Good Day for a Relay

The 2017 Baker Trail UltraChallenge - August 26

This was the year of the relay team. We had eleven of them, the most ever, thanks to the North Park Trail Runners focus on the event.

The starting temperature of around 60 warmed into the upper 70s, becoming a lovely sunny, late summer day.

From almost the start, Donald Baker stayed just ahead of Bill Huber until around mile 31, when Bill moved ahead and remained there to the finish. In the end, Bill finished ahead of Donald by about ten minutes.

In the race for third place, Richard Cook passed Kevin Vargo after AS2 (mile 12), although Kevin similarly kept up the pressure until mile 31, then fell back and finished fourth, about an hour behind Richard.

We had 47 solo runners start, with 45 finishing within the 14 hour time limit.

In the relay race, Skanks & Geezers, Rimer Runners, and We may win this thing traded places throughout the first three legs, then Rimer Runners pulled ahead of We may win this thing, which also fell behind Skanks & Geezers.

Fun fact: the fastest relay leg was run by Ryan Knecht of team Dynajoes, which finished in ninth place. Ryan ran the final 8.8-mile leg at an 8:16 pace. No other team ran any of their legs as fast.

These six solo runners earned the the final piece of the medal and the accompanying rolling pin display:

  • Paul Clements
  • Glen Davis
  • Brian Donovan
  • Jeremy Hand
  • Murray Hofmeister
  • William Huber

Congratulations to all!

Many thanks to our volunteers, without whom the UltraChallenge would not happen: Joanie Baker, Alex Baker, Steve Beers, Lisa Beers, Judy Bishop, Paula Brethauer, Charlie Brethauer, Patty Brunner, De'Anna Caligiuri, Lloyd Clarke, Sue English, Kate Fissell, Tim Flaherty, Matthew Fleeger, Dwight Fox, Mark Frey, Mark Gibson, Doris Hicks, Paul Hicks, Andrew Karnavas, Ryan Knecht, Rhett Landry, Clint Langley, Karen Muirhead, Bob Mulshine, Amy Nelson, Charles Shaffer, Judy Shaffer, Joe Shupienis, Bryan Simanic, Rebecca Slak, Kevin Snyder, Donna Stolz, Mike Waldvogel, and Hisham Youseff.

And many thanks to our generous sponsors this year: Peoples Gas and Rae Lyn Enterprises.

— Steve Mentzer