10th Hinson Lake ultra going high-tech

Runners can expect electronic timing, bandit pacers eliminated

By Kevin Spradlin

* 2014 PDP event coverage
* 2015 confirmed entries list (subject to change)
* Run Richmond – see upcoming events
* Hinson Lake ultra website 

ROCKINGHAM — Most runners will agree Jerry Lindstrand had to make some changes.

The race director for the 10th annual Hinson Lake 24-Hour Ultra Classic, a trail race around Hinson Lake at the end of September, announced Friday event on the event Facebook page about several key changes that will impact runners on race day. The goal is to ensure each of the 409 registered runners has an enjoyable time — and have each of their 1.5032-mile loops properly counted.

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

MacKenzie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

The most noticeable change is the upgrade — on a race with a $24 entry fee — to electronic timing. Lindstrand has contracted with Greensboro-based On the Mark Sports to keep tabs on each runner with a bib number on race day.

Prior to the 2015 event, Lindstrand’s wife Connie led a small army of volunteers on the the tent-covered berm across from Rotary Lodge to keep track of runners. The most difficult hours in 2014, with a record field of 319 runners, were the first few hours after the 8 a.m. start.

A second key change is that unregistered pacers — friends or family members accompanying registered runners around the lake at various points in time — are no longer permitted.

The event collects approximately $9,800 in entry fee revenue and in 2014 accepted a $1,250 allocation from the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority. The TDA is funded by revenue generated from hotel/motel tax revenue.

The 2015 event, which will start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, features 409 registered runners from 13 states, including the Carolinas as well as Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Washington. Among the 16 Richmond County runners expected to toe the start line: Krista Edwards, 43, of Ellerbe; John Porter, 49, of Rockingham; Kevin Spradlin, 36, of Rockingham; Lee Watson, 61, of Hamlet; Frank Sherrill, 78, of Rockingham; Duane Brown, of Rockingham; Rosemary Baxley, 52, of Hamlet; Gerry Baxley, 61, of Hamlet; Evan “Bones” Baxley, 13, of Hamlet; Chris Kubiak, 53, of Rockingham; Justine Seabolt, 46, of Rockingham; Clea Smith, 46, of Rockingham; Cody Roscoe, 20, of Rockingham; Hannah Roberts, 21, of Rockingham; Greg Hutchinson, 46, of Rockingham; Conner Hutchinson, 19, of Rockingham;

Entry opened up on Jan. 1 and Lindstrand pulled the form from the event website on Jan. 5. More than one-third of the runners — 141 of the 409 (34.47 percent) of the field — are identified as Hinson Lake first-timers.

The race is certainly one for the average runner but also attracts some very competitive — and fast — people. In 2014, 40-year-old Rich Riopel, of Morganville, N.J., completed 94 laps and tallied 142.725 miles for the overall win. The performance left a single name — course record holder Mike Morton — who has logged more miles in Hinson Lake’s nine-year history. Morton ran 153.89 in 2010 and returned a year later to tally 163.9. Vikena Yutz, 43, of Columbus, Ga., finished with 106.367 miles — good for first place in 2014 and seventh an the list of all-time performers among women at Hinson Lake.

In April, Riopel led Team USA in Turino, Italy, with an eighth-place finish in the 2015 International Association of Ultrarunners World 24-Hour Championship.

This year’s changes continue the upgrades Lindstrand began to put into place in 2014. Two months before last year’s race, Lindstrand hired Brad Smythe to measure and certify the course to USATF standards.

A third change involves logistical issues. Lindstrand said that in order to ensure sufficient clearance for emergency vehicles, parking along the Hinson Lake entrance road off East Washington Street Extended will be limited to the east side (that’s the left side as drivers pull into Hinson Lake).





Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

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