Saturday, September 11, 2004
The 12th Annual Virginia Happy Trails Running Club (VHTRC) Women's Half-Marathon Trail Run began under sunny, blue skies. 193 women were at the starting line at the parking lot at Fountainhead Regional Park to heed the words of Priscilla Welch, masters marathon great. Priscilla said, "If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it." And start they did to show us their best.
Heather Trainum, the winner, covered the course in 1:57:15. Kit Noonan finished second in 2:02:43, while Monika Bracken finished in third in 2:09:11. Each received a Timex watch for her efforts. Five-year age category winners received $25 gift certificates, day packs, or bottle holders. Among our mother-daughter teams this year, Eileen and Laurette Fisher finished first in a combined time of 5:53:53. Bunny and Christine Runyan were second in a combined time of 6:24:46. Deirdre and Francesca, who is only 15 years old, Smith captured third place with a combined time of 7:40:42. They received jewelry boxes with a specially-inscribed plaque. We again had the popular "run with an animal" contest, in which runners were given stuffed animals to carry to and redeem for prizes at the finish line.
The three aid stations were staffed by cheering and supportive volunteers, who were deeply committed to making this run a first-class event. Without these people who generously donated their time and efforts, the race would not be possible. In addition to the truffles, homemade cookies and cake, fruit, chips, pretzels, and various beverages served along the course, there was a chocolate fountain, the ultimate treat for chocolate fanatics, at the finish line.
I would like to thank all of the volunteers for their commitment, service, and time. I also would like to thank the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for its support, along with our sponsors - The Chocolate Chick; Eastern Mountain Sports; Metro Run and Walk; Montrail; Patagonia; Susan E. Petty, Certified Massage Therapist; and the VHTRC. I would like to extend a special thanks to Valerie Meyer for race timing and her computer skills. Her efforts before the race and at the finish line were invaluable. Marge Burley deserves special thanks for shopping for and chopping pounds of fruit for the chocolate fountain and obtaining the Tylenol, which you received in your race bags. I also want to thank Lucia Davidson, who handled registration.
Visit Anstr Davidson's electronic gallery of pictures on this site. See you next September!
About the Photos
For the most part, the photos turned out better this year -- especially at the first turnaround. Because of the slow recycle time on the camera, I could not get very runner at the turnaround. I got almost every finisher, however. The only finishers I missed were those in the back of large groups that came in together. The pictures vary in quality. The pictures are in collages. If you want an individual shot, information on how to get the shot is linked from each photo page.
Download Times: The collages are almost 100 kb each. They will take quite awhile to download on a slow, dial-up connection to the Internet. They should not be too bad on a fast connection. They all download at once so you can click on the link, go get a beer, and come back and be ready to view the pictures. I am sorry for the slow download, but further reduction of the file sizes would have reduced the photo quality significantly.