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Saturday, July 8, 2006 -- Kanawha State Forest, WV
Rattlesnake Trail 50K Ultrarun (iPO Event Id#: 7230)

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results]
Past 50K Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002]
[2003 Results] [2004 Results] [2005 Results]

By Dennis R. Hamrick Jr.
1 loop, 5,500 feet of climb, rocky trails and dirt roads.

The 12th Rattlesnake Trail 50k started at 6:30 am under a clear sky and a temperature of 50 degrees. The first and second place runners were separated by a mere 3 seconds at the finish. The winning time was 4:12:00. The last finisher was 11:30:34. I know that I have a 10 hour time limit on the application, but I wanted to see this runner make it through the course.

Richard Cozart was the last official finisher. He is 76 years old. He never gives up. He did not complain about the aid stations closing. His wife and brother followed from aid station to aid station. When he finished, my wife, Mary Anne, Richards's wife, Richards's brother and I were his cheering section. It was great.

Brad Mongold was the first place male {4:12:00}, Mark Lunblad {4:12:03} and Courtney Campbell {4:24:13} followed. Mark was 3 minutes behind Brad at aid station 9. Aid station 9 is 2.5 miles from the finish. Mark made up most of the 3 minutes, caught Brad and basically told Brad, "It's time to pick it up. I'm right here".

Anne Lunblad was the first place female. Her time was 4:44:53. Anne was 5th place overall. Bethany Patterson was 8th overall and the 2nd place female clocking a time of 5:04:11. The third place female was Sarah Johnston. Her time was 5:19:12. All three ladies finishers were looking over their shoulders to see if Highlands Sky women's winner, Annette Bednosky was drawing closer. Annette had won the Rattlesnake Trail 50k outright in 2004.

Lew McGrath {4:49:20} was a double winner. Lew was the Male Masters winner as well as the David Berry Award recipient. The David Berry Award is given to runners who have overcome great difficulties and still prevailed. David was a local ultra runner who died of melanoma cancer.

Marty Lindemann was the Female Masters winner in a time of 6:05:52. Marty finished strong and was smiling when she finished.

The Rosemary Platt Award, given to the women who overcomes adversity and puts in the extra mile went to Terri Hayes. Rosemary Platt was a local ultra runner who died of breast cance.r In 2005, Terri volunteered to run the course as a sweep and pull all the ribbons. This year, she asked if it would be all right to run the race. She finished in a time of 9:23:01.

My good friend Vic Ware now holds the distinction as the only 12 time finisher. Vic's time was 7:37:36. Vic trains in Kanawha State Forest along with John Sheets and me. He and John are like brothers to me. {Vic will be 71 on July 24}

Volunteers are the foundation of any event. The Rattlesnake 50k has a core group of volunteers. Mary Anne Hamrick organizes packets, registration, e-mails applications, fields phone calls and some how puts up with the race director. She's my best friend, wife and co-race director. Glenn Jarrell helps me mark the course, organize the start and finish as well as check all the aid stations. Thanks to all the aid station volunteers: Jerry Hicks, Steve Childress, Sandy Childress, Steve Marshall, Missy Nicely, Terry Tomlinson, Forest Allen, Patrick Allen, Paul Skaff, Aaron Hamrick and Paul Hamrick.

Thanks to Inov-8 shoes for their donation of shoes, shirts and hats. A special thank you to JT Enterprises. They {John Sheets} provide financial support for the race. This year's race was dedicated to David Sheets. David passed away from cancer. He is John Sheets' brother. Thanks to John Boreman and all the crew at Kanawha State Forest for cutting the weeds. Thanks also to John Henley and Jon Teets from Kanawha State Forest.

The last thank you goes to my Dad; Dennis R. Hamrick Sr. He introduced me to Kanawha State Forest when I was 8 years old. I caught my first fish with Dad at the KSF Lake. Dad died May 21, 2006 of pancreatic cancer. Every mile I run and every trail I mark reminds me of my Dad. Good memories and great times out in the woods on the trails.