Sunday, April 30, 2006

Virginia 24hr Run - for cancer

3rd Annual Cancer Relay Virginia 24-Hour Run


The 2006 edition of the Virginia Cancer Relay 24-hour run was held at Sandy  Bottom Nature Park in Hampton, Virginia on 22-23 April.  For the 3rd year in  a row it was a great success, exceeding all expectations.  The number of individual ultrarunners and relay teams doubled compared to 2005.  We had 24 ultrarunners and 8 relay teams, making a combined total of almost 120 runners.  Seventeen of the relay team runners ran 30 or more miles to qualify as ultrarunners as well.  As of this writing, almost $4000 has been raised, with an expectation of more coming in to reach $5000.  Three runners ran over 100 miles, seven did 75 or more miles, and 18 covered at least 50 miles.

Many great stories emerged from this year’s event.  The winner was Dustin Groff, a young Army soldier who deployed to Iraq a week later.  He finished with 110.75 miles, a new course record by two miles.  Both his parents were there the entire 24 hours supporting him, and another runner joined him at the 12-hour point to pace him the rest of the way.  The second place finisher, Grant Salisbury, took off at a blistering pace, doing over 60 miles at the 12-hour point and 90 miles by 19 hours.  But he took too long of a “middle of the night rest” and let Dustin catch him, before recovering.

  Third place finisher David Huffman ran a smart, slow and steady pace all day long never seeming to be bothered by anything.  The father-son “team” of Lawrence and Samuel Skalak both achieved 75 miles.  It was not clear who had bragging rights as the son finished two hours before the father but immediately stopped.  David Snipes first ran the Promised Land 50K in the morning, drove 4 ½ hours to the race, and then ran another 50 miles with us.

  He got credit for 81.25 miles.  Kimberly Coleman ran 30 miles and then “quit.”  But after going home, cleaning up, watching TV, and trying to sleep, she came back and ran another 20 miles for her first ever 50 mile achievement.  Layne Reibel flew up from Florida and covered 30 miles with a knee brace on the entire time.  She was in the process of doing an ultra in all 50 states plus D.C.  Many of the runners set personal records for the number of miles they had ever run.  Most said they had a good time and hoped to return next year.  Several relay team runners indicated they would probably be back as individual ultrarunners next time.

The weather made it all the more challenging.  It was cloudy and very humid with temps in the low 70s from the start until 3:30 pm.  Then it rained hard for about 1 1/2 hours, putting a damper on many runners’ enthusiasm.  Luckily, from about 5:00 pm until the finish no more rain came down and it cooled off into the low 60s.  As always the support of the Sandy Bottom Nature Park staff was outstanding at all times, and the Peninsula Track Club volunteers who kept track of runners’ mileage were critical to our great success.

George Nelsen
Race Director

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