The runners could give aid and call for help if racers needed it during the grueling challenge but weren’t supposed to pace the racers or act as “mules”, carrying the racer’s gear or food.

The course was brutally tough. Located between Hot Springs and Mt. Ida in the Ouachita National Forest, 90% of it was a single-track trail, wide enough for just one person most of the time. While the track weaved thru the wilderness, it occasionally opened up to gravel, paved pathways, or roads for short stretches. 

The course’s total elevation change is about 34,000 feet over its 100 miles. The inclines and declines were constant at many points. One hill at the Charlton Recreation Area seemed to soar from the base to nearly the top of one’s view at what felt like a 75-degree angle. 

There were many creek crossings, some with concrete bridges, most without. Once it started raining and even flurrying, the rocks on the trail, not in creeks, became very slippery and dangerous. Runners often walked across creeks, choosing to prioritize health and safety over any time savings. Water in one creek was so high, it poured over the concrete bridge, forcing athletes to jump in the truck bed of a volunteer, who drove participants safely across.  

Training #2

While he’d run and completed the 107-mile Ozark Trail run that had been thrown together with some friends, and his longest organized official race he’d completed at 50 miles, the day of the race Eldredge said he wasn’t sure how he’d feel finishing an official, organized 100-miler. He said “I can’t really tell you what that’s going to be like yet because I haven’t done it in an organized fashion. That (the Ozark Trail 107-mile run) three years ago was just a cool experience to go out with some old friends and new friends and just do it and they helped me. Without them, I would have never made it.”

The guys entered the event with five, 4-hour training runs/hikes under their belts, hoping they’d gotten comfortable with running at a slower pace and hiking the hills for very long stretches. While training had gone about as well as expected, Glavin discussed the actual race, the other things that went into it, and where his head was at now that race day was upon him. “I hadn’t given a lot of thought, just to the day and the weekend until recently. I mean, training is training. We’re just running. We’re so busy with other stuff. It’s not like we have a lot of time to sit and think about the actual race. But I know for me the last week or two, (I’ve had) a lot of nerves, and I think (my thoughts and energy have) been focused around just getting here, and being organized, and the logistic part of it. I’m a little bit of an OCD planner, so…it’s been kind of up and down as far as confidence for the race.”

School Support

Asked about the feedback they’ve gotten from people at school about attempting to run a 100-mile challenge, Eldredge said, “I’ve had several students and staff reach out. We had an event at school this past week, and I had three or four parents (say) ‘Hey, you getting ready to do that 100-mile thing again?’, and so they know it’s out there and they have been very supportive of us.

Glavin added, “All the kids in class, for the last week or two, ‘Hey, are you still doing that? Is that coming up? Good luck! You’re crazy.’ Yeah, all that stuff that goes with it. So sure, I think the kids will be excited to hear how it goes on (when they get back to school) Monday.”

“…I know this winter, a lot of my kids have been trying to compare their mileage with me. And when they were ahead of me at the beginning of the winter, they were giving me the business about it. But yeah, I’ve had the upper hand on them for a little bit now, since my training really picked up.,” Glavin said. 

There are mixed reviews or responses from people who heard the pair were doing this. One common response was that they were crazy. Glavin’s reply, “…people who don’t run, everybody thinks we’re crazy no matter the distance…I think a lot of people are just excited, excited for me. They think it’s crazy but they also think it’s cool.”

Eldredge and Glavin were two of 52 to sign up for the 100-miler, while 46 started the race, which began at 5:00 p.m. Friday. 

Booster Club Event Info:

Donation site:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s