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Saturday, June 14, 2003 -- Canaan Valley Resort State Park - Davis, WV
Highlands Sky 40 Mile Trail Run (iPO Event Id#: 5398)
Photos by Don Parks with race report by Dan Lehmann, race director.

[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]

Race Start
Running out of the fog for 40 miles of Canaan
"This course is sick!! I love it!!" called Andras as he cruised into Aid Station #3 near the end of the second major ascent. With his great eastern European/Long Island accent, he had the aid crew in stitches. Then up the hill he scrambled toward the next section of rocky ridgeline. So went the day for the 102 starters of the Highlands Sky.

The first running of the Highlands Sky was truly a success. The course was tough and the rain saturated earth and slick rocks made it even tougher. Clark Zealand (Ontaroio, Canada) took the lead early and at Station #2, mile 10.1 and after a 2300' ascent, had 7 minutes on second place Eric Grossman (KY) and 20 minutes on third place Mark Lundblad (NC).

Race Pic
Trying to jump the mud
Zealand held that lead to win in 6:09:11. The race for second was exciting with Grossman coming off a five-year hiatus from ultra running, and Lundblad running his first ultra distance! At Station #6, 26.6 miles, the gap between the two was still 12 min. The next 5.5 mile "big muddy" section slowed Grossman and Lundblad checked through #7 just one minute behind. Sensing he was being pursued, Grossman was able to push and maintain the one minute edge for the final 8 miles to finish in 6:33:40.

Anne Riddle (NC) and Bethany Hunter (VA) were also close at Station #2 with Riddle leading Hunter by 2 minutes. Riddle maintained a 2 minute lead to the half way mark and the beginning of the 7.3 mile road section across Dolly Sods. Here Riddle extended her lead by 10 minutes. She went on to win the female overall in 7:10:32 with Hunter crossing the finish at 7:28:34.

Tom Nielsen (VA) took first place in the male Masters category with a time of 7:13:49, and Rachel Toor (NC) the female Masters with a time of 8:24:34.

Anne Riddle
Anne Riddle finishes 5th overall
The male Grandmasters went to David Horton (VA) crossing the finish in 8:04:15, and the female Grandmaster was Debbie Miller (KY) with a time of 9:20:08.

A real congratulations goes to all who took on the Highlands. This is a very challenging course and all are commended. We will be back next year.

Many thanks to the excellent aid station volunteers, Timberline Ski Patrol, Canaan Valley VFD and EMS. Thanks also to our sponsors; Montrail, Hammergel, Fuelbelt, Tygart Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Timberline 4 Season Resort, and Canaan Valley Resort. Additional support from Walmart and Coca-Cola of Elkins.

For Race Reports from runners Rachel Toor and Tod Massa, visit our website www.wvmtr.org.