Author: Mike Dolin, RD
The inaugural running of the Frozen Sasquatch Trail races really lived up to its name. I came up with the idea for the race/name while running on some local trail at Little Creek Park, in the middle of summer, not knowing that the race was going to be frozen to this extent. I actually told my mom (who did the paintings for the 1st o/a female/male and 1st o/a female/male masters) to paint some nice scenic trails, but not to paint a bunch of snow, because “There wont be much snow, maybe a dusting. We never get much snow here in early January.”
Then the morning of January 2nd came, and there were a couple inches of snow, and it was a whopping 15 degrees. Being a first time Race Director, I was of course nervous that we had 139 people registered but at 6:40 am the only vehicles in the KSF parking lot were my truck, the Lehmann support crew van, and the truck of our first runner Robert Hellgren. A couple minutes later I peeked out the door and there was a line of cars like the one in the movie Field of Dreams.
At 8:00, 105 eager runners toed the start line in their toasty running apparel (one dude even wore a green pair of pajamas) and were started by a hefty blast of my trusty C&O canal train whistle. The runners enjoyed the nice flat terrain for about 1/4mile before hitting the mighty Overlook Rock Trail. The 25k runners were led by Shawnee State runner Michael Owen with a blistering time of 2:07:26. 2nd overall male runner was Josh Gilbert in 2:19:50, while 3rd was taken by another Shawn E. Bear, Reece Brown in 2:22:27. The Females were led by Sami Harris (who recently placed 5th in the State Cross Country Championship at Cable Midland High School) in a time of 2:36:24. Gina Gilbert came in 3:08:37 for 2nd place while 3rd place female Kim Channel came in at 3:14:06 (1st o/a masters). Sam Mires traveled all the way from Indiana to claim the O/A masters winners with a time of 2:33:15.
As for the 50k race, Virginian ultra-speedster Eric Grossman led the pack in a time of 4:30:42 (He is the current course record holder for the Tussey Mountainback 50 miler;5:48:34). Nipping on his heels all day was Beverly, WV native, Adam Casseday, in a time of 4:34. 3rd o/a male and 1st O/A masters went to Ohioan Rod Sparks in 5:00:01. The first Female to cross the line was Megan Shuerger in a time of 5:48:41. The 2nd and 3rd Females were separated by a few minutes; Belinda Young-6:31:27, Marianna Inslee-6:35:42.
This race couldn’t have happened without the volunteers. Assistant Park Superintendent Kevin Dials, was a huge help. John and Charlene Dolin at Aid Station #1. Ashley Dolin at Aid Station #2, with the help of Ryan White, Sarah, and Mrs. Crawford. Sarah Sturgill and Jarrod were on top of the ridge at Aid Station 3. Dan Todd was at Aid Station 4 (with a huge inflatable snowman, and jamming to the Beatles). Matt and Harry for Trail maintenance/marking. Dennis Stottlemeyster for cutting trees and making finishing awards. The Lehmann family for help with timing and everything else. And anyone else I’m forgetting.
Congrats to ALL runners who ran in the race, and thanks for coming out. Hope to see ya next year.