Opening day for the 2009 Trail Race Series was a bit of a mudder.  When Tim and I marked the course on Friday, the trails were in perfect condition.  Then the storm rolled in and rocked out all Friday night and up to about an hour before race time.  As racers entered the single track trail, they were immediately introduced to a trough of water. New trail shoes were baptized early.  There was teeth gritting competition at all paces, with about a half dozen sprint outs to the finish line- totally awesome to see!!  Finishers were uniformly covered in mud and grime.  Legs were caked with dried clay, but faces were beaming with a sense of accomplishment.  Many were running their very first trail race, and they seemed to be the happiest of all.  Vive la difference! 

The Trail Store’s own Tim Barnes crossed the line first with a great time (especially in these conditions) of 34:38, followed a minute or so later by Ben Wolff, who also runs for the Trail Store Racing Team.  In third place was Matt Lally, who won last year’s Yost 10k, but had an unfortunate altercation with a tree early on.  One really must be careful in these enchanted woods – the trees will jump right out in front of you.

In the women’s race, Melanie Bloemer had a great day and won in a time of 43:38, followed by Erin Fellows and Debbie Henderson.  They each picked up 15, 10 and 8 series points, respectively.   

The Kids 3K saw a limited field, but all were very competitive.  It’s amazing to watch the young kids take off in a near-sprint, and then finish the same way – they don’t seem to slow down at all.  The race was won by Sam Crecelius in 13:00, followed by Lauryn Grady (13:52) and Joshua Jacob (14:05).  I did note that they all managed to keep their feet under them the whole time – maybe we adults can learn something from that……

Next up is the June 20 House Tree Farm Five Miler.  Check out The Trail Store Facebook page for updates and group runs.  We look forward to seeing many of you back out there, and maybe some new faces as well. Until then, keep getting out there!

Jim Ball, RD

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