13th Annual Abbey Trails
It was a comfortably cool morning for the 13th annual Abbey Trails Run/Walk. This year’s event drew a crowd of 242 participants: 109 runners and 133 walkers. A sea of color from the various types of exercise clothing, from sleek running shorts and a short sleeve shirt, to blue jeans and a sweatshirt, filled St. Raphael Hall as they anticipated the nine o’clock start. The registration line led out the door as the staff efficiently distributed the numbered bibs to each participant. Some of the runners stretched their legs; others visited with one another or perused the gift shop for a bargain buy.
The windmills turned, not an unusual sight around Conception, but fortunately for the runners, the headwind was on the first length of the race, thus ensuring an easier return trek after the turnaround point. The cooler weather was favorable for the runners who inevitably would work up a sweat along the 5K (3.1 mile) route.
The recent rains affected the walking trail, leaving the normal trails through the picturesque grounds rather waterlogged and muddy throughout most of the course. The two-mile path had to be rerouted and confined to the roads and sidewalks. That did not stop the walkers from enjoying themselves. Most of them walked in groups and talked as they made their laps around the campus.
Finishing first overall for the men was Jesse Sewell of Maryville, MO completing the course in a time of 17:44. First for the women was Sarah Regan of Platte City, MO crossing the finish line in a time of 22:15.Brunch was served in a crowded St. Michael’s Gymnasium following the event. The award ceremony took place shortly thereafter, where the top three competitors from each category were awarded a medal. This year’s event raised a generous $4,893.10. The proceeds from Abbey Trails go toward Conception Seminary College’s wellness program