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Saturday, May 19, 2001 -- Yellow Spring - Capon Valley, WV
Capon Valley 50K Run (iPO Event Id#: 2616)
Story by Lynn Golemon, Race Director, with photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Awards]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
A few new pics added (Set 9) on 5/23/01
See also: [1999 Coverage/Results] [2000 Coverage/Results]

Ultra Chicks
The "Ultra Chicks" strike a pose
A great adversary of any race director is the weather. And one of the worst nightmares of a race director is the obliteration of a beautifully marked trail. Fortunately I have had the opportunity to observe these nightmares as a volunteer at the MMT 100 Mile Run, and as a rider in the Old Dominion 100 Mile Horse Race in Fort Valley, Virginia before having to face my own as director of the Capon Valley 50K run. I've been present as Old Dominion riders (including me) and MMT runners (not me) battled wildfires, heat, humidity and bird-sized gnats in Fort Valley, as well as freezing rain, raging rivers and fog; and boy am I glad I had this under my belt before last Friday night.

Our beautiful Capon Valley has been extremely dry this spring, and our farmers have been desperate for rain, so it was with very mixed feelings that I watched the weather channel last Thursday and Friday and saw those giant green patches on the radar headed right for my precious run trail. Sure enough, as the runners were pitching their tents and settling in their camps Friday evening the thunderstorms moved in and dumped over 2 inches of rain in less than 6 hours.

Race Pic
A day to play in the creeks
The "dry" creekbeds I had described in my final e-mail to the runners last week, were turned into quick moving torrents, described by our winner, Scott Wolfe, as "up to my waist" in one section. My perfect (if a little dusty) trail now included mud puddles and even some slick spots. Were my bright pink trail markers blown by the wind and rain now smushed flat against the trees, totally invisible? Could anyone see red plates on this dark cloudy day? Then I worried that no one would come to run in this chilly, wet weather.

Well, all that worrying was just a waste of time. Of the 106 runners signed up, 105 arrived cheerful and excited, and we even had 4 more sign up on race day. The only runner that was unable to make it e-mailed me that he had a severe stomach virus.

Of 109 starters we had 106 finishers (this is always an important number for me). Two of our seasoned runners just weren't having great days and pulled themselves. Our third pull was a first-timer who had only planned to run 20 miles and she did!

Race Pic
Then again, you can always try to keep the feet dry
Two of our runners got lost, and they assured me that they had to duck under the bright pink tape across the trail AND run right past the NO sign to get themselves off trail. They finished, too, it just took them a little longer.

The runners all loved our beautiful trails, said the weather was perfect, made sure to thank all our volunteers and assured me that the course was one of the most well marked courses they had ever run. Probably my favorite words were "it was all great, and I'll be back next year".

I truly don't know who had more fun, our runners or our volunteers. One of our local folks' favorite things is feeding hungry people - and on race day they served up barbecued chicken dinners with a local secret sauce and all the trimmings all day long. One of our weekend residents is a chef in Washington, DC, and he made a huge green salad, and there were even home made desserts.

Race Pic
Eventually, the sun came out
Awards covered two entire picnic tables, and were mostly hand crafted by talented local crafters. They ranged from a wonderful Camelback "hydration system" donated by Mountain Trails of Winchester, VA (chosen by our first woman, Anne Riddle), to a platter of home made oatmeal cookies (chosen by our first man, Scott Wolfe). We had beautiful baskets containing hand embroidered towels and soaps, candle holders and crystal vases along with plants and hats. We even had a hand painted egg. Some runners took longer to choose their award than to run the race (just kidding). Every runner who attended the awards presentation received an award, so those of you who were yakking in the club house or left early, remember this next year. There is a list of all our special awards attached to the schedule of results.

On top of all this, we were able to raise over $4,000 to support our local Ruritan Club and Capon Springs Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company. Some proceeds also support Healing Trauma and Loss Workshops, which I help facilitate. The key word here is volunteer - none of these local folks are paid for their community services. We thank all the runners for your support and we hope to see you all next year!