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New challenges await local trail runners

The local trail race calendar has been blossoming in recent years, and this year there are three new events for the late summer and early fall ranging from shorter options to a nearly marathon-length mountain challenge.

The Rothrock Trail 10K on Sunday will give runners a rare local opportunity to run a trail race shorter than half-marathon distance. The brand new race will start at the Tussey Mountain Ski Area pavilion and take runners on the first (Spruce Gap Trail) and last (Old Laurel Run Trail) sections of the popular 17-mile Rothrock Trail Challenge. Proceeds from the race will go to Centre HomeCare’s Charity Care Program. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. To register online, go to https://ultrasign up.com/register.aspx?did =39301.

The organizers of the Rothrock and Hyner View Trail Challenges are also offering a new trail race option, the Hyner Half Trail Race 14-miler on Aug. 27. The organizers are billing it as a “runner-only” event with a four-hour time limit and prizes for the top three male and female overall finishers. The course takes runners through some of the same trails as the Eastern States 100 in Sproul State Forest and starts at Hyner Run State Park in North Bend. For more information and to register, go to www.roth rockchallenge.com.

The enormously popular Megatransect has been reincarnated as the Boulder Beast, to be held Sept. 24. The 25-mile course will feature familiar challenges to Megatransect veterans, like the daunting boulder field, as well as new challenges, like a second boulder field and 7,000 feet of elevation. The race starts and finishes at the Castanea Township Fire Company picnic grounds near Lock Haven. For more information and to register, go to www.boulderbeast .com or email race director Jeff Stover at jeff@boulder beast.com.

The Dam Half is not new to the trail scene. Now in its second decade, the race also includes a Dam Full marathon-distance course. Held at R.B. Winter State Park in Mifflinburg by the Mid Penn Trail Blazers, the Sept. 18 race is the last event of the 2016 Trail Runner Pennsylvania Trophy Series. To register, go to www.midpenntrail blazers.com.

Local race results

Marty Owens won the Millheim Sprint Triathlon on June 25, completing the 300-yard pool swim, 15-mile bike ride, and 3-mile run in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 53 seconds. Allison Saunders, of Williamsport, won the women’s race in 1:19:30. In the Mini Tri, a shortened event consisting of a 150-yard swim, 7-mile bike, and 1.5-mile run, Erin Loy, of State College, beat all of the men to finish first in 42:21, and Rich Hakler was the first male in 47:17.

At the Hartman Group Happy Valley Sprint Triathlon, Josh Cone was first through the 750-meter pool swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5K run course, finishing in 1:01:44. Craig Lauinger was second in 1:02:05, and Jeffrey Gomez of Mount Laurel, N.J., despite having the better time in both the swim (10:06) and the run (18:08), took third in 1:02:05. Melissa Davies led all three segments to win the women’s race in 1:08:37. Laura Valasques took second in 1:15:56 and Deb Battaglia was a close third in 1:15:59. The race took place at Penn State’s outdoor pool on July 10.

For the third year in a row, Penn State grad student Dan Craighead won the Sue Crowe Memorial Arts Festival 10-miler, finishing in 55:36. Meira Minard, 42, of State College, was the first woman in 1:06:54. The race, run on the last morning of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts for more than 40 years, also includes a 10K and 5K. Loc O, of Williamsburg, who finished second to Craighead in the 10-miler in 2015, won the 10K in 36:05. State College standout and incoming Penn State freshman Natasha Fedkina won the women’s 10K in 44:04. Jeff Miller, 48, of Lewistown, beat out two twenty-somethings to win the 5K in 16:30. West Branch runner Hailey Prestash, 15, was the first female in 21:08.

Anthony Degleris, 18, of State College won the Flutopia 5K at Tudek Park on July 30 in 18:01. Janelle Weaver, 35, of Lewisburg, won the women’s race in 23:31.

Race calendar

▪ The Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts is no longer the only local arts fest with a 10-mile race. The Bellefonte Arts and Crafts Fair will feature Herbie’s Home Town Loop 10-miler and 4-miler on Aug. 13 at 8:30 a.m. Registration is at Talleyrand Park and the races start at the intersection of High and Spring Streets. For more information and to register, go to https://the jeremyherbstrittfoundation .com.

▪ A new mile race at Oak Hall Park on Aug. 20 will benefit St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy’s athletic department and the Service Club’s Thirst Project, which plans to build a well in Swaziland. The race will be run in waves beginning at 10 a.m., with four waves for girls and boys 14 and younger and women and men 15 and older. The winner of each wave and the top five individuals overall will receive prizes. For more information and to register online, go to http://oakhallmile.elipzer .com.

▪ For the second year in a row, the Grange Fair will feature a 5K. The Happy Camper 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 27 at the Grange fairgrounds. Campers receive a discount on their registration. To register, go to www.eventbrite .com/e/2nd-annual-happy-camper-5k-registration -24601378385 or visit Anthym, 288 E. College Ave, State College. The race benefits Pets Come First and a local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training group.

Tara Murray writes a monthly running column for the Centre Daily Times. She can be reached via email at taraemily@gmail.com.