El Niño, another record breaker in 17th annual

photo of Mark Deshon explaining map

Apparently to no avail, Mark Deshon explains a critical turn on the course.

The powerful El Niño that is in play this winter in the U.S. made this—the 17th annual “Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New”—trail run at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area one of the most comfortable, if not the most, in the history of the event, weather-wise. Despite two days of rain leading up to today, the course was not nearly as muddy as it could have been.

For the third consecutive year, the event attendance record was broken. With the addition of 11 “newbies,” a record 25 people (and one eager canine) came out to run/jog/walk all or part the loop course.

Of course, there was a bit of a hiccup. Self-appointed Creek Road Runners CEO CRR Matt Robinson made it for the second year in a row and inadvertently took CRR Paul Amer on an unintended shortcut. Matt had forgotten that he had run the same shortcut with his son last year and didn’t correct for the fact that Paul was unfamiliar with the course. They did manage to add on some mileage by running out and back on the end of the actual course, though. As Paul would say, “C’est la vie.”

photo of the “Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New” 2015 crew

Twenty-five runners salute 2016 – front row: Mark Hufe, Bob Opila, Allison Rose, Molly Shay, and Dave Schultz with Dakota; second row: Emily Barton, April Anderson, Bill Rose, Amy Shay, Christine Schultz (the “one”), Ben Schultz, Owen Edwards, and Paul Amer; back row: Bruce Hubbard (the “two”), Deanna Pillarelli, Beverly Jackey, Sue Barton (the “zero”), Matt Robinson, Mike Shay, Charlie Riordan, Dave Edwards, Steve Tague (the “six”), Judy Knox, Bob DiIorio, and Mark Deshon.

photo of Steve Tague

Steve Tague finishes in just over 37 minutes.

photo of runners heading up the first incline

Runners start spreading out up the first incline.

CRR Steve Tague biked to the parking lot from home. He and CRR Mark Deshon ran together and pulled away early from the rest of the field of runners, which quickly spread out along the plateau in the initial mile. Steve eventually pulled ahead of Mark in the last quarter mile. Of course, Mark’s excuse was that Steve was already well warmed up because of his bike ride. But give him plenty of credit for being so eco-friendly.

> More event photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15

photo of the Shays

The Shays share the road and family fun.

There were five multi-generational pairings or groups present, so the event had a real “family feel.” CRR Dave Schultz and CRR Christine Schultz not only brought their son, Ben, but their dog, Dakota. Dave, Ben, and Dakota took the short route, as did CRR Mike Shay, running with wife, Amy, and daughter, Molly. CRR Dave Edwards and son, Owen, ran the entire loop. CRR Sue Barton came with daughter, Emily, who ran ahead of her mom. CRR Bill Rose ran the loop with his daughter, Allison.

photo of giveaway winner Judy D’iorio

Giveaway winner Judy Knox enjoys some bubbly and a gift card.

Two husband-wife teams made it as well. CRR Bruce Hubbard, always here, always ready each year, brought CRR April Anderson, who preferred to walk. “Newbie” CRR Bob DiIorio and his wife, Judy, ran the course together.

Bruce brought friend, Mark Hufe; Deanna Pillarelli and CRR Beverly Jackey returned for their second consecutive year at Fair Hill. As usual, CRR Bob Opila showed as well.

Charlie runs on Dunkin’Judy DiIorio won the “newbie” random giveaway at the end of the event; as CRR Charlie Riordan drew her name and presented her with a gift card for Dunkin’ Donuts (official “sponsor” of the event—Charlie still runs on Dunkin’).

photo of Bob Opila waving

With a fresh donut hole in his mouth, Bob Opila says “so long” to 2015.