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Race Report from Vision Trek 10k Trail Run

10 May 2012
by Sean Halpin

Canto 1

In the midway of life Sean finds himself in a savage wilderness, within a dark valley. Attempting to make his escape, and to ascend a beautiful mountain in site he is opposed by two wild beasts wearing blue shirts, and driven back.

Team Podium descended on the Vision Trek 10k like a wild three headed beast.: tucked tightly between fellow Team Podiumers, Brian Wainwright and Jeremy Ploessel, my heart rate immediately shot up to 173 where it would stay for the majority of the race. I tried to mask my heavy huffing by kicking the leaves around the trail. Slipping up and down the muddy hills, jumping over fallen trees, and sloshing through puddles we all fell into a union of shuffling. I glued myself to the backs of Jeremy’s shoes.

Just a few miles into the race and the burning in my legs had set in. There was no way I was hanging on to this group for the rest of the race. Brian must have agreed as he backed off slightly. At points like this I always find it helpful to hit the reset button. I pretend that the race has just started—everything behind me is behind me and suddenly it is only a 4 mile race instead of 6.


Just before the halfway point the blue shirts began to pull away. I hopped ahead of Jeremy to bridge the gap—knowing that Alex Solomon was waiting at the turn around—having borrowed Jeremy’s car. I would have to dawn a fake smile and thumbs up for the camera. At the turn around I failed to grab the green arm band showing I had run all the way there. The volunteer called out ‘wait your arm band’. I yelled back ‘Ill get it later’ there was no way I was letting go of the blue shirts. We made our way back into the woods and it was great to see all the Team Podium hats brushing past me. We were all pretty close to the front of the pack ! Team Podium was dominating!! I also learned that I was running about 7th place!


This is the point in the race where I transform into a cheerful 13 year old girl. Despite my sky rocketing heart rate and uncontrollable huffing, I started chatting with my competition. It was just me and the two blue shirts. “Have you ever done this race before?… Great job everyone I think we are going to catch that guy in front of us…You guys are making this look too easy”. I didn’t get any answers to my chattiness, just grunts.


A mile and a half or so further and one of the blue shirts fell off. I heard the fallen blue shirt yell up to the other blue shirt compadre’, “Good job, you’ve got this”. This was a challenge. You’ve got this meant you’ve got him…and that wasn’t happening. I surged ahead with about a mile to go and suddenly I found myself running 100 meters or so behind 4th place. The blue shirts had disappeared.


We burst out of the woods and onto the concrete path—about 400 meters to go. I had nothing left. My heart was pounding around 190 at this point and I was giving all I had just to hang on and not get passed at the finish line. Then I heard the sound of thumping bass and the smell of burning rubber. It was Alex. He was back at the finish, ready to cheer on the fellow Podiumers. I surged ahead just catching the heels of the runner ahead of me and blasting through to the finish line, 4th overall in a time of 59:47:00.

Jeremy out-sprinted Brian to take 7th overall in a photo finish, at 1:02:30 and 1:02:31, respectively. Jaime Harris did the same, out-sprinting his competition and finishing in 1:10:35. Sarah Heaton rounded out the Team podium finishers in 1:13:25. Full results can be found here.

The Vision Trek 10k is an annual trail running event that benefits the Georgia Eye bank. To learn more about the race and the Georgia Eye Bank, visit their website, .

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