2015 Mines of Spain Trail Races Wrap Up

The 3rd year of the MoSTRs is in the books and brought 250 runners from 8 states to Dubuque, Iowa
for what has become known as one of the premier events in the region.  As in the past there were some great performances, like 7 year old Jaden Merrick finishing 2nd in the 4 mile race and Sarah Gall's (Cedar Falls) phenomenal 1:47:48 half marathon-winning time.  Other things that were great included the weather, the beer, the food, the venue and the overall vibe.

The Galls
The half marathon, especially the men's race, was highly competitive and runners were excited to see where they would stack up.  In a repeat of the first and second years, Sarah's husband, Scott Gall, won the half marathon in 1:29:42 over US 24 hour champion Isaiah Janzen (Dubuque) and Ross Salinas (Iowa City).  The three managed to repeat their places over a highly competitive field of accomplished trail runners.  Dubuque's own Christi Murphy stepped down from her normal ultra distances to place 2nd in the women's half, while Minneapolis' Cate Boisjoilie placed 3rd. (Complete half marathon results here.)

The course took its toll on some
A 7 mile distance replaced the 10k this year and Misty Rhodes (Rock Island, IL) crossed the line first in 1:10:05.  Mary Ducar (Ankeny) and Tory Daugherty (Dubuque) followed.  In the men's 7 miler pro triathlete and Dubuque resident Wes Anderson won with a time of 47:44.  Anderson was followed by Kevin Brown (Exira, IA) and Seth Brown (Cedar Falls).  The 5k also went away and a 4 mile race took its place.  Tim Hodge (Dubuque) emerged victorious in 33:08.  Merrick (Hudson, IA) and Ole Skattum (Durango, IA) were 2nd and 3rd.  Kate Cooper (Dubuque) earned the win among the women with a time of 38:08.  She was followed by Naoka Murga and Erin Anderson, both of Dubuque.  (Complete 7 and 4 mile results here and here.)

Perhaps the best event of the weekend, though, was the free "Mini Mines" kids race held on Friday evening.  Over 40 kids participated, running a challenging 3/4 mile course down and up some stairs.  Nearly all finished with huge smiles on their faces.  Whether that's because they loved running on trails or because they knew that there was a popsicle awaiting them is unknown.  We will definitely be doing this again!

This was the first year the races started and finished at the EB Lyons
Nature Center and the move was universally approved as it brought better parking, access to indoor plumbing, electricity and a natural amphitheater for the finish where runners could partake of post-race yoga, food and beverages and sit on a hillside overlooking the finish.  Everyone can be certain that the races will be back next year.  We aren't going to grow any bigger, but we already have plans for how to make it better.

As in the past, we do everything we can to minimize our impact on the environment and we are proud that we had only a single bag of garbage left over after the race (not bad for an event with 300+ people, a catered meal and 3 kegs of beer.)

Thanks to everyone who came out!  We can't wait to see you all next year!  (Registration will likely open up in March again.  This year we sold out Memorial Day weekend and we anticipate it selling out even earlier next year so if you want to see what all the fuss is about and keep up to date on the latest news and see more pictures please join the Facebook group as that has been our primary mode of communication and marketing.)

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