Share |

Saturday, April 25, 2009 -- Bruceton Mills, WV / Big Bear Lake Camplands
Big Bear Lake 20K Trail Run (iPO Event Id#: 11739)

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

Coverage: [2007] [2008]

Article by Don Parks

The forecast for the third annual Big Bear Lake 20K Trail Run called for unseasonably hot weather. But on the morning of the race a nice breeze and extensive cloud cover resulted in pretty good race conditions. That was certainly good news as a record turn out of over 50 runners took to the start.

The course was changed this year so that there would be no road sections whatsoever. The result was an awesome all-trail run with only a moderate amount of climbing and just enough technical sections to keep it entertaining. The new course also measured almost exactly the advertised 20K distance.

The racing started at 9:30AM and once the dust settled it became a two man fight at the front. It was the 31-year-old ultra, ultra runner Bradley Mongold trading punches with the 28-year-old speedy triathlete Derek Clark.

With maybe three miles to go these two leaders hit the one big, long downhill on the course. Clark surged on this technical descent but once the trail smoothed back out and started a gentle grade back uphill Mongold closed the gap.

In the last miles Mongold repeatedly surged and Clark kept fighting to keep him close but eventually the attacks took their toll. Mongold took the win by over a minute at 1:24:13 to Clarks' 1:25:30. Pushing each other out on the course resulted in both running a pace under seven-minute miles.

The women's race was a little slower in developing as 34-year-old Staci Rogers found herself out in front for much of the race. Rogers is relatively new to trail running and little did she know that the experienced veteran in 40-year-old Stacey Levendorf was methodically pacing herself in pursuit.

With less than a mile to go Levendorf finally caught and passed Rogers who had nothing left with which to protest. Levendorf took the win at 1:54:48 to Rogers' 1:55:53.

The two overall winners received new trail shoes from Saucony along with hand crafted ceramic plates as their awards. The runner-ups got nice plates as well, but no new shoes. The age group awards were hand crafted ceramic medals, as well. This all went down well with homemade brownies and an assortment of refreshments.

With everything coming together perfectly for a great day of running and racing it won't be a surprise if this event continues to grow in popularity. And if you'd like to get out and experience the trails and fun at Big Bear Lake without having to wait until next year you need to sign up yourself or your team for July 18th's Big Bear Lake 12 Hour Trail Run.