Relyea and Hoffman win at XTERRA Barkcamp Trail Run
Friends sort out confusing finish of women's division
Friendship and sportsmanship were on display at the XTERRA Barkcamp Trail Run earlier this month. The event featured two courses (21K and 10K), and it was completed on October 1 at Belmont, Ohio.
A mix-up in course directions for the 21K created some confusion, but it was not enough to prevent the "real" winners from emerging.
The overall winner was unquestioned. Lanson Relyea completed the 21K course in 1 hour, 58 minutes, 54 seconds, and led practically from start to finish. It was the first overall victory of his trail running career.
"The course was wet and sloppy and hilly … and awesome," said Relyea, who is from Moon, Pa. "It had rained for the entire week previous, including the morning of the race. The mud made it essential to run under control, and there were several sections where I sank in the mud up to my shins."
Relyea built a significant lead early in the course, but it got interesting later when he retraced his steps to track down a course marshal.
"At mile 11, I ran back to a water station to make sure I was going the right way," he said. "By the time I got back to the right direction, second place was right behind me. I did have to kick it in a bit to make sure I held my lead."
Dan Campbell placed second with a time of 1:59:25, and Cody Ruminski was third in 2:02:45.
The women's division was where it got interesting. Katie Wagner technically crossed the finish line first, but her friend, Kamden Hoffman, was the actual winner.
What happened? Wagner apparently took a wrong turn late in the course which allowed her to skip about one mile and pass several runners. Wagner said she knew she was behind Hoffman, so it came as a surprise to her when she crossed the finish line first.
Wagner then graciously informed the race officials that Hoffman was the actual winner of the race. "I imagine I would have gotten fourth or fifth if I ran the whole thing," Wagner said.
It helps that the two are friends and training partners, and they made the trip together from Pittsburgh, Pa., to compete in the XTERRA Barkcamp Trail Run.
Hoffman said she broke away from the other women early in the course, and then ran with some of the top men for the second half of the course. It was the first XTERRA Trail Run for both Hoffman and Wagner, and they said it won't be their last.
"Katie and I plan to continue to do XTERRA races, and we are proud and honored to do them, and I myself am so excited for the first time to win my first race," Hoffman said. "I don't know if I can hold that up again, but I always go out and do my best, and whatever happens is great!"
Ben Ortt won the 10K race with a time of 47:39, and Christine Lewis was the first female with a time of 57:59. More than 150 runners participated in the event, braving it in the rain and 40-degree temperatures.CLICK HER FOR COMPLETE RESULTS
The XTERRA Barkcamp Trail Run was the first of three events on the 2011-12 schedule for the XTERRA Southern Ohio Trail Run Series.
The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Salt Fork Trail Run at Lore City, Ohio, on Dec. 4. To register for the race or learn more about it, please visit http://www.ohiooutside.com/salt-fork/index.html.
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