Share |

Sunday, September 10, 2006 -- Helvetia, WV
Helvetia 10K Mountain Run (iPO Event Id#: 7266)
Past Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

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

Story and photos by JR Petsko

Photo by JR Petsko
Weekend festival fun for everyone
This past weekend iPlayOutside made the trip to the beautiful mountain town of Helvetia, West Virginia for round four of the 2006 Mountain State Trail Run Series. The Helvetia 10K Mountain Run as it is called was held conjunction with the town's 92nd Annual Helvetia Fair.

For those of you who could not make it there, you missed some great food and entertainment! Stops at the cheese house, wine tasting booth, and Hutte Restaurant where a must. Later that evening we all worked off those few extra pounds we gained at the square dance.

Photo by JR Petsko
The kids enjoy the spotlight
The next morning when I awoke for the start of the race the weather was perfect for running. Sunshine and mild temperatures put a smile on all the racers faces. After a pretty warm summer this was a welcome change. Fifteen minutes before the main race was set to begin, the kids had their chance in the spotlight. Their course would consist of a quarter mile run through town. As the children took off from the start, it looked more like a 100-yard dash than a quarter mile as the sprinting kids left a dust cloud behind them. Rounding the library and heading back to the finish, the young racers kept up the good pace. "Seems we have some future runners on hands here." I thought to myself.

After kids finished, it was time to get down to business. Runners lined up at the start, and some were there to stroll and enjoy the beautiful landscapes, and others were there to compete. Five-time winner and defending champion of this event, Rebecca Schoonover, had her race face on as did overall winner of the last five Helvetia 10K's, Larry Taylor. The race began and trail runners flew down the road (almost as fast as that sampler platter at the Hutte Restaurant flew off my plate the night before.)

Photo by JR Petsko
Top trail racing competitors
The first four men that passed me where all separated by just a few seconds each. David Bee, Michael Bee, Joel Wolpert, and Larry Taylor. It was clear that Taylor was going to have a fight on his hands to claim his sixth victory in a row for this event. The same was the case in the women's division. Heather Parks was first by me putting on a very impressive showing. The fact that she was evening running this event after participating in and winning the women's overall at the 11th Annual IKEA-Montour Trail Half Marathon the day before was astonishing. Behind Parks were Katie Aerni and Rebecca Schoonover.

Runners made their way off the pavement and into the woods. I positioned my self near the finish to catch the excitement. Waiting in anticipation for the first runners to come into sight, the crowd on hand was growing, waiting to see if Taylor would make it six wins in a row. In the distance the first runner popped out of the woods and onto the road towards the finish line. It was Joel Wolpert. Wolpert crossed the line in 36:59 to take the overall men's title. Not long after Michael Bee came sprinting down the road to take second overall in 37:49. Taylor was next to cross the line in 38:21.

Photo by JR Petsko
Heather Parks makes the most of the weekend
Just a few minutes later the first female emerged from the woods, and to my amazement it was Heather Parks. Fatigue from the day before was no problem for the seasoned runner. Not only did she cross the line as the overall female winner, but she set a new course record in the process. Parks crossed the line in a blazing 40:49. Finishing in a strong second for the women was Katie Aerni with a time of 41:32. Defending women's champion Rebecca Schoonover came across the line in third overall in 49:33.

The weekend belonged to Parks in more ways than one. Sunday was her and husband Don's one year wedding anniversary. Congratulations to them both. You may have seen Don out on the course running with their two dogs in tow, or where the dogs towing him? (Check out the photos if you missed him.) It was a great day of racing in Helvetia, and a an awesome weekend to boot. Thanks Dan and Jody for putting on one heck of a race, and thanks again for your tremendous hospitality. Hope to see you all next year's go round.