Pope Sets New Course Record at YUTC
This was the 7th year of the YUTC and another year of picture perfect weather-low of around 60 to start, and high in the 70's as the day went by.
The 2011 YUTC was Race Director Bob Combs last year as the RD-and after the pre-race briefing, he also set out to run a loop of the YUTC before taking over finishing line duties.
Lloyd Thomas repeated his 25K win, finishing in a time of 2.03.09.
Paula Bittler seemed surprised-then happy-to find she was the 1st female winner in the 25K, finishing in 2.37.30.
Tracey Ross took the female 50K win in 5.10.42. This was her first ultra win, and will not be her last. Her father Ron Ross, one of the YUTC legacy runners, finished a bit farther back than his daughter.
Shaun Pope continues his domination in trail running and set a new course record in 3.51.56. As with the Ross Family, Shaun's dad, John Pope also finished the YUTC a few more minutes behind his son's finish.
There were many first time ultra runners on the course, celebrating their first ultra finish and some of them their first trail run. Jim Billock ran farther than his brother on Saturday (NEO TC member Nick Billock, who ran the Air Force Marathon, overseas) and completed his first ultra distance.
One runner liked the course so much he did a third loop of Lake Newport, extending his ultra finish mileage to 35 instead of 31. NEO TC did not charge him more for those extra miles.
Christine Kalie had done a loop of the YUTC course during on the NEO TC FA events two years ago. This year she returned for her first 50K finish.
Many first time runners to Mill Creek Park were amazed by the beauty of the wood of MCP.
Everyone seemed appreciative and happy of the efforts put forth by NEO TC to spend a great day on trails, with friends, in the late summer of Ohio.