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MLK Weekend Runs 2006

By Mike Bur

Starters of the Elizabeth Furnace Fat Ass 50km

The weekend runs turned out to be a huge success! On Saturday, we had 14 starters and 9 finishers to what was the inaugural, Elizabeth's Fat Ass 50k. This was run basically on the old Dogwood Half Hundred course, starting and ending in the Signal Knob parking lot. Quatro, Kerry Owens, and Tom Corris did a pre-run on the course the week before so the turn sheet was outstanding. The weather did not cooperate but the runners never seemed to let up. There were strong winds with driving snow/frozen precip on the ridges and a persistent wintry mix in the valley. Those who ran the moonlight the night before were wondering where the warm weather went. Sean Andrish set the bar for others to match in the future finishing this tough course in less than ideal conditions in 6 hours, 38 minutes. The only women who started, Vicki Kendall and Barb Isom, also finished together in 9 hours flat. Newcomer Pedro (not to be confused with Pablo) de la Viesca also finished strong, running the whole time in shorts! We estimate 6K+ ft of gain/loss over the course.

Mood shot of the finish line. There is Gary in there with his official Yoohoo shirt.

Saturday evening, a good-sized group found its way to Jalisco's for dinner and drink. Afterwords, many then made their way to the Knipling cabin for the usual post-post run socializing. A special thanks to Gary Knipling for the invite and his hospitality.

Elizabeth's Fat Ass 50k
Sean Andrish1:322:054:316:38(!)
Pedro de la Viesca1:342:155:257:52
Gary Knipling 1:342:155:378:38
Greg Loomis1:352:155:378:38
Quatro Hubbard 1:562:486:038:41
Bill Losey1:422:356:038:42
Mike Dobies1:422:356:038:51
Vicki Kendall 1:502:376:039:00(!)
Barb Isom1:502:376:039:00(!)
Steve Burton1:322:054:31drop
Bryon Powell1:342:15??drop, Signal Knob Parking
John Nelson1:332:155:19drop, Signal Knob Parking
Charlie Miracle1:532:476:48drop
Bob Combs1:563:03drop, ankle roll 

Sunday, we had 24 people show up for various distances in the now annual MMT Gap I to Gap II training run. Those who stuck to the MMT course, got 25.1 miles. Those who went down Waterfall and did the complete loop on Bird Knob got slightly more miles and more climbing. The temps were cooler at the start(around 20 deg F) but with no precip the overall weather was better. About half the group opted for going down Waterfall and backtracking to 211E and then up to Bird Knob after coming off of Kerns. The other half stayed true to the MMT course and ran down Crisman Hollow to the visitor's center before going up to Bird Knob. The runners were almost universal in their insistence in being photographed next to the "quad-breasted tree" in the 211E parking lot next to the aid stash. As runners made their way back to Gap Creek, Tom Corris was there getting the bon fire started with the wood that Gary Knipling and Vicki Kendall generously donated. Sophie provided her famous bean dip and chips, and some of your VHTRC training run dollars were expended with Quatro making a run into Luray and returning with pizza for all. Newcomers included CJ Blagg, Hamilton Tyler, Paul Newton, Matt Macdonald, and Adam Matheson.

Gap I to Gap II participants
Mike Dobies*John Hayward
Vicki Kendall*Paul Newton
Ed CacciapagliaDave Sniper
Sophie SpeidelAdam Matheson
Charlie Miracle*CJ Blagg
Bill Losey*Hamilton Tyler
Bob CombsSean Andrish
Tom CorrisLinda Wack
Mike BroderickMike Mason
Barb IsomMike Schuster(and Minnie)
Joyce FendleyMatt MacDonald
Rayna MatsunaJohn Dewalt
* indicates runners who ran Moonlight Run on Friday, Elizabeth's Fat Ass on Saturday, and Gap I to Gap II on Sunday

Mike Dobies made his way from Michigan to take advantage of the long weekend to log some miles in the mountains. Bill Losey and Bob Combs came from Ohio. John Dewalt was in the area and made the run on Sunday. The only person to complete all of the distances on all three days was VHTRC ambassador runner-up, Vicki Kendall. Ladies look out, Vicki was running strong all weekend!

As the sun set and the temps began to drop again, folks began to peel themselves away from the warmth of the fire for the drive home. For those left, the post run dinner was moved from Dan's steakhouse down the road to another restaurant down the road due to a power outage at Dan's. Here the weekend events were re-capped and Charlie tried to convince everyone how athletic Basset Hounds really are.

People contributed aid for the stations so the amount and variety was better than what you would get at many races. Barb Isom contributed PBJ sandwiches and cheese sandwiches that seemed to be a big hit with everyone. Both days went off really well with nobody getting lost or injured (seriously).

Pencil in MLK weekend 2007(Jan 13/14) as we are already planning to repeat these two great runs.

At Gary's Cabin
At Gary's Cabin after the run -- looks pretty wild!

Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
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