Last month, on Saturday, October 24th Rocky Road Adventures hosted its 3rd Annual Battle Born Trail Run. This trail run is in observation of Nevada Day. Nevada (meaning “snow-capped mountains) became the 36th state into the union on October 31st, 1864. This year’s Battle Born Trail Run brought us a great group of participants from neighboring areas, like the Las Vegas area, Eureka, Ely, Cedar City Utah, and several locals.
This year’s returning distance was 3.6 miles for the 36th state and new this year, Rocky Road Adventures (RRA) added a 10.31 mile trail run for October 31st and a kids 1.864k dash for the year 1864, held on the hiking trails at Cathedral Gorge State Park.
This year RRA not only had a morning race but also a sunset race. The morning race distances were all three distances (10.31 mi, 3.6 mi, & 1.864k kids dash) and the sunset race was only for the 3.6 milers and the kids dash. The morning distance runners were able to choose to “Double the Battle” and run a morning race and the sunset race. This format of a morning and evening race along with the new distances was a huge success and gave participants new options at a great venue.
The race morning started out with the 10.31 milers on the start line first at a 8 am start time. This year’s start was different from the prior 2 years, the participants started at the old water tower that is a very cool feature within the state park.
The 10.31 milers took off following the trail ahead and all thinking about just 10 more miles to go. While the 10 milers were setting their paces, it was start time for the morning 3.6 milers, at 9 am they all started on their forward jaunts to “the stairs”.
“The stairs” in quotes was quite the talk of the morning before the race. Many newcomers were not understanding the big deal with “the stairs” or “the eastside” of Cathedral that the 10 milers had to tackle. “The eastside” was all raw desert, no establish trail system made by man and tools. For RRA to get 10 miles around Cathedral Gorge, I had to incorporate the eastside that parallels Hwy 93. Again, it was all raw desert but, I did have some help from 2 local astray ranching sheep, (now named Shep & Sheepy), who had a perfect sheep trail for the trail runners to follow. Even with their help, this eastside was all sand, it only ended when the runners finally reached the paved road. The trail ran through the old Bullionville Cementary and where the raw desert and all sand came in, 2.5 miles of hard running.
Back to the race starts, as the 3.6’ers were tackling “the stairs”, the kiddos were ready for their start.
With 4 signed up, they were off and running. It didn’t take long for the 3.6’ers to start filing into the finish line. With a 1st place finish, Jaycee Bernal from Pioche Nv, made it in with a 36:47 finish time. If anyone knows her locally, that smile! I bet she smiled the whole time, no way 3.6 miles will bring her down! Second place brought us another local gal from Panaca Nv and I wouldn’t say she smiled the whole time, I do recall the photographer hearing her say some choice words, maybe phrases towards the race director, me 😉 With a 40:29, Chanille Chouquer finished. Chanille is no stranger to this course, finishing in 2018 with a 39:13, showing her consistency. To round out the top 3 and finishing in 3rd place was an out-of-towner but Lincoln County’s neighbor, Kelsey Bynum from White Pine County, Ely Nv, with a 47:08 finishing time. Well done to these gals taking the podium for the 3.6 mile morning race.
While the 10 milers were still out on the course, possibly attempting “the eastside”, the kiddos were beginning to see the finish line. First place and second place came easily to the Bushman brothers. Eight year old Brax nedged out his 12 year old brother by 8 tenths of a second. Brax’s finishing time was 16:40.1 and brother, JD’s, was 16:40.9. Third and fourth place went to another set of siblings from Pioche Nv, Rylee Midgley with a 22:36 for 3rd place and Wyatt Midgley with a 22:44 for 4th place. It was a wonderful sight to see these 8, 9, & 12 year old kids out running a 1.864k, which is 1.15 miles. Their course even incorporated half of “the stairs”. Well done kiddos!
Trailing behind the kid finishers came our first place runner for the 10.31 mile, Jeff Bzoskie from Las Vegas Nv with a finishing time of 1:44:18. When asking him “How was the course?”, he replied, “I have done 100 mile races and that “eastside” is the hardest section I’ve ever done”. Well, that made me as a race director of trail races, very happy and satisfied that a very athletic runner like himself got a great challenge. Even with Jeff saying that, he was very pleased and happy with the race and the course, phew! Approximately 7 minutes after Jeff, our second and third placers arrived, Kimberly Cleveland taking 2nd place with a 1:51:44 and right on her heels, literally, was 3rd place finisher, Jaimee Troth with a 1:51:48. I don’t remember what Kimberly and Jaimee said about the race course but I do recall something about that “eastside” and what a challenge it was.
