|2013 Gristmill Grinder Race Report|
It was a picture perfect day again this year for the 9th running at Babcock! With the race cap at 275 reached and registration closed on March 1st, it was obvious that there would be a lot of excitement this year…. And indeed there was! The week before the race was hectic- with days of clearing trails (again), flagging (1,800 feet of it!), and trying to take care of final loose ends….. then TA DA - THE DAY! Volunteers scurried all around the park in the early hours… 22 of them to be exact… as aid stations were set up and readied to hand out 136 gallons of water in 1,200 cups. The course flagging was being finished just as the race started. The Finish line preparation included 250 bowls, 50 pounds of pasta salad, 250 dinner rolls and a variety of fruit… WOW, it was all coming together!
In some ways it was like a reunion, seeing many faces returning to run Babcock is always so much fun. There was a buzz in the air as folks smiled and waved, hugged and shook hands. We had many 1st timers there – and first time trail racers too, I was really enjoying the scene and trying to take it all in. As the start time approached and folks moved toward the line there may have been some nervousness, though it wasn’t really apparent. Folks were still smiling and laughing and meeting the guy or girl beside them. Then the gun sounds and we have us a race! This race day we knew that the previous men winners were not in the pack- this run would have a new champion. As the day unfolded the fastest man moved out front and stayed out front, and the man was Bruce Miller from Bruceton Mills! Bruce posted a fantastic time of 1:33:19. Congratulations Bruce! A scant 6 seconds behind him was our second overall man, David May from Denver, Colorado. In the women’s category the race was led by two local runners and running buddies. They ran together most of the course though in the end it was Kate Caldwell from Fayetteville that would place first overall with a time of 1:49:54. Nice work Kate! There was only a six second gap between her and the 2nd overall – her friend Jamie Fields, also from Fayetteville. Third woman overall and only 15 seconds back from fields was Jamie Knight from Washington, DC. Congratulations Ladies!!
On hand was Don Parks from iPlayOutside - and he was kind enough to share these photos with us- Thanks Don! His race recap and photos (over 600 of them) can be seen by clicking here.
As always, it was a great trail event because of YOU! Thanks for coming out and making Babcock happen. I love seeing all the smiles, the support and pure JOY to be out there in the woods. We will have our 2014 date set very soon and will post it. Cap will be 300 and registration will open on October 1st so make a note in your calendar! Wherever your running takes you- have a safe summer and stay healthy. If you ever need a New River Gorge fix, just hit us up – we are happy to get you info and may even meet you at the trail! Until then, Happy Trails!