The wind was gusting and the sun was beating down on Sunday as the largest pack in Gorge Games history turned out for Nike ACG Trail Run.
A record 385 participants tested their quads and calves on the grueling Whoop-Dee Trail in the Hood River hills, which served as the race venue for the first time this year.
Runners cruised through a generally downward rolling course over narrow single track for the first four miles of the 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) course before making the punishing two-mile uphill climb toward the finish chute.
That wasn’t the end for about half the runners, however. For those who chose the half marathon, seeing the finish area was only the half way point and beginning of another loop around the course.
Cam Dauler of Hood River was the first local and the first overall men’s finisher in the 10K, winning the 30-39 age group in a time of 41:33.
Scott Becker of Hood River was the next local finisher in fifth overall (44:14), and took second in the under 25 age group. He was followed by Tom Moline of Hood River, in sixth place overall (44:27).
Todd Beyreuther won the 25-29 year-pld men’s race (44:35), while Greg Gustafson won the 40-49 men’s age group (42:06), and Sherman Rouse of White Salmon won the over 50 age group (49:36).
On the women’s side, high school cross-country star Christy Paul took first overall and first in the under 25 division with a time of 45:15 She was followed by Heather Laurance of Parkdale, who was second overall and first in the 25-29 age group (48:39).
Faith Kennedy won the 30-39 age group in 52:56, while Sierra Schneider won the 40-49 division (51:55) and Katy Mellow of Hood River took first in the women’s over 50 division (1:02:42), Denise Doney of Mosier took second and Sally LaVenture of Hood River came in third.
For the half marathon, Kristin Uhler was the highest placing local, taking second in the 40-49 age group (2:00:58). The top female finisher in the half marathon was Jenny Wong (1:39:26), and the top men’s finisher was Brent Roeger (1:20:43). Paul Curran (1:24:25), Willy Hicks (1:25:10) and Frank Wolf (1:25:29) also finished strong.
All who participated in the trail run are invited to the athlete party tonight from 7-11 p.m. at the National Geographic Adventure Village.
A local race team sponsored by new Hood River retailer, Lava Gear, placed second in the team competition. The team of David Novak, Currie Novak and Ian Partilla, finished right behind the Red Lizard Running Club from Portland. Lava Gear is a new resident to Hood River and manufacturers outdoor adventure clothing.