Saturday, June 3, 2000 - Sunday, June 4, 2000 -- Woodstock, VA
Old Dominion 100
Story and photos by Chuck Jackson
Now Garcia can tell people he not only can run the roads but also the 30-odd miles of off-road trails that make up the treacherous course in the second-oldest 100-mile human race in the country. He proved the point by winning the race hands-down Saturday evening, posting a 15:50:02, an hour better than Carnation, Washington's James Kerby, who finished with a time of 17:01:05, a personal best in a 100 mile race by more than five hours.
Ninety runners started the race with 65 finishing under 28 hours and 36 buckling, meaning they were awarded a belt buckle for completing the course under a 24-hour time limit.
"After last year, I thought I'd be happy with second place and go on,"
Garcia said Sunday at the Awards Breakfast, held at the Ramada Inn, in
Woodstock. "I wasn't going to enter this year, but as the time drew
closer, I decided to enter."
Race secretary Mike Robertson, a part-time Fort Valley resident and an U.S. Army officer stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., as well as an OD 100 competitor for the past 15 years, likened Garcia's race to "one of the best races ever run."
"Jim may not have had the record race (15:10 in 1992) and it wasn't
the course record but the race itself was better than in 1992,"
Robertson said. "That year, the high temperature was 62 degrees and it
was misty all day. People who had never buckled (running the mileage
under 24 hours), buckled that day. This year it was 78 degrees when we
started at 4 o'clock in the morning and the humidity was over 90
percent. They told me at Mountain Top (Moreland Gap and Edinburg Gap
roads) aid station the temperature was 94 degrees. When I heard Jim
had come out of Duncan Hollow at 10 a.m., and was at Mountain Top
(half-way point of the race) in seven hours, I knew he had a good
chance of breaking 16 hours. Most people today ran slower and many
didn't make it."
It was Peterson's fifth top-five finish in the OD and his fifth sub-19 hour race. He broke a tie with Steve Schiller in the first category, and the legendary David Horton (Lynchburg), in the latter. Michael Kent, 36, of Granby Mass., rounded out the top five with a time of 18:58:13, while Kansan Raul Flores, 44 was sixth (19:22:03).
Hildebrand, 43, of Urbana, Ill., finished seventh overall (19:51:24)
after getting lost and losing an hour on the trails. Placing eighth
was 36-year-old Stan Ferguson of Conway, Ark. (20:09:28),
ninth, Jeffrey Walsh, 45, Greenville, N.C. (21:20:09) and 10th,
Brain Kistner, 29, of Florence, S.C., who posted a 21:26:04.
Third among the women was Fort Valley's Jean Heishman, 42, who finished 40th overall with a time of 26:04:28. Marylander Rick Schneider, 43, was honored as the newest member of the 1,000 Mile Club, having buckled 10 years. Robertson, who last earned the award, presented Schneider with the special belt buckle. Schneider was 21st overall this year.
Gibb led her Oklahoma team in the new team competition, beating back the neophyte Woodstock team. Kevin Black, 40, of Maurertown, led the local entry, finishing 29th overall (23:20:40).
The author is a free-lance writer living in Maurertown, Virginia. He may be reached via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.