Country Roads, Take Me Home
As much as I enjoy being in Colorado, there are times when I wish I could let the “Country Roads, Take Me Home” to my adopted home, West Virginia. Nick Whited (Raven, VA) and Miriam Smith (Meridian, MS), headed into the heart of Charleston, West Virginia, and Kanawha State Forest for the Rattlesnake 50K, held Saturday, July 12. Nick ran about 15 miles with the eventual winner before some stomach disruption caused him to fall off the pace. Luckily, the problem didn’t last long, and Nick got back on his way to finish strong over the last 10 miles for second place in 4:28:40. The course consists of 9 climbs to the ridge and descents back down as it basically rings the beautiful heavily forested park that always seems to be 15-20 degrees cooler than the surrounding city.
While Nick was battling for the men’s title, relative newcomer to ultras, Miriam showed her strong climbing ability and the results of her consistent training with a 6th place finish in the women’s division. Recently after a move to Mississippi, Miriam hasn’t been able to train on hills similar to those she encountered in Charleston, but her years of prior trail running and strength training have not been lost, and when she called on them Saturday, they answered to carry her through to a great 5:34:30 finish, right on the heels of 5th place.