Summer Meltdown: Lost in Race

As the day approached for the final race of the CATs Summer Series, it looked as if the weather would be the headline story.  Instead, what developed was the various directions from which a handful of runners finished the race after going off course. Also, one runner lost her car key fob.  The good news was that all runners were accounted for.  The series ended on a high note with a great post-race cookout and gathering, highlighted by grill master Frank Gonzalez and beers provided by Jason and Ann Dunn of Formula Fitness.  Post race comments echo that a lot of people enjoyed the return of the trail running community spirit this summer.

Runners relax just before the start, as John Andersen assures them they can’t get lost on this course.

So how did runners get lost, and who gets the blame?  After threatening to throw the course marking crew under the bus, I’m going to point to the weather.  Between the mid-day heat and a storm that hit while they were out, perhaps they just weren’t able to focus enough to more clearly mark a critical turn.

Eileen Shuman, probably thinking, “Why should I be in a hurry to get lost?”

Better yet, this can be a learning experience for all.  The race committee should make sure there is at least one experienced course marker on the crew, and try to put a course marshall out at a turn like this. The briefing immediately before the race should remind runners what to look for rather than calling it a really easy course to follow.  And runners should be aware to look for markings and not just follow the person in front of them, and also be aware that if you stop seeing race flagging after a reasonable distance, you are probably off course and should turn around and get back on course.  We realize there are a lot of inexperienced trail runners in our races so we do try to over-mark the course.  We apologize for coming up a little short yesterday.

Gabriela Novoa and Dennis Hogberg got some bonus miles in.

A final note on this, it was great to see that wayward runners banded together to help each other out and find their way back to the finish.

Samuel Givens and Eileen Shuman may have been the last to finish, but they got in more miles than most of you, and finished strong!

There were two races in play: the individual Summer Meltdown race, and the Summer Series championship.  The Meltdown saw fastest times by both the women and the men, but due to new development at the turnaround, the course was shortened to about 1/3 of a mile less than 4 miles.

Emily Smeds got her first win of the series this year in 27:10, and ran away with the women’s series title as well.  Great job, Emily!  In the Meltdown, Brenna Smith and Melanie Dorion took second and third.  Augusta Marshall was second in the series, followed closely by Sophie Farr. 

Women’s overall series champion Emily Smeds

For the men, David Hrivniak made his first appearance in this year’s series to win in 22:44.  David has won all six runnings of the Meltdown!  Once again Mike Fox took second, with Samuel Van Valkenburg third.  Fox’s consistency gave him a clear win for the Summer Series, followed by Michael O’Neill and Sean Stanford.

Mike Fox, men’s overall series champion

Congrats to all 72 runners who finished all 4 races!  315 people joined us for at least one series race.  Thanks to all who participated.  We loved seeing families like the Masris (pictured below), and we also loved seeing all of the individuals coming out and being part of the CATs family.

The Masri family finished all four races, and brought some friends as well!

Extra special thanks to all who volunteered and shared the work of putting this series on.  I don’t dare start naming people because I know I’ll miss too many. I hope all of you feel appreciated, and heard the extended applause from the runners before the race.

Full race results and series results are up now!  More photos can be found on the CATs Facebook page.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Summer Meltdown: Lost in Race

  1. Dan Blondeau

    Thank you to the CATS and all of the volunteers (e.g, emcee, registration, aid station, sponsors, course markers) for your work this year. Once again, it was a great series and certainly welcomed after the last year and a half. Plus, it made our move back to the community all that much better.

    Kudos to everyone that ran this year. Congrats to all of the individual race and series winners.

    Despite the best intentions, a few people went off course. It’s unfortunate, but it happens. Many of us have taken a wrong turn over the years. It’s not the first time it’s occurred at a race, and it won’t be the last.

    Lastly, I think chastising the volunteers and board is uncalled for in a race report. Such criticism should be reserved for board discussions.

    Again, thank you CATS and volunteers for all you do! Your hard work is much appreciated.

  2. Bob Clouston Post author

    Thank you for your comments, Dan. It was not my intent to chastise anyone, but I can see how my attempts at humor might be viewed that way. I apologize to anyone who took it badly.

    It seemed to me that more runners went off course in this race than usual. My intent is to acknowledge this happened, offer an apology, and identify ways we’ll try to keep this from happening in future races, including suggestions for the runners too. I’ll do it with less snarkiness next time.

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