Christopher Lay earned a top-10 finish on the hallowed training ground of undercover agents in Virginia, and George Barth soaked in the views of the Rocky Mountains while racing in Montana last weekend. Both the OSS/CIA 50-Miler and the Trail Rail Run are featured in this week’s roundup.
When it comes to tribute races, Christopher Lay found a pretty unique one to attend.
The 37-year-old resident of Somerville, Mass., took part in the eighth annual OSS/CIA 50-miler on Saturday, June 10, at Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Va. The race’s name pays tribute to the Office of Strategic Services, which the race website notes was “the organization predecessor to the CIA.” The race description also notes that the race location, Prince William Forest, “was used as a primary location for training OSS spies for infiltrating enemy territory in the Asian and European theatres during World War II.”
The former training ground for undercover government agents now is a proving ground for ultrarunners who were challenged with two 25-plus-mile loops of singletrack trails and fire roads. Given the location’s history, a difficult course was to be expected. In fact, just 41 of the 83 starters completed the course within the 15-hour time limit.
Lay finished 10th overall and was the eighth-place male finisher in 11:39:31. William Weidman, 33, of Arlington, Va., was the overall winner in 8:52:22, comfortably ahead of runner-up George Sefzik, 42, of Montgomery, Ala., who finished in 9:18:42. The women’s champion, 35-year-old Sheila Vibert of Arlington, Va., finished third overall in 9:21:43.
Trail Rail Run
Greorge Barth soaked in some classic Montana scenery while putting his legs to work on Saturday, June 10, at the Trail Rail Run.
Starting in Mullan, Idaho, and ending in St. Regis, Mont., the Trail Rail Run 50-miler followed a point-to-point route along the old Milwaukee and Northern Pacific Railroad routes which have since been converted to smooth dirt and gravel rails-to-trails paths. That provided for good footing so runners could take in views of the Rocky Mountains along the way.
Barth, 54, of North Attleboro, Mass., was the lone Bay State resident to take on the course and he finished 20th out of 40 runners in a time of 10:37:38. Gregory Liebl, 31, of Apple Valley, Minn., was the top male finisher in 6:36:28.
*Editor’s Note: Results are found on a variety of sites, including ultrasignup.com, UltraRunning Magazine, and official race websites. We do the best we can to find as many results as possible to report on and recognize the local ultrarunning community.