VHTRC member Evan Fisher was the first finisher at the inaugural PB&J 50K, held on a picture-perfect fall day on the trails of Prince William Forest Park on Saturday October 18. Evan completed the two-loop course in 4:23. Club members AJ Cillo and James Whiteside joined Evan on the finisher’s podium, with finishing times of 4:35 and 4:58 respectively.
The winner of the women’s race was a rather surprised Maryellen Hutchins. Maryellen came in to the finish in 6:40, and could not be convinced that she had won. Maryellen, you did. VHTRC members Sara Fanous and Laura Drake rolled in shortly after, and both clearly enjoyed their times on the PWF trails so much that each logged some bonus miles before their finishes.
Why the “Fat Lip Trail Race”? A picture speaks a thousand words …
RD Gary Knipling and a bee, both eager to sip from the same titrated beverage. The bee won. The good news is that by the time Gary had completed his valuable oversight duties out in the field and he had returned to the finish line area, the swelling had gone down considerably. And in case you are curious, Gary is just about uniquely qualified to make the following observation: “While a bee sting on the lip can hurt, a poisonous snake bite burns like the sting of 20 bees.”
This race was created to meet several perceived needs. The need for an accessible, non-technical fall 50k in the DC area. The need for a training race leading into the big November 50 milers that would be as runnable as they are. Finally, a desire to make more runners aware of what a great trail running resource they have in Prince William Forest Park. So hopefully all of these goals were accomplished for those who were able to come out for this race! There was much excited and/or apprehensive talk at the finish line of upcoming races at Stone Mill, Masochist and JFK. The rather low 60 percent finishing rate for a race of this nature, on a gorgeous day (sunny, low 50s to upper 60s) and over a dry and easy course, would further indicate that many runners were looking for a supported training race of this nature.
We were delighted to welcome back the Queen of Prince William Forest Park, and one of the co-founders of the PB&J training runs, Jo Leigh Lockner, who flew in from Florida to be at the race, to revisit her former haunts, and to reconnect with so many friends. Jo helped at the start by “issuing” the runners’ race numbers - each number was Sharpied on the runners hand, followed by her trademarked smiley face.
The aid station at the end of the Mawavi road out-and-back section of the course (roughly 8 miles in to both loops) was the Boys Town stop in the race. While Dan Rose and Jack Kurisky were there, the aid station was dominated by The Boyz: J.P., Jack’s son; Danny, Dan Aghdam’s son; and Josiah, Dave Herring’s son. The aid station at the Turkey Run Education Center (TREC - approximately 13 miles in both loops), was the location of the Great Bee Sting, and other than Gary’s trailhead escort service for each runner, it was manned by Bernard Pesjak and Dan Aghdam. The turnaround and finish line was overseen by Kari Cillo and by the race sweep, Nick Combs. Big thanks to all of the volunteers who stepped up to make this race possible!
Several runners missed sections of the course, but took advantage of the second loop to correct their errors.
David Snipes ran his second loop backwards, so his times are for the 3rd and 4th aid stations that he encountered.
Johanna Lockner raced to her own drummer, took advantage of her local trail knowledge to run directly to A.S. #2.