Friday, October 15, 2010

New River Trail 50k 2010 Race Report

Welcome to Fries, VA!
It's been a week since the 3rd running of the New River Trail 50k. As a race director I have had a week of mixed experiences and emotions. After being so immersed in preparation for the race, I am relieved to be done with most of the responsibilities for this years race. (Paperwork and thank yous to follow soon). Now a week later, I am able to be more fully at my high school counseling job and more present in my own training. Even our living room is cleared of race supplies which took over the space since around October 1st!

There were 3 piles this size massed around the room pre race.

Though relief is part of what I am experiencing, I have also been debriefing myself and with others, sorting out what worked and what can be improved. I have also celebrated and reflected on the experiences of many of the runners that I got to meet and share part of a fine day with. I am truly privileged to be in this role and have the support of the VA State Parks, community of Fries, VA and many excellent volunteers.Thank you to everyone who contributed to Saturday's race.

Driving into Fries on Friday and overlooking the river, one would not guess that 24 hours later it would be a festive Start/Finish Line of an exciting ultra marathon. 

All quiet, later morning 10/8 (day before)
Lot's can change in a day....

Same area 18 hours later, awaiting arrival of first runners...

What follows is the race report I submitted to Ultrarunning last night.

“The course was beautiful and the volunteers and people from the community were honestly some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. When I finished (the last 4 miles were a bit rough for me) I thought I’d never do another ultra, and by yesterday was trying to figure out how I’d make it another year before coming back to New River for a little revenge on those last 4 miles.”
                                                                        Meredith Bazemore, 1st time ultrarunner.
A ton of life energy was exposed and shared during the 3rd running of the New River Trail 50k in Fries, VA on October 9, 2010. Partnering with the staff of New River State Park, with much support from the little community of Fries, VA we again facilitated a “green” event, which among other things, featured local foods and local electrolyte drink mix and minimal disposables, with all proceeds going to National Committee for the New River.  Registration this year was up 20% from 2009 and we had 130 starters and 129 finishers. Over 50 of the registered runners were 1st time ultra runners and runners ranged in age from 23 to 72 years old. The trail is an old railroad bed, flat and 100% dirt.

Frontrunners take off! Eventual winners Kate Brun (L white hate) and Chris Motta (to R with gray shirt on)

Second youngest female in the 2010 field at 24, Kate Brun of set a new course record at 3:49:15, Jenny Anderson followed as runner up meeting her personal goal of sub 4:00 with 3:59:05 and Melissa Ball chased her close with 3:59:42. All 3 women bettered Jenny’s 2009 course record!  

On the men’s side and the second youngest male, Chris Motta, 26 led the pack with a 3:33:36 win, with Doug Covington, 41 at 3:39:47 and Dwight Shuler, 46 was next in 3:46:49.

The youngest runner was 23 year old Erika Thompson (4:02:55) of NC and the oldest finisher, Tom Alford (5:35:32), 72 NM. This was Tom’s 150th ultra marathon. Bill Keane ticked his 240th ultra off this day, while Rick Gray of TN ran a personal best of 4:14:29 less than a week after completing the Grindstone 100.

Rick working hard for his speedy finish
There were many personal challenges and celebrations on the trail and at the finish line for these runners.

Amy Walters celebrates life!
I got to witness many tears and hugs of relief and joy and groans of focused effort by those who crossed the finish line. Two runners looked especially glowing minutes after they crossed the finish line and huddled together. We learned Abigail Chapman and Amos Desjaridns had gotten engaged after finishing the race together. Congratulations both of you!

Newly engaged

The day was a perfect, if warm, early autumn day on the trail. After finishing runners were nourished by homemade soup and bread cooked by a group of very hospitable women of Fries, VA. Join us 10/8/2011!

In the end, upward of $6600.00 will go to National Committee for the New River. For more information on the race and complete yearly results, visit:

Beth Minnick took the day off from ultrarunning and volunteered at Cliffview and at the Finish area. She took some great photos which she is happy to share. Go to:

Thank you sooo very much to all the runners, volunteers, State Park Folks, my co-workers for dealing with my stress, my hubbie George and kitty Mama Gray for putting up with me and the piles of race stuff! I welcome everyone's critical feedback on the event, I am best reached at, not by this link from this blog.

Now is time to focus on work and home and readying for Gibraltar! Notice the new time gizmo at the top of this blog. The 100k World Championship will start 6:30am local time in Gibraltar on November 7. More details on this in a future post. 


Rick Gray said...

Annette, What a race. I told George that I am getting to where I hate the two of you. You keep making me challenge myself and do better. I guess it is more one of those love/hate relationships. Thank you for making me work hard. As far as anything critical to stay, there is not much I can say, but how much more perfect can you make this race. Your race continues to grow and next year will be no different. The sky is the limit for this race and for the runners alike. I have to say that I am already looking forward to returning next year. Thank you so very much!

Sabrina Moran said...

Fun post as usual, Annette! Glad it was such a great day on the trails. Cool pictures!

Doug said...

Great race, and honestly the best 'first 50k' I could imagine.
Great organization, great runner camaraderie (something road runners could learn from) and the people of Fries were wonderful. You even ordered great weather! I'll be back for sure

Doug C