Extreme conditions for 19th annual trail run

The few, the brave, the frigid…or the crazy. You decide.

Record low temperatures greet 11 intrepid runners

Several aspects of this 19th annual “Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New” trail run were different than the norm.

photo of the 2017 event participants

Cold and crazy runners included Mark Deshon, Allison Rose (the “2”), Bob DiIorio, Barret Michalec, Steve Tague (the “0”), Bill Rose, April Anderson, Dan Weile (the “1”), and Bruce Hubbard, David Coker, and Cecilie Zwick Coker (forming a crazy “8”).

First of all was the noontime start, as this was the second time the run has fallen on a Sunday. Most strikingly, the wind chill was 4 degrees at the start. Because of the wind, event organizer CRR Mark Deshon made the command decision (for only the second time in the event’s 19-year history) to have everyone run the loop backwards (clockwise) to help mitigate the effects of the wind. We also eschewed the usual post-run Munchkins™ and sparkling cider, figuring it would be too cold to really deal with and/or enjoy it. Oh, and you might notice the lack of photos. Mark’s camera battery failed in the cold after capturing just the first two finishers.

Of the eight men and three women who braved the cold, there were four newcomers—CRR Barret Michalec, CRR Dan Weile, CRR David Coker, and Cecilie Zwick Coker.

photo of Barret Michalec at the finish

CRR Barret Michalec finishes alone and strong.

After the cold group photo, it was great to start running and try to warm ourselves. CRR Bruce Hubbard and CRR April Anderson decided the half loop was enough for them and headed out down the middle road. The rest of us headed south toward the big hill.

CRR Steve Tague paced us comfortably to the top of the hill, with Cecilie trailing behind. Mark decided to test out the footing on a faster, steep downhill run. Everything on the trail surface was hard but firm. Barret had caught up by the bottom of the hill and began to slowly pull away from Mark and Steve on the long, gradual uphill thereafter. On the gentle downhill toward the covered bridge, we passed a non-participant runner—the only other crazy out there.

Barret continued to increase his lead, once or twice looking back to check to make sure he was negotiating all the proper turns.

photo of Mark Deshon finishing the run

Feeling about as old as he looks here, CRR Mark Deshon finishes second.

Coming out of the valley, Mark and Steve pressed on uphill, with David and Dan beginning to close on them. While Bruce, April, and Barret were waiting for everyone at the parking lot, Mark picked up the pace for the last downhill toward the finish, coming in just ahead of the group of three—David, Steve, and Dan. Next to complete the run was another grouping of three—CRR Bill Rose and his daughter, Allison Rose (back from China to visit her parents), and CRR Bob DiIorio.

David was worried that Cecilie may have wondered off course, so he got in some extra mileage by heading back north onto the trail. Some folks from the Wilmington Trail Club had assembled for a hike. They headed out north too. Dan dubbed them “the search party.” All turned out well ten minutes later, though, as David and Cecilie arrived at the parking lot together.

This year, two random prizes were given out to newbies. Barret and David each came away with a gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts, our usual post-race provider of Munchkins™.

Mark says that next year will be a special 20th running of the “Wring Out the Old, Ring in the New.” Everyone, stay tuned.