By Jessica Wettig
A St. Louis running group just celebrated their second year racing the Shawnee Hills 100 at Camp Ondessonk in Ozark. This is the only race they host in Southern Illinois.
Race Director Shalini Kovach said she started the group, Terrain Trails Runners, in Feb. 2014. She is the chairman of the Ozark Region’s USA Track and Field (USATF) in Missouri. The group operates out of Ballwin, Mo.
“This year, for the Shawnee Hills 100, we had a lot of folks from out-of-state,” Kovach said. “and our hope is to continue that tread, and get folks to recognize that not all of the Midwest is flat. There are some awesome trails in Missouri and Illinois.”
She said, with that focus, they hope the group continues to grow.
The group is in its fifth year of the Ozark Foothills race, held in Greensfelder County Park in Wildwood, Mo. It is also the fifth year for the Rockin’ Rockwoods race, held at the Rockwoods Reservation in Wildwood, Mo.
Kovach had visited Camp Ondessonk and ran the trails in the past 3-4 years, and wanted to organize a race at the camp. She said all of the races are like the Shawnee Hills 100. They include a dirt trails, hills, climbing, and other factors.
Most of their runs are in Missouri.. in the St. Louis area. The group has over 1100 runners. Many of the runners come from all over the country to attend the races.
Kovach herself attends races all over the country.
The next upcoming event is the Rockin’ Rockwoods race, which will be held Sept. 29 at 7a.m.