Saturday  March 13, 2004
Lake Hodges 50k Trail Race (31 miles)
Michelle wins 1st place female and comes in 2nd OVERALL!
Sets female course record with a

Fast GRRRL in action.....

Michelle striding along the fire trail route.

Michelle receiving her 1st place award  from race director Shawn McDonald.

Story below edited from Shawn McDonald's race summary....

Following a short pre-race briefing, the runners were off, heading down the North Shore trail to the west towards the dam turnaround. Everyone settled in very well and enjoyed the views of the lake and later on the dam before hitting the turnaround at mile seven. This section of trail has just a couple of short sections of rocky footing, and otherwise just a few small hills and curves that make for interesting running.

There was a good battle for second through six place, which included the top two female runners, Carolyn Tait and Michelle Barton.  Bruce Douglas from San Diego ran a strong race and held second place throughout most of the race. There was some back and forth racing between the top two masters division runners, Mark Marcelli and Gabor Kozinc, and the top super masters runner Les Michalek. Les was one of the three out-of-country runners entered into the race, hailing from Ontario, Canada. The other out-of-country runners were from Mexico.

The second part of the race involved running two out-back segments totaling 8.5 mile each, on the Mule Hill trail towards the east. This trail is nearly flat, with a few corners, a couple of long straightaways where you can see a couple of minutes in front or behind you. This section of trail has superb footing, being nearly road like in most places, and a part of the route runs along the edge of a vegetable field, and later crosses a creek the forms the inlet for Lake Hodges. The sun broke out when most of the runners were out their first out-back and the temperature went up steadily the rest of the day until about 2 p.m. when a nice sea breeze kicked in. Nick Hamlin continued to lead the race, hitting the mile 22.7 aid station after his first out-back on the Mule Hill trail in 2:22. At that pace he would finish the race in a time near 3 hours 20 minutes. Nick did slow a little on his second out-back, to finish in a very good time of 3:23 (6:33 per mile).  

The race for first place in the women’s division was somewhat close for the first 19 miles. Carolyn Tait and Michelle Barton were running just a minute or two apart until mile 19. Diana Rush was just a few minutes back during the first 3 hours of the race. Carolyn was also coming off winter marathon training, having run the San Diego marathon in January in a time near 3 hours 30 minutes. Michelle had run the winter trail series of shorter races this past two months near the Blue Jay campground east of Mission Viejo. She had won the women’s crown at three of the four races. Diana had run a number of strong ultras in the Southern California ultra series the past two years, often finishing in the top three women. During the second Mule Hill out-back Carolyn had some stomach distress and slowed down.  Michelle pulled away, and caught second place runner Bruce Douglas at the 28 mile aid station. From there she ran a strong last three plus miles to finish first female and second overall in a fine time of 4:13 (8:08 per mile). Bruce held on for third place overall in a very good time of 4:16. The top masters runner was Mark Marcelli in a time of 4:20. Diana held down the second place for women with a strong steady effort all day, to finish in 4:32.  

The oldest runner in the race was Walt Woodward, 77 years young. Walt lives in nearby Oceanside, and started running late in life, at age 70, after he had retired. Since then Walt has completed 9 road marathons. This race at Lake Hodges was his first ultra. Walt was very steady in his running all day long, staying right on a pace to complete the race in the allotted cutoff time of 8 hours. He stayed very positive in his attitude and was thankful of the help he received from the volunteers at each aid station. It was great to see Walt enjoy the day out on the trail, and he said he would be back next year. In future years we will give out an oldest finishers award in honor of Walt.

Training Buddies - "Billygoat" Ramsey, Richard & Michelle. 

Bill Ramsey age 50 from Aliso Viejo CA finished 18th overall in 4:54:20.

Coast Guard Richard Greenbauer, age 36, is ready to go! This is his 3rd Ultra.His first race was the JFK 50 miler less than 2 years ago.

Gabor Kozinc has run close to 60 Ultras. He will run the Western States 100 miler in June.

Gabor finished 7th overall in 4:24:06

Coke's future spokes model. It's the drink of choice in endurance events because of the sugar and caffeine.

Happy to set her first course record! Michelle ran the 31 miles with 900' of elevation gain in 4:13:32

Richard Greenbauer  Oceanside finished 22nd overall in 5:04:10.

Michelle lets down her hair.

Carolyn Tiat age 31, from San Marcos finished 9th female in 5:37:25.
That's 2 in a row for overall winner Nick Hamlin! He blazed the course in 3:23:02. He also won the San Diego marathon this year.
Michelle caught and passed Bruce Douglas at the last aid station.
Bruce age 40, from San Diego placed 3rd in 4:16:59.
Race Director and fellow Ultrarunner Shawn McDonald.

Michelle receives her award - a gift certificate to Road Runner Sports!

UltraRunners are ready for the award ceremony!

Michelle places 2nd overall and first female in 4:13:32. Her first course record!
Bill Ramsey and his Western States 100 mile buckle. Bill will run Western States for the 3rd time on June 25.
Bill's goal is to complete 10 Angeles Crest 100 mile endurance races. 2 to go!

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