The Trilogy is a special event. Just ask anyone who has experienced first-hand the magical environment of The Mountain Institute and the rugged beauty of the WV Highlands. We were once again blessed with unbelievably gorgeous weather for all three days of the event. We must be doing something right!
The 50K on Friday foreshadowed the events to come -- beautiful weather and fast running. David Frazier and Chris Reed set a blistering pace from the start, distancing themselves from the pack, and did not let up en route to their shared victory in 4:39 -- a very fast time on this course which was slowed by a plethora of downed timber thanks to an early season snow and ice storm earlier in the week. Always steady John Logar (second overall in the Trilogy '10) was third in a solid time of 5:15. Kathy Wolf returned to the Trilogy after a disappointing DNF in '10 and sent a loud message with her 7:01 victory. We all knew that she was there to take care of business this year. Her friend and training partner Darcy Lallathin was close behind in 7:02 and trailed by Angie Smith in 7:20.
Did I run too fast? Recover properly? Will my legs work? . . . these were the questions bouncing around the runners' brains as they awoke to clear skies and cool temperatures on Saturday. Stepping out of their damp tents was the first intrepid step of what would be many in the day's ominous 50-mile adventure. Dan and I man the first aid-station (just as in the 50K) at the top of Spruce Knob -- the highest point in WV. We could not believe how fast the front group was moving! We had his big-green-van at 60mph on the road up to the Knob in order to beat Chris Reed and Dave Frazier to the aid spot. It was obvious that these guys were unfazed by the previous day's miles. Reed and Frazier held their impressive paces until Frazier was able to pull ahead near the end to take the win in a speedy 7:46, while Reed finished close behind in 7:56. Steve Miles had a solid second run of the weekend in 10:08; good enough for a distant third. The 2010 Women's Trilogy Champion, Kristen Krempasky, rebounded from an unfortunate course-following error in the 50K (resulting in a DNF) and showed her true form by blowing away the competition in a time of 11:37. Darcy Lallathin stayed strong and solidified herself at the top of the leader board with a finishing time of 12:43, followed by Adele Fenwick in 12:59. It was a long day for all the competitors. Those who finished were relieved to know that they had conquered the majority of the Trilogy. All that was left was a "little" half marathon the next day . . . enough distance for some jostling in the standings.
Sunday saw another beautiful sunrise, although many of the runners took full advantage of the later start time and spent some quality time with their sleeping pads. More runners converged upon the campus of TMI and the race headquarters was buzzing with excitement. Reed and Frazier shot out from the start -- out pacing even the fresh half marathoners. Dave Frazier held off Chris Reed once again as the pair went one-two respectively over the amplified field in respective times of 1:30 and 1:32 -- an inspiring ending to an impressive triptych of performances. John Logar finished in 1:40, solidifying his overall third place position. The women's field was conversely dominated by "a la carte" runners (ie. just there for the half marathon). Heather Parks ran uncontested for the win in 1:47, followed by Hannah Underdahl in 1:57 and Jody Logar in 2:01. Darcy Lallathin secured her overall Trilogy victory with her 2:27, while Adele Fenwick took second with her 2:29 finish. Kathy Wolf finished what she started in 2010 and earned third place for her monumental efforts. Complete results can be found here.
The 2011 WV Trilogy saw the entrants list more than double as word is getting out about this event. I expect to see it grow even more in years to come. This event truly is more about camaraderie than competition. There is racing to be had, don't get me wrong, but the root of this event is more about celebrating the joy of friends, running, and life.
Enjoy the line-up of pics below and I hope to see you at the next WV Trilogy; Oct 12-14, 2012.