Monday, July 3, 2017

O'Kelley and Molen stay perfect in the Summer Trail Series at Red Bug

North of Tallahassee, Florida in Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, the Red Bug Trail is a scenic traipse through the trees and over brooks. But if you take your eyes off the trail to enjoy that scenery, one of your feet is liable to make friends with a tree root. You’re even more likely to stumble if you’re running the trail, as many athletes were doing on Saturday morning, 1 July 2017, during the second event in Gulf Winds Track Club’s Summer Trail Series, the Red Bug Trail Race.


“I was very careful,” said one of the runners. “I kept my eyes on the ground.”


“I saw one go down in front of me and another behind me,” said another runner. “Fortunately, when I went down no one was watching me.”

Chris O'Kelley
Chris O'Kelley

It was definitely a trail race, with cries of “Oof!” and “Are you okay?” filling the woods, and the scent of insect repellent in the air. None of the obstacles on the trail could stop Chris O’Kelley, though. O’Kelley won the race, covering the perilous four-and-a-half miles in 37:34. Or maybe it was five miles. Opinions varied.


With the win, O’Kelley is two-for-two in the four-event Summer Trail Series, having also won the opener at Munson Hills. How did Red Bug Trail compare with the first run?


“A lot tougher,” said O’Kelley. “It was hotter and more humid. I hadn’t run here before and I didn’t know how technical it was going to be. I wanted to run faster, but after I got out on the trail I knew that wasn’t going to happen.”

Gulf Wind Track Club 2017 Summer Trail Series #2, Red Bug Trail Race
The Start

In the parlance of trail running, “technical” means “likely to cause someone to trip and fall.” Saturday’s statistics indicate that Red Bug Trail is very technical.


O’Kelley perhaps didn’t run as fast as he’d have liked, but he did run fast enough to win by over a quarter mile. Charles Biberg was runner-up in the race, clocking 39:42. Bill McDonald was the top master runner on the trail, placing third overall in 42:09.


Emily Molen took the women’s title, finishing 22nd overall in 48:24. Molen, a sophomore on the Chiles High cross-country team, was also first in the women’s standings at the earlier Munson Hills race. It was actually Molen’s fourth Trail Series win; as a youngster on the Deerlake Middle School cross-country team, she had won two of the races on the 2014 summer trail circuit. Julie Duggins was the women's runner-up at Red Bug, 24th overall in 49:43. Darcy Brinkman edged Megan Orcutt for the third women's spot, 50:40 to 50:42. Brinkman and Orcutt were 29th and 30th overall. Sonya Dudley was the first woman master and tenth female finisher, 46th overall in 56:56.

Emily Molen
Emily Molen

90 athletes finished the Red Bug Trail Race. The Summer Trail Series continues on 15 July 2017 with a five-mile morning race in Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park, and concludes on 5 August 2017 with a four-and-a-half mile evening race in Tom Brown Park. Chris O'Kelley plans to be at both.


“I’m trying to sweep the series,” said O’Kelley. “But we’ll see.”


Top Ten Men, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Red Bug Trail 4½-Mile Race
  1. 37:34, Chris O'Kelley (M, 24)
  2. 39:42, Charles Biberg (M, 24)
  3. 42:09, Bill McDonald (M, 56)
  4. 42:27, James Wilkinson (M, 34)
  5. 42:39, Myles Gibson (M, 51)
  6. 43:06, Mark Sobczak (M, 39)
  7. 43:41, Brian Molen (M, 41)
  8. 43:55, Hal Fravel (M, 36)
  9. 45:09, Ryan Baumbach (M, 37)
  10. 45:21, Chad Johnson (M, 44)

Top Ten Women, Gulf Winds Track Club's 2017 Red Bug Trail 4½-Mile Race
  1. 48:24, Emily Molen (F, 15)
  2. 49:43, Julie Duggins (F, 34)
  3. 50:40, Darcy Brinkmann (F, 36)
  4. 50:42, Megan Orcutt (F, 32)
  5. 50:52, Deirdre McCarthy (F, 37)
  6. 53:40, Martha Guyas (F, 32)
  7. 54:38, Amelia Wilson (F, 27)
  8. 55:30, Jessica Deneen (F, 26)
  9. 55:44, Bridget Isenberg (F, 17)
  10. 56:56, Sonya Dudley (F, 48)

Gulf Winds Track Club's Summer Trail Series race winners, 2013 - 2017
YearDateRaceTop MaleTop FemaleFinishers
2013June 22Cadillac Trail 5½M37:38, Kevin Sullivan45:07, Stephanie Liles-Weyant121
July 13Swamp Forest Trail 4½M30:19, Kevin Sullivan34:12, Micah Adriani124
July 27Magnolia Trail 3½M21:44, Kevin Sullivan24:45, Stephanie Liles-Weyant114
August 3Red Bug Trail 4½M33:31, Bryce Van Dam43:46, Stephanie Liles-Weyant92
2014June 21Red Bug Trail 4½M38:30, Charn McAllister42:02, Brook Pace114
July 12Swamp Forest Trail 4½M29:06, Charn McAllister33:13, Brook Pace109
July 26Magnolia Trail 3½M26:03, Charn McAllister30:16, Emily Molen108
August 2Cadillac Trail 5½M41:38, Brian Molen48:25, Emily Molen88
2015May 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
2016May 21Magnolia Trail 3½M25:18, Dan Baur27:05, Katie Gorman133
June 4Oak Hammock Trail 5½M42:53, Eric Godin45:24, Katie Gorman123
July 9Red Bug Trail 4½M33:14, Dan Baur35:04, Katie Gorman130
July 30Cadillac Trail 5½M43:06, Paul Guyas42:29, Alyson Churchill95
2017June 10Munson Hills 6M36:45, Chris O'Kelley46:34, Emily Molen87
July 1Red Bug Trail 4½M37:34, Chris O'Kelley48:24, Emily Molen90
July 15Phipps Park 5M
August 5Tom Brown Park 4½M


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