Memories made at Hashawha Hills
The sixth running of the Hashawha Hills 50km Trail Run is in the books, and for all who were there, I am sure this will prove to be one of the most memorable runs ever.
As I’m fond of saying, “You always remember the vacation when the car broke down” …..getting hit with something far out of the ordinary, whereas stressful at the time, provides for memories that will never fade.
It was 6 degrees on Saturday morning when 96 runners hit the Hashawha Hills, and within minutes, found themselves post holing through 8 to 10 inches of crusty, granular, and just downright miserable snow, making progress extremely slow and difficult. The consensus among most was that these were simply the hardest trail conditions they had ever faced. Memories in the making though. This is the stuff that makes the attitude, the effort, and the will, all coalesce into the realization we may just be a little tougher than we thought. And that’s what makes this all so unforgettable. The brilliant sun shown down from a crystalline sky, the beauty of the landscape unfolding before them, as runners worked their way through snow covered fields, forest, and meadow, on a day none will ever forget.
The snow covered ground took an odd toll, for some reason or other causing a number of runners to go off course after passing right beside what was described as a “pink wall” of 8 marking ribbons. Go figure.
Taking the conditions into account we played fast and loose with the cut off at the 15.5 mile aid station, but the tough conditions had runners paying a high price. Forty two runners either chose to drop, or timed out at or before the halfway point.
On the second loop, the post holing was over, the trail having turned into an odd combination of loose, granular, soft, powdery, junk. Chris McIntosh was first across the finish line, in what considering the conditions was an astonishing time of 5:24:22, and Lori Cooper was the female winner, crossing the line in 6:27:02.
On this cold and beautiful winter day runners showed true grit, as 53 of the 96 starters dug deep and found their way to finish line, many turning in negative splits. All finishers received the coveted handmade Hashawha Hills mug, and everyone who was there took home some memories that will never fade.
Hats off to all our dedicated hardworking volunteers, without whom, of course, we could never do this. Thanks also to all our runners who showed respect to our venue.
The seventh running of The Hashawha Hills 50 Km Trail Run, the race that gets cheaper every year will be held on February 27, 2016 when the entry fee will be an absolutely ridiculous $19.45