Glen Maury Park Races Welcome 50 Runners

By 
Jonathan Schwab

 

Monday, Oct. 5 -- Fifty runners participated in the first organized running races in Rockbridge County since the coronavirus pandemic hit the area in March, not including virtual races, on Friday afternoon at the Glen Maury Park double decker pavilion in Buena Vista.

On a beautiful sunny day, there were 24 runners in the challenging 3.8-mile trail run and 26 runners (seven families) in 1.5-mile family fun run. The races, coordinated by Buena Vista economic development and marketing coordinator Kristina Ramsey, were free of charge and kicked off the Glen Maury Park Outdoors Series. Also involved in organizing the races were Southern Virginia University athletic director Deidra Dryden and assistant cross country and track and field coach Jamie Chandler, pulling together the volunteers, as well as Jamie Goodin with ActionBV. There were about 15 volunteers, mostly comprised of SVU and Parry McCluer High School cross country runners.

Because of the need to take precautions due to the pandemic, the runs had staggered start times to prevent the large gathering of people at the start and finish, and masks were required when not running. “This went really well,” Ramsey said. “Everyone followed the guidelines and we had no problems.”

The courses were designed by Peter Jetton, the director of last month’s virtual Nasty 9 Trail Run at Brushy Hills, and James Dick, who helped Jetton with the Nasty 9 as well.

Daniel Kosogof won the hilly trail race in 24 minutes, 7 seconds. Michelle Mackie was the first female finisher, clocking 34:16. Jonathan Tucker placed second among in 26:57, and PMHS head cross country and track coach Chris Poluikis came in third in 28:51. The second female finisher was Brenna Wehner in 36:46, and Grace Wielechowski was third among females in 37:16.

 Kinsley Schroeder won the family fun run in 12:49, Hayden Schroeder placed second in 13:46, and Julia Kendrick finished third in 14:02.

After the races, Buena Vista restaurant JAM Dawgs provided hot dogs and sauce.

Explaining how the races came about, Ramsey said, “We had a team of community members and staff participate in a Strategic Doing event with the Staunton Creative Community Fund and the Department of Housing and Community Development last fall. This was somewhat of a strategic planning session to develop some sort of an event or something to fill a gap in the community with the idea of it being something that can happen rather quickly.

“Our team’s plan was to conduct a feasibility study for hosting a large outdoors festival (similar to that of Roanoke’s GO Fest) and received $6,000 in grant funding to conduct this,” Ramsey added. “Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this has shifted and been delayed substantially. Earlier in the year, we put out a survey to get a feel for what type of activities people want to see and would participate in, with the hopes to host several micro festivals to test out those ideas. We have shifted gears to this outdoor workshop series, as we see it will fit better with the times and still give us the outcome we are hoping for, while also helping to bring awareness to the array of outdoor opportunities available in Buena Vista and Glen Maury Park specifically.”

Ramsey expressed her gratitude to all who participated in the race to make it a success, as well as the volunteers and JAM Dawgs. “We are very impressed with the turnout and have received great feedback on the course,” she said. “Following this great feedback, we hope to have more events on this course in the future.”

The Glen Maury Park Outdoors Series will have a few more small events in the coming weeks. The next event will be a Camping 101, hosted by Boy Scouts Troop 29 on Friday, Oct. 16, and followed by a fire-related event in November.

 For full race results and information about upcoming Glen Maury Park Outdoors Series events, visit www.facebook.com/glenmauryparkbv.

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