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Gate2Gate Trail Run 2016 - Race Report

  • Wednesday, November 16 2016 @ 10:35 AM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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What a wonderful day for the 1st annual Gate2Gate Trail Run back in October. I ran the 25k.

At dawn's first light, ready to go (I'm on the left wearing the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra Set Hydration Vest and Under Armour - The Flash compression shirt):

Photo Credit: Cathy Bester

The 50k and 25k runners started together with a real shotgun start (boom!):

Photo Credit: Cathy Bester

The weather was clear and cool which was a welcome change after a brutal summer and continued warm autumn. Even though the course was completely dry, there were only a few small patches of sugary sand. This alone makes Gate2Gate a nicer course than many Florida trail races.

The first portion of the course is wide and gives the runners some time to spread out before hitting the single track. I entered the woods near the front. Greg Sholar passed everyone in the first patch of woods and went on to run a strong impressive race. He disappeared into the distance and I never saw him again until the finish where I congratulated him on his 25k victory.

The next section of the course is Rattlesnake Hill, aka the powerline hill. I was pleased to only have to run that once for the 25k.

I chatted with Cole Bataille during the first few miles. He was targeting a 4-hour finish time in the 50k and I was targeting a 2-hour finish time in the 25k so we ended up running together. During the first few miles I saw him trip once and miss a turn once. I was right there and he got right back into it so no big deal. However, this turned out to be a precursor to further issues that plagued him later on.

Here is a photo just before the turn-around on the south side, about halfway done, and by this point Cole had already separated from me:

Photo via "Andi's Pugs" on Facebook.

Cole came through the first 25k ahead of me and probably started the second loop with 10 - 15 minutes on the rest of the field. He was looking strong and appeared to be headed to a nice victory. One of my goals was to beat all of the 50k runners back to the north side. I wasn't able to meet that goal but I did have a strong push to the finish:

Photo Credit: Cathy Bester

Photo Credit: Cathy Bester

I placed 2nd in the 25k with a time of 2:05:09.

I finished the race and then was able to watch rest of the runners. Matthew Howland and Rob Robins were together at the 25k point and looking good also.

I had followed the advice of the Race Director Patrick Gallagher and brought a camp chair to the event. I set up in the roped-off beer area, ate some food, cheered on the runners, and enjoyed some post-race beverages provided by Swamp Head Brewery. The vibe was very nice! Kudos to the RD.

As the 4-hour mark approached I got up to look for the 50k winner. I waited. Then waited some more. After 4:15 I knew that something interesting must have happened on the course and there was potential for an exciting or unexpected finish. The first 50k runner appeared in the distance and it looked like Rob! He was totally pumped up and thoroughly enjoyed his victory. Cole came through a little bit later, clearly battered and bruised by the trail. Matthew came across the line shortly after and went to the ground with a grimace. These three first-time Ultramarathon finishers put on an impressive show and clearly earned their stripes that day. We found out later that Cole had taken a wrong turn and ran a bunch of extra miles.

The top 3 finishes in the 50k were Rob Robins (4 hours 21 minutes), Cole Bataille, and Matthew Howland (pictured left to right):

Photo Credit: Cathy Bester

Rob is a friend of mine and an endurance machine, I'm very happy for him.

Photo Credit: Cathy Bester

Gate2Gate has a really cool logo / medal / t-shirt:

The Gate2Gate Trail Run 50k/25k was held on October 22, 2016. Results are available:


A few months before the race I put together a course preview video (sorry about the terrible music transitions):

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