I personally am very proud and pleased with the 12 runners that signed up for this 10 miler and tackling it without really knowing the depth of what I meant about “raw” desert. Thank you all for being my test dummies and being my heroes. As I said to each runner at some point when finished, “what doesn’t challenge you, won’t change you”. Well done “eastsiders”! Shep & Sheepy are proud of you too!
With the all the morning runners done with their races, it was time to relax till the sunset races….okay, I lied, there is never any rest time. With this night race being the first for Battle Born, I had to run the whole 3.6 mile course and attach glow sticks to the ribbon markers in hopes that the runners would see them and be able to follow the course properly.
As 4pm rolled around, the participants arrived and got checked in. This first time night race, would start us out with the kids dash, 1.864k at 5 pm. Sunset was at 5:47pm and I didn’t want the kids running at night so they started and finished before the sun decided to go down. With the Midgley kids coming back for a second round and 2 fresh leggers, the 4 kids were off and running. Eight year old, Truce Tolman from Panaca, son of earlier participant Chanille Chouquer and 2nd place finisher of the 3.6 mile, took the lead and finished the race in 1st place with an outstanding 14:19. And not far behind him was our last minute entry from Las Vegas Nv, who came up with her family for a day hike, Layna Miller with a 15:44. Layna and her family were hiking and exploring when they saw me attaching the glow sticks earlier, they asked what was going on and I had mentioned the race to them. They had decided last minute to enter their daughter, who is 7 years old and the youngest participant of the race day also the youngest participant to date that Rocky Road Adventures has ever had. Well done young Layna and thank you for allowing us all to watch you shine. The Midgley kiddos finished out third and fourth place again but this time little brother Wyatt was 3rd place with a 19:10 and Rylee was 4th place with a 23:18. Both Wyatt and Rylee, ran the morning and evening race and receiving the “Doubled the Battle” medal. Well done to those two kiddos for tackling it twice. Their course was not easy, they too, had to go up and down part of “the stairs”, and run in sandy rocky terrain. I would say that Truce took the fastest time from the morning race and the night race but come to find out the kids that ran the morning race had to go further than the night racers. My photographer that morning, aka my daughter, messed up and put the turn around sign in the wrong stop and so the morning runners for the kids race did go a little bit further. But all in all, two 8 year old kids both took 1st place, very impressive. Congratulations to you all!
With the kids dash done and all kiddos accounted for, it was time to start the sunset bunch of 3.6’ers. As 5:47pm rolled around, the sunset bunch were off and running into the dusk Cathedral Gorge. The timing of the race was perfect, many of the runners were at Millers Point for the sunset. Pitch black came upon us and we could see a runner with lights coming to the last quarter of mile stretch. Once the eye got adjusted, there were actually two runners and in front of him was local, Cheyenne Romans, (yes, my daughter and yes, the photographer from earlier race, she multitasks like her mom). Cheyenne finished with a 35:43 taking 1st place and on her tail with a 36:06 was Christopher Welch form Las Vegas Nv. Both had great times and beat the winning time from the earlier race. To take 3rd place for the sunset race, was my favorite race finisher, Brody Sweet, 11 year old from Eureka Nv with a 44:36 finishing time. Wow, 11 years old and ran 3.6 miles, partially at night…beyond impressive. Well done Brody!
Cheyenne did get the fastest time from the morning race and sunset race combined with that 35:43 time and received a Battle Born Trucker Visor as reward. Great Job!
A special recognition of “Awesomeness” goes out to all my runners that signed up to run a morning race and the sunset race, Double the Battle. Steve Zimmerman, Leslie Zimmerman, and Abby Sweet, all from Eureka Nv, ran the morning 10.31 miler and then came back to run the sunset 3.6 miler. Not only did they tackle “the eastside” but tackled “the stairs” 5 times total. You are my heroes and I salute you on a job well done. The one and only, Alice Midgley, who not only runs my races but volunteers at each one if she isn’t running in it, ran both the morning and sunset 3.6 miler. You are awesome, my friend! Also, to the two Midgley kiddos that ran the morning and evening 1.864k kids dash, well done, you have the guts and you conquered. Well done to all my, Doubled the Battled participants. Thank you for partaking in this new idea for Battle Born Trail Run.
To my volunteers, Cheyenne, Lee, Dann, Alice, and Leslie……….Thank you for helping me. Without you, I’d be dead in the water.
Thank you Cathedral Gorge State Park for allowing this event to happen and having such a beautiful park for us to run and compete at!
Thank you to Tailwind Nutrition for sponsoring Rocky Road Adventures this year with your great product!
Thank you Battle Born Participants for choosing Rocky Road Adventures this year. I do hope this race made your 2020 year a bit brighter and memorable.
Rocky Road Adventures
Owner / Race Director