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Saturday, December 16, 2000 -- Clifton, VA
Pang Pigu Wu Shi Gongli 50K
Story and photos by Dave McKain

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2]

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What suffering we endure ...
For the runners who gathered at the Hemlock Overview Regional Park outside Clifton WV, it was a dreary morning indeed. Tempertures had hung just above the freezing mark through the night and the rain/drizzle that fell froze as it coated the already cold ground. Rocks and groundcover were coated with a layer of ice which made the run trecherous. Too bad the temperatures were not a little colder which would have frozen the mud.

So everyone could do the run, an honor system was used where everyone left at the same time on an out and back route and signed in at the finish using the time from the clock on the wall (this was a 50K - seconds don't usually count). The route followed Bull Run which, unfortunately, has some very steep banks and conversly, the trail is off-camber in many place. The combination of the frozen tundra and trail tilt at time slowed runners (and reporters) to a baby step mode - seeking out good footing and handholds.

We weren't able to hang out for the last finisher but reports from those getting in early were of trecherous trail conditions. Even so, smiles abounded as finishers hung out around the fireplace drinking hot cocoa. For a runners perspective, check out Joe Clappers account of the race at the Virginia Happy Trail Running Club web site.