From the Trailhead - By Jim Linch
Welcome to August on the Dahlgren Trail! We're so excited to tell you about our big events from a couple weekends ago!
We've been conducting the 50K race on the Dahlgren Trail since 2009. That first year we had 53 runners. The following winter, a half marathon event was added, which attracted 88 runners. Later in 2016, we decided to add a coinciding half marathon to the August 50K, and it became very popular. Since that time, the total number of participants for both races has historically been about 100-120. Fast forward to this year - numbers were the highest ever in both races and for the combined total of 176! While the numbers are proof of the event popularity, we particularly enjoy hearing about participant's fondness for the trail. We have received many compliments, including, “great trail,” “well maintained,” and “thanks for providing this great opportunity to enjoy this area.” These types of comments make our work worth it!
We can't say enough about our race directors – both current and past. After many years of establishing great events and a great reputation for our trail, Vic Culp turned the reins over to Arsenal Events, Kristen and Ken Loescher. They're doing a great job for the running community overall, and we are their biggest fans. They're continuing the tradition of great races on a great trail, and we couldn’t be more thankful! Runners also can't say enough about the event volunteers. In the words of one Arsenal Events staff member, “I have never heard so many complements after a race.” Thanks to our aid station volunteer teams led by Paula Van Alstine, Rod Schlemm, Jim and Elizabeth Buckley, and the King George Cross Country team! These volunteers provided positive energy on the course, giving the runners a boost! Special thanks to the Chief Petty Officers from Dahlgren for their help with parking and hamburger-flipping, and the King George Amateur Radio Organization for providing vital safety support. Our volunteer and maintenance coordinator, Warren Veazey, makes sure the trail is ready to go and the volunteers are well equipped – we wouldn’t be here without you, Warren! Last but not least, we express appreciation to the race sponsors: Exit Realty in King George, and Anytime Fitness in Dahlgren. Anytime Fitness provided some amazing volunteers too!
50K Winners: Natalie Daniels from Fredericksburg won the women’s category in 3:53:55. For men, Alex Hetherington from Vienna finished in 3:41:21. Alex has entered and won the race several times in the past. Natalie is the Assistant Cross-Country coach at KGHS and not only won the women's division, but was second overall! We were pleased to see Steve Desantis from Alexandria, who has completed every one of the 13 races.
HHH Half Marathon Winners: Colby Miller from Henrico was first in 1:20:36 for the men. For the women, Rebecca Ivester from Fredericksburg won in 1:39:57. Congratulations to everyone who participated! Click here to find the full race results!
Mark your calendar for next year’s HHH Half Marathon and 50K, to be held on August 6th.
Please consider supporting us with your purchases on Amazon. Here's how it works: Go to www.smile.amazon.com and use the "AmazonSmile" tab on the left to choose our charity profile: Friends of the Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail. That's it! There is no cost to you, and 0.5% of your eligible purchases will be donated to us so that we can continue to improve the trail for everyone, all year round.
We’d also like to thank the National Park Service; we've been working with them to develop a Master Plan for the trail. The effort has been hobbled by the COVID pandemic, so we've extended the work for another year. The Master Plan will represent the vision for the long term development of the trail. We depend greatly on what you, our trail users, would like it to be. Please don't hesitate to forward your thoughts using our comment form, here.
We hope to see all of you on the trail. Fall is coming and a great time to get out there for a hike or a bike ride!
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