Great Weather at Stone Mill and JFK

Clearly the more popular event with VHTRC members was Stone Milll.  There were many VHTRC finishers and others helped at the aid stations.  JFK had few VHTRC participants.

Interestingly, neither event featured VHTRC runners in the top positions.  At Stone Mill, Brad Hinton was the first VHTRC finisher in third overall and Zsuzsanna Carlson was the second overall woman. 

At JFK, where the course record was broken by two people, VHTRC runners took two age groups, Ragan Petrie was first 40 year old, and Mike Campbell was first 60 year old.

Which is the better event? It must be JFK because it's entry fee is almost six times higher. But the clear winner was the weather. A great day to be outdoors and to start the holiday season.

Stone Mill results | Stone Mill Web site | JFK results | JFK Web site


A few comments:

Anstr finished his 29th JFK...not too shabby. Congratulations!

Ragan's 7:08 finishing time would have won the female race in the majority of previous JFKs.

And the word on the trail is that Stone Mill, with it's low-key, old school vibe, low entry fee, minimal hype, and beautiful, mostly single track course is the reason why more VHTRCers choose it over JFK. But that is just a guess.

Race Directors and VHTRC members Doug "Horton" Sullivan and Harvey "Zeeland" Sugar put on a great race last Saturday. In its 2nd year most runners agree this race is already a classic.

The weather was ideal with temperatures ranging from the 30s to the low 50s with lots of sun. The course was long. My GPS measured 54.80 miles; the consensus, unscientific distance is 54.5 miles. This run is truly an old school trail run only broken up by less than 2 miles of pavement and 3.2 miles of C&O canal and several road crossings. Much of the trail is single track traversing 2 stream valleys that flow into the Potomac River. We encountered some swampy, muddy sections and several wet feet stream crossings, including (in Russ Evans' words) a "gratuitous" stream crossing at mile 49 and mile 51 on the final out and back section. The final insult was the short but very steep hill leading to the finish line.

The time limit was advertised as 12 hours but only 101 of the 180 finishers finished under 12 hours. The 1st runner, defending champ Ron Shriver, finished in 8:02. I came in at 12:04. The 180th runner finished in 14:43. Lots of other VHTRC runners and volunteers were out there. Many of us started in the dark and finished in the dark. Doug and Harvey were out there to greet all the runners as they finished in the chilly November afternoon/evening.

The $35 entry fee is a bargain compared most other races. Unlike some higher priced races, in 2010 the race directors fully accounted for how the money was spent, none of it went into their pockets and all of the "profits" were donated to the parks for trail maintnenance and upkeep. Those of us who love trail appreciate that.

Thanks to Doug, Harvey and all of the volunteers for supporting the this run!

Yes, Doug was right to say it is a great race and worth every penny and so much more. Thank you volunteers. Thank you runners for not littering. Thank you for a course that's very runnable. I would not change a thing.