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Saturday, May 15, 1999 -- Yellow Spring, Capon Valley
Capon Valley 50K Run
Story by Don Parks with photos by Greg McCulley and Lisa Selmon

For the latest information on the Capon Valley 50K, Click Here
[Details] [Coverage] [Results w/Splits] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Capon Valley
Kevin and Faye Hawn head through the Capon Valley
The first running of the Capon Valley 50K got underway Saturday morning, May 15th, under picture perfect skies and ideal temperatures. The wonderful weather only added to the scenic beauty of the forests and meadows that hosted the many trails making up the 31 mile course. Playing host to the event was the Capon Valley Ruritan Club and many generous local volunteers who manned the aid stations. After being served up a nice breakfast and being briefed on the day's course, the eager participants got the starting signal at 8:00AM.

The cross country route the racers were sent out to conquer consisted of a little pavement at the start. This did not last long as it soon veered off-road for a long traverse through the many slopes and valleys surrounding Yellow Spring, WV. With many short climbs, stream crossings, and trail junctions, the runners and hikers had to pay close attention to stay on course while conserving enough energy to finish the trek.

Henry Coleman
Henry Coleman enjoying a day outside in beautiful WV
Immediately racing to the front was pre-race favorite Courtney Campbell. He arrived at the first checkpoint, 2.4 miles into the race, after just 15 minutes. It was still another 5 minutes before the next competitors reached the checkpoint. By the 9 mile mark Campbell's lead was over 15 minutes and growing. He arrived at the 24.1 mile checkpoint after 2 hours and 40 minutes with the next group of runners arriving 45 minutes later.

Campbell's huge lead would of held to the finish had it not been for a little confusion in the next several miles. Thinking he may have been off course, Campbell backtracked a good section of trail just to be sure he wasn't lost. However, his lost time was not near enough to allow his pursuers a chance at taking the lead. Campbell finished the run just under the 4 hour mark at 3:59:45.

The joy of finishing an ultra
The battle for second was fought among several runners with Jason Griffith, Harry Bruell, and Prasad Gerard all arriving at the 24.1 mile mark in 3 hours and 25 minutes. However, the final checkpoint before the finish saw Griffith and Bruell arriving together, well ahead of Gerard. The final 2.4 mile race to determine second was won by Griffith who finished with a time of 4:16:10. Still on his heels, Bruell crossed the finish just moments later at 4:16:30 for third overall.

In the well represented women's field, Nicky Schmidt crossed the line first with a time of just under 5 hours at 4:57:10. Many more personal victories were won as the endurance athletes continued to cross the line until late in the afternoon. Smiles were seen and tales were told as everyone completed the race in under 8 hours, well ahead of the 10 hour cutoff.

Everyone, from the local first time racers to those that came from as far away as New Hampshire, enjoyed a beautiful day in the Capon Valley. The race director, Lynn Golemon, and her excellent support team of enthusiastic volunteers are already gearing up for next year's event. We hope to see you there!