2024 Gristmill Grinder Half-marathon and 5K Fun Run/Walk !!


Another Beautiful Race Day was on tap as lots of happy trail runners (or soon to be trail runners) toed the line at Babcock to CELEBRATE 21 Years of running at the Park! The focus was on Celebrating the Park this year as severe weather had hit the local area and the park just 2 weeks before. Lots of trail work was required to get the trails open and thanks go out to the Park and the volunteers that came and put in hours to make it happen!!

Our Friday evening packet pickup at The Take Out in Fayetteville was fun and busy. Sushi Bowls, Ice Cream and Race Shirts!! Folks were smiling, lots of new faces and a few of the regulars came by. The forecast was looking primo as we stood in the restaurant and talked. As we headed out I was finally getting pretty excited about being able to have the race. There was so much work done trail wise this year, days and days. It was paying off - Race day is such an exciting time with nervous energy and adrenaline for everyone!

As Ashton and Michael were taking care of the packet pickup (Thank You!) I headed out to do the final touches on the course with arrows and cones. A steady stream of cars were pouring in. Driving into the area, the wind damage was obvious for everyone. I came back to a nice crowd gathering at the Start area where Charlie with APTiming had set up the arch and had some music playing. A short prerace meeting and a show of hands indicated lots of first timers! That’s cool. We started the half right on time and the 5K walkers started 10 minutes after. As I drove to Aid Stations to check in it was clear that people were having a fun time and many spectators were out to watch. In the lead early and holding on to it for the Men was local runner Anthony Vargo with a time of 1:43:09. He was being chased literally by Acie Hylton with a time of 1:44:22. Just two minutes behind was John Saltigerald with a time of 1:46:35! For the Women it was a new face on the scene – Anne Struble of Springville Utah with a super fast time of 1:48:21! Only a few minutes back was Ashley Perham at 2:07:48 and Lexy Ley with a time of 2:13:27!

GREAT JOB ALL OF YOU - Great job every single one of you for coming and running the tough course at Babcock! It's a rugged mountain course with plenty of sensory entertainment like the overlooks and many waterfalls. The overlooks were spectacular with the new green in the gorge. And for good measure let’s add rhododendron tunnels, rocks and roots and very slick bridges too. It's truly a special place to run, such an accomplishment to complete it. I'm thankful for each one of you and for the volunteers that came!

Here is a link to the complete results and Finish Line photos at APTIming-

More photos will be coming soon too !!!

May you all be blessed with Happy Trails !!!