This was the 3rd annual event organized by the Shady Hollow Trail Runners (SHTRs) and has been more and more successful every year! This year the SHTRs offered an Ultra and 1/2 (44 miles), Ultra (32 miles), and 1/2 Ultra (16 miles). Coach David Quinn and Romanie both raced the shorter 1/2 ultra portion of the event today and both had a great race. The weather was perfect (cool, but not too cool), the trail was dry and fast, very well marked by the SHTRs, and the food stations were AMAZING!! This event is known for its great volunteers and amazing food, and the tradition continued this year.
Despite not having run on trail since he broke his foot last October at Farmdale and originally planning on using today as a fun training day, Coach Quinn felt the competitive spirit as he lined up for the start. Quinn raced out with the lead pack at tremendous speed for the first mile or two and, realizing this pace was not sustainable for 16 miles, soon settled in at 5th for the long haul. At mile 8 and 13, Coach Quinn caught the runners ahead and was finishing in 2nd place when the leader was spotted walking the last 2 miles. The race was on between the 2 athletes, with Coach Quinn coming in 1st overall at 2.02.15
Romanie had a harder time with the start as she was battling fatigue and a cold. She was also viewing this race as a training run, and took it easy for the first several miles but was still in 1st female position to start. At mile 5, Romanie was passed after she stopped at the aid station for water and a quick chat (the other athlete did not stop) and she took 2nd female position. Romanie started feeling stronger around mile 7 and caught up with the 1st female just as they were getting to the 2nd large aid station at mile 9. Again, Romanie stopped and refueled on gatorade and oranges, while the 1st female continued. Within 2 miles after the aid station, Romanie caught the 1st female and passed her definitively, and then proceeded to pass several other runners to end 3rd runner overall and 1st female for a finishing time of 2.05.