The first year for this race was 2004, maybe 2003. This place has always had a special place in my heart. I have spent many hours running those trails while training for other events. I thought how great it was to run a loop, refuel, then go again. That is when I decided to put on the marathon. It is nice for so many reasons and one is you can actually run a single track trail. I love Jefferson and the difficulty of it but sometimes it is nice just to run.
Many people spend the holidays having parties or going to them. I love celebrating anything! Yet, with working and doing races I really do not have much time. So over the years I realized Otter Creek is my Christmas party! So many of my friends come and I am so happy to see each of you. I have met so many more people as well. Staying in the cabins the night before brings people together and I hope to see this grow as the years go by.
I thought this year was nearly perfect! I am not saying something could not be better but all went smooth. The weather was warm. The trails, after a lot of hard work, were in great shape, There were a lot of leaves which could make a trail tricky but otherwise so nice. Packet pickup at Ken Combs Running Store brought out about 150 people which was great. They have been our sponsor from the beginning and I want to say thank you. Each year they supply our prizes. If you did not get your medal at the end of your run you can go there to pick it up. I loved the race! Matt Hoyes won and set a new course record, Scott Breeden close behind, and Scott Buser in third. Matt has run this race and won so many times, I am always happy to see him there. Scott has won Lovin’ the Hills several times and this was his first time at Otter Creek. I was excited he came. For the women, Taylor Valentino won with second less than 40 seconds behind, Sally Etherton. Tavi Wallace came in a strong third! So much fun to watch! And these are just the marathon. The 8 mile rub was so fast! Jacob Law won is 53:56 for the men and Andrea Doggs for the women with a 1:07:53. For the 16 miler Kevin Lashley and Bethany Pratt took home the win.
Perhaps the best story of the day was the engagement of Derek Robinette and Alicia Heine! Glen Richardson ran is 103 race for the year. Rhonda Curry ran with Roxie and she is newly engaged. Helen Garen ran her 396th marathon. She has had a stroke, still runs and is writing a book! So many great stories. Amber Phillips ran her first trail marathon, Laura Olinger finished her first trail run and won the vegan chili cookoff. This year we had lots of people enter the chili cookoff and I was so excited! Each received a apron. The judges were Maddy Blue and Kris Vance. The food was amazing!
Just want to say thank you to all that volunteered. So many gave their time and it made the race! Central Track team did a fantastic job as always. Just want all of you to know how thankful I am you all came. Volunteers make a race and you all made this one great!
Happy Holidays my dear friends. Thank you for coming to my party! Hope I see you all soon. I thank God I am so blessed!