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Libby's Peterson wins 50-mile trail run

by AMY QUINLIVAN
Mineral Independent | June 17, 2022 7:00 AM

For some Trail Rail Run contenders, their race day was over in less than 30 minutes on June 11.

Like first place 5K finisher, 15-year-old Harlon Leishman from St. Ignatius who clocked in at 24 minutes after leaving Two Mile on Saturday morning. For other competitors the longest race times trudged on for over 12 hours.

But the fastest finisher for the furthest distance of 50 miles starting over the border in Mullan, Idaho, was 41-year-old Nick Peterson from Libby with a time of 7:53:21.

In its 10th year the annual Trail Rail Run saw almost 200 participants. Runners travelled from as far as Massachusetts, Texas, Alaska, and Florida. Each June brings new challenges for Race Director, Tyler Cheesman who has been at the helm for six years now. The days leading up to the race are filled with countless down to the wire preparations, trail marking and maintenance, and very little sleep.

Cheesman remarked on Saturday afternoon at the St. Regis Community Park, “I went to bed around 3 a.m. this morning, and I got up about 4 o’ clock.” She added, “There are just so many things that have to be done last minute.”

Finding enough volunteers for aid stations, flagging, finish line duties, food serving, and so much more, the battle to be ready for race day is tiresome but fulfilling. Not to mention unexpected trail issues that resulted in a race detour due to damage in one of the old train tunnels.

That mixed with a forecast of ample precipitation and cooler temperatures may have kept some runners from showing up to the starting lines. But for those who did brave the light rains and puddle dodging, racers were treated to one of the greenest springtime runs along the Route of the Olympian they’ve seen in many years.

2022 Trail Rail Run Race Results

50 Mile First Place Male - Nick Peterson, Libby, MT, 7:53:21

50 Mile First Place Female - Sara Tannenbaum, Brookline, MA, 9:06:09

50K First Place Male - Mike Schaedel, Missoula, MT, 4:57:44

50K First Place Female - Jill Pennington, Moiese, MT, 5:23:46

30K First Place Male - Benjamin James, Moscow, ID, 2:40:55

30K First Place Female - Alyson Jay, Flagstaff, AZ, 2:53:46

12K First Place Male - Christopher Quinlivan, Saint Regis, MT, 1:00:33

12K First Place Female - Michele Allen, San Antonio, TX, 1:05:57

5K First Place Male - Harlon Leishman, Saint Ignatius, MT, 24:27

5K First Place Female - Jennie Bender, Kalispell, MT, 25:21