|4/16/2013 1:48:00 PM|
"Rumblers' invade Sisters Country trails
|Runners "rumble" down Sisters trail in annual distance race. photo by Charlie Kanzig|
By Charlie KanzigSome 400 runners took to the trails around Sisters for the 11th annual Peterson Ridge Rumble 20- and 40-mile trail race held Sunday, April 14.
Temperatures hovered around freezing at the starting line, but weather did not deter the crowd that included 133 participants in the 40-miler and 258 in the 20-miler.
The earliest starters took off at 7 a.m., followed by two more waves, each one hour apart. The course included a short section on the Brooks-Scanlon road combined with a large portion of the Peterson Ridge Trail system. The 40-mile course added on a stretch of the Metolius-Windigo Trail.
Race director Sean Meissner declared the 11th edition of the event a great success.
"We had people from throughout the Central Oregon region and beyond, many of who stayed in Sisters for one or two nights, so the Rumble is definitely good for our local businesses," he said.
Local supporters include Sisters Bakery and Sisters Dental. Longboard Louie's of Bend provided food for all the finishers as part of the entry fee.
The Peterson Ridge Rumble has become one of the favorite trail runs in Oregon, according to Meissner.
"We get a lot of return runners who make this part of their yearly race schedule along with a lot of first-timers," he said. "I heard comments all day about how much people loved the course."
The recent cool, damp weather helped keep the trails in ideal condition - fairly firm and free of dust. Meissner worried about the weather turning snowy, which it did the day following the race.
"I am so glad we didn't get that snow accumulation on race day," he said. "It would have made it nearly impossible to mark the course."
Jacob Puzey of Hermiston won the 40-mile race by exactly four minutes in 4:40:20. Sierra Schneider of Terrebonne placed first among women in 5:24:21.
The 20-mile title went to Mario Mendoza, a national-level racer living in Bend, in 2:11:44. Becka Kem of Jacksonville, Oregon crossed first among women, in fifth place overall in 2:21:04, about a minute behind top local finisher Josh Nordell, who finished in 2:20:07.
Other local finishers included Eugene Trahern, the only veteran of all previous 10 Rumbles, who ran the 40 miler this year in a pace faster than his 20-mile race last year, finishing in 6:41:53.
"I felt great, but at one point when I was struggling a bit,I wished my son Garrett had been running so I could have gone just 20 miles like we have in previous years," he joked.
Meissner donates much of the proceeds to the Sisters High School cross-country team, which provides many of the volunteers for the race.
"The racers love seeing the young runners out helping on the course, so it's a win-win situation for everyone involved," he said.
In looking forward to next year, Meissner has thrown down the challenge to have at least 20 Sisters residents sign up and run the 20-mile race next year.
"We get a lot of people from all over Oregon, but I would love to see more area runners plan to be at the starting line next April," he said. "Twenty in the 20 is my challenge," he said.
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