Below are the results of the 9th running of the Boyer’s Furnace 40 miler.
This year the race returned to its “historic” home, as the start/finish was relocated back to Camp Roosevelt. Race Director Tony Escobar, after a short pre-race briefing and group photos, sent the runners off shortly after 7 AM (essentially at the time that there was enough useful pre-dawn light to set off). The day was chilly and unusually foggy. The thick fog took away the opportunity to take in the race’s traditional splendid views on the ridgelines of the Massanuttens, but the cooler temperature made for wonderful winter running conditions for many in the field.
As has been customary at this VHTRC Fat Ass race, the aid stations were outstanding. The runners again got much more than they paid for - particularly since their payment was to bring one item of food or drink to add to the common aid. Of particular note was David Snipes’ traditional “egg nog aid station” at the halfway point in the race. In previous years, that was at Camp Roosevelt, but this year it was at Woodstock Tower, after the runners had completed the long ridge run on the eastern side of the Massanuttens and crossed the Fort Valley to the entrance to the Massanutten trail on the western ridge. After covering the trail section over Powells Mountain, the runners feasted from the grill of Dan Aghdam before the closing sections of dirt road back to the fire pit finish at the horse parking lot adjacent to Camp Roosevelt.
Nick Combs, in from Colorado for the holidays, and Will Weidman led from start to finish, and tied for first. First woman to the finish was Diana Widdowson from southern Pennsylvania. Despite minimal additional markings on this year’s course, most runners did a good job of staying on track, though there was a diversion or three among members of the field.
The date for the 10th annual Boyer’s Furnace 40 Miler has yet to be officially established, so keep an eye on the VHTRC race calendar so you can pencil this holiday classic onto your schedule for late 2016 — or possibly early 2017?