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Saturday, October 7, 2006 -- Fairmont, WV
Valley Falls 10 Mile Trail Run - MSTR #5 (iPO Event Id#: 7267)

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class] [Photos]

Story and photos by JR Petsko

Photo by JR Petsko
Trail running is fun at just about any age
The 2006 Mountain State Trail Run Series continued on Saturday with it's second to last race of the season, the Valley Falls 10-Miler. Blessed with a beautiful fall day, the site of the old lumber and gristmill was crimson with the first signs of autumn color. The 10K runners would head off in one direction as the 10 milers trotted off in the complete opposite.

The course climbed some of the biggest hills that the park had to offer ending with a short road section before heading back into the woods. The first to the mostly wooded section was Michael Bee followed closely by his borther, David. Dominic Wyzomirski, Bradley Mongold, and Nathan Miller rounded out the front pack. The first women 10-mile runner to stride on the tree trail was Katie Aerni. Stacey Levendorf and Sarah Sturgill kept up the pace, keeping Aerni in sight.

The final aid station on the course was a fine place to photograph much of the trail-racing action. Michael Bee passed fast in first still in full 5K-type stride. The climbs didn't appear to slow him down. A few minutes later, Dominic Wyzomirski and David Bee passed in a close battle for the second overall position. It was time for me to hurry to the finish as well.

Making it just in time and practically falling out of my car, I saw Michael Bee cross the line for the overall victory in the 10-miler with a time of 1:04:40. It was Michael's second series victory of the year. Two minutes later, the next two runners came into sight. Both racers gave it all they had as they sprinted the last 200 yards.

Photo by JR Petsko
Michael Bee takes the overall win
Dominic Wyzomirski took the second position just 4-seconds ahead of David Bee. Wyzomirski's finishing time of 1:06:47 claimed 2nd, and Bee's 1:06:51 took 3rd respectively. What an exciting finish!

Katie Aerni took home the overall female 10-Miler title in 1:15:13. This was Aerni's first overall series victory of the year. In second was Sarah Sturgill crossing the line in 1:26:41. Stacey Levendorf finished third in 1:31:26. Special mention goes out to Sandy Offutt, who had way too much fun out there. Sandy was seen jumping around for the camera smiling, and just having a grand old time during the race.

Mark Offutt claimed the 10K overall win in 44:14. Greg Starkey (49:42) crossed in 2nd. Teresa Ray was the fastest 10K woman to finish with a time of 1:07:23. Shelly Miller captured second in 1:15:27.

Standing out from the crowd at Valley Falls was Men's 14 and under runner, TJ Hooks. TJ finished the 10-miler course in 1:56:35 together with Tony Hooks. I witnessed T.J. putting forth a great effort in many different sections of the course. Look out Bee Borthers, I see a future star in the making.

It was a great weekend for racing. The weather was perfect, the circuit was awesome, and the racers had a blast. Can't wait to do it again next year, but don't forget about the Series Finale! We'll see you at the ACE New River Gorge-ous Trail Run on October 29 in Oak Hill, West Virginia.