DES MOINES, Iowa, May 14, 2017 -- A young team of former University of South Dakota track athletes competed for the first time in a Market to Market Relay Iowa on Saturday, May 13, and ran away with the championship.
They are “Six Pack and a Pound Fest,” of Vermillion, S.D.
Five of the six team members range in age from 23 to 27 – Brant Haase, Jeff Mettler, Taylor Chapman, Isaac Allen and Andrew Duba. The sixth team member is 37-year-old Matt Hoyt, a former USD trackman himself and he also was a volunteer coach of the five younger runners when they were Coyote runners.
Captain Haase said the “Pound Fast” name comes from “an expression we always used in track. If we were having a good day, running fast and strong, we’d call that a ‘Pound Fest.’ ”
They had one of those in “M2M Relay Iowa” on Saturday, with most of the 75-mile race being on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. Their winning time was 7 hours, two minutes and 29.6 seconds, with a per-mile pace of 5 minutes and 45 seconds. Runners-up were “Kyle’s Bikes,” of Ankeny, Ia., in 7 hours, 49 minutes and 58.1 seconds and a per-mile pace of 6 minutes and 23 seconds.
"The trail was fast, scenic, and made following the course very simple," Haase said. "Overall, we definitely outperformed our expectations. We were hoping to average under 6-minute pace and we ended up averaging 5:44 pace so we were faster by around 15 to 20 minutes."
This year’s Market to Market Relay Iowa “Open” category champions –“Six Pack and a Pound Fest” from Vermillion, S.D. In a photo they posed for soon after the finish of the relay in Des Moines, they are (left to right) Taylor Chapman, Andrew Duba, Isaac Allen, Brant Haase, Jeff Mettler, and Matt Hoyt.
Ben Cohoon, co-founder and co-race director of the relay, said the "Pound Fest" team members told him the relay "was a fun reunion for them, now that several of them have scattered from South Dakota and live in different states. They also said they’re excited to run in the Market to Market Relay Nebraska next fall.”
The morning weather Saturday was near perfect for the start of the 5th annual Iowa relay – with bright sunny skies, early temperatures in the 50s and a light southerly wind. The first half of the race is to the south, then eventually south-easterly, on the RRVT. By early afternoon, temperatures topped 80 degrees – a little warmer than most runners prefer – and a brisk wind kicked up from the south-southwest. But by then the breeze was nearly a tailwind, as most of the runners were on the portion of the RRVT that curves and heads due east to Waukee, then connecting on into Des Moines on the metro trails system.
The relay, which had started on the courthouse square in Jefferson, finished at the Court Avenue bridge downtown in the capital city. A "Post-Race Shindig" in and around the Iowa Taproom in the East Village attracted a huge crowd of the runners.
“It was a great day!” Cohoon said. “Runners had a great time on the RRVT as they made their way down to Des Moines.”
There were more than 2,500 of them, coming from 23 states, who competed on 350 teams.
Cohoon said there were no injuries reported and no accidents involving the vans that each team used to travel between the relay’s 17 exchange zones.
Highlights of the races in the relay’s other categories:
In the “Women’s” category, “Women Run Nebraska,” from Omaha, won their fourth consecutive Iowa relay title by nearly two hours over the second place team. The WRN team ran 8 hours, 28 minutes and 46.3 seconds for a per-mile pace of six minutes and 54 seconds. Team members were Addie Hohman, Amy Barry, Jess Wright, Lindsey Brezenski, Catherine Cloetta, Sarah Madsen, Allison Nielsen and Kylie Cheetsos.
The “Masters” men’s teams produced the most competitive race of the day, as predicted.
The “H & B All Stars,” of Des Moines, added a fourth consecutive “Masters” victory by just six minutes over the “Lincoln Running Company,” of Lincoln, Neb. H&B ran 8 hours, 9 minutes and 39.1 seconds for a pace of 6 minutes and 41 seconds per mile.
In the “Masters” women’s category, “Run Like Hell,” of Des Moines, easily won their race a fifth consecutive year, finishing in 10 hours, 9 minutes and 2.1 seconds for a per-mile pace of 8 minuts and 16 seconds.
Another good race was in the “Corporate” category, where the top three teams ran within 13 minutes of each other. “Pioneer Seed,” of Des Moines, won in 8 hours, 21 minutes and 53.6 seconds. Second place “The Runner’s Flat,” of Cedar Falls, Ia., finished about 7 minutes later, followed by third place “Farm Bureau Financial Services, of West Des Moines about 6 minutes later.
For complete results of the event, click here.
Here are some of the early-wave runners in the 5th annual Market to Market Relay Iowa on Saturday, May 13, just south of Cooper on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.
Ryan Regnier, of the “Lincoln Running Company” from Nebraska, is shown early in the relay south of Jefferson.
You know there are 2,500 other runners in Market to Market Relay Iowa, but sometimes you can find yourself running almost alone, as this runner did briefly 3.5 miles south of Jefferson on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.
Amy Barry, lead-off runner for “Women Run Nebraska,” is shown here south of Jefferson. Her team won the “Women’s” category title in Market to Market Relay Iowa.
This relay team came costumed as the “Village People” musical group.
Running easy toward the relay's first exchange zone at Winkleman Switch, between Jefferson and Cooper.
A relay hand-off at the exchange zone in Panora on the Raccoon River Valley Trail.