Saturday, May 13, 2000 -- Front Royal, VA
VHTRC Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Miler
Story and photos by C.A. Jackson Jr., FreeLance International
His time of 20:14 was well off his 19:16 mark in 1999 when he also won but given the difference in conditions, this year's win was all the more meaningful.
Over 125 runners began the race in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, May 13, at the Skyline Ranch Resort near Front Royal. But over half didn't have the fortitude of Torrence and dropped out.
"I had stomach problems early in the race but they're gone now," the
red-head said at the Washington-Jefferson National Forest Ranger
Station near New Market, during a brief respite at the half-way mark
of the race. "Now the heat and humidity is really high and it's hard
It's understandable then that nearly half of the original pack dropped out. Some had sprains, blisters, broken bones and other sundry ailments and some just hadn't prepared themselves adequately for the conditions. But David Roemer, a 40-year-old New York City physician, may have taken the prize for the most unusual - and potentially life-threatening injury: a Timber Rattlesnake bite.
Doctor Roemer, however, was prepared for a run in the country, though
urban legend may have attempted to creep into the scenery. On the
trail Saturday night at the Woodstock Tower aid station it was
reported Roemer had been bitten, given himself an anti-venom shot and
found his way down the mountain to civilization and assistance.
Yes, Roemer was bitten but all he had in his fanny pack was an Epi-Stick for bee stings. He treated himself with that and five hours later made it to help. According to race director Ed DeMoney, it's believed Roemer and his wife headed back to NYC for treatment.
Roemer received a granite plaque, not for the self-heroics but for at least completing half of the run. In fact, all the participants who made it to the National Forest Visitor Center on U.S. Route 211 east of New Market, received such an honor.
DeMoney and the club members designed the course almost entirely on trails which lead through the state's Massanuttan Mountain range. Runners went up and down in elevations from around 600 feet at the start to a peak of over 2,700 feet twice on the course.
They were allowed 36 hours to complete the course to earn a distinctive "finely detailed, machined pewter belt buckle". The top division winners as well as the second through sixth-place finishers received an upgraded Sterling silver buckle.
The author is a free lance writer living in Maurertown, Virginia. He may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.