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Two Trophy Series leaders discuss their favorite local races, recovery beverages and what we non-Pennsylvanians are missing out on
From left: Trophy Series leaders Michael Haffley (“Anyone who has done the Megatransect in Lock Haven will recognize this location!”) and Llew Williams.
With less than a month left in the 2014 Trail Runner Trophy Series, we caught up with two avid runners from Pennsylvania who are leading the way for Most Trophy Series races run so far—and neither are done just yet racing Trophy races this season.
Meet Michael Haffley, 47, of Lock Haven, and Llew Williams, 56, of Sinking Spring (who’s also currently in the lead for his age category in the non-ultra division)—and learn what drew them to the trails, what keeps them coming back, and what we non-Pennsylvanians are missing out on.
(See the next page for an updated Trophy Series leaderboard, or check out the race calendar to find a Trophy Series race near you.)
1. What should people elsewhere know about trail running in Pennsylvania that they might not already know?
- Michael Haffley: North Central PA has the friendliest trail-running people around! You’ll get treated just like your one of our “trail family” from day one.
- Llew Williams: We are fortunate in Pennsylvania to have so many great runners, trails to explore and races to experience. No matter your ability, or where you live in the state or what season it may be, there is always a way to find “the trail.”
2. How long have you been trail running, and what got you into the sport in the first place?
- MH: Six years now. I hunt, hike, backpack, mountain bike and love the outdoors, period. I had never cared for running on pavement but when I saw these trail runs I thought it was a great way to combine racing and the outdoors. For me, it’s more involved than just a fast time. I get to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty we have here in PA!
- LW: I think I have always been running but about five years ago I discovered the trails as I was searching for a way to step away from the busy roads and immerse myself in more natural surroundings. What I found on the trail was not having a concern for pace or even distance just the joy of being in nature and discovering new experiences and meeting people on the trail.
3. What’s your favorite way to recover after a race?
- MH: Cold chocolate milk and a slice of pizza, hot or cold. LOL! I love beer too, but I have no idea how a lot of my friends and family can drink it right after a race!
- LW: It doesn’t get any better than chocolate milk after a race to help recover … and maybe a beer or two for the carbs.
4. What’s your day job?
- MH: I work in the family business selling all types of insurance. I basically sit at a desk all day, staring at a computer screen and talking to people all day. Now do you see why I love the outdoors!
- LW: During the day I am Manager for a Consumer Care company, Bayer HealthCare in Myerstown, PA.
5. Of the Trophy Series races you’ve run so far this year, which is your favorite and why?
- MH: Hands down, The Hyner View Trail Challenge. This was my very first trail race ever & the one that started it all for me! I love the mountains there and the time of year the race is held. We’ve had mud, snow, sleet, rain, high waters … you just never know.
- LW: It’s tough to decide, all the Trophy Series races have great trails and runners but the Terrapin Mountain Race is an early spring run in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia is one of my favorites. The Terrapin trail is technically challenging, has generous elevation gains with beautiful vistas (you have to remember to look up from the trail) with an excellent race organization and amazing volunteers.
6. If you had to sum up the experience of trail running in 3 words, what would they be?
- MH: Best, experience, ever!
- LW: Freedom, natural, challenging.
2014 Trophy Series Leaderboard, as of September 9, 2014
(May be missing some results that race directors have not yet submitted to us)
1. Clay Williams, Guelph ON, 53, 1 race, 139.75 miles, 559 points
2. Kyle Curtin, Clarksville TN, 27, 2 races, 27 miles, 550 points
3. Stephen Bridson, Stayner ON, 52, 150.57 miles, 405.11 points
1. Jenny Kroeger, Toronto ON, 28, 1 race, 149.73 miles, 598.92 points
2. Mindy Coolman, Missouri Valley IA, 32, 4 races, 186 Miles, 589 points
3. Traci Falbo, Charleston IN, 42, 2 races, 150 miles, 550 points
10-19 Jacob Brown, Omaha NE, 13, 3 races, 31.7 miles, 91 points
20-29 Alex Francisco, Kansas City MO, 24, 3 race, 76.1 miles, 119.3 points
30-39 Adam Russel, Rome PA, 35, 5 races, 68.22 miles, 217.14 points
40-49 Jeff Smucker, Woodward PA, 48, 3 races, 57.2 miles, 105.7 points
50+ Llew Williams, Sinking Spring PA, 56, 5 races, 65.26 miles, 167.72 points
10-19 Leslie Opatril, Revelstoke BC, 19, 2 races, 28.52 miles, 114.08 points
20-29 Sara Poindexter, Reno NV, 24, 2 races, 31.7 miles, 126.8 points
30-39 Hayley Weyhe, State College PA, 38, 2 races, 26.2 miles, 104.8 points
40-49 Anita Ortiz, Eagle CO, 49, 1 race, 25 miles, 100 points
50+ Randy Young, South Fork CO, 62, 2 race, 38.1 miles, 114.3 points
Miles Mogul (Most Series Miles Run)
Harland Peelle, Huber Heights OH, 200.8 miles
Ali Turfe, Ann Arbor MI, 200.8 miles
Anastasia Andrychowski, Lake in the Hills IL, 213.1 miles
Trail Fiend (Most Series Races Run)
Adam Russell, Rome PA, 5 races
Michael Haffley, Lock Haven PA, 5 races
Llew Williams, Sinking Spring PA, 5 races
Robert Renninger, Williamsport PA, 5 races
Tied 5+ women