|2006 Gristmill Grinder Race Report|
It was a truly beautiful morning in the hills of West Virginia as a hardy group of trail runners made there way to Babcock State Park for the 2nd running of the Babcock Gristmill Grinder, a half-marathon trial run in this spectacular park. With a new start & finish area and a change in the course that eliminated some road and added singletrack around the lake, it was destined to be a fine day of trail running. Many new faces and some of the regulars gathered at the Sugar Camp Picnic area to “hit the trail”. New this year was a “walk” associated with the event, which went to the famous Gristmill and back. A great time was had by all it seemed, running and walking.
In the half-marathon, there was a small group out front most of the way, but at the end it was Michael Bee that took first in 1:30:00. The next three runners battled up the last hill within a minute of each other. David Bee was second with a (1:33:42), Joel Wolpert (1:34:25), in third, and Bradley Mongold crossed the line in fourth at 1:34:47.
Emily Chaney and Katie Aerni cruised the trail together for most of the course. Rumor has it, they were talking all the way. Sounds like some new running buddies were made. Chaney was able to pull ahead in the end to spread things out and finished 10th overall and first for the women in 1:48:19. Aerni (1:49:02), crossed for a very respectable second. Anne Olashanski rounded out the women’s top spots in 2:04:43.
All in all it was a fantastic day for trail racing and walking, and smiles were plentiful at the awards. Custom pottery, “Darn Tough” running socks and many other prizes were handed out to the top finishers as well as names drawn from the hat. We hope to see ALL of you back here in 2007 for the 3rd running at Babcock, spread the word and bring your friends and family to enjoy the park. Until then….
For more information about the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners organization and series got to www.wvmtr.org.