Saturday, December 17, 2005

First-timer and Old-timer Win HUFF 50K Titles

The two overall winners at Saturday's HUFF 50K Trail Run couldn't be more different. The men's winner was Brendon Moody, a 24-year-old Buckeye making his first foray into ultramarathoning. The women's winner was veteran Ann Heaslett, a 41-year-old Wisconsin runner with international ultra experience.
One thing the two did have in common on Saturday was a solid grip on their victories. Moody won by over 26 minutes; Heaslett's margin of victory was nearly five minutes but she was in control throughout.
"I just decided Monday to come over and do this," Moody said moments after his 3 hour, 55 minute and 49-second performance. "I've kind of been on a down-cycle (mileage) but I felt like I could still run strong."
Moody had called race director Mitch Harper to see who else was entered and what the course record was. With the nearly six inches of snow on the course there was little shot at a course record, Harper told Moody, but a win was certainly possible.
Moody wasn't challenged, establishing a 17-minute lead after the first two loops of the three-loop race. He then changed shoes - from racing flats to trainers - and cruised to victory.
"The course was in decent condition," Moody said of the third loop. "We just needed to pack the snow down. I thought it was getting a little slick, which is why I put my trainers on."
Moody, an assistant cross country coach at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, had run a 2:26 at the Akron Marathon in October.
Runner-up was another cross country coach: Chuck Schlemmer of Ligonier, IN. Schlemmer, 45, finished in 4:18:19. Schlemmer was also making his ultramarathon debut but is a veteran marathoner. He is the girl's cross country coach at West Noble High School.
Heaslett, a member of the United States 100K racing team, won her third HUFF, completing the course in 5:10:39. She overtook Jenn Dick of Ontario around the eight-mile mark and never looked back. Dick eventually finished second in 5:14:33.
Heaslett had a four-minute lead by the end of the second loop and when spotted at various points of her third loop, was in good spirits.
"I felt pretty good," a remarkably fresh Heaslett said after finishing. "The course was great. No problems at all."

Photo of Ann Heaslett crossing the finish line.

Photo credit: Mitch Harper

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