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Saturday, September 17, 2005 -- Snowshoe, WV
Snowshoe Mountain's 5 Miler (iPO Event Id#: 6985)
Story and photos by George Gannon

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

Photo by George Gannon
Proud Daddy, Joe Stevens, at the finish with his boss
It sure was a beautiful morning to be on the mountain. Fall is just around the bend, and this year, Snowshoe Mountain Resort generously gave away 6 Season Passes to some lucky race participants.

Just think what Will Justice could have done if he'd been running under prime conditions. Sure, he set a new course record at Snowshoe Mountain's 5 Miler Saturday morning. He beat the 31 minute record formerly held by Heather Bury by a minute and twenty seconds, no one was even close to him during the race and he handled steep trails and steeper hills with aplomb.

The 22-year-old native of Roanoke, Va., and former cross country and track star at Roanoke College did all that even though he got in very late the night before, he had to dash from the bathroom to the starting line and he had to hustle out of his pants only seconds before the horn sounded.

Photo by George Gannon
The early start of the race
At that was the start of the race, all before he had to navigate 2 miles of steep, rocky gently-sloping trail, another 2 miles of gradual climb and then, just before the finish line at the resort's mountain-top village, he had to power up a nasty hill.

None of that slowed Justice, and, according to a fellow racer, "he just looked fast." Justice took the victory in stride. "That was a little different," he said of the course. "It's a good mountain workout."

Photo by George Gannon
Lighting up the trail
His plan for the race wasn't anything too fancy, just get out quick, don't look back and hope that whoever comes in second can make it respectable. He crossed the finish line in 29:40.

For the ladies, Mallory McClaine continued her dominance. The 17-year-old from Williamsburg, Va., took the top female spot for the third year in a row. "It's a great course," said the Lafayette High School running star who broke the tape at 38:04.

The McClaine's actually made it a family affair this year, with her mother Robin taking second place for the ladies at 44:37. Lucky for the racers, the 2005 version of the 5 mile run coincided with the resort's annual Blues, Brew and Barbeques Festival. An iPlayOutside shoot-out to the entire Snowshoe who worked overtime to make a great race happen.