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2018 Grist Mill Grinder info

The 2018 Gristmill Grinder was amazing! What a day it was for the 14th running of the Gristmill Grinder. We started off with some chilly temps that morning and ended up with a 60 degree, low humidity and blue sky day. Excellent conditions for running really, at least in my mind. The trails were in fantastic shape - dry despite rain earlier in the week. At our prerace meeting we had a big show of hands from the first time Grinders - that's always fun to see. There were also many familiar faces with big smiles. Everyone was excited about the weather and to be running at Babcock! With these conditions we could expect some fast times possibly and some PR's for some. Once the gun sounded a pack of over 200 runners began the long tour of Babcock. I smile just thinking about the first trail sections and running down the Wilderness Trail through the rhododendron and moss. I smile again thinking about the first timers when they start up the Skyline Trail! I smile when I think about the Narrow Gauge and using your hands to claw your way up at one spot. As rewarding as it is grueling - the Grinder course does not dissappoint.

This day we would have returning champs claim the overall title again as Adam Coon would be the Overall Male winner with a time of 1:24.12 - a 6:26 pace! The Overall Female winner would again be Audrey Larrimer from Athens, OH with a time of 1:50.42 - an 8:28 pace! Congratulations to you both! While many folks enjoyed some PR's we also had some bumps and bruises along the way though everyone seemed to wear a smile. Those trail runners are a tough and fun bunch of folks. Our most senior runner was John Sheets - John has run with us many years now. Our youngest runner was Aaron Lawson, age 12. Aaron has actually been here a couple of years now and is faster every year. He runs with his mom and dad - that is just awsome! Our farthest travel to run with us was Val & Chris Nunez from La Habra, California! Great to have you guys come join us this year!

The Volunteers: While we were preparing to start many volunteers were busy elsewhere in the park, setting up the aid stations, filling cups and using sidewalk chalk to scribe some motivational messages along the course. Some had helped the day before with packet pickup, picking up water for Aid Stations, tables, flagging etc. They came early and stayed late. They came on short notice when I had some volunteers drop out and called for help. You guys are the real deal. Thank you for being there and supporting the race. We all appreciate you!!

We hope to see you here again soon, at a slower pace and with your family in tow. If you are headed this way give us a shout - maybe we can join you. Remember Sticks & Stones at Babcock the 2nd Saturday in October - Babcock in Fall colors is pretty amazing!  For more info go to sticksandstonesrun.com

For complete results - https://aptiming.com/race/results/640

Happy Trails!