WILLIAMSBURG—The roads, bike trails, nature trails and grass athletic fields around the Warhill District Sports Complex are becoming an increasingly popular location for races and workouts for the Williamsburg running community. There are now four Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix events utilizing the location, starting with the March of the Lions 5K, hosted by Warhill High School, in March. The Virginia Legacy soccer club organized the Warhill 8K Run in June (previously held as a 5K run). This past Saturday saw the Mad Dash 5K, organized by WISC (Williamsburg Indoor Sports Complex), as part of their WISC Family Festival. And finally in October, the Run for the Hills 10K starts and finishes at the James City County Stadium. The common theme for all four events is portions or all of the scenic, shaded, but hilly 3.6-mile Warhill Nature Trail.
These trails are also used regularly by both the Warhill and Lafayette High for their workouts, and the CRR holds organized workouts there every Tuesday and Sunday.
The Mad Dash 5K was the 13th of 23 CRR Grand Prix races for 2014. It was the opening event for the WISC Family Festival, which attracted over a thousand people with numerous family activities, arts and crafts, and various vendors both inside and outside the WISC building. Although the festival was in its eighth year, the Mad Dash 5K Run was in its first year, organized by Faith Morehead and Chris Haywood of WISC, along with Lindsay Newell and recently retired cross country and track coach Dan Stebbins of Warhill High. The 5K started at 8 a.m., and the awards ceremony concluded in time for participants to attend the expo and festival from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., both inside and outside the WISC building. Activities included games and prizes, food and drink, arts and crafts, inflatables, a dunk tank, petting zoo, and a penalty kick shoot-out. Also there were local vendors, and the James City County police and fire departments, offering Ident-A-Kits and fire safety info.
The race benefited Child Development Resources while supporting Maddox Marmon, the daughter of David and Britta Marmon of the Cross Fit location inside WISC. All three participated in the race, with David pushing Britta in a stroller. There were 171 entrants in the 5K and 1 mile fun run, with 119 finishers in the 5K and 36 finishers in the 1 mile. There were no new Warhill 5K race age group records broken at this year's event.
Running his 10th Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix race for 2014, Victor Flemming, 35, of Carrollton, extended his Grand Prix lead over 2011 and 2013 Grand Prix champion Todd Kessler, 31, of Newport News., at the Mad Dash 5K. Flemming now has 89 points, Kessler has 76 points, and third-place Greg Dawson (out of town in Spokane for the week, celebrating his granddaughter's first birthday) has 59 points. Flemming won the 5K in 16:53, just over a minute ahead of Kessler, who came from behind for the runner-up spot. Jake Morgan, 23, of Williamsburg was third in 18:25.
For the women, the top three were Debbie McLaughlin, 48, of Williamsburg (21:43), ahead of Jessica Burcham, 32, of Lanexa (21:56) and Emily Honeycutt, 23, now from Williamsburg. Honeycutt, a William and Mary graduate, both undergraduate and the School of Education, recently moved from West Point to Williamsburg, to start teaching math at Jamestown High this fall. For the women, the Grand Prix standings has McLaughlin leading with 85 points, followed by Honeycutt (83), Burcham (65) and six-time champion Jennifer Quarles (58). However, only the top 10 races score in the Grand Prix, and Honeycutt has run a few more Grand Prix races than the others.
The 5K loop course started on the grass soccer fields next to Kids Club, had a short stretch on the gravel service road, then ran on the asphalt bike path, returning on the park entrance road, before finishing on the scenic gravel/dirt, and shaded Warhill Nature Trail.