The Gwynn’s Island Festival race is our club’s largest fundraiser, and is our opportunity to showcase the things that make Mathews County so special: the friendly people, the community feeling, and the terrific location for sporting events. Our annual race – the Kukini 8k & 5k (kukini is a Hawaiian word that mean ‘fast runner & messenger for the gods’) coincides with the Gwynn’s Island Festival and is supported by two local community organizations: the Mathews Family YMCA and the Gwynn’s Island Civic League.
Every year, the VTTR donates a portion of our event proceeds to these organizations. This year – thanks to the increased participation in our race – we presented checks for $300 to each. A special thanks to all of our race sponsors and participants – and to our volunteers whose friendly faces were true ambassadors of our club.
With ideal weather, three participants completed the 2017 Horn Harbor Duathlon this morning, with very close times: 2017 Results. We tracked the run & swim splits this year (next time we will include a split for transition time), and we added water markers for the swim as well: giant yellow rubber duckies anchored in the harbor to guide the swimmers!
The course record – set by Charlotte Hollings in 2015 – still stands: 1 hr, 4 mins. We wrapped up the day with beer, cheese & crackers, coffee, and danishes – what a great kick off to the weekend.
As always – a HUGE thank you to the Horn Harbor Marina, who happily offer up their docks as our transition point. It is the ideal spot for this event: 4.75 mile run from our home to the marina, and then a 0.85 mile swim back home. Enjoy the pictures – and kudos to the finishers!
Sabrina has been a club member for a couple years, and was recently hired as track coach at Mathews High School: which she attended and was a stand-out athlete herself. She was recognized in the Mathews-Gloucester Gazette Journal on 12/15/2016 for her accomplishments. In addition to her college studies & job as teacher assistant, Sabrina is training with her pal Cooper, pictured here.
Sabrina’s father, Ronnie Myers – also a VTTR club member, recently completed his first marathon and is preparing for is 2nd one: the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach!
On the 2nd running of the VTTR club-sponsored Micro-Triathlon at Williams Wharf, the competitors broke records, and braved Hurricane Matthew which was blowing up the east coast from the Carolinas. The previous course record of 1:02 in 2015 was shattered by Cale Hendricks (50:42) in this fast-paced event. Complete results – including splits for each leg of the triathlon and transitions – can be found at this link: http://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=83133
The participants pictured above really enjoyed the course and despite one equipment mishap (bicycle breakdown) and some rain during the 2-mile running leg, the enthusiasm was high. Not pictured was Doug Paredes, the 2nd place finisher, and experienced Mathews County triathlete. Hurricane Matthew vs Mathews County Micro-Triathlon was a lot of fun. VTTR will host a Micro-Tri with a minimum of 5 participants: check our webpage for information on how to host one for your family & friends!
I love this club. We have not had the opportunity to get all the members together lately because of weather, vacation, sickness (that was me) or other obligations. I miss running with these guys. We have a lot of fun setting up training runs when we prepare for our long runs like half marathons or full marathons. We have water stations set up along our route and a car that comes by every so often just to see if everyone is ok. It’s a good feeling knowing that you can depend on someone to look after your well-being. If you run you need to have a group like this.
If you follow our group on Facebook, you probably read the news that our club has taken on sponsorship of a local road in Mathews County as part of the VDT Adopt A Highway program. It will be a few weeks before our sign is installed – we will likely schedule our first trash pickup day in October. We have a 2 mile section of Route 14 – trash bags, etc will be provided by VDOT, coffee & donuts by the club. I hope you all will consider joining us – I’ll send the exact date via Facebook and email and ask for RSVP.
Near-freezing temperatures this morning, Sunday Oct 18th, did not discourage participants in our inaugural “Micro Triathlon” held at Williams Wharf in Mathews County. After pre-race instructions, the event started at 8:45am and the outside temperature hovered around 40 degrees – the water temp was more favorable at about 65.
After finishing a quarter mile swim in the open water, racers ran to the transition area to prepare for their 8 mile bike ride along scenic backroads of Mathews County. The triathlon capped off with a 2 mile run: out-and-back along Williams Wharf Road. The distances for this “Micro Triathlon” were intentionally shorter than a regulation triathlon – and the focus was training/ practicing the Transitions between swim & bike, and bike & run.
Although the weather forced the cancellation of the Gwynn’s Island Festival this year, the Kukini race went on as scheduled. The Gwynn’s Island Fire Department was the start & finish line for the two events: 1 mile fun run kicked off at 9am followed by the 5k race at 9:30 – more than 60 participants came out to enjoy the competition!
Eight-year-old Faith Lewis of Mathews County was the fastest miler on Saturday and led the pack with a time of 11:23.9. She almost missed the race: with the festival cancelled there was concern that the race would be called off. As soon as Faith arrived, the race started and she never looked back.
The 5k race was also competitive – and slightly longer than 5k. This 3.5 mile course presented very little challenge to the local runners: Russell Reed of Onemo led the group from the start and finished in just over 19 minutes, followed by Doug Marshall of Mathews with a time of 20:37.8, and Samuel Guy – in town visiting with his family from California – in third overall at 23:17.2. The race for fastest overall female was hotly contested by Mathews High School running champs from past & present: Sabrina Myers (age 20) was narrowly ousted by Rileigh Betz (age 15) by a fraction of a second.
The Virginia Tidewater Trailrunners (VTTR) hosted the fundraiser event in collaboration with Mathews YMCA and the Gwynn’s Island Civic League. Due to the success of the event – in spite of the weather – VTTR donated $250 to both organizations! Adding to the community spirit were Gwynn’s Island Campground who set up & manned the race water stop, and the Gwynn’s Island Fire Department who loaned their facility, grounds, and equipment to the event: the fire engine horn was the starting blast that sent runners off to the races.
Race Director and VTTR member Jessica Rhodes voiced her satisfaction with the event. “We had a few glitches but overall this turned out well,” she commented. “The Gwynn’s Island community really came through for us with the Civic League, Fire Department, Rescue Squad, and the Campground. This made our event run smoothly and allowed us to keep our costs low. Low costs equate to more proceeds and higher donations to these organizations. This was our club’s first event and I consider it a success. We’re looking forward to next year!”
The VTTR is a running group located in Middle Peninsula with a focus on local events. They organize and coordinate several events each year, most recently the Horn Harbor Biathlon: a 4.5 mile run followed by .85 mile swim transitioning at Horn Harbor Marina in June. A fall event will be another biathlon – this time a run/ kayak combination. For further details, check out their website at vttrunners.com.