(photo credit Capon Valley 50K website)
Although I blog regularly about Ultrarunning, I only enter an event or two per year. The main reason is that I have many commitments in other areas of my life, principally having to do with family, so that investing my effort and $$ in multiple races is just not a priority.
That said, I am excited that I just entered the Capon Valley 50k in Yellow Springs, WV, on 7 May 2011. This is in northeast WV, with the closest bigger town being Winchester, VA, about 25 miles away.
I entered this race in 2008 but did not run due to my mother's health (she died a week later). A couple weeks after the race, the Race Director, Robin Kane, mailed me the shirt that I would have gotten had I run.
Now, that was real personal service, but I'm pretty sure she had an ulterior motive. After all, the shirt was bought and paid for; all she "lost" was the postage. And somehow I think she knew that I would not and could not wear the shirt unless I ran the race. So it was her way--I think--of guaranteeing that I'd enter in 2009.
And enter I did. This time I did run, notching a 6:30, placing 62 of 127 finishers. And what a course--it was beautiful, and a nice runnable blend of dirt road, jeep trail, and single track. Lots of uphill, but seemingly more downhill, particularly towards the end. Go figure, because the course is a loop course. Having finished, then I felt entitled to wear both shirts, 2008 and 2009.
One comment on the course: you know how when you're slogging uphill and you're peering ahead, looking for the daylight thru the trees that would indicate that you are approaching the summit? Well, when I ran in 2009, in early May in northern WV, the dogwoods were blooming, and their white flowers pretty closely approximated the color of the sky that day. So when I was looking up and ahead, time after time I mistook the dogwoods for the "daylight thru the trees" effect. So instead of reaching the top, it was only false summit after false summit. After awhile it became a wry joke on myself, so I gave up looking ahead and just trudged until eventually I reached the summit.
I will be heading south with a running buddy, who ran in 2008 when I did not. He's much faster, so essentially we are carpooling and will synch up after the race.
The Capon Valley 50K benefits the Capon Springs Volunteer Fire and Rescue, the Capon Valley Ruritan, and various other local charities. The small local community really gets behind the race, and is just plain fun! So if you are looking for a nice little 50K this spring, this is one fine race.