RECORDS FALL AT THE 4th ANNUAL VIRGINIA 24-HOUR RUN FOR CANCER
The 4th Edition of the Virginia 24-Hour Run for Cancer was another great success. It was held from 7:00 a.m. 21 April through 7:00 a.m. 22 April, 2007 at the usual site – Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton, Virginia. The weather was near perfect, with sunny skies, low humidity, afternoon highs in the mid-70s and early morning lows in the low 40s. The great weather contributed to new course records for both the men and women. A record amount of money was raised for the American Cancer Society (over $5000.00, with more coming in).
William Allen of Frederick, MD set the men’s new record of 113.5 miles (old record was 110.75). Last year he ran 64 miles (the most he had ever run) and had enough. This year he took off from the start like a “man on a mission.” He kept up a steady, brisk pace all the way until he went over 100 miles. Then he slowed down a lot while adding enough miles to ensure he got the new record. The most amazing thing was this was 49.5 miles more than he had ever run before.
Suzanne Weightman of Greensburg, PA set the new women’s record of 95.5 miles (old record was 90). Suzanne ran strong and steadily all day long with her running buddy, Bill Gentry. Since she has done several 100-milers in under 24 hours, I though for sure she would at least break 100 miles. But the mid-afternoon heat took a toll, putting 100 miles out of reach. However, she was running the strongest all the way to the end, adding as many additional miles as time allowed.
Men’s second place finisher, Dave Snipes of Mechanicsburg, VA, paced last year’s winner, Dustin Groff, to the old men’s record, having run Promised Land 50K early that morning before coming to Sandy Bottom in the evening and running 50 more miles. He said he would come back this year and try for the record if I de-conflicted the 24-hour run from Promised Land (28 April in 2007). He ran strong and steady all day, ending up with 105 miles, but never could quite catch up with William Allen. After he finished, he said “never again,” much preferring hilly trail 100-milers to flat, many-loop 24-hour events. Men’s third place finisher, Dave Huffman of Charleston, WV, ran 101.25 miles, earning the distinction as the only two-time event 100-mile finisher. He ran exactly the same number of miles last year.
Other noteworthy achievements included 73 year old Ray Scharenbrock running his 550th + marathon or ultra. He and his running buddy Henry Rueden run a marathon or ultra almost ever weekend most of the year. They are currently booked through mid-July. Two 19-year old women (Nia Harrison and Sarah Farrell) each ran over 50 miles, neither having ever run more than a half-marathon before. Canada was represented for the first time at this event by Donald Stephens. He took off very strongly, but unfortunately the mid-afternoon heat also took a toll on him and around 11:00 pm, after running 71.25 miles, he took a “rest break” which lasted over five hours. When he awoke he was only able to add one more lap, ending with a still respectable 75 miles.
A total of 77 runners participated. 35 ran as individuals to see how many miles they could do in 24 hours. The others took turns as part of five relay teams (four local and one from the D.C. area). The event could not have gone so well without the usual great support of the Sandy Bottom Nature Park Ranger staff, or the diligent lap counting volunteers from the local running Club (Peninsula Track Club). Since I received so many positive comments from runners, many of whom said they want to come back, there will definitely be a 5th edition of the event in April 2008.
|4th Annual Virginia 24 Hour Run For Cancer|
|Hampton, Virginia||21-22 April 2007|
|1||WILLIAM ALLEN||113.5||46||M||MD Record|
|4||SUZANNE WEIGHTMAN||95.75||43||F||PA Record|