Tuesday, June 9, 2009

6/6/09 Trail Nut 10k and Half Marathon

Falling Creek Park: And the Rain Came.
The first race of the year and the Grand Opening of Falling Creek Park was supposed to be on May 16th. I was going to race in the Fat Tire Frenzy, directed by Kenny Palmer, and promoted by Bedford County Parks and Recreation. Gina and I got a call the day before, stating, that the race had been cancelled due to the park being deluged by 2 inches of rain in 2 hours. The consequence of this rain was that it flooded the park, washing away most of the bridges, washing away much of the rock in the parking lot, and moving a 1800lb granite slab 25ft or so. This was terrible news to the park, Bedford County, and Kenny, who had put a ton of time gearing up for the mtn bike race.

Between 5/16 and the 6/6 Trail Nut race day we had more and more rain. Somehow, in these two weeks before the Trail Nut race, everything was put back together. Gina and I waited until mid afternoon on Friday, when the rain stopped, to mark the course. At that time, we could see, that there was little evidence that the park had been hit so hard in the weeks prior. Muddy yes, but there was no sign of the destruction that had taken place. I rode the course on my mountain bike to put up the mile markers and Gina ran putting up the flagging and caution tape. Boy was it a slippery ride for me, and slow going.

Don't forget the Trail Nut Sponsors:
When you go into these stores make sure you mention to them
that you've participated one of our races. That let's them know that their
sponsorship is bringing in business.
Gilbert Chiropractic
Joel Gardner DDC
Super Shoes
Outdoor Trails

On Saturday morning my usual routine is to ride the race course to make sure all the markings are up and that the caution tape is still in place. As we were driving I could see that Bedford County got more rain during the night. I abandoned my usual pre-race ride and decided to run the course (this would give me a chance to assess just how slippery things would be for you runners and to make sure that course adjustments or trail bypasses weren't needed). I ended up being surprised that, although muddy and slippery, things weren't as bad as I thought. The first mile of single track is the worst when wet. After that the course tread is more sandier and loamy providing for "better" traction.

The 2nd Trail Nut 10k and Half Marathon doubled in size this year. We had a total of 67 in 2008 and 149 this year. Many of you registered in the last two weeks after I had to give t-shirt numbers and weren't able to get shirts. At the early registration cut-off we had 78 signed up and I ordered 130 shirts. I misjudged how many of you would be signing up in the last weeks and on race day. Sorry to those of you that didn't get shirts (Mountain Junkies L.L.C. does guarantee a t-shirt and your preferred size if you pre-register. Althought we want everyone to end up with a shirt, after the pre-registration date, we can't guarantee anything, and give out extra shirts on a first come first served basis.).

Once the race started I knew the times were going to be slower due to the conditions which were very similar to last year. We had some pretty fast runners sign up so I was curious to see the finishing times. If I remember correctly we had 3 half marathoners pass the 10k finish before Dave Goode finished the 10k in 44:40 (2:15 faster than last year's winning time), 2nd Steve Burtis in 46:36, and 3rd Carl Saunders in 48:43. The top 3 10k women were led by Lisa Horney in 52:38 (3:06 faster than last years winning time), 2nd Leigha Schimmueller in 53:38, and 3rd Christine Rolfe in 54:10.

For the Half Marathon we had two runners that seemed to be breezing through the course. Gina mentioned that at the 5.5 mile point that they were just chatting away like it was no big deal. Separated by 24 seconds was Andy Sayers who came in first in 1:34:56 and Timothy Driscoll who came in second in 1:35:20, and Daniel Boyers in 3rd at 1:43:21. On the womens side of the half marathon we had 1st place Kelly Charley in 2:05:09, 2nd Sandra Denius in 2:14:29, and 3rd Jennifer Dietrich in 2:16:22.

Many of the runners in this, and the other R NUTS races, were new to trail running and racing. Finishing a race like these is a big accomplishment. You have to overcome the terrain, conditions, and the mental and physical fatigue of the miles. Congratulations to each of you for coming out and challenging yourselves. Thanks for participating in a Mountain Junkies LLC event. Hopefully we will see you next year.