Sunday, August 2, 2015

Bargo's first Trail Series win and Churchill's fourth at Red Bug

Greg BargoBefore and during Saturday, 1 August 2015, Tallahassee, Florida, got a good soaking from rain. The rain fell on the Phipps Park trails, including the Red Bug Trail, site of the final race of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Summer Trail Series. By the 6:00 PM start of the event, exposed dirt had turned to mud, roots had grown slick, footbridges over streams had become sliding boards. You'd think those kind of conditions would discourage trail runners. Greg Bargo, though, revels in those kind of challenges.

"I like technical trails," said Bargo. "I like it when it's wet and muddy. It's a lot of fun."

In this context, "technical" means a trail where you have a good chance of falling down and hurting yourself.

With that outlook, it's not surprising that Bargo won the Red Bug Trail Race, covering some four-and-a-half miles of sharp turns and challenging footing in 35:14. Alyson Churchill, the runner-up and first female finisher of the race, also noted the "technical" aspects of the course.

Alyson Churchill"It was a little slippery," said Churchill. "I slipped a couple of times but I stayed up."

Churchill shrugged off the trail hazards to run 35:24. In all, 112 athletes braved the conditions to finish the race.

Stephen Andrews was second to Bargo in the men's standings, finishing third overall in 35:41. The third male finisher and top master runner in the race was Joel Piotrowski, fourth overall in 36:10. Swift Creek Middle School cross-country runner Megan Churchill was second on the women's side, coming in tenth overall in 38:27. Carrie Seiberlich was the third female finisher and top woman master, twelfth overall in 38:49.

Most athletes come to trail running after road racing, or experience in high school or college track and cross country. Greg Bargo's route was a bit different.

Stephen Andrews"I got into trail running way after college through mountaineering," explained Bargo. "I started trail running to get into shape for mountaineering. I'm originally from Texas but moved to Utah where I picked up some mountaineering skills."

Bargo is enthused enough about the trails that he ran each of the four races in the 2015 Summer Trail Series. The Red Bug Trail Race, however, was his first trail series win. In order to come up with the victory, though, he had to hold off Alyson Churchill.

"I took the lead right at the first turn," recalled Bargo. "Alyson stayed right on my heels up to the last half mile. I put in a little kick there and got away from her."

Churchill ended the race second to Bargo, but as the women's champ for the fourth time in the four-race Summer Trail Series. It was the first time in the three-year history of the Series an athlete had taken the women's title in every race. After a summer on the trails Churchill returns to cross country. In just a month she'll be starting her final year on Swift Creek Middle School's cross country team. There's one other cross country race before that, though.

"Miller Landing Madness!" smiled Churchill.

Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Red Bug Trail 4½M-Mile Race
    Joel Piotrowski
  1. 35:13.21 ~ Greg Bargo (M, 32)
  2. 35:40.21 ~ Stephen Andrews (M, 29)
  3. 36:09.76 ~ Joel Piotrowski (M, 45)
  4. 36:33.69 ~ Brian Molen (M, 39)
  5. 36:42.74 ~ Scott Gordon (M, 32)
  6. 37:05.51 ~ Jim Halley (M, 35)
  7. 38:01.73 ~ Hal Fravel (M, 34)
  8. 38:08.45 ~ Mark Sobczak (M, 37)
  9. 38:45.27 ~ Jeremy Fowler (M, 27)
  10. 38:49.74 ~ James Wilkinson (M, 32)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Red Bug Trail 4½M-Mile Race
    Megan Churchill
  1. 35:23.60 ~ Alyson Churchill (F, 13)
  2. 38:26.34 ~ Megan Churchill (F, 13)
  3. 38:48.33 ~ Carrie Seiberlich (F, 43)
  4. 41:45.59 ~ Jane Skalski (F, 30)
  5. 42:11.61 ~ Shelley Yaun (F, 37)
  6. 44:13.55 ~ Vaishali Desai (F, 28)
  7. 44:36.45 ~ Beverly Hamilton (F, 37)
  8. 45:44.15 ~ Crystal Douglas (F, 39)
  9. 45:50.35 ~ Becky Leckinger (F, 52)
  10. 46:54.50 ~ Kelly Garland (F, 44)

A Summary of Gulf Winds Track Club's 2015 Summer Trail Series
DateRaceTop MaleTop FemaleFinishers
May 30Cadillac Trail 5½M39:15, Zach Deveau42:51, Alyson Churchill158
June 13Oak Hammock Trail 5M32:59, Zach Deveau35:10, Alyson Churchill129
July 18Coon Bottom Trail 4M28:42, Zach Deveau29:14, Alyson Churchill112
August 1Red Bug Trail 4½M35:14, Greg Bargo35:24, Alyson Churchill112


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