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The Unspoken Rules of Being a Badass: A Runner's Guide

Cummins Falls Marathon – Astonishing!

Andrew Holbrook, 35, of Roanoke, VA runs to a third-place finish

Despite my urging Josh Hite didn’t decide to run the inaugural Cummins Falls Marathon until late the day before the race. Then he sent me a text:

“Chances are that I will run a marathon tomorrow.”

And so he did.
Good thing, too—he won, finishing in a time of 3:13:56. That’s not likely a time that will impress anyone who was not there. The course is challenging, bringing an insane climb at mile 17, and Josh had been undecided because of a recent bout with the flu followed by an injury from a fall on an icy patch. The injury healed just in time.
A gray sky, 40 degrees, and calm winds greeted the 197 runners assembled at Cummins Falls on Saturday, February 23. Runners spread across four races held that morning—a marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. Twenty eight had registered for the marathon. They knew what they faced. The course map and profile had been posted on the race’s Facebook page. [*See it here*]

“One big downer, one big upper, and eight miles of routine hell to pay…”

Half marathoners and marathoners started and ran together for the first five miles, until the former split left on Perry Smith Road. Just 1.5 miles into the run we plunged into the gorge carved by the Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, the stream that makes Cummins Falls. We ran alongside that river until it joined Roaring River—also a State Scenic River—followed it for two miles and then turned up Morrison’s Creek, which drains another narrow valley. At the head of that valley, the course demanded payback. A crushing climb called Chaffin Hill at mile 17 delivered marathoners back to the plateau on which they’d started, and to which they were bound to return.

Read the full story by Dallas Smith by clicking HERE

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