Kirkland, WA January 12, 2002 Horse Riding Trails 2,100 Feet of Elevation Gain 1. Jim O'Brien 4:46:48 2. Georgia Daniels F 5:03:29 3. Tony Phillippi 5:03:29 4. Mark Hartinger 5:13:52 5. James Gifford 5:15:18 6. Dom Repta 5:15:51 7. Patrick Hinds, B.C. 5:16:14 8. Pete Hansen 5:18:38 9. John Robinbson 5:23:05 10. Rob Smith, B.C. 5:25:21 11. Eb Engelmann 5:32:15 12. Wade Repta 5:37:06 13. Dave Dutton 5:50:34 14. Tony Andrews 5:53:36 15. Jerel Frauenheim 5:55:11 16. Karen King F 5:56:13 17. Dimitri Kieffer 5:56:55 18. Tony Covarrubias 5:57:16 19. Rob Hollister 6:09:02 20. Janet Stadshaug F 6:09:09 21. Jamshid Khajavi 6:15:31 22. Robert Lynes 6:26:03 23. Steve Frederickson 6:32:57 24. Fred Stafford 6:32:57 25. Cheri Gillis F 6:33:57 26. Lynne Werner F 7:00:52 27. Janine Duplessis F 7:02:04 28. John Wagner 7:02:04 29. Lary Webster 7:11:18 30. John Pierce 7:41:47 31. Dori Robertson F 7:41:49 32. Jay Yancey 7:44:40 33. Don Funk 7:53:55 34. Linda White F 7:53:55 35. Ron Nicholl 8:01:42 36. Tom Ripley 8:06:04 Course Sweep 37. Chris Ralph F 8:06:04 Course Sweep 52 Starters
Jim O’Brien and Georgia Daniels won their respective divisions in this
seventh annual Bridle Trails Twilight 50 Km. Records were not threatened due
to this years trail conditions. Jim finished with a 17 minute lead over
Tony Phillippi and Georgia, who tied for second overall. Mark Hartinger and
Jamie Gifford followed them for the top five.
This twilight run is most unique in the Northwest. The first lap was the
only one run in the twilight as darkness quickly arrived for the next five
laps of the 50 kilometers. The dark threatening skies even caused some to
use flashlights on the first loop this year. The recent heavy rains also
made the trail very muddy as portions that are normally dry joined the mud
The race, originated by race directors Chris Ralph and Tom Ripley as a
trainer for other races, is mostly wide and open trail, designed for horses.
However, the horse hoof is more oblivious to the mud and other trail
complements than the running shoe. The course is relatively flat and would
be very fast if not for the mud and darkness. All of which contributes to
the challenge and ultrarunning “fun.”
In review, the question is how many ways can mud be described? The first
year of the race there was standing water over a long section of the
northeast corner of the park. That prompted Ray Gruenewald to ponder the
true meaning of “Roe vs. Wade.” We didn’t have that much water this year
but we did have lots of mud that turned into ooze with the passage of
runners. There were several instances where the situation could be compared
to slogging through a construction site with 6″ of freshly poured concrete.
No stopping, just maintain momentum and move through before it set up.
The race’s popularity goes beyond the challenge of the running conditions or
the twilight start but to the camaraderie. The passing or getting passed by
other runners is like a 24 hour race. Everyone has a chance to see everyone
else. Sometimes, even identifying who is coming by the splashing sound
coming from behind. Often, running alone with just the mud and glow sticks,
it was easy to occasionally think that one was being overtaken, only to step
aside and discover that it was the light of a stationary glow stick just
passed, not an overtaking flashlight.
The lighted oasis aid station set up by the large horse ring was a welcome
sight at the completion of each lap. All runners were greeted to the
excellent food and hot soup that has become synonymous with the Bride Trails
50Km. Thanks to Linda Ripley and her able staff.
Al Schuehle had set up a great timing program and the results, including
splits, were e-mailed to all runners, even before some were home from the
late night finish. Thanks to Al and his helpers.
Mary Wellborne, Park Ranger for the Bridle Trails State Park was once again
on hand to help ensure the success of the race. Last but not least a big
thanks to Chris and Tom for making a loop ahead of us to mark the trail and
then sweeping down the glow sticks after the last runner.
The Bridle Trails Twilight 50Km was once again a huge success. Mud or no
mud, the race is undoubtedly the most unique in the Northwest. The sell out
aspect of the race attests to that.