The day was hotter than usual for an April 25 race near Lynchburg, Va., but the 34-mile course length was no surprise to veterans of race director David Horton’s events. He’s well known for throwing in a few extra miles here and there.
Sean Andrish, 39, overcame those tough race day conditions to claim his second consecutive victory on the Bedford, Va., course. He clocked a 5:02:17, far from his 2008 finishing time of 4:44:03, but it was enough for the Leesburg, Va., resident to hold off fellow Inov-8 team member Jeremy Ramsey. A 33-year-old resident of nearby Lynchburg, Ramsey finished about seven minutes behind Andrish.
The victory marked Andrish’s second win in recent weeks; he took top honors at the Bel Monte Endurance Run 50K last month, clocking 4:26:17 at the March 28 race near Charlottesville, Va. Look for him next at the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100-miler set for May 16.
On the women’s side, Bethany Patterson took top honors, finishing in 5:50:10, putting her 11th overall and a full 10 minutes ahead of Washington, D.C.’s Amy Sproston, who took 17th overall with her 6:00:54. Sproston had planned for a leisurely Promise Land pace after her victory at the Bull Run Run 50-miler April 18.
The Beast Series includes the Holiday Lake 50K++, the Terrapin Mountain half-marathon and 50K, Promise Land 50K, Grindstone 100-miler, Mountain Masochist 50-miler and the Hellgate 100K.
Promise Land is a comparatively short ultra at 34 miles, but what it lacks in distance, it makes up in challenging terrain. Racers cross the Blue Ridge Mountains at Apple Orchard Mountain, which at 4,225 feet is the tallest mountain in central Virginia.
The race has a time limit of 10 hours, which affords most runners a chance at an official finish despite the difficult terrain. In this year’s running of Promise Land, 257 of 273 starters finished, with 247 coming in under 10 hours.
See more from Rob Colenso at www.examiner.com/x-8875-DC-Endurance-Sports-Examiner