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2023 Gristmill Grinder

 

2024 Gristmill Grinder Registration is OPEN!!!

Registration will close on March 30th or sooner if we reach our cap-

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2023 Gristmill Grinder - What. A. Race. Day! 

stacy gg 2023

Despite what was a daunting forecast for Race Day lots of happy trail runners (or soon to be trail runners) toed the line at Babcock to celebrate 20 Years of running there! Our Friday evening packet pickup at Ace Adventure Gear was fun and pretty busy actually. Folks were smiling, some were anxious for a first trail race experience. It went well thanks to Whit, Jolene and my daughter Ashton who has been helping me since she was old enough to walk. The forecast was gradually improving as we stood at the gear shop and talked. We all headed out to where we were staying hoping for some good rest for the big day. For me that abruptly ended at about 4am when I woke up to check the weather. The front of the storm had condensed into a bright red line that was getting ready to hit us. I texted my main volunteer Jason Knight and surprisingly he immediately responded! He said the front edge of the storm had just blown through town with high wind and rain, but now it was dead quiet. Within minutes I heard it coming- a dark red line on the radar becoming a reality. I was chanting "don't you be blowing no trees down on my trails" ;-D Just 15 minutes later it was silent outside. Jason met me on Route 60 at 6:30 and we got to the park at 7am, the ground was covered with hail and little bits of leaves. No rain. Immediately volunteer cars began pulling in. Race day is such an exciting time with nervous energy and adrenaline. Here we GO again, Fun times ahead!

As Whit and I headed out to do the final touches on the course with arrows and cones, a steady stream of cars were pouring in. We came back to a nice crowd gathering at the Start area. Weather was still holding off and folks were anxious to run! We started the half right on time because our timer Grace was on top of it. The 5K walkers started 10 minutes after. As we drove to Aid Stations to check in it was clear that people were having a good time and some fast runners were already out front. In the lead early and holding on to it for the Men was James Stalnaker with a time of 1:42:03. Just behind him was Corbin Peters with a time of 1:45:51 and then Aaron Walker at 1:46:25! For the Women it was returning champ Audrey Larrimer with a time of 1:54:27. Only a few minutes back was Lauren Brenner at 2:01:27 and Michelle Gray with a time of 2:04:14 - GREAT JOB LADIES!

Great job every single one of you for coming and running the tough course at Babcock! It's a challenging mountain course with plenty of visual entertainment like the overlooks and many waterfalls. The overlooks were spectacular with the low clouds. And for good measure lets add Rhododendron tunnels, rocks and roots and very slick bridges too. It's truly a special place to run, such an acclomplishment. I'm grateul for each one of you and for the volunteers that came, many on short notice - WOW - You. Are. Awesome! You made it all happen despite some cold damp weather to be standing around. You kept smiling and offering encouragement to the folks that needed it. Bless you ~

What a wonderful community we have here in the NRG area as well as in the trail running tribe. Thank you all for your support and inspiration over the years, the smiles and the miles.

 

Come join us for Babcock Sticks & Stones 15K on October 10th, 2023

 

For GG Race Results go HERE 

Photo Link is HERE!

 

Keep the Spirit - see you on the Trail ~