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Saturday, October 28, 2000 -- Charlottesville, VA
Blue Ridge Outdoors Trail 10K
Story and photos by Dana Harshberger

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Blue Ridge Outdoors 10K
Falltime in Charlottesville
There's nothing like starting your weekend out right, by getting up bright and early on a Saturday morning to run a 10K-trail race.

The 5th Annual Blue Ridge Burn, held at the beautiful Walnut Creek Park in Charlottesville, VA began promptly at 9am. The sun was doing it's best to burn off the slight hint of fog that was lingering around, and the air was perfect for a jaunt through the woods. And even with Halloween just around the corner, only one person showed up suitably attired, that person was race director Rob Jiranek, of Blue Ridge Outdoors.

About 120 runners gathered at the start for the pre-race meeting conducted by the Devil himself. Cautionary tales were told regarding runner Dede Watson, who on a pre-ride on her mountain bike the day before, came across some surprises hidden under all the recently fallen leaves, and had some war wounds to show for it. The Devil also kindly pointed out Gary Myers as being the man to beat. There's nothing like being a marked man, eh Gary?

And then they were off. The race began on a wide stretch of pavement, and soon turned off on the very rocky and rooty trails. Leaves added to the mix, being both slippery in spots as well as concealing in others.

Blue Ridge Outdoors 10K
Gary Myers was a marked man
Off the front was eventual overall male winner Gary Myers, (38:49) who didn't know quite what to make of his earlier introduction. Turns out, it helped him, with most people giving him a fair amount of space. Gary used this advantage to take off and get a bit of a lead, which apparently was a good thing, as he rolled his ankle close to the start. He didn't let this bother him, and pretty much had fear propelling him through the remainder of the race. Never sure of how much of a lead he had, his technique consisted of sprinting over the smooth easy sections, and then slowing down to concentrate on the more technical spots. Gary's mileage has been down as of late, with most of his time being spent as a resident in pediatrics. He still manages to find time to squeeze in about 30-40 miles per week.

Close on Gary's heels was Burkhard Spieakerman, (40:12), who captured 2nd overall and first in his category of Male 41-99. Burkhard had a different approach to the trail, with trying to maintain a steady pace throughout. He logs about 30 miles per week, mostly on trails with his dogs, and likes the total body workout that trail running gives. The mental aspects and the increased need for coordination are also plusses.

Blue Ridge Outdoors 10K
The solace of a trail
In her first trail race, Amy Bacevich (54:02) found that her trail time was 10 minutes slower than her road time. After almost falling early on, Amy realized that thinking was the name of the game. With all of the roots just waiting to reach out and trip you, keeping an eye on the trail was a must.

Bill Potts(45:39), in his third year of running this race, captured first in his category of Male 31-40, as well as 8th overall. Seems Bill likes the skill involved in trail running. The technical aspects keep his interest, and he definitely prefers the trail to the road. The second climb doled out some difficulty for him, namely because there was little recovery time from the FIRST climb!

Finishing first overall for the Women was Anne Riddle, with a time of 45:48. With the Males 1-20, was Greg Mooliterno (43:28). Females 1-20 was captured by Mary Tavares coming in at 59:12. On to the 21-30 year olds and for the Men it was Glenn Voelz (40:13) and for the women it was 49:02, by Heather Trainum. For the Men in the 31-40 age group, Bill Potts(45:39) and for the Women, Sophie Speidel at 49:00. Men 41-99 was taken by Burkhard Spieakerman, (40:12) and then for the Women, Kathy Thomas brought it in at 59:25.

Immediately following the race, was the awards ceremony. Awards went to top 3 finishers in each category, with prizes like New Balance trail shoes, Patagonia Endurance clothing and gift certificates from Awful Arthur's being given out.

Many thanks should go out to Rob Jiranik of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and all of the fine folks there that helped put on such a fabulous event. Thanks also to Blue Ridge Mountain Sports, Harris-Teeter, Crispy Creme, Pepsi Products, Maureen Yokem, Massage therapy, and a big hand also to Carol Finch, for her efficient timing and results.