Morning Icicles at the 30K
 

Jackie McDaniel  (with some help from David Yon), January 18, 2009
 

About two weeks ago, the long term weather forecast began to report "record freezing temperatures" for Saturday, January 17, perhaps down into the teens. By Wednesday of last week, Jerry and I actually started believing that this time, the weatherman may have it right! Then the phone calls started and emails began to show up in my in-box. The big question was, would the race go on even if the temperatures were in the teens? And the answer was, yes, we'll be there, and hope you will too! I knew there was a large group of long distance runners who would love this weather, but for the rest, I wasn't too sure. I began to wonder if the volunteers would show up. What could we do to help them stay warm out on the water stops? I emailed all the volunteers working water stops and suggested wearing many layers of clothing. I wondered if they would show up and if they didn't how Jerry and I would work four waters stops between the two of us?

Well, race time saw temperatures in the low 20's, but 87 stout hearted runners finished the 30K and 96 braved the 15K.  Old Centerville Road is the home training turf for the state champion Leon Lions and they showed it by dominating the 15K with Will Stanford running 51:05 to establish a new course record.  He beat teammate and state 3A cross country champion Matt Mizereck who finished in 51:47 - the second fastest time ever on the 15K course.  Leon runners claimed the top five spots.  Lisa Johnson, the 2008 GWTC Runner of the Year took the women's title with a time of 1:01:49.  Megan McCarthy took second place with a time of 1:11:14.

In the 30K a bad hamstring left Vince Molosky hanging on for dear life as John Robida closed quickly on him at the end of the 30K.  He had just enough to win with a time of 1:54:06.  John was only a few seconds back in a time of 1:54:25.  Bad hamstring or not, it was still a course record and the fastest 30K time since Anne Van Schuppen ran 1:53:04 in 2000 on the Natural Bridge Road Course.  Sheryl Rosen ran 2:11:41 to win the women's title, while Jane Johnson was second in 2:16:08. 

The very competent registration team of Mary Jean Yon, Joy Opheim, Pam Breza, Joe Brannon, Becky Ahjar and Olivia Swedberg handled approximately 90 race day registrations along with almost 100 pre-registrations in about an hour. There was a buzz of excitement in the room as the line to the registration tables grew longer and the volunteers were scurrying back and forth making it look easy. The finish line team always has a good time and this year was no exception. Thanks go out to Bill Lott, Pam Breza, Joe Brannon, Mark Killette, Stacia Keller, Margarete Deckert, and Jeff Bryan. I know there were several volunteers who showed up on race day and helped out with the finish line and other areas, but unfortunately, I don't know who it was, but want you to know we appreciate your help!

Kelsey Scheitlin and Olivia Swedberg stood at the turns and made sure none of the runners went off course. No one was lost so they must have done a good job! Bill Perry was a big help to Jerry marking the course and he, Dick Dowdy, and Bill Hunter kept order in the parking lot. Dick Dowdy swept the course picking up discarded clothing as well as race equipment after the race. One of the most demanding jobs at a race this long is working at a water table. Thank you Jude Dugas, Maria Mathews, Sonya Dudley, Pam Alonso,George Palmer, Caleb and Patrick Davis (sons of Chuck Davis), Berinice Mercer, Kay Posey, Chika Okora, and Becky Ahjar. I received many compliments on the water stop crews; everyone appreciated you being there (but not more than Jerry and I did)! Fred Deckert was there in the freezing cold and took great photos for us to enjoy, and did you hear the story about the deer that was caught in the fence and several runners stopped to try and free it? (Chuck Booker was the ultimate hero getting St. Francis out to sedate and transport the deer to the hospital.) And how can you have a race without the scoring team of Peg Griffin and Bill Lott? Jerry and I agree that without them, we would be reluctant to take on race director duties. With this scoring team, you know results will be accurate and timely, and you never have to worry.

This year, we had more chili and soup than ever before. Thank you Peg Griffin, Pam Breza, Bill and Jessie Perry, JoLena Pace, Beth Alexander, Mary Stutzman, and Barbara O'Donnell. And to Elizabeth, the mother of one of the Leon runners, thanks for stepping in during the race and helping set up the food table!

Thanks again to all the runners and volunteers. If I missed anyone I apologize, but want you to know that a race director can not do this without you. I hope you will all come back next year!

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