More than 300 runners began and ended their race day at the Titusville Middle School during the 11th annual Oil Creek 100 Trail Runs and two of them can leave town with records attached to their names. Racers from across the country took part in either the 50K, 100K or 100-mile races that began early Saturday morning and concluded on Sunday.
Pittsburgh’s Cameron Stauffer took first place in the 100-mile race, completing the course in 17 hours, 3 minutes and 31.60 seconds. Stauffer time on Saturday broke the 100-mile course record of 17:04:50.60 set by Nicholas Kopp, of Puyallup, Massachusetts, back in 2015.
Corinne Williams, of Harrisburg, claimed victory in the 100K, in 11:23:51.00, and also made history. Williams became the first female to win the 100K.
Clarion native Brian Frank brought home the gold in the 50K by finishing the race in 4:26:23.50. Frank has now taken first place in the 50K for the third straight year and fourth overall.
“Things this year seemed to go very smoothly and fairly injury free, perhaps because the trail was in good shape,” Race Director Tom Jennings said. “The morning light rain didn’t seem to impact the trail much at all due to the leaves blocking much of it — at least that is what I heard at the finish line from the runners. The cooler temperatures this year certainly helped the runners overall. With temperatures reaching the upper 20-30 degree range with heavy frost, I was concerned about more cases of hypothermia, but the runners seemed to be prepared for it.”
All runners in the three races ran the same 50K loop which began and ended at Titusville Middle School. Competitors took off from the school on South Brown Street and then turned left onto Bank Street, where the runners headed out toward Oil Creek State Park. In the park, all runners traversed just over 26 miles along the Gerard Hiking Trail and then headed back to the finish line at the middle school. The 100K runners made two laps of the course while the 100-milers completed three circuits.
Citizens of California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia were all represented across the 324 runners that finished either of the three races. Washington, D.C. was also represented, as were Canadian provinces Ontario and Quebec and Cambridge of the United Kingdom.
Tami Sari, of Polk, was the fastest local racer (within 30 miles of Titusville) in the 100-miler, taking 21st place, in 27:43:00.30. Waterford’s Kip Miller placed 27th in the 100K, in 16:33:56.40, while Oil City’s Andrew Brosius came in seventh in the 50K, in 5:22:24.60.
Williams, who had been stationed in Japan for the past seven years as a member of the United States Marine Corps, recently moved to the Harrisburg area and was in search of a 100K to participate in this fall. Her search concluded with a trip to Titusville for the OC100.
“As soon as I knew I was moving to Pennsylvania, I got on several different running blogs and websites trying to find a 100K for the fall,” Williams said. “After boiling it down, and seeing positive reviews, and it being a perfect timeframe, I registered.”
Williams, who had never been to the Oil Region before this weekend, was “greeted” like many have been who are native to the area — with a collision with a deer.
“About 20 minutes outside of Titusville a deer ran into my car,” Williams recalled. “The deer got away, and my car didn’t do so well, but I was able to finish out the drive and make it to the race the next day.”
Despite the collision with the local fauna, Williams, like many others, had a pleasant experience with her time in town, and plans to come back again in the future.
“The area was gorgeous,” Williams said. “The aid stations were spectacular, and the community was so supportive. I appreciated the community letting us use the middle school and take a nice, warm shower after the race. I really hope to come back. I’ll be out here in Pennsylvania for a couple of years, and hope come to come back next year.”