|2007 Gristmill Grinder Race Report|
It was going to be a good race, which was clear from the beginning. With over 60 racers on hand, including Trophy Series Champions, West Virginia Trail Series Champions and first time half marathoners, we had all the makings of a fine trail race. The weather, though not ideal, was still okay for a trail running race. It was cool (much better than hot!) and a light rain was falling. Running in a light rain doesn’t really bother you that much. Standing around in the rain does bother you, however. As one would expect, the hardest part was the waiting around to get started. I know we were all glad to have that nice big shelter keeping us dry!
After a brief pre-race meeting, folks moved toward the start/finish line and prepared for the 2nd running of the Gristmill Grinder. The rain tapered off as the “On your mark, Get Set, GO!” echoed thru the woods. Without any hesitation, Joel Wolpert moved to the front of the pack being closely followed by Michael and David Bee, Hugh Davis and Harry Silvis. The race was on!
Last year, Wolpert was third overall, though was running while sick. He was able to hang with the twin Bee brothers for most of the way but was unable to keep it up in the last climb. This time he was in good shape and good health and had a record time of 1 hour, 22 minutes and 30 seconds. The Bee brothers were not far behind and even had faster times this year than last year! Michael Bee finished second and his brother David finished third. Leading the women’s field was Robin Weiner from Logan County, West Virginia. She had a time of 1:50:41. Robin was all smiles after the race and was still giggling, “That was so much fun” I heard her saying as she headed in for some dry clothes. Ashley Dolin was second among the female runners.
“The course was in good shape, not as slick as I expected” commented Wolpert afterwards. He, like many others, did find one slick spot however- the swinging bridge over Glade Creek on the Narrow Gauge section of the course. “I hit the bridge running and slid on one foot for awhile”, laughed Wolpert. Wolpert managed to keep his footing and keep on running. A few others didn’t have quite as much luck. But it’s all part of running on the trail and the Gristmill Grinder!
Thanks again for coming out to race with us, we will look forward to seeing you here in 2008. Until then, keep on running and Happy Trails!!
For more information about the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners organization and series got to www.wvmtr.org.
2007 Race Results