The Nugget Newspaper - News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Peterson Ridge Rumble sees record numbers


Last updated 4/15/2014 at Noon

The best weather in the 12 years since its inception may have explained why the Peterson Ridge Rumble also had a historic number of finishers for the annual 20- and 40-mile trail run held Sunday, April 13.

A cool morning at starting time gave way to pleasant temperatures and a light wind, much to the pleasure of the ultra runners according to race director Sean Meissner, who returned to Sisters from his new home in Flagstaff, Arizona for the event.

"The snow-capped Three Sisters shining in all their glory combined with the great weather really showcased the beauty of the area, which gave some magic to the day," he said. "I loved that people just hung out for a long time after the race in the infield grass at the high school track, soaking it all in."

A total of 134 runners completed the 40-mile race along with 284 finishers in the 20-miler. In addition, 52 dogs traversed the 20-mile race with their masters.

Meissner credits the Sisters Trails Alliance and the Oregon Equestrian Trails group for helping make the event such an attraction for runners from all over the northwest.

"The trail system in Sisters is the envy of just about anywhere in America," he said.

Local runner Eugene Trahern kept his streak alive of finishing every single Rumble since it all started in in 2003. Don Hildebrand, 82 years young, made it within 1.5 miles of finishing for the eleventh time in twelve years, but kept his well-known positive attitude just the same, according to Meissner.

"We should all aspire to emulate Don's attitude and willingness to test his body into our later years," said Meissner. "Don told me that with just a little more preparation he will be ready to finish next year."

Jacob Puzey of Hermiston won the 40-mile race in 4 hours 47 minutes 2 seconds, over seven minutes ahead of runner-up Gerald Dean, of Mt. Shasta, California (4:54:29).

Denise Bourassa of Bend, who finished tenth overall, took top honors among women in 5:13:33.

Two elite runners with local ties topped the 20-mile race.

Ryan Bak of Bend outdistanced former Olympian and Stanford star Ian Dobson in the 20-mile race. Bak cruised to the win in 2:00:04, while Dobson crossed the line in 2:08:07.

Bak, a national-level runner with bests of 4:01 for the mile, 13:34 for 5,000 meters and 2:14 for the marathon, moved to Bend where he trains with Max King after formerly running for the Oregon Track Club elite. Dobson prepped at Klamath Falls High School and later achieved All-American honors at Stanford along with appearance in the 5,000 meters at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He owns a personal best of 13:15 for 5,000 meters.

Laura Hempel of Corvallis won the women's title in 2:27:30, which was 15th overall and just 48 seconds ahead of Ashley Boyle of Portland, who finished in 2:28:18.

Vince Grace was the first Sisters resident across the line in 2:52:30, followed by Rikki Glick (3:05:51) and Angela Sitz (3:06:50).

In addition to Eugene Trahern, other Sisters finishers in order included Julie Patton, Kara Calmettes, and Andrea Storton.

Members of the Sisters High School cross-country team helped operate the aid stations along with other volunteer work to help the event run smoothly, according to Meissner.

"It's a group effort to make this race happen, and I appreciate all the people of Sisters who welcome me back and make this race one of the most popular and well-liked trail runs in Oregon."


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