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Saturday, May 19, 2007 -- Charleston, WV / Kanawha State Forest WV
4th Annual Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run-MSTR #3 (iPO Event Id#: 7834)

2007: [Photos] [Details] [Coverage] Results: [Overall] [Class] [Dogs]
[2006 Coverage]

Story and photos by Julie Black

Photo by Julie Black
Dirty Dog photo by Julie Black
The Dirty Dog 15K Trail Run held Kanawha State Forest, Charleston, West Virginia, has enjoyed much success, growing in numbers every year since it's induction in 2003. It's unique. Part of more than one trail series and host to many different breeds of trail running dogs, the race crew folks have been wondering when the event will run out of parking. This year, it was a close call.

Owners had leashes in tow, but didn't need them for the trail unless they chose to leash their canine running partner. One racer mentioned that last year he hurdled the same dog a few times on the trail. He smiled, being dog lover himself, "I don't mind. This is a great event. Where else can you race with your dog and maybe win an award for it?"

The 3rd race in the West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners, Mountain State Trail Run Series (MSTR), The Dirty Dog, is also part of the Trail Runner Trophy Series. The points-based series features 115 trail races in the United States and Canada. Attracting over 130 runners and 30 plus dogs (a new high number), Race Director Daniel Todd boasted of the new 1-mile stretch over barks and howls.

Photo by Julie Black
Dirty Dog photo by Julie Black
Setting a new course record, Jason Bryant of North Carolina finished the 15K course in 1:04:20 beating the previous record by 2:19. . "I've never run this before." He said with a smile. Looks like he could be back in 2008. In March 2007, Bryant won the 21-mile NOC/ Subaru Bartram Trail Endurance Run through the Nantahala Gorge, NC.

Michael Bee, present leader of the MSTR Series, bettered his last Dog time by 4 minutes finishing in second in 1:04:33. Jacob Malcomb, of the 0-19 class, claimed 3rd in 1:05:17.

In the women's race for first, Dan Lehmann tells it best. "Eileen O'Niell, Megan Schuerger and Robin Weiner also ran a very competitive Dog. O'Niell pulled ahead of Schuerger and Weiner in the initial climbs. On the steep White Hollow climb Weiner moved into second place and carried it to the top of the mountain. Then a wrong turn on Middle Ridge caused her to fall back to third. Schuerger running strong and steady almost picked up the leader O'Neill. Eileen took 1st with 1:23:24, Megan with another very close 2nd ran 1:23:33, and Robin 3rd crossing the finish at 1:27:48."

Photo by Julie Black
Dirty Dog photo by Julie Black
Once again Randy Gibbs and his dog-partner, Jack, won the overall fastest dog/runner award again, besting last year's time setting a new dog course record of 1:10:49. Jack's sleepy eyes told all afterwards that he'd run his dog gone best.

Thanks to the many sponsors who made this event possible: Childers Pediatrics C. Edwin Childers, M.D., PLLC, WeightWatchers, WV Mountain Trail Runners and their Mountain State Trail Run Series, Trail Runner magazine Trophy Series, Hammer Nutrition LTD, Blue Ridge Cup, INOV.

The Dirty Dog benefits: The Kanawha Trestle Rail Trail via The West Virginia Trail Coalition and the Kanawha/Charleston Humane Association.