2009 BullDog Race Report
by Nancy Shura, R.D.
With much pre-race speculation about the possible imminent closure of Malibu Creek State Park, the 2009 Bulldog Trail Runs managed to squeak through on August 22. The 2009 races were the most successful in the history of the runs thanks to the runners who did a great job of following the “rules” related to carpooling and the many, many volunteers who worked to make the day safe for them.
In spite of cooler than usual temperatures and cloudy skies for much of the day, only one age division course record was broken between the two races however there were quite a few noteworthy performances.
In the 50K:
22-year-old Dominic Grossman took the men’s field with his winning time of 3:59:17. Placing 7th overall was 27-year-old Maria Petzold who won the women’s race (4:44:18). 55-year-old veteran ultra runner Rob McNair placed 8th overall (4:46:00) to win the grand-master-male award and came in ahead of all the other youngsters in the male master division (40-49). 55-year-old Lorraine Gersitz has made a comeback in ultra running the last couple of years and finished in 43rd place overall, 9th female, while running in her green Crocs! Although no course records were set in the 50K this year, the entire open field was actually very fast; 151 out of 185 runners ran sub-7:00 on the course!
In the 25K:
After running off course in 2008 (due to a course vandal), 27-year-old Henry Lowenfels stayed on track this year, though not always on his feet, to win the 25K. Henry crossed the finish line (1:58:57) covered in blood and dirt that didn’t detract from his smile one bit. 3rd overall was our female winner, 34-year-old Jennifer Todd, a former returning champion of the Bulldog Runs. The only course record set this year was by Jennifer in the 30-39 female age division. 40-year-old male Francisco Arriola battled against 45-year-old female Sue Zihlmann to be the first master runner to cross the line with Francisco edging out Sue by only 6-seconds. The 25K had four male runners in the 70+ age division with 74-year-old Michael Pang running a 3:09:20 on a tough course!
Our 2009 race shirt was designed by Rachel Nosco, the lovely daughter of one of our runners. Great job Rachel!
The shining stars of the Bulldog Runs is always our volunteers who come out at o-dark-early to put this race on for you. We had 58 volunteers this year! I hope you will drop an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org giving your thanks to the volunteers; I promise to forward it to them.
As for the future of our state parks events… it’s time to write letters to your state officials urging them to keep our beautiful backcountry open.
Hope to see you all next year at the 19th annual Bulldog Trail Runs.
Nancy & Larry Dervin