Race Report: 2008 Promise Land 50K

At the finish of the Promise Land 50K

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Promise Land finish

Bill Potts, David Horton, and Sophie Speidel at the finish of the Promise Land 50K.

David Horton’s Promise Land 50K is a rite of Spring for many ultrarunners on the East Coast. This beautiful course climbs up and over the Appalachian Mountains from the East, crosses into the Shenandoah Valley, and then returns up and over back to the start. In typical Horton fashion, nothing is easy. The run crosses the Blue Ridge at Apple Orchard Mountain (4,225 feet), the tallest mountain in central Virginia (headed South to North, this point is also the last time the Appalachian Trail rises above 4,200 feet until New England).

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Race Report: 2008 Terrapin Mountain Marathon

Finish of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon

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Finish of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon

The scene at the finish of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon. That’s David Horton getting friendly with a female finisher. Terrapin Mountain looms in the distance.

“You’re going to like this one a lot more than the last one.” That’s what David Horton told me at Saturday morning’s check-in of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon, “the last one” referring to his Holiday Lake 50K. While this wasn’t saying much, Horton was right — I really did like this one.

This was the inaugural year of the Terrapin Mountain Marathon, and the first time in nearly a decade that the half marathon was run. Since the race is relatively unknown, I’ll first describe the course and then describe how my race went.

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