Matthews State Forest Trail Run 2014
"We few, we happy few, we band, of brothers and sisters who have assembled together to run the Matthews State Forest Trail Run. Ladies and gents shall think themselves accursed who did not run on this day, April 5, 2014!" These are the borrowed, paraphrased, lines from Shakespeare’s Henry the Fifth, Saint Crispen’s Day Speech in 1598.These are the words I thought of as we assembled on a gorgeous, crisp, windy, spring morning. The goal was to tackle 8+ miles of the Matthews Trail Run. We had a small turnout, but it did not affect the quality of the runners or race. Even though I would rather have been running rather than directing the Matthews run, I thoroughly enjoyed observing the integrity and comradery runners share. I was so proud of the sportsmanship and character displayed on the course by all our runners today.
To offer a few examples our overall winner, Brian Miller stopped his run long enough to clean up debri he had just fallen over. Even though he was in first place he didn’t hesitate to take time to prevent the ones coming behind from falling. Brad Chambers realized he had missed a turn which unintentionally shortened his run, so he stood and waited til the guy in front of him, before his mistake, was back in front before continuing. He immediately reported what happened upon finishing. One of our ladies got confused, and ran the same loop four times, and yet she finished her run and wasn’t last! One of our new friends from Durham, Larry Bohs crossed the finish line with a pretty good bump on his head, but he was still smiling! Ramona Hale took a tumble and had a swollen lip thanks to new braces! Patti Merdian was there to pull her lip from the braces, and help her keep going! It is hard to keep a good runner down! I had several to fall, but as Brian, our winner said, "Its just trail running." There are very few runners who whine that trail run. As a director, I so appreciate that. They are there for the love of running. Tom Sharkey proved that as he did a somersault over the finish line! I loved overhearing conversations between the runners thanking each other for the encouragement that came during the run. I was reminded of why I love going to races so much as I watched folks who just met this morning interacting as old friends. Runners are just a great group of people!
Masterpiece Fitness, and my runners would like to express appreciation to our sponsors and volunteers. Without either of them, these events cannot happen. These are the people willing to invest financially and that give their precious time so we can enjoy these worthy events. Dr Jim Britton has helped with every event Masterpiece Fitness has done in the past four years. Mike Hutchison works tirelessly behind the scenes for months before these events. Karen Porter has become like my right arm during the events. Tori Lindberg, her daughter Dae, and Allison Mountcasel helped with serving food and the water station. I had four wonderful photographers, Charlotte and David McPherson, Andrew Peddy, and Cassidy Williams. Also we want to thank Matthews State Forest and the mountain bike riders who created the trails. Robert Patton went out there alone and removed all the fallen trees several weeks before the run. This took several hours of hard work; he acted as though it was nothing! He did that to help us, and we all appreciate him. Another huge tree fell directly down the trail just before the race! I called Zach Olinger, and his immediate response was, "We will take care of it." It was done. We also want to thank the Baywood Volunteer Rescue Squad. Those guys were great just as last year!
Even though I contemplated throwing in the towel the last couple of weeks of this event, I was convinced today it really is worth the hard work that goes into it. It is one challenging, fabulous run! With God’s help we will have a 3rd Annual Matthew Trail Run. I hope to see you there!
Results and pictures will be posted on the website by Tuesday, April 8th. Photos can be seen now on the Galax Running Club face book page by Andrew Peddy.