Results Of Virtual Races Announced

Results Of Virtual Races Announced

DRESSED UP as a Tyrannosaurus rex, a runner takes on the virtual Chessie Trail 5K. Several runners got into their Halloween spirit and ran their races in their costumes. (Eric Sheffield photo)

Nearly all of this year’s running races were held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. Runners had a window of a few days or a few weeks to complete their chosen races and then report their times online.

There were four races this fall that went this route and, with the virtual option for this week’s Lexington Gobble Wobble 5K and the Jingle Bell 5K going virtual next month, there will be two more.

The first virtual race of the fall was the Nasty 9 Trail Run, a hilly 9-mile race on the single-track trails at Brushy Hills. This was the fourth year of the race, organized by Peter Jetton, and volunteers marked the course so that participants could complete it any time during the month of September. In the previous three years, when the race was an in-person event, there was also a 4-mile race, but only the 9-mile option was offered this year.

There were 70 participants, and Sam Allen defended his title by winning in 1 hour, 13 minutes. The female winner was Katie Baur in 1 hour, 42 minutes. Both winners received trophies. Chris Handy won the award for most times practicing the course, with nine completions.

The race raised $2,000 for the Friends of Brushy Hills and the Rockbridge Area Relief Association.

Reflecting on the success of the race, Jetton said, “While we certainly missed the energy and excitement of the event, having a month-long race opportunity brought a lot of sustained interest to Brushy Hills. … It’s possible we will retain some elements of the virtual event even while having the official event next year.”

The next race was the Leprechaun Leap 5K, raising money for the Rockbridge Christmas Baskets Program. Postponed from March, the race was in its fourth year. Racers could complete the mostly flat course any time from Sept. 25 to 27. The overall winner was Jacob Ivins, 16, finishing in 22:40. The female winner was Hannah Wells, 14, in 36:16.

The Chessie Trail races, in their fifth year, consisted of a 5K, a half marathon and a marathon. The races welcomed 70 runners and raised about $2,100 for improvements on the trail. Reflecting on the success of the event, race director Eric Sheffield said, “We appreciate that even though this year’s races had to be run virtually, runners were still willing to support the Chessie Trail.” Members of Friends of the

Chessie Trail marked the course, but runners could choose where to start and finish.

Results were unofficial, but two runners tied for first place in the 5K in a time of 19:45. Leroy MacKenzye, 24, was the male winner, and Laurel Sheffield, 24, was the female winner. Nico Aldredge, 29, and Steven Neal, 24, tied for the win in the half marathon, both finishing in 1:37:27. The female half marathon winner was Camila Bailey, 24, in 1:49:55.

Winning the marathon was Kate Hinderer, 33, in 5:11:52. The male marathon winner was Buddy Johnson, 68, in 8:19:00.

The fourth virtual race was the inaugural Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity Virtual 5K: Hope for Homes, taking place from Oct. 16-19 on the course of each participant’s choosing.

There were 62 participants taking part and raising about $2,500 for Habitat. Corner-Stone Bank was the major sponsor. The race was open to runners, walkers, bicyclists and hikers. Organizers asked participants to post their times and photos, but it wasn’t necessary because it wasn’t a competitive race, said Zanetta Ford-Byrd, Rockbridge Habitat’s director of community relations. No winner was announced, but the race did have a raffle, with several winners.

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