Hellgate 100k

Saturday December 13, 2003 12:01 AM

Natural Bridge Station, Va.

I have seen the Promise Land. And last Saturday evening, I also passed (by the very thinnest of margins) through the Gates of Hell. Surprisingly, both of these places have something in common. I bet you’re thinking, “That’s horse crap!”  And you’d be right. They both share a section of the Glenwood Horse Trail. Now I have spoken to a number of horses along this trail and they all said the same thing; they weren’t up there voluntarily (and by the way, they really liked my poem). So consequently, they were a bit confused as to why we were. Most of them had heard of David Horton but none could understand why we actually paid him good money to run up there. I was unable to offer up any reasonable explanation for that either, so I told them we were just humans and liked doing stupid stuff. That they understood.

But there’s nothing stupid about running Horton’s races.  Challenging? Absolutely. Cold and wet? No. Frozen. Hills? Just two. One up, one down. Rocks? Some, but no worries ‘cause they’re always covered with leaves. Longer than advertised? Don’t even go there. And such was the case with David’s, and designer George Wortley’s, newest addition to the sport of ultrarunning, the Hellgate 100k. Now I’m not going to relive all the details of the run here because frankly, Mom would freak out and not let me play with David anymore. And besides what else do you need to know? It was a Horton race. Well organized, well orchestrated, and this one was exceptionally well marked. Even I stayed on course! Thanks Bethany! And thanks to David, Camp Bethel, and all the Volunteers!

Tom Corris