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Saturday, April 22, 2006 - Sunday, April 23, 2006 -- Volcano, WV
Mountwood 12 Miler - MSTR #1 (iPO Event Id#: 7265)
Photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]

Photo by Julie Black
Trail runners are like the trails they run on. Tough and gritty, they endure the elements, and over time they get better and better. The beauty of Mountwood's trails treat the senses to spring smells and wildlife sounds. Everywhere you look there are patches of fluorescent green trees sprouting buds, contrasting the dark wet wood on the forest floor. Chipmunks are abundant here, and they enjoy the peanut butter cracker crumbs that fall from my pockets. Finding a quite resting place, I wait like a hunter ready to shoot my prey. But I'm not shooting a gun, I'm shooting a Canon.
--- Julie Black, iPlayOutside Photographer

Weekend Family Reunion
Story by Race Director, Dave Shultz

Today was a great day. The weather was perfect ( 1.5 inches of rain ) the trails were perfect ( 2 inches of mud ) and the company was perfect. Today a small group of dedicated people chose Mountwood park as the place they would test there resolve and physical ability. Luckily we all did it together.

Photo by Julie Black
Dave Shultz and his trusty sweep
This was the third annual Challenge At Mountwood and every year we seem to get a little better organized with a little better turnout. The event went fairly smoothly except for a few people becoming misguided. I will blame myself for that because I did say, "The trail is marked so good that no one could ever get lost." Famous last words.

I would like to thank the many, many volunteers that spent countless hours to try and make this year a success. Joe Corra, River City Runners (RCR) President spent many hours making sure I didn't miss anything, thanks for your patience. Thanks Dorsey Cheuvront for sponsoring us. Thanks to the JROTC kids from Parkersburg High School, and RVMBA for taking great care of the trails and setting up the course. Thanks to Sharon Marks and Chip Allman. I know the trail run wouldn't exist without your support. To my DAWGS, you know who you are. Great Shirt Vin.

Here are just a few of the things that I encountered early Saturday Morning:

A War Protestor - I guess that she found out how much political power us trail runners have in Washington. She seemed friendly enough, I even gave her some Gatorade. I think that the Veteran's that run the concession stand encouraged her to move on. I heard a rumor that they wanted to show her the meaning of Patriotism.

Photo by Julie Black
12 Miles in Mountwood? Right on!
Gary Smith - He came from the mountains to represent the WV Mountain Trail Runners (WVMTR) to represent while Dan was over East playing in the rain. I think that Gary loves trail running and the WVMTR. He represented himself and the club quite well.

Chris Bennon (1:33:38, 2nd, 20-29) - Chris is an exceptional runner that I know in passing from seeing him run all over Parkersburg. I was glad to see him out in the woods. After the race was over I asked if he was going to run the Dirty Dog and he said he couldn't. I asked why, and he told me he was donating a kidney a few days before the race. How awesome is that?

Dom Wyzomirski - What a pleasant person to talk to. I was glad that he decided to come back again this year. I am especially proud that I pronounced his name correctly during the awards ceremony. I butchered it last year.

Dean Banzinger, Miranda Shackleford, and Sarah Burgess - Sorry that you became misguided. I wish I could make it up to you. Well, I consider it even with Dean, he did get to do a great face plant. Mud is soft.

Photo by Julie Black
Barb and Steve Varner finish happy
Barb and Steve Varner - They came to Mountwood for a challenge and found one. After the race was over they were so humbled and genuinely thankful. It was a pleasure to meet them.

Richard Morris- Drove from Blacksburg, Virginia just to run in the race. He finished 3rd overall with a time of 1:27:25, so I guess the drive was worth it.

The BEE brothers - They disappeared sometime after the race ended and reappeared during the awards ceremony.

I guess if you run that fast you get really hungry. The borthers went on a lunch run. Micheal Bee finished 2nd overall with a time of 1:24:08 and David Bee finished 5th overall (1:30:54 - 1st 20-29).

Photo by Julie Black
Joel Wolpert sets a fast pace
Joel Wolpert (1:22:27 First Overall) - Trail Runners beware, this kid is fast, 1:22:27 for a 12-mile trail race in the mud is incredible. While cleaning up I observed him and a friend passing Frisbee. I questioned him on how he could do this after running so hard. He replied by saying, "It was only 12 miles". I hear that he just moved here form Connecticut. I wonder what they feed them up there?

It sometimes isn't the race that makes an event, and today this was the case. As I walked around freaking out worried about making sure everything was perfect I talked a tremendous amount of people. I think the people that trail run is what attracts me to the sport. They seem to carry themselves a little differently. They never seem to be in a hurry and if you say, "HI!" be prepared for some discussion.

Everyone is a close knit family and you can tell that the discussions aren't idle chitter-chat, but real genuine conversation. In this day and age of cell phones and high speed internet, it's nice to get together on the weekends and have a family reunion with my extended friends and family.

See Y'all at the dog.

Thanks for a great series Dan. And thank you Dave and the RRRC for your efforts to keep this race alive. Hope to see you all at the Babcock Gristmill Grinder next Saturday.