About NATRA Blog

This page is meant for folks to post their thoughts on the Saturday group run. I (Neil) will post a blurb about who showed up and where it was held. From there, I hope that other runners will share their thoughts since we often have different experiences on the same run. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

In Memory of Mom from Now and On: 2015 Soulstice Mountain Trail Run

 It was like déjà vu all over again (Thanks Yogi!)....perfect weather for the 16th running of Soulstice and a first ever repeat of the male and female winners. Emily Harrison (1:21.14) and Chris Gomez (1:12.29) once again started the post-race party by tapping the kegs with their winning Soulstice Pilsner pint glasses. It was Harrison's 2nd straight title while Gomez completed the first ever men's 3-pete and his recorded setting 4th long course victory (he also has a sprint course title on his mantle.

Sara Wagner (1:27.08) and Ian Torrence (1:23.43) took home the Master's awards. Notably, Wagner took more than 5 minutes off last year's time to run her fastest Soulstice since 2009.

On the sprint course side, Janet Bain's 51.47 won her a 6th straight women's title and 7th overall while Jackson Messner's 48.23 gave him his first Soulstice win. Megan Gavin's 55.18 and Scott Bajer's 49.16 gave both their first master's titles.

With the memory of my mom strong throughout the race, the Soulstice celebration continued far into the afternoon as I shared some of my favorite Jackie stories with largest Soulstice Knights of the Round Table ever. With a banana peel fight and certain runners providing entertainment that well, what happens at Knights of the Round Table, stays at the Sunset trail head.

Between fundraisers and the Aspen Sports raffle, this year's race set a record by raising nearly $7000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff, helping local kids succeed by matching them with appropriate adult mentors.

And speaking of déjà vu all over again, thanks once again goes out to Rhiannon Wood who returned from Portland to help me organize the race and mark the course this week; David McKee's antics and artistry; Grant Dunstan and New Belgium Brewing for keeping the party rolling into afternoon hours; Jerry McLauglin and Dave Barnett for the Aspen Sports raffle; Ryan Dee who keeps me fed with his Soulstice Mountain Trail Run haute cuisine; shirt sponsors Aspen Sports, Pay n' Take, Dr. Amber Randall with Flagstaff Bone and Joint, Salomon Sports, Sweatvac Shirts, Fratelli's Pizza and great prizes from Run Flagstaff, Arizona IMS Marathon and division Soulstice pint glasses crafted by Robert Reniger of Arne Ceramics; Super Salve Swag;Captain Jim for helping mark the long course; the Pay n' Take's Scott Miller and Paul Brinkmann for the Pay n'Take's legendary post-race party; Keri Postlewait of Biff's Bagels; Clotho's Nuts and Glory Bars in memory of mom - http://www.nutsandglory.com/world-famous2/ ;Coconino Amateur Radio Club; Jim Driscoll wiith Coconino County Sheriff's Department; Bob Vance and the Flagstaff Ranger District for permitting the event and mainaining our amazing trails; Guardian Medical; Michael Tharp for course marking leave no trace clean up duty; Aaron Devine's Parks and Recreation class; Theresa Dowell, Abe Springer, Sean Tice, Amber Adams, Julie Thurston, Katie Landry, Christina Bauer, and Flagstaff Fire Chief Mark Gaillard for their timing skills; Coconino County Supervisor Matt Ryan (AKA Batman); Brent Schepper with Fratelli's Pizza; Steve Rhode for my 15th Soulstice anniversary cake and "Soulstice Evolution" photo; Jennifer Hoss who took the marvelous photos, and to my wife Diana who put a Weintraub back in the Soulstice standings for the first time in 15 years, running her first Soulstice with her oldest sister Virginia (all the way from Erie, Pa) while chasing her twin Vicki (from Beaver, PA) all who flew in for a Soulstice birthday surprise. Finally, Soulstice could not happen with all the energy and excitement that participants bring to the race, so thank you!

Soulstice lottery registration will open next year on January 1st and close on March 31st for our annual lottery drawing. The earlier you register, the more chances you will have to win a free Soulstice spot.
PS.....Ever wonder what happens to left over Soulstice Swag? Thanks to Coach Steve Rhode's photo below, we found out that Sinagua Middle School Cross-Country runners know the answer!