by Susan Howell, RD
The Cloudsplitter 100, Kentucky’s first 100-mile trail race, took place on Pine Mountain the weekend of October 4-5. In true Appalachian fashion, the race started out with a bang from a black powder rifle. Some 156 participants among the four distances ran from Elkhorn City up the mountain on old, rough and rugged pioneer roads and through dense rhododendron thickets. On top of the mountain they crossed vast rock outcroppings and ran along beautiful single-track trails, saw enormous sandstone boulders and rock shelters, pioneer homesteads and cliffs with spectacular views of Kentucky and Virginia. Avery Collins of Steamboat Springs, CO was the male winner of the 100-mile distance in 21:07 and Kathleen Cusick of Alexandria, VA, took home the female 100-mile honors in 23:43. Both had remarkable times on a course with nearly 56,000 feet of elevation change. At the finish line runners were treated to a hog roast with soup beans and ham. Many admitted that the course was the toughest they had ever tackled, but they all added with a smile that they couldn’t wait for next year’s event.