Share |

Saturday, October 27, 2007 -- Oak Hill, WV / ACE Adventure Center
6th ACE New River Gorge-ous Trail Run - MSTR #7 (iPO Event Id#: 10045)

2007: [Photos] [Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Coverage: [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005] [2006]

Short Course Owned by Chaney;
Bryant Battles with Bee

Story and photos by Julie Black with additional photos by Jason Black

Wild and Wonderful WV-ACE Overlook
The view from ACE Overlook
Photo by Julie Black
Seven races in seven wild and wonderful places; that's the West Virginia Trail Runner's Mountain State Trail Run (MSTR) Series. Every race is held in WV and each is unique in its own scenic right. The grand finale, The New River Gorge-ous Trail Runs hosted by ACE Adventure Center, offered racers options of a 13.2 or 7.5 mile run, or a 4.5-mile walk. This year saw its largest turn-out ever.

Warm fall weather greeted over 90 racers at start time. Jeff Walls, ACE's newly appointed events coordinator added a new section on the long course on Buzzard's Roost trail, winding through a rhododendron thicket.

ACE Adventure Center
Great weather brings smiles
Photo by Jason Black
The route began just left of the lake and headed up to the Concho Overlook where racers caught a glimpse of Thurmond, a historical railroad town that lies along the New River. Awaiting the runners at the overlook, I had the chance to take in the view myself.

The fall colors were bright in the haze, and green still shone through enough to even out the warm palette. Many rocks lay hidden under wet leaves and mud from Friday's rain.

The uphill haul on Oather Ridge Trail is gradual (I had rode down it on my mountain bike with my husband the day before), but after the overlook, when it meets Concho Rim, it begins to head down steadily.

Emily Chaney
Emily Chaney hurdles a log-jam
Photo by Julie Black
Short Course Owned by Chaney

ACE's Emily Chaney was the first to appear at the top of Oather Ridge with Mike Dolin in her shadow. They ran the 7.5-mile race. Not only did amazing Emily finish as the first overall, but she's looking stronger than ever. With a time of 50:52 Chaney also set a new women's short course record.

Mike Dolin is a familiar face at many area trail races. It's a family affair since Mike runs with wife, Ashley. Before the event he was all smiles, asking me where I'd be shooting on the trail. Dolin has a lot to smile about. He finished 2nd overall in the short course in 53:41 and took home the 1st place male 20-29 MSTR Series win. Ashley finished as the 1st overall female of the MSTR Series. The Dolin's will be keeping warm this winter with their series blankets to share.

Joel Rodgers, who gets my vote for the "best lid of the day" with his post-race pumpkin hat, took home the 3rd place short course prize with a time of 58:10.

Catherine Clark (1:08:47), and Susan Wagner (1:09:36), two WV women, rounded out the women's top short course spots.

Bryant and Bee
Bryant and Bee, drafting
Photo by Julie Black
Drafting on the Long Haul

This year's Great Eastern Endurance Run (100K) Champion and Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series runner, Jason Bryant, ran with Michael Bee on his heels for most of the long course. Bee drafted Bryant through most of the course, even to Froghopper Loop Trail to about the half-way mark. I couldn't see where Bryant left Bee, but it was enough for the win and a significant spread in the end.

Jason Bryant took the win for the long course with a time of 1:31:27 as WV's Michael Bee claimed 2nd in 1:32:49. Bee walked away happy as the overall male winner of the MSTR Series for the 2nd time. Daniel McDowell finished 3rd respectively in 1.38.26.

Lorraine Moore of Virginia finished as the 1st female in the long course in 2:15:57. Ashley Dolin of WV followed in 2nd (2:18:53), while Chrissy Paulson crossed in 3rd in 2:20:23.

Jeff Walls and Joel Rodgers
Jeff Walls and Joel Rodgers
Photo by Julie Black
For the Record

Besides the amazing beauty of the trails, scenic overlook, comfy cabins... ACE is the place to race. Why? The post-race activities are always great. Free Micro-Brew, yummy burrito buffet fit for a king, and excellent prizes are just a few things to mention.

ACE's new event person, Jeff Walls is a former racer, so he knows his trails. He created many of the trails that folks ride and run at the 1,400-acre resort. Shout-out to Brenda who was the bartender on her day off. Thanks, you rock!

From November 1 - March 29, 2007 enjoy Quiet Season' Lodging Stay at ACE and ski Winterplace for a perfect weekend getaway, or cross country ski the trails outside your cabin. Sun - Thu: Stay One Night and get the 2nd Night FREE! Or, Fri/Sat: Stay One Night get the 2nd Night at half price.

My husband and I love it there and so does my 5 year old son. Any season is a reason to stay at ACE Adventure Center.