Saturday, May 20, 2000 -- Yellow Spring - Capon Valley, WV
Capon Valley 50K Run
Story and photos by Don Parks
The cool, dank weather did little to dampen the spirits of the diverse
field of participants. From the young ladies in their early twenties
to the gentlemen well into their sixties; from the local runners
familiar with the terrain to those visiting from as far away as Florida
and California; from those out to break the course record to those
just out for a long day's hike; everyone was eager to complete their
goal of treking the 50K (31 miles) course.
It was no surprise to see the previous year's winner, Courtney
Campbell, tearing through the course at a pace few could match.
Before the race Campbell had commented that he was hoping not to have
to push himself too hard as he is preparing for the Laurel Highlands
Trail 70 Mile Run on June 17th. But with the likes of Barry Lewis
and Joe Clapper in the mix, Campbell was continually looking over
his shoulder to see who might be chasing him.
Lewis's seven-minute miles had him finishing second in a very respectable 3:37:20. While he trailed Campbell by 15 minutes, it was another half-hour before the rest of the field started to cross the finish. After the race Lewis said, "It was a great course and I love to visit new places and experience new trails." When asked about racing Campbell, Lewis added, "He is just amazing."
The battle for third was not settled quite as simply as was the race
for first and second. The trio of Clapper, Greg Zaruba and
Serge Arbona arrived at the first few aid stations in a tight
race behind the leaders. However, when Reid Lanham arrived at
Check Point 5 (24 Miles), he got some interesting news. "I was a
little surprised when they told me I was in fourth place," he
confessed, "I knew that somebody must have gotten lost."
The top finishing female in the mix was Philadelphia's Terri Handy. Her new women's course record time of 4:33:45 did not come without difficulty. Finding some of the footing a little tricky, Handy arrived at the finish a little worse for the wear with muddied clothes and a twisted knee. Carolyn Wilson (4:40:31) and Kim Weisgerber (4:53:29) took second and third and were the only other women to finish in under five hours.
Many more honors were handed out including the best time from each
state represented, 12 in all, the fastest masters (55+), the oldest
and youngest finishers, the fastest "rookie" ultra competitors, and
even the "Turtle Award" given to those who spent the most time out on
the course. All the awards presented were hand-crafted and locally
donated items including everything from pottery to quilted pillows.
Special thanks must go out to the hard work put in by race director Lynn Golemon and the patience and support provided by her husband Bill Golemon. Without the assistance of numerous volunteers including Rosie Rollins, Dorothy Cooper, Paula Brown, Wendy Mattingly, Yvonne Cooper, and many, many more in the local community, this wonderful event would not be possible. To all these folks goes a huge thanks and best wishes for many more rewarding Capon Valley 50K races.