Trail runners thankful for inaugural Wenatchee Valley series
By Steve Maher
WENATCHEE — Alice Burck was grateful for the inaugural Wenatchee Valley Trail Run Series.
Sure, the Moses Lake resident enjoyed winning two of the races and coming out on top of the women’s short course points standings.
But the real reason for her thankfulness?
“After I gave birth to my (now 8-month-old) daughter, the series helped me get back into shape,” said Burck, a New Zealand native who ran track in college at Concordia University in Portland. “This series has been a real motivator for me.”
The trail run series wrapped up Sunday with the Bavarian Battle 10-Mile and 8K Trail Runs at the Leavenworth Ski Hill. Other races in the RunWenatchee-organized series include the May 10 Horse Lake Half-Marathon and 5-Mile Trail Runs in the Wenatchee Foothills and the June 8 Red Devil Challenge 25K and 10K Trail Runs near Cashmere.
Series points championships were won by Leavenworth’s Marlene Farrell in the women’s long-course division; Seattle’s Peter Harrison in the men’s long-course division; Burck in the women’s short-course division; and Matt Murphy of Wenatchee in the men’s short-course division. For complete standings, see below.
Farrell and Harrison, winners of the two long-course divisions, received $200 each, with second-place finishers in the division collecting $100 each and third-place finishers going home with $50 each. In the short-course division, Burck and Murphy received $100 each, while runner-ups in the division collected $50 each and third-place finishers netted $25 each.
Trail Runner Awards, honoring those who exhibited great sportsmanship and determination during the series, went to Rob and Kandi Lowry of Orting and Cora Sturzl of Malaga.
Burck captured Sunday’s Bavarian Battle 8K women’s race in 36 minutes and 37 seconds. Other winners at Leavenworth included Murphy in the men’s 8K (time of 39:48), Farrell in the women’s 10-Mile (1:11:17) and Sedro-Wooley’s Bryce Hoefer in the men’s
10-Mile (1:11:42). For complete results: click here.
Farrell was the only trail runner to take first place in three races during the series. A total of 21 runners completed all three events.
Hoefer, an ultramarathoner whose mother grew up in Wenatchee, said he liked the Leavenworth course and had fun while out on it.
“I like running downhill. I’m not a fast runner on the flats,” he said.
While the elevation gain wasn’t as much at Bavarian Battle as it was at Horse Lake and Red Devil, Burck found it tougher in some respects because of the “undulating” terrain. “The last uphill right before the finish line was tough. But that’s good. That’s the way trail runs are supposed to be,” she said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed all of the races. It’s been a great series.”
Prior to Sunday’s event, Murphy had never won a race before in his life. By the end of Bavarian Battle, he had won two — the 8K men’s race and the overall short-course men’s points title.
Like Burck, Murphy said he was grateful for the series, though for different reasons.
“It feels rewarding,” Murphy said. “It was nice to prove to myself that I can come back and compete after a broken leg, high ankle sprain and other health issues I’ve had over the last year. The last three trail races RunWenatchee has put on has got me hooked on trail running and I thank them for introducing me to the sport.”
A few feet away, other runners and their family members and friends gathered around the finish area at Leavenworth Ski Hill and cheered as more athletes came down the final stretch to complete their trail journeys. Bavarian Battle was a fundraiser for the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club, which operates the ski hill.
Blue skies, refreshments and music further set the mood.
“This is a great place for a running race,” said Farrell, no doubt speaking for many.
Added Murphy, “Can’t wait for next year!”
Wenatchee Valley Trail Run Series
Final Points Standings
Women’s Long Course Division
1. Marlene Farrell, Leavenworth, 20
2. Selina Danko, Wenatchee, 17
3. Cody Graf, Cashmere, 13
4. Katy Binder, East Wenatchee, 5
5. Cora Sturzl, Malaga, 4
6. Kandi Lowry, Orting, 3
7. Susan Sisson, Seattle, 2
Men’s Long Course Division
1. Peter Harrison, Seattle, 20
2. Marcell McArthur, Pateros, 18
3. James Leifheit, Leavenworth, 14
4. Brent Biggar, Wenatchee, 10
5. Steve Tidd, Wenatchee, 8
6. Rob Lowry, Orting, 2
6. Emerson Peek, Leavenworth, 2
6. Sean Clarke, East Wenatchee, 2
6. Jason Lundgren, Leavenworth, 2
6. Eddie Edwards, Wenatchee, 2
6. Larry Varin, Kennewick, 2
Women’s Short Course Division
1. Alice Burck, Moses Lake, 20
2. Kristi Karpenko, Leavenworth, 14
2. Hillary Conner, Wenatchee, 14
4. Sara Deason, Cashmere, 4
5. Amy Kerker, Wenatchee, 3
6. Niekol Hall, Wenatchee, 2
6. Wanda Bolerjack, Lake Stevens, 2
6. Lindsay Kane, East Wenatchee, 2
6. Leeza Thomas, East Wenatchee, 2
6. Michelle Housden, East Wenatchee, 2
6. Lisa Heminger, East Wenatchee, 2
6. Lorena Boyd, Wenatchee, 2
6. Jennifer Dolge, Wenatchee, 2
Men’s Short Course Division
1. Matt Murphy, Wenatchee, 18
2. Steve Brewer, Wenatchee, 10
3. Ed Henley, Wenatchee, 7
4. Chris Doehring, Wenatchee, 5
5. Travis Dolge, Wenatchee, 4
6. Carl Hagerty, Wenatchee, 2
6. Troy French, Wenatchee, 2
6. Allexander Smith, Wenatchee, 2
6. Ron Clark, Quincy, 2
NOTE: At each race, first place was worth 10 points, second place was worth 9 points, third place was worth 8 points, all the way down to ninth place, which was worth 2 points. All other finishers received 1 point. To qualify for the final points championship, a runner had to complete at least two of the three races. His or her top two race point totals were then added for a final points total.
(Runners who completed all three events in the trail run series)