It was an early, sunny morning in the Hood River area this weekend when 60 participants took off from the Binns Hill Staging Area, split just about evenly between the two races that made up the Post Canyon 50K and Half Marathon event.
There were 31 runners who started the 50K and 29 who started the half marathon; four participants between both races did not finish. Participants included dozens of residents from the Gorge area, but also saw runners from as far north as Seattle and as far east as Arkansas.
A half marathon is 13.1 miles, while a 50K is approximately 31 miles. Both races consisted of trail running and differing elevation, giving runners a challenging yet breathtaking course with forestry scenery and breathtaking views along the way. The half marathon runners were the first to finish, and Hood River local Dustin Welch took the top time with 1:45:01. A few minutes behind him was another Hood River resident, Jim Wood, who finished in 1:52:43. Next came Kevin Brooks from Camas, who finished just under the two hour mark in a time of 1:59:55. The top female runner, Hood River’s own Sissel Holloway, finished fourth overall in a time of 2:01:13, followed by yet another local resident, Taylor Kennedy, who completed the race in 2:05:22.
As the last half marathon runners finished their endeavor, the first wave of 50K participants were coming through. Masazumi Fujioka of Mill Creek, Wash. took the top spot with a time of 4:38:02, the second best time in the event’s five-year history. He was followed by Tucson, Ariz. resident Timmy Evens, who finished in 4:48:53. Shawn Bussert of Arlington, Wash. finished in third place with a time of 5:20:11, followed by Connor Wood of Longmont, Colo. in 5:24:50 and Michael Newman of Ashland in 5:31:57. The top female finisher was Maddison McEvilly of Pleasanton, Calif., who placed seventh overall with a time of 5:49:27. The best Hood River resident was Howard Cohen, who took 10th in a time of 6:08:32; Cohen was also the oldest participant between both races, completing a 31-mile race at the age of 61.
The Post Canyon director, Heathor Pola, is hosting another event for running enthusiasts around Hood River: The fifth annual XC fundraiser, an event that raises money for the Hood River Valley High School Cross Country teams, takes place on Sept. 22 and is a four-mile fun run or walk with any and all participants welcome. The event starts and finishes at Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen; all participants will receive a free coffee and doughnut complimentary of Kickstand. The event is a pay as you wish and begins at 8 a.m.