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Saturday, May 14, 2005 -- Yellow Spring - Capon Valley, WV
Capon Valley 50K Run (iPO Event Id#: 6680)
Photos by Don Parks

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14] [Set 15] [Set 16] [Set 17] [Set 18] [Set 19] [Set 20] [Set 21] [Set 22]
Race Reports: [Lynn Golemon] [C. Fondaco] [Caroline Williams]
Past Capon Coverage: [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004]

Eric Linder
Eric Linder on his way to a win
It was a hot day in May for the seventh running of the Capon Valley 50K. There were also an addtional two miles of hills thrown in to bring the previously short course up its full 31 miles (and to help spread out the field before they invaded check point one.) But as usual, the course delivered the fantastic beauty of the West Virginia mountains and the wonderful hospitality of race directory Lynn Golemon and her small army of volunteers.

If you'd like to submit a race report or just a few comments for posting here, please send it in!

The New Face of the Capon Valley 50K
by Lynn Golemon, race director

The 7th annual Capon Valley 50K was the most difficult Capon Valley race so far. Some of our experienced runners have been telling us for years that the course was short. So over the last year we measured the entire course with a GPS and a topo map, and guess what... they were right.

Race Pic
What goes up must go down
Our first aid station has always been early in the race - 2.9 miles - so before that seemed a natural place to add mileage. Unfortunately, any time you add mileage in West Virginia you also add hills. We added 2 miles to the race - 1 mile out and 1 mile back from the first aid station - and removed the 1/2 mile around the flat track at the Ruritan, so that made it seem longer than the extra mile and a half to many of the runners.

The weather, along with a bit of new gravel road made the course even more difficult for the runners this year. It was by far the hottest race day we have ever had at 82 degrees with high humidity and very little wind. The rain and cool temperature of previous years were sometimes hard on the volunteers, but the runners loved it. We extended the finishing time this year due to the record heat and humidity, but we still had 15 runners drop out, more than the total of all the previous years.

Race Pic
Here's hoping you'll all come back
It would take pages to thank all of the run volunteers including the Ruritan - for a great chicken dinner, and the Capon Springs Volunteer Fire and Rescue - for their safety checks at the road crossings; we had more help this year than ever before. And as always the runners were most gracious and seemed happy to have such good support.

I guess the Capon Valley Run will no longer be considered a 'walk in the park', but as some of our runners pointed out... it is now a 'legitimate 50K run'. Those who finished are really pleased with themselves, and those who did not... we hope you will be back next year to finish.

Please check our web page at for loads of pictures, complete race results and please add whatever additional stories you may want to send to Don Parks.

Congratulations to all of you, and thanks for being with us.

Vowing that this would be my last ultra

Well....we asked for it!! It has been rumored that the course was a little short. Now with two added miles of hills, we're paying the price. As usual, I was asking myself "why am I doing this"? and as usual, vowing that this would be my last ultra...I'm sure the same thoughts that many of my fellow runners were having.

I was feeling the strain of the extra hills before I got to the third aid station. I'm usually pretty fresh up until the 5th, but, then again, my training was not up to par this year either....boy was that a mistake!

In spite of the new "tough" course, I still had those blissfull moments when I felt grateful to be a participant. Not everyone is able to trek through the beautiful West Virginia countryside like this.

Now that I'm home and recovered, I've decided that I won't give up ultras and this is one race that I will not miss. Next year I'll just train properly and go back and visit all those wonderful people who make this race so special.

C. Fondaco

Walker Williams
Walker Williams feels more than the heat
I got off course, I paid dearly

My husband, Walker Williams, worried that he might not be able to complete this run, since he had not adequately trained for even a road marathon. I know my husband to be a mentally tough person. He does not give up easily in anything he wants to do. I also know that if I keep going, he also doesn't quit without a very good reason.

We both have done Capon before. It was 2003, when the course was short. I didn't remember the course being short, or heard anyone mention that it probably was short. We're back of the packers, so we don't usually hang around the front runners, especially when we were relatively new to the sport in 2003. But we do remember our amazingly fast times, along with numerous stream crossings, cool temperatures, and only two hills that were of any significance. So based on that, I told my husband that he could still finish without feeling totally wiped out.

The weather folks indicated that it'll probably be hotter day than Friday and Sunday. That got us a little worried. But what the heck. Summer's coming anyway.

It's Saturday morning, 4am, and we're leaving our home. I'm walking toward the car, and I notice that it's warm already. I'm glad to have packed cytomax, crystallized ginger, and other magical stuff that will keep us running/moving strong.

Walker asks me if I'll race or run today. I reply, "I plan to run." My friend, Monica Nop is running with us for the first few yards. Her friend, Keith, is running with us also. Keith has a problem with keeping his shorts from falling down. I'm laughing hysterically! I can't stop laughing! I'm laughing so hard that my stomach hurts!! Thank God he's getting way ahead of us now. If he heard me, or knew what I was laughing about, I hope he didn't take it personally. Later, Monica told me that, over the past several years, he lost a tremendous amount of weight. Good for you Keith. Very good for you.

I recognize the first aid station. I remember going by the power lines. That's about all. The rest was totally foreign to me. I wish I had paid more attention to Lynn's pre-race briefing. I do recall her telling us to FOLLOW THE RIBBONS, and READ THE PLATES. I went off course twice; both times, I followed the runners in front of me. The second time I got off course, I paid dearly. I was totally out of water full 30 minutes before reaching the aid station. I think I lost at least 30 minutes that time. The heat and the hills stirred up some negative thinking, so I was running with my head down, instead of looking for the next ribbon.

Let me back up. Before we got to aid 2, my husband had a spill, as he was running immediately behind me. A cut on his right arm was bleeding, so I tied his handkerchief around it to try to stop the bleeding. I stayed with him until we got to the aid station. He told me that the EMT folks took real good care of him there. He said that maybe they were more worried about him, noticing that he's probably eligible to collect social security.

It helped that I had been (and still am) practicing power-walking uphills. So I wasn't totally wasted after climbing, but my left toe was hurting badly on the downhills. I had my left shoe tied loosely, because my upper foot was hurting when I had the laces tied tighter. The number of ups and downs, along with the high temps and little breeze caused me (and others) to dig deeper this year at Capon Valley.

I'm not sure if we'll be back next year. It's not because we now don't like the race anymore. Like other ultrarunners, we love a good challenge. Capon Valley 50K is now a good challenge. HAT is still a good beginners course. We will be moving to Georgia this November to start a new life as entrepreneurs. May will not be one of our slower months, so the likelihood of us being able to run another Capon Valley is not very good. But we will have great memories of having done the easier and the more challenging Capon Valley. Lynn and I have not had much face time with one another, but I know so much about her that I feel as if she is one of my dearest friends. Walker and I were a part of the Tuscarora Trail stage race back in 2003, and to see the blue blazes of the TT brought back many great memories. I know that Lynn helped Joe Clapper when he did it alone a few years ago.

This was, indeed, a great experience. Good to have hills and heat this year, because I am going for my second 100-miler at Vermont on July 16-17, 2005.

Thanks Lynn! Thanks Kathy Malinowski!! Thanks to the retired Navy Aviation Mechanic Chief!!! Thanks to the wonderful woman who gave me ice at the very last aid station!!!! Thank you ALL very much.

Caroline E. Williams (nee, Caroline E. Leean-Stearns)