2017 Updates still coming!
Great Great Great day at Babcock for the 2017 running! Or as I heard a friend Scott P say "great day for a picnic, but not a half marathon at Babcock"! Well, I guess some like it hot and some do not. Personally I agree with Scott and like it cooler though it could have been worse!
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." though we will all agree it was amazing. The park was in it's natural glory as about 240 smiling trail runners put a toe on the line for the 13th running of the Gristmill Grinder. The age spread of participants was from 11 year old Aaron Lawson to 87 year old Mr. Taylor, and people came from as far as California, Texas and Florida. The morning started fairly cool and some cloud cover which was nice. The course was dry from several days of low humidity and high temps. The trails were actually in fantastic condition. The first timers show of hands was pretty impressive, and it looked like a couple dozen folks for their first grand tour (and hopefully not the last!) of the Park. As the gun sounded, which was about 20 seconds after the actual start of the race by the way ;-D Runners were smiling as friends and family cheered them on. Then it's time for the Fun Walker/Runners to toe the line and we had a group of about 40 ready to go! Family members of runners, people with their dogs on a leash, and a lot of kids - that's what its all about. We can't stress enough the importance of getting out and getting active daily, and making it a regular part of your lifestyle. Several kids from Ansted Middle School were there with their teacher Kate Miller. They participate in an after school Running Club... that's cool isn't it?!
As the day warmed up we saw the first runners coming into the finish area. The first overall man would be Adam Coon again this year, from Meadow Bridge. Adam is a Middle School teacher locally and he is fast. His overall time was 1:25:49 which is a 6:34 Pace. Wow! The first overall woman would be Audrey Larrimer again this year, from Athens, OH. Audrey had a great time of 1:51:34 and a pace of 8:32. Fantastic! The second overall man was Robert Smith from Charleston/Huntington with a time of 1:29:04 and the third man overall was Nick Massey with a time of 1:38:42. The second woman overall was Holly Martin with a time of 1:56:16 and Eileen Kline was third with a time of 1:57:44. It is always amazing to see such fast times on such a rugged course. As a steady stream of runners began to pour into the finish the growing crowd cheered for their friends and hugged each other. The comradery within the trail running community is so obvious and a real part of the event for us here.
Special thanks to so many awesome volunteers that came out to help and laugh and cheer! You could see them at the Aid Stations ringing bells and yelling support. You are greatly appreciated!!
We are still getting photos but-- until then here is a link to the complete results from APTiming -
Race Results (PDF)
For Course Photos click here - http://www.danieltoddphotography.com/gg2017
Look for more photos in a day or so from a friend that shot the Start, at the overlooks and also the winners with cups!
Due to so many requests, here is the date for the 2018 Gristmill Grinder- April 21, 2018 - the Opening weekend of the Park.
Also, our Sticks & Stones 15K will be held on October 14, 2017 It is a fantastic Point to Point course which uses a big part of the Grinder course and is amazing. Registration will open on May 1st!!