Saturday, June 19, 2004 -- Canaan Valley Resort State Park - Davis, WV
Highlands Sky 40 Mile Trail Run (iPO Event Id#: 5920)
Photos by Don Parks with story by race director, Dan Lehmann
For more 2004 race photos and info, visit www.WVMTR.org.
I guess we were just lucky last year for the inaugural running of the Highlands Sky; the event went off without a hitch. So I suppose it is fair to expect that this year something had to go wrong. While flagging the course two days before the start, I came across some new markings utilizing part of our course. The owner of the tract told me months earlier that another event, a motorcycle motocross, was going to be using some of the property on the same day as our race.
Runners arrived Friday evening at the Canaan Valley Resort to enjoy the amenities offered by the venue. Steve Bowles commented, -Geez, the race is at a resort. The trails are probably all walking paths. How tough could it be?" But the comforts of the facility lie in stark contrast to the challenging 40 mile Highlands Sky course across Dolly Sods.
In the women's race Katherine Franco, Sarah Almodovar, and Sophie Speidel took the lead. At half way point as #4 Almodovar led Speidel by two minutes going into the road section. By the end of the 7.3 mile road across the sky Speidel had pulled ahead by three minutes. Sophie Speidel maintained the lead to take home her first ultra win with a time of 8:06:51.
After all the planning and preparation for the Highlands, the sharing in the excitement and joy of the runners, there is a little bit of an empty spot when it's all over....Till the next time we get together to hit the trail.
Congratulations to all the runners. After what seemed like a bad start, the weekend turned out to be a winner. Thanks to all our fine sponsors. We'll see you next year. For more race stories about the Highlands Sky 40M including a race report from this year's women's champ, Sophie Speidel, click here.