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