Whitestone 30k
Sunday, March 2, 2008

Along the banks of the Tennessee River, the KTC faithful once again assembled to do battle with the hills of Whitestone.
The stately and gracious inn was, as always, commodious and welcoming to the large group of battle-tested runners.
The local residents cared little for the tribulations of the lean hungry runners, unless they may have speculated as to their ultimate end on the dinner plates of a few carnivorous ectomorphs.
The first hint that anything was out of the ordinary on an otherwise quiet and specatularly beautiful Sunday morning was the appearance of a police cruiser with its blue lights on.
A big equine near the road was curious as to all the hubbub on his normally peaceful road.
Then a red clad young man came blazing down the road, far ahead of any pursuit.
Soon groups of runners in multicolored garb gave chase.
Group of four and five smiling runners streamed past, some enjoying the easy early pace, some unaware of the tribulations facing them down the road.
All the brave competitors, the fleet and the not-so fleet, appeared determined to maintain their dogged quest for the final red carpet stretched atop the hill near the inn.
Soon the lengthy queue vanished into the sunlit distance, the only sound the soft padding of their footsteps as they crested the first gentle uphill, a faint harbinger of what was to come.
Some time later, two of the fastest appeared rounding a sharp bend in the road, their destiny to duel for nearly two hours under the insistent gaze of the late winter sun.

Ultimately there was only one man could prove victorious. Stew Ellington not only won the race, but carved more than a minute and a half of the old course record in doing so, covering the 30 kilometers in 1:44:17.

Christopher Wright battled the whole way and only a wrong turn late in the race cost him runner-up honors.
Long Tall Bob Holcombe, scoring a huge PR, claimed second place when Wright made his ill-fated wrong turn.
Masters sensation Jon Lawler was tenth overall and first masters.
Malcolm Oliver surprised some with his grandmasters crown, but his recent string of distance successes at the marathon distance show he has earned his acclaim.
Bob Barber eased his way to a solid victory over all veterans competitors.
2006 Whitestone champion Allison Pastorek ran strong to earn another win, covering the 30k in 2:15:01.
Just thirteen seconds back was recent mom Kathy Wolski.
Perennial contender Marsha Morton was third overall female.
Larry Brede was the fastest Clydesdale competitor on the course.
Allan Horton and Elijah Shekinah teamed up in the wake of Andy Baksa's blazing first leg to take the Team Relay title, falling just short of last year's Big Red recordsetting effort.
Runners Market's Emily Chaney, along with Kathy Wolski and Patricia Smith, were the top women's Team Relay contestants.
The busy relay point, passed thrice during the race, was staffed by an extraordinary group of volunteers, able to control traffic, oversee the handoffs between team members, as well as offer Gatorade, GU, and water to the competitors.
The warm March sunshine kept spectators comfortable, including two of the Brede bunch.

When all was said and done, all who competed were winners, some just a little bit sooner than others. The breakfast, as usual, was grand, the fellowship even better.

We hope everyone is able to attend next year's Whitestone 30k, held on the banks of the beautiful Tennessee River.


photos by Michael deLisle
webpage layout and text by Michael deLisle