WOW – what a race! The 1st Sticks & Stones run at Babcock is in the books.
Weather: Fog, Fog and more Fog, though the temps were pretty ideal. Mud? Yes, plenty! Slick bridges? Yes, actually 5 of them! We did it though, and it all worked out well. I really liked the point to point format and thank you ACE Adventure Center and Adventures on the Gorge for the bus transportation. It was cool taking everyone to another location that most of them had never been to and just dropping them off, makes me smile thinking about it.
The Start was perfect and beautiful with all those smiling and happy trail runner faces! It was certainly not fast conditions with the fog, flat light and slippery surfaces but some fast times were posted. The 1st Overall Man was Jason Pyles from Green Bank WV with a time of 1:00:04! The 1st Overall Woman was Morgan Gray from Milton WV with a time of 1:22:27, and check this out- Morgan is 14 years old!! Great work and congratulations to you both. The 2nd and 3rd men were only 2 minutes back and less than a tenth of a second apart. Wow. For the women behind Morgan they were only a couple minutes back as well. This was a strong field of runners and a first time Babcock running experience for several. Hope you can come back to join us in the spring for the Grinder! Check out the complete results!
As with any race event the whole thing is only possible with the help of many volunteers. Two of the key people that worked nonstop on race day and also on days before the event were Terry “Bear” Moore and Jim Maxwell. They were with me flagging the course and clearing trails days before the race. The wood kept falling and we kept clearing. They were there early race day and set up the tents, banners and water stations. Bear pointed you into the woods just after the start and then down towards the Skyline Trail and your last trail section. He packed up the aid stations, pulled signs and banners down and even dropped it all off at my house. Bear and Jim both know the park and course inside out. I am SO lucky to have such support! Also on hand was Jim’s whole family helping out, The Dickerson Family- the dad was running too, Ginny Elliott- Tiny was running, Mary Rader and Coach Varner from Ansted. I was in great company, THANK YOU all so much.
One last story I will share with you. Standing at the finish line and just enjoying it, I see Edward Sims walking briskly in my direction. Edward is from Richwood WV, a well know local runner and has been a committed runner for many years. He always places well, he is strong. I could tell he was excited, which could be good – or bad. He walked up and just stopped in front of me and said “I am going to tell you just like I told them over there” he motioned behind him. “I have done hundreds of trail races and that was the BEST course I have ever seen! It was a trail runners dream…” and he walked off.
Edward – I have to agree, and thank you!
Sticks and Stones gave everyone a unique experience. That experience, when shared, becomes a story. So, what’s your story?
We will see you all next year!