October 1, 2016 started out a bit wet but quickly became a great day for running a trail ultra.  Last year's men's winner was back with us to defend and he was going to have to work hard if he wanted the win because Andrew Bartle and Darren Miller showed up to go after the course.  For about 15 miles the lead pack had four runners that were bunched up, and then some separation started to happen.  Darren pulled away and put some distance between him and the pack and never looked back!  Well, he said that he looked back a lot to see if anyone was gaining on him, but he held on to win with a new course record of 3:56:37.  Taking nearly 16 minutes off of the 2015 course record.  Andrew Bartle came in 2nd, just a few minutes behind Darren.  Aaron Horrell was 3rd just a few minutes after that! The women's field was a bit smaller this year, however the two women who ran put on a great race.  First time ultra runner, Maija Putnina, held the lead for the first two laps.  Then Kimberly Auth took the lead and held it for the remainder of the day.  While it is fun to watch the leaders battle it out for the top spots, Ultrarunning is about a runner's battle with the course and not just about the win. We saw some very gutsy performances during this race.  One runner was about to scratch, but decided to take a break, get some food and rethink the decision.  The smile on his face when he finished and received his finisher medal made it clear that he had made a good decision to continue the race. There were a number of first time ultra runners at the race.  I want to thank all of my awesome volunteers for their help and support at this event.  Also, a thank you to the runners who decided to spend their day with us on Saturday!

 
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