Runners share stories from the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon

November 20, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION |
  • Laurie Dymond 45, of Chambersburg, Pa., shown here training for the JFK 50, fell during the race, but was able to finish.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

Running in the JFK 50 Mile can be a rough experience, as Laurie Dymond proved Saturday.

Dymond, 45, of Chambersburg, Pa., was coming down the Weverton Cliff area in the 49th annual ultramarathon when she fell.

Dymond said she can’t remember tripping on anything and believes her fall might have been attributed to her momentum coming down the course.

The stay-at-home mother of three said she always tries to keep up a certain pace so she will not slow others down, but also wants to make sure she does not go too fast.

Dymond injured her left hand in the tumble, fracturing her ring finger and tearing a tendon.

Dymond’s wedding rings had to be cut off her hand at the race’s finish line and splints were put on her hand.

“But I’ll be back,” Dymond said confidently Sunday afternoon.

Dymond, who has four race finishes under her belt, hoped to finish Saturday’s race in less than eight hours but instead completed it in 8:05:20.

Dymond was among five JFK runners who were profiled in The Herald-Mail last week. The newspaper caught up to four of the runners Sunday to talk about their experiences in Saturday’s race.

Waylan Showe on Sunday was dealing with the effects of a race he almost didn’t complete.

“I can’t move at all,” said Showe, who finished the race in 10:28:44.

Showe, who has finished the race twice before, said he did not feel as bad after last year’s race, which he attributed to more training he put in last year.

The 24-year-old Sharpsburg man said he thought about dropping out of the race when he made it to an aid station near his house on Taylors Landing Road. Showe said he was in “pretty rough shape,” but his father met him at the aid station and encouraged him to continue.

Showe said he had something to eat, got a “second wind” and finished the race.

Brian Leach and Jim Hennigan were recounting Sunday some phenomenal experiences from the race. Both talked about near-perfect weather conditions, which included sunny skies and temperatures that peaked at about 51 degrees.

Leach, who lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., is a 1988 graduate of St. Maria Goretti High School and returned to the area to compete in his first JFK 50 Mile.

Leach, 42, wanted to finish the race in less than 10 hours and completed it in 9:39:30.

Leach said he was “ecstatic” with his time and considered Saturday’s event his best racing experience ever.

Leach said an old friend of his from Smithsburg High School saw his picture on the front page of The Herald-Mail on Saturday and showed up at mile 38 to see Leach. Leach said he had not seen his friend in 20 years.

“I looked over and said ‘Ron?’ It was so awesome,” Leach said.

Leach said the course didn’t become tedious and he said everything seemed to be “on.”

Hennigan, 36, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., said the JFK 50 Mile is the longest race he has ever attempted. He finished it in 10:29:09.

“I survived,” Hennigan proclaimed Sunday.

Joking about the experience, Hennigan said he had hoped the run would be awful so he would not be tempted to try it again.

But Hennigan said it turned out to be a fantastic experience, with aid stations in all the right places and some friends that showed up to encourage him at mile 38.

Other than a toe he “banged on a rock,” Hennigan said he got through the experience unscathed, and was up and around walking Sunday.

Gil Crumrine saw success Saturday.

Although the 58-year-old Hagerstown accountant has made it into the JFK 50 Mile’s 500-mile club with 10 race finishes under his belt, he was a bit apprehensive about being featured in The Herald-Mail series.

Crumrine initially suggested talking to another runner because he felt bad about his inability to finish the race last year.

But Crumrine figured talking about his preparations for this year’s race would give him incentive to finish.

He did just that, finishing the competition in 13:42:15.

Crumrine attributed his success to “a lot of prayer” from people at his church, and family members who showed up at aid stations to cheer him on.

Crumrine said he suffered a hip injury before the race, and his hip started hurting in Saturday’s race. But he said he focused on putting one foot in front of the other and finishing.

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