Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon Race Report

The Dahlgren Trail Half Marathon took place Saturday February 20th on the Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail in King George, VA. The race was the first in the  2021 Coldwell Banker Elite Grand Prix Series. Conditions were challenging to say the least. The snow we received leading up to the race wouldn’t have been a big deal but the freezing rain that followed created a course that was more about survival than times.

149 runners ran the live Dahlgren Half with another 16 participating virtually.  The race attracted a number of runners from out of town who were looking for live half marathon events. There were runners from Seattle WA, Harpers Ferry WV, Raleigh NC, Pittsburgh PA, Bethlehem PA, Platteville WI, and Austin TX.

 

Course Conditions

Thanks to the aforementioned snow and freezing rain that preceded the race the trail threw a little bit of everything at participants. The trail changed from snow, frozen snow, ice, small patches of trail, and even a few puddles.

The pictures really don’t do it justice as it just appears to be snow. Runners had to pay close attention to slight variations in the color of the surface for clues to what they may be encountering next. 

The top finisher this year was 2 minutes slower than in 2019. Honestly I would have expected an even larger gap. The lead runners seemed to accept their fate and just went for it. Very few escaped without a fall.

Photo credit to Schellenbach Photography & Design

“It was icy, don’t let the pictures fool you, that wasn’t snow. Only fell twice (well 3 times if you count the first time during my warm up), but no injuries. It wasn’t pretty, no PR today…” Karen Wingeart

Top Finishers

Brian Flynn of Mechanicsville, VA was the top overall finisher with a time of 1:20:24 and an average pace of 6:08. Brian was absolutely flying for the conditions and finished 4 minutes ahead of the 2nd place runner.

Kathleena Mumford of Manassas, VA was the top female finisher with a time of 1:38:19 and an average pace of 7:30.

The top club finisher was Chris Pirch, 2nd overall, with a time of 1:24:33.  The top female club finisher was Tracy Dzibela with a time of 1:45:35.

You can view the complete race results here:
https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/101004 

The Unofficial Grand Prix Standings can be found here:
https://runsignup.com/Series/FARCGrandPrix

Photo credit to Schellenbach Photography & Design

Fun Moments

Only Leslie can project a smile while wearing a mask!
That is just plain hardcore.
This about sums up what the course felt like.
Not to be outdone, a few ladies did not let the cold bother them.

Photo credit to Schellenbach Photography & Design

Author

Brian Pessolano

What we know Today…

The FARC Coldwell Banker Elite Grand Prix Series is still on! Obviously there are modifications as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, but we’re posting here with our current plan. Here is the status of races that are/were scheduled since our last event:

Stafford Hospital 5k

  • New date is 29 August. Planning to be a VIRTUAL race but could be in-person or hybrid pending conditions.

SPCA 5k

  • CANCELLED

Battling Cancer 5k

  • VIRTUAL ONLY (6/20-21)

Heritage Festival 5 Miler

  • CANCELLED

Devil’s Den 10 Mile

  • Moving ahead with in-person race, but pending permits. Will be virtual if unable to race in person.

Downtown Mile

  • Hoping to be in-person, but preparing for a virtual or an in-person/virtual hybrid if needed.

Braswell 5k

  • VIRTUAL ONLY

Run Through History 10k

  • Planning for a virtual/in-person hybrid

FCA Cow Run

  • Hoping to be in-person, but preparing for a virtual or an in-person/virtual hybrid if needed

Blue & Gray Half Marathon

  • Planning for a virtual/in-person hybrid

Look for a separate post on the Grand Prix Facebook Page with a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) with more details. Post your questions there as well.