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Saturday, June 3, 2000 - Sunday, June 4, 2000 -- Woodstock, VA
Old Dominion 100
Story and photos by Chuck Jackson

[Details] [Coverage] [Results] [A Team is Formed] [How'd They Do?] [Pic Set 1]

Kevin Black's moment came near Little Fort, when he took a chair and sat for nearly an hour. Roy Marshall remembers the rock he stood on at the 57-mile mark and got so sick he thought he was going to die. And Jim Corbitt said that for a while at Sherman's Gap, he had given himself and daughter Amber Corbitt up for lost.

But the Woodstock team entry in Saturday and Sunday's Old Dominion 100-Mile Endurance Race overcame their adversities through help from each other and an inner-will, to all complete the course before the mandatory 28-hour cutoff.

The locals finished second to a team from Oklahoma City, one that had a lot more experience in running ultra-marathons. Molly Gibb, 38, led the Oklahomans, finishing 17th overall with a time of 22:25:47. Gibb was also the first woman to cross the finish line at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds, in Woodstock. Teammate Rex Friend, 45, was 32nd (23:31:41), while John Hargrove, 55, finished with less than an hour to spare.

However, it was the first race of this magnitude for the local team. Marshall, 44, and Amber Corbitt, 22, had run a 50-K race in Aberdeen, Md., in late March but the longest Black, 40, had ventured was a 35-mile training run and Jim Corbitt's longest was 31 miles.

Black, a Maurertown resident, finished 29th with a time of 23:20:40, buckling in his first attempt. Marshall, of Woodstock, clocked a 27:32:25 while the Corbitt's - Amber and Jim - finished 64th and 65th overall with times of 27:48:21 and 27:49:10, respectively.

"We are all power lifters," Marshall said. "Today, I have a new appreciation for ultra-runners. I was really sick out on the course and if it hadn't been for Amber, I wouldn't have made it."

Black had broken away from the local pack by the time he left the Four Points aid station at the 47.70-mile post. He ran well up to Mountaintop, deep in the Washington - Jefferson National Forest, and down to Edinburg Gap. Crossing the ridge of the Massanutten Mountains, he struggled into Little Fort and took a 50-minute break.

"I don't remember much sitting there," Black said Sunday morning at the Awards Breakfast held at the Woodstock Ramada Inn. But he gathered himself together and continued on. Marshall looked drawn as he sat in a chair in the lobby of the hotel, a little over an hour after he had finished the race. Yet he said the experience was awesome, nonetheless.

And the Corbitts both said the last 25 miles was an oblivion. "We both slept about an hour at the base of Sherman's Gap," Amber said. "If you can call it sleep. I was cold and shivering and was out of it."

Will the team come back next year? Perhaps, Jim Corbitt answered it best: "It's like I tell salesmen, 'If you have to have an answer today, the answer is no!'"

The author is a free-lance writer living in Maurertown, Virginia. He may be reached via E-mail at nvdre@yahoo.com.