Promise Land 50K
Sun, 25 Apr 2004 10:04:39 -0400
Wm. M. Keane

We're  back from AZ. With heavy seasonal rains and snow above 6K' we did not get a  chance to run the Grand Canyon. Our
software broke at the end of the 1st week  (i.e. Memory leaks and core dumps), and we were in a data validation and  recovery
mode the rest of the time out there. Did get a chance to do a big  desert trail run where we were crossing streams that had need
dry the day before  and the day after but were flowing full bank on Saturday. Lots of creepy, crawly  and rattley things amongst the
cacti. We did a end-to-end mountain run above  Fort Huachuca on Sunday that took us from dessert @ 5.5K through the fresh
snow  line @ 6K, and along a 8K ridge line looking up @ 9.4K mountains in the  background. It was like a mini Black Mountain
run with a better view.

I  went up to Bedford, VA yesterday to run David Horton's new masterpiece, The  Promise Land 50K. The RFH has really not
discovered this race. Byron Backer and  I are the only repeat offenders. Brian Kistner came up this year. He and Byron  ran 8th
and 10th out of a field of 170+. Scott Brockmeier was 2 minutes behind  Byron so that must have been an interesting 4 mile
sprint down the mountain to  the finish. There was even a 'Herpes the Running Virus' sighting. Andy Colee  came up from FL to
checkout the Promise Land. Which goes to prove that Herpes  can be found almost anywhere .

There is only one phrase I can  find to adequately describe the Promise Land. It is FM ( F*cking  MASSIVE). The course is unique
and is well conceived. There are three  MASSIVE 3,000'+ climbs followed by three 4, 8 and 4 mile downhills. Climbs of  this
magnitude add to the degree of difficulty. My one speed gear box is at a  disadvantage here. I would pass the same 20-30
people on the climbs who would  blow past me on the long down hills. It was like a 'dead heat on a  merry-go-round'. Nothing
changes except for the last climb out of the gorge. The  80 temperatures were the equalizer. I only got passed three times on the
 downhill. After the race, Rob Apple and I were really enjoying a few beers  despite Horton's static about drinking on the PL
Church Camp property.

The legs should be in good shape for 4 small hills @ next week's  Strolling Jim.