I’ve always seen the Hashawha Hills 50k as a puzzle with many pieces, and as run director, it is up to me to keep tweaking and adjusting and massaging those pieces to make this run the best it can be. Over the years we have made small adjustments to the course that have made the run experience better, albeit, more difficult. This year we made the biggest course change in the run’s history when we modified a 2.3 mile loop section that runners encounter twice, adding a noticeable degree of difficulty and elevation change. Despite the more challenging and slower course, runners seemed to be unanimous in their enthusiasm for this change.
As they always do, our key volunteers returned to take ownership of the event and on the last Saturday in February, 105 runners towed the line for the thirteenth running of Hashawha Hills. Mercifully, the horrible mud that usually plays a big role was partly frozen making for some fast going right from the start.
On a personal level it was exciting for me to have my son Jonathan running Hashawha Hills for the first time. He battled for the lead with Patrick Stem and with about 7 miles to go Jonathan took the lead and held on to take the win. The run quickly became a family affair when Jonathan Gowen became only the seventh runner in the run’s thirteen year history to break four hours, finishing in 3:59:09.
Molly Ritter ran strong all day and in a tight women’s field took the win in 4:53:54.
The weather was perfect for running and the course remained in excellent shape all day long. Runners were enthusiastic about the latest tweaks to the Hashawha Hills puzzle, and our volunteers went the extra mile to make Hashawha Hills a better than ever experience for all.
The thirteenth running of the Hashawha Hills 50 km Trail Run will be held on February 25, 2023, the traditional last Saturday in February.