PHC student Mark Epstein wins "The Big Schloss" 50K ultramarathon, and several PHC students compete in their first-ever ultramarathon!
Seven PHC students set off on the “The Big Schloss” 50K ultramarathon near Wardensville, West Virginia. Sophomore and PHC Running Club Captain Mark Epstein won the race, finishing in five hours and 41 minutes. This was only about 20 minutes shy of the course record, "impressive given the wet conditions."
The group of students included Mark Epstein, Marcia Washburn, Nathaniel Faunce, Joel Thurston, Finn Buck, and Cate Baldacci. For all but Epstein and Thurston, this was their “first ultra and the furthest we'd ever run,” commented Washburn. Despite “The Big Schloss” not being “normally the kind of run a new ultrarunner would sign up for, given the 50k-plus distance, steep climbs, rocky terrain, and difficult navigation,” six of the seven PHC students finished.
The grueling race took place in the George Washington National Forest and consisted of more than 6,000 feet in elevation changes over the course of 33.1 miles. Additionally, Hurricane Ophelia touched down the weekend of the race and of the 70 people registered, only 38 showed up and 32 finished the race. It rained throughout most of the day, and by mid-afternoon, the trails were muddy and made running difficult. Despite this, five of the students stayed to camp the night after the race.
"The atmosphere at the finish line was incredible," Epstein commented. "One of the race volunteers grilled burgers, and as people gradually came in, we all exchanged stories of our experiences throughout the day over food."
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