Boyer’s Furnace 2020 was held on a 21.9-mile course in the northern part of the Fort Valley in northwestern Virginia. The course was shorter than usual, but the conditions were far more brutal. The temperature was 14° F at the start, and runners climbed almost 4,300 feet over the course of the event. Heavy rains in the days before left runners wading or swimming through six freezing streams in the middle section of the course. Still, every single one of the 28 runners that toed the line emerged victorious. Misery today makes for great memories tomorrow. After drying off, all seemed to enjoy this brilliant day in the mountains.
Andy Stravers set the shortened course record in 3:24, coming in a full 15 minutes ahead of second place Erik Price. Dirk Shulze rounded out the men’s podium. Heather Schaffer overcame a complete dunk in one of the freezing Mudhole Gap river crossings to set the women’s course record in 4:43. Charlene Howard was the second place woman, and Sarah Humphrey came in third. Heroes of the Day awards go to Eric Thornton, and to Michael Shuster, the latter of who literally gave a soaked Heather the clothes off of his back for the finish of the race.
Due to the pandemic, racers took off in waves. Of course, this meant we also had a wave competition. Wave winners are as follows:
Wave 1: Andy Stravers
Wave 2: Eric Price
Wave 3: Brian Compagnone
Wave 4: Craig Mitchell
Wave 5: John Calabrese
Wave 6: Dave Goodwin
Wave 7: Charlene Howard
Wave 8: Justin Turner
Complete results for the 2020 Boyers Furnace “Lite” can be found here.
This year’s event relied on a skeleton crew of amazing volunteers:
- Quatro Hubbard (start and finish lines, results, and awards)
- Homer Komthirath (aid)
- Erin Altemos (sweep)
- Matt Erb (course marking)
Boyer’s Furnace is normally held on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Because Christmas falls on a Saturday in 2021, Boyer’s Furnace 2021 will be held on Sunday, December 26.