Monday, November 09, 2009

2009 Lithia Loop Trail Marathon Wrap-Up

Once again the weather held out for the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon. During the middle of the race some drizzle fell at the finish line while snow flurries swirled around runners and volunteers higher on the course. Ideal conditions for a USA Track and Field National Trail Marathon Championship.

The lead runners separated themselves immediately. A pack consisting of Aaron Saft (NC), Sam Robinson (CA), Jim Johnson (NH) and Max King (OR) pushed each other to the top of the first major climb (3000' in eight miles) at Upper Horn Gap. It was there that King made a move on the flatter section of the course to gain the lead for the rest of the race. He finished in 2:40:23. Robinson and Saft didn't make it easy for King as they finished roughly two and eight minutes behind him respectively.

In the men's master race Greg McMillan (AZ) and Dan Verrington (MA) took the early lead. McMillan worked his way through the pack, eventually passing a cramping Jim Johnson in the last mile to finish fourth overall in 2:54:50. Verrington finished second about ten minutes behind McMillan. Local harrier, JC Callans (Central Point, OR), finished third in the men's masters race in 3:08:25.

In the women's race things played out a little differently. Right from the gun, Cynthia Arnold (KY) took the lead and never looked back. At mile 23, however, she took a wrong turn and was directed by race management to retrace her steps and run the correct course. Arnold had built such a lead (14 minutes by 20 miles) that the extra mile of course correction did not affect her placing. She crossed the line in 3:08:42, seven minutes ahead of second place finisher Becca Ward (WA). Ward pushed hard to the finish in order to out-lean third place finisher Devon Crosby-Helms (CA) by six seconds. Kate Lapides (CO) finished first in the women's masters race and crossed the finish line in 3:48:57. Karla Nash finished second about 14 minutes back of Lapides. Local Ashland runner, Lisa Norvell, finished third in the women's master's division.

143 runners crossed this year's finish line. Full race results can be found here. We'd like to thank the more than thirty volunteers that spent their day on the course and made this race possible. Join us on November 6th, 2010 as the Lithia Loop Trail Marathon returns and plays host as the USA Track and Field National Trail Championships for yet another year.

Fall foliage provides an excellent back-drop for the start of the 2nd Annual Lithia Loop Trail Marathon.

(left to right)Devon Crosby-Helms (3rd woman), Win Goodbody (pink body suit), Krissy Moehl (4th woman) and Ellen Parker (5th woman) less than a minute into the race.

Cynthia Arnold: Women's National Trail Marathon Champion

Max King: 2009 Men's National Trail Marathon Champion

Sam Robinson: Runner-up at the USA Track and Field Championships

Greg McMillan: Men's Masters winner from Flagstaff, AZ

Dan Verrington and Greg McMillan battle in the early miles for the Masters title.

The lead pack charges up the 2060 road. (Left to right) Aaron Saft, Max King, Sam Robinson, Jim Johnson

By popular demand, "The Fat Author" Todd Ragsdale.

Photos were taken by Mailtribune's Jamie Lusch and Cathy Dunham.


Mark Sherbow said...

Great Event! Even with my whining about the weather... We are so lucky to have this race in our back yard! Thanks to everyone who made it possible-aid station folks, race directors and all the others who put in the energy to make a first class run! Rogue Valley Runners Rock!

Darcy said...

Thanks for another great year. It was so much fun to see everyone out there and as usual the support was amazing.

C.J. Hitz said...

Ok, who's the guy with the "large belly" and bow tie in the first picture? That's hilarious! Thanks for the laugh. Missed being part of the race this year but sounds like you guys had a wonderful day. Great job.

double-d said...

Nice job by the race staff and the crew out on the course. Definitely worth coming from the other side of the country to participate.

SamRobinson said...

I certainly enjoyed the race. Seeing the frost line in the trees above the fire road after the big climb was simply amazing. Probably will come back next year to try it again. I think the course record can easily go under 2:40 if not under 2:38.


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