Just wanted to pass along my view (from the back of the pack, naturally) of the Black Mountain Challenge that took place this
past weekend. The RFH was well represented, the folks I saw being Byron Backer, Wes Martin, Andy “Hellfire” Wright, Tony
Rouse, Jim Snyder, Eliza Weston, Charlie Possee and Brenton Floyd. Of course, there were a lot of faces I canÂ’t put with
names, so IÂ’m sure I left off a bunch. This was my first time running the 40-mile Challenge, having only done the marathon Â
‘fun-runÂ’ the year before.  This race reminded me of 2 key rules for ultra running:
1 Keep in mind, although Wes and Andy (or any other RFHÂ’er) may say a race is easy, consider the sources, and
2) Plans made over beers the nite before a race are best reiterated the next morning.
The day turned out to be absolutely gorgeous – a little chilly at the start but perfect at the top of the mountain. This year the
packed snow was not present, therefore I was able to see each and every rock I tripped over. Luckily the magnificent views took
my mind off the trauma my knees and toes were still feeling from Uwharrie 3 weeks ago. The trail was in pretty good shape
considering the beating the area took from the hurricanes last year. It was good and muddy and some of the steeper portions of
the upper trail were completely covered with ice. Regardless, some fast times ensued as the day went on: I was able to see
Paul Dewitt, the menÂ’s overall winner, tearing down the Parkway around mile 27 for him (mile 13 for me) with a huge lead over
all others. It was apparently quite a battle between Anne Riddle & Annette Bednosky, with Annette finally pulling away on the
last technical downhill. Byron was able to prevail in the menÂ’s masters with a screaming time of 6:24. There was also a four-
legged bandit on the course – ‘Booper’ , a mixed breed ultra-dog. She did quite well, although I was finally able to take her
on the last technical downhill as her owner was flagging a little at that point. Personally, I was quite pleased with my time of just
under 10 hours – I obviously did not pace myself well as I had another whole hour I could have spent out there. All in all, a good
warm up for Lansford next week!