Friday, October 30, 2009

The Highest Race in West Virginia Went Off With a Bang!

As we awoke that Saturday morning, the weather wasn’t exactly what we had hoped for. There were a few clouds and a bit of mist, but that didn’t keep our runners inside! When the 5K race was nearing its starting time, we rang the five-minute warning bell and the racers began to descend upon the starting line. What started out as just an idea was finally becoming reality. We had 14 runners for our very first 5K race. The 3.1-mile race looped around the Mountain Institute’s property, starting in the parking lot, following the driveway towards the Earth Shelter. Once there, the runners ran off into the fields and back around for a dramatic finish on our high planes. All of our runners did extremely well, especially considering the hilly course and the weather conditions. I would like to congratulate Robbie Kimmich for finishing first place overall, with a course record time of 19:31. The first place in the female division was Sara Litzau, with a course record time of 25:31.

After all of our 5K racers finished we got ready for our next race, the Half Marathon. We had six participants at the starting line, including our own Adam Sewell who had just finished running in the 5K! He decided to run in both races. This option will be given out next year as our “King/Queen of the Mountain Race”.

As we sounded the horn, the racers headed off into the clouds towards Spruce Knob Lake. As the runners raced their way towards the lake, the clouds lifted just enough to see some of the beautiful fall foliage. As they made their return journey back to the high planes, we saw in the distance our first place finisher Jack Marmorstein. He finished with a course record of 1 hour 32 minutes. The first place female finisher was Sophie Roblin, with a course record of 1 hour 52 minutes. The King of the Mountain, Adam Sewell’s overall time with both the 5K and half marathon was 2 hours 9 minutes and 20 seconds.

For a few participants, this was their first race and first visit to the Mountain Institute. Among these new faces were some old familiar friends. We shared stories and created new memories. The race weekend was definitely one to remember and also one to look forward to for next year. I know years from now we’re going to look back on this weekend with fond memories and remember the time when we only had a few runners on the starting line. Our goal is to double our participants each year. We hope that all of you can help us with that!

We would like to congratulate all of the runners who came to the First Annual “Run for the Hills”! The race turned up more participants than we expected and could have hoped for! We especially want to thank our volunteers for all of their hard work! We look forward to seeing all of you next year!

-by Katrina Weyland,

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