SLT in the News

Slippery slopes and rain make for a fun day at the Fourth Annual Lynch Canyon Trail Run and Community Hike in Northern CA

Author: Aleta George
Date: Jun 05, 2011

American Canyon, CA—On June 4, 2011, the day of the Fourth Annual Lynch Canyon Trail Run and Community Hike, weather forecasters predicted that an unusual storm would break rainfall records not seen since 1884.

“This is what separates the masses,” said Chris Abess, founder and committee chair.

The course, set in the rolling hills between Vallejo and Fairfield about an hour away from San Francisco, CA, is dubbed the toughest run in Solano County. It’s even tougher when it’s wet and muddy.

The rain never let up, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of those who showed. In fact, the mood of the day was inspiring.

Justin Morejohn of Davis, CA, set a course record at 43.39. In 2010, Morejohn tried to break the record of 44:12 set by Carey Burens in 2010, but missed it by 26 seconds. This year, the course was even more challenging, but his strategy paid off. He stayed on the grass, and allowed himself to slip and slide and have fun. “I didn’t wear a watch, but did it by feel and kept pushing,” he said. Over the last year, he trained in Vibram FiveFingers half the time. “You automatically land softer and have to run in good form,” he said.

Second place in the 10K was Scott Harrington. He almost went down a few times but didn’t. “It was fun to run in the mud,” said Harrington. “I felt like a little kid.”

“It was awesome,” said Wayne Wagner from Berkeley, CA, winner of the half-marathon. Soaked from the rain and covered in mud at the finish, he said he fell in the last half mile. For him, the highlight of the run was when he came around a corner face to face with a cow standing in the trail. In the mental running zone, he merely said to himself, “Oh, there’s a cow.” Suddenly, several cowboy-hat wearing wrestlers on horseback appeared out of nowhere and “hip-hipped” the cow out of the way in a trot.

Lynch Canyon is home to grazing cattle, and the course organizers arranged for cow wrestlers on horse and ATVs to shoo the cows off the trail when needed.

The event also includes a 2.5-mile community hike, added so that everyone can participate. The rain kept most of the walkers away this year, except for the intrepid Crazy Running Ladies, a group of women from local cities led by personal trainer and coach, Nikki Peterson. These women were inspirational in their attitudes and their capacity to have fun. “Going up the hills was hard for me,” said sixty-nine year old Pat Flye of Fairfield with a smile. “The rain was the least of my problems.”

Event proceeds go towards the improvement of Lynch Canyon and to promote the use of its open space for healthy living. The open space is part of the Solano County Parks System and owned by Solano Land Trust, a public benefit organization that is celebrating 25 years of protecting working farms and natural areas in Solano County. For complete event results go to