A total of 266 runners competed in this year’s Tryon Half Marathon. The event was organized by the Tryon Running Club in support of Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry. (photo by Lorin Browning)
A total of 266 runners competed in this year’s Tryon Half Marathon. The event was organized by the Tryon Running Club in support of Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry. (photo by Lorin Browning)

Archived Story

Runners take to scenic roads for second Tryon Half Marathon

Published 11:06pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 266 runners lined up on Harmon Field Road in the mist and fog to take on the 13.1-mile out-and-back course on River Road that is the Tryon Half Marathon.

Last like year’s inaugural race, runners crossed the finish line on the Harmon Field track and enjoyed a delicious spread of hot breakfast casseroles baked by volunteer cooks.

The Tryon Running Club, which hosted the event, will donate a significant portion of the proceeds to Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry again this year.

After the runner’s breakfast in the Harmon Field Cabin, the Tryon Running Club Board held the Awards Ceremony.

Beautiful handmade pottery awards were given to the top runners. Josey Weaver, 23, of Weaverville, N.C. won first place overall male with a time of 1:10:59. Chris Giordinanelli, 49, of Simpsonville, S.C., took home second place overall male with a time of 1:19:41, followed by Asheville’s Peiwing Chen, 32, placing third overall male with a time of 1:21:50.

First place overall female went to Kristi Arledge, 43, of Simpsonville, SC, for a time of 1:23:40. Anne Lundblad, 47, of Asheville, N.C., took home second place overall female with a time of 1:31:36. Jennifer Fisher, 33, of Columbus, took third place overall female with a time of 1:33:27.

Elaine Jenkins and Marybeth Trunk display their awards for their finishes in the 70 to 99 age group. (photo by Lorin Browning)
Elaine Jenkins and Marybeth Trunk display their awards for their finishes in the 70 to 99 age group. (photo by Lorin Browning)

The top three masters males awards went to local runners. Wes Kessenich, 51, of Columbus took first place masters male with a time of 1:24:37. Todd Walter, 47, of Landrum, placed second masters male with a time of 1:26:14. Bailey Nager, 53, of Tryon, took third place masters male with his time of 1:26:56.

In the masters female category, Tryon native, Natalie Taylor, 41, who now lives in Raleigh, took first place masters female with a time of 1:34:41. Second place masters female went to Michelle Saucier, 40, of Tryon, with a time of 1:38:34. Laura Haupfear, 48, of Clinton, S.C., took third place masters female with a time of 1:39:16.

Local first place age group winners included Brooks Saucier, 39, of Lynn; Lori Geddings, 41, of Tryon; and Elaine Jenkins, 71, of Tryon.

For a complete list of results and awards, please visit www.runningtime.info.

Later on race day, lead “Ultra Level” race sponsor Mike Ashworth of Wells Fargo Advisors of Tryon, shared his thoughts about the race via the Tryon Running Club’s Facebook Page, which has a reach of 224 members.

Ashworth, who ran the race last year, volunteered with his wife, Amy, this year.

“I woke up this morning in a warm bed. Got up and turned on the heat so that my house could then also be warm. My family was all warm and snug when I, and so many others, left their homes to meet at Harmon Field to be a part of our second annual half marathon. Hours were spent by the volunteers on set up. Registrations and running strides were given by all of our generous runners today. All of these things went to help provide for those in our community that on any given day may lack one, or maybe all, of these things at any given time. I cannot thank all of you enough, whether volunteers or runners, who helped to contribute in some way to give back to our community today. I am so proud to be a part of such a great event like this. Thank you all so much.”

Tryon Running Club President Laura Phelps also expressed her gratitude on behalf of the team of volunteer organizers, sharing,

“This event was made possible with the support and love from many, many people. We could not have done it without the help of the our wonderful sponsors, the Tryon Running Club, community volunteers, local public servants, and of course, the runners. We all joined together for fun and to support a good cause. Last year’s inaugural event laid the foundation for the success we had this year. People came from 14 different states to run in our town. They came for the beautiful course and the delicious breakfast, but I believe they will return again next year for the warm hospitality. The comments are streaming in daily and they all point to the wonderful volunteers and spectators along the course.”

– article submitted
by Scarlette Tapp


    It seems the natives who live here year round do not control our environment and are powerless to stop the Town of Tryon downtown folks who are determined to stage one event after another to spill out of Harmon Field and/or the town of Tryon with no consideration or planning to even consider the impact on local roads and traffic problems. The list grows longer with time and include the Barbecue, horse shows, bicycle events where the participants tank up on beer and go out on the roads, the beer fest, and finally this ridiculous half marathon which is perhaps the worst of all in terms of traffic problems. There is no end to it as long as the citizens of town are determined, no matter what the costs, to impose on their near by county neighbors. Thumbs down on Town of Tryon and Harmon field running event. LOCALNATIVE.


    While this event professes to be of enormous benefit to our community for two years in a row now the only benefit I have seen is a traffic nightmare. The snarled traffic on Highway 108 with the road totally blocked with no alternative routes whatsoever for nearly two hours while the 200 participants run the course at widely varying rates of passage is just plain absurd traffic problems. The police refuse to let cars cross the path of the runners even when there is a break in runner traffic. So we sit and watch and fume. It has become a Saturday morning nightmare every Saturday for traffic mess caused by one town organized event or another at Harmon Field. In my opinion ANY EVENT WHICH SPILLS OUT OF HARMON FIELD INTO THE COUNTY SHOULD NOT BE HELD AT HARMON FIELD REGARDLESS OF HOW IT BENEFITS THE AREA. THE LIST HAS GROWN TOO LONG OF EVENTS AND DISRUPTION TO TRAFFIC. THIS IS PERHAPS THE MOST RIDICULOUS EXAMPLE OF THE TOWN OF TRYON IMPOSING ON COUNTY RESIDENTS. TAKE YOUR EVEN SOME PLACE ELSE OR RUN IT AROUND AND AROUND THE TRACK AT HARMON FIELD. THIS SHOULD NOT BE HELD ON PUBLIC ROADS AND ESPECIALLY HIGHWAY 108. IT IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL YOU HAVE A SERIOUS ACCIDENT WITH THIS RUNNING ON THE ROADS. LOCALNATIVE OPINION.

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