Black Bears Running Wild in Waterville Valley
A more perfect day couldn’t have been dreamed of for the revamp of the Black Bear Half Marathon, held Saturday, August 31st in Waterville Valley. Having been last run primarily on road in 2016, the race is back in name and evolved in form. This year’s full fledged Black Bear Trail Half Marathon delivered 800 feet of elevation gain over 13.5 miles of smooth forest road, technical single track, and just enough mud to satisfy.
The race saw strong finishes among the women’s and men’s fields with Megan Bonney of Cambridge finishing first among women and 5th overall in 1:39:16, while Patrick Ward, also of Cambridge, finished first overall in 1:27:41. The Watervillians did not disappoint on their home turf. Matt Siegel came in for a 2nd place half marathon finish at 1:36:27 and his daughter, Gabriela finished first among the women in the 5K with a time of 33:51. Students from the Waterville Valley Academy came out in force to dominate the men’s field in the 5K, with Nicolas Hotermans taking the win in 28:56 over the 3.8 mile course.
As a fundraiser organized by the Waterville Valley Elementary School PTA along with Fresh Tracks Racing, the event was a huge success. With 180 racers attending and great support from local and regional sponsors including The Common Man, Hannaford, and Honey Stinger among others, the event will support the small community school and the future leaders they foster.
Keep an eye out for more events coming up in Waterville Valley! Coming up are the Waterville Mountain Race by Acidotic (September 29th), The Fall Foliage Foot Race 10 miler, 5k, and fun run by the Waterville Recreation Department (October 13th), and with a bit of a gap to fill, the Winter Wild 2.5 mile winter mountain race (March, 2020).