And they’re off: Southern Singletrack Trail Series holds first race of the year

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

On Saturday morning in the area of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ West Point Lake office, the weather was clear, although chilly — just right for a foot race. The Southern Singletrack Trail Series held its first foot race event of the year, West Point Break, on the nearby Turkey Run Trail on the Georgia side of West Point Lake. There was a 5K race and a 10K race. Runners had a choice of running just for West Point Break or for all the races in The Southern Singletrack Trail Series.

The event was co-organized by Kelly Wilson, Senior Executive Director of Facilities at Columbus State University and Vikena Yutz, who owns Project 42 Running, manages Big Dog Fleet Feet in Columbus and directs other races.

Wilson said there were 20 people in the 10K and 27 in the 5K.

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She said that with every race in The Southern Singletrack Trail Series, she and Yutz aim to donate to a charity that maintains nature trails or waterways.

“The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is our charity for this race to help with keeping the Chattahoochee clean, which also runs through this lake,” she said.

Jacob Westad, who lives in Germany, said he was only participating in the West Point Break 5K race.

“I came last week to visit family,” he said.

Westad said he looked forward to spending time in nature, seeing the trail and having fun getting some exercise.

David Curry, who said he works for Flowers Insurance Agency, also said he was just doing the West Point Break 5K.

“It’s the first one I’ve done in a while,” he said. “I’m trying to get back out and get a little more active after a couple of years of inactivity, like everybody. So hopefully this is the thing to kickstart me back into getting back in shape and getting back into fitness.”

Curry said he’s lived in both Bleaker, Alabama and Cataula, Georgia. He looked forward to having a good time, meeting new people and enjoying the outdoors.

Participant Laura Julian, who is from Columbus, said she was running the 10K and intended to participate in the entire Southern Singletrack Trail Series. She said she looked forward to enjoying a beautiful day and spending time in nature.

Awards were given to top male and female finishers.

The results of the race are on the West Point Break page at https://ultrasignup.com. In the 5K, the first place winner and first female finisher was Barbara Meinhardt from Hurtsboro with a time of ​​35 minutes and 17 seconds. The first male finisher, who came in third place, was John Little from Fortson, Georgia with a time of 37 minutes and 58 seconds. The first-place finisher and first male finisher in the 10K was Josh Wright with a time of 54 minutes and 17 seconds. The first female finisher, who came in eighth place, was Della Stevenson with a time of one hour, 11 minutes and 25 seconds.

Participants received “swag bags” that each contained a long sleeve t-shirt, a cup with the Southern Singletrack Trail Series logo on it and a copy of “Northern Thunder” by Anderson Harp. Harp was one of the event’s sponsors.

The next races in the Southern Singletrack Trail Series will be on April 2 at F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Wilson said. The event will be called Bucky’s Boot Top Prohibition Run. For more information or to register for this event, search for the name of the event on https://ultrasignup.com.