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W.Va. woman didn't always like running with the pack

November 19, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

Editor's note: This is the second story in a six-part series about some of the people who will compete in the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon Saturday in Washington County. This story appeared in The Herald-Mail on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

Kim Pack is psyched for the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon, but it wasn't always that way.

"I hated running," said Pack, who worked as a member of the support crew during last year's race.

The JFK 50 Mile is America's oldest ultramarathon. The endurance event, to be run Saturday, takes participants from Boonsboro to Williamsport along paved roads, the Appalachian Trail and the C&O Canal towpath.

Volunteering as a crew member involves assisting runners in the race with food, clothing and other needs, such as emotional support. It was in that way, Pack said, that she became fascinated with the event.

Pack, a central office technician with Verizon, said she got so caught up in the excitement of the race and the energy level of the runners that she decided to give it a try herself for the first time.

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"You don't have to be good. You just have to keep going," the 44-year-old Harpers Ferry resident said.

Pack said she has been active in sports such as soccer and bicycling, and when the JFK 50 Mile bug hit her, she began running in other races. She completed the Capon Valley 50K, a 31-mile race in Yellow Spring, W.Va., in May in 7 hours and 30 minutes.

"I had people after me," she said. "My goal, pretty much, is to finish."

In September, Pack ran the Great Eastern Endurance Run, a 50K near Charlottesville, Va., recording a time of 9 hours and 30 minutes.

Pack has trained for the JFK 50 mile by running on trails at Murphy's Farm, a 99-acre tract off U.S. 340 in Jefferson County that was saved from residential development in 2002 and turned over to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Pack talked about her love for the property on a recent day as chilly winds swept over the old farm and scattered raindrops fell.

"It's just quiet and beautiful. There is nobody here, ever," said Pack, a member of the Loudoun Road Runners club.

As part of her race preparation, Pack has run the roughly 14-mile section of the Appalachian Trail that makes up the early portion of the JFK 50 Mile route.




The Pack file



Name: Kim Pack

Age: 44

Residence: Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Occupation: Verizon central office technician

Number of JFK finishes: First attempt

The JFK in one word: "Perseverance"




Coming Wednesday:



Meet Ed Poling, a 61-year-old Hagerstown minister who is running the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon to raise money for his church's Good Samaritan Fund.


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