Williamson, West Virginia

Thursday, June 7, 2012 - Sunday, June 10, 2012

This trip would probably amount to our furthest driving wise in quite a long time, and would certainly be the most miles we've run together ever as well! Deep in the heart of the hills of West Virginia and Kentucky lies the land of the Hatfields and McCoy's. In conjunction with their reunion festival, David Hatfield started a half marathon and marathon about 13 years back. Jill and I had put this one on our radar quite a while ago, and with the advent of the Hatfield and McCoy mini-series on the History Channel, the popularity of this race and area skyrocketed. The race itself - top notch, one of the best we've ever run. From organization to the hospitality of the volunteers, there are many races out there that could take some lessons from the Hatfield and McCoy race.

The course itself took us on almost every terrain imaginable. Up 'Blackberry Mountain' (700 feet or so straight up, then straight back down), on paved roads, on gravel roads, on dirt roads, through a golf course, across a rickety bridge, you name it, we pretty much ran on it.

We left on Thursday after Michael got out of school. Gram rode along with us for this trip as well, to keep Mike company while Jill and I were running. We drove as far as Harrisburg and had dinner at the Lancaster Brewing Company for some eats. Jill and I had stopped here on a previous trip - good food, good beer.

After dinner, we completed the first leg of our journey making it as far as Frostburg, Maryland. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Frostburg on Route 36 just off of Interstate 68.

Woke up on Friday and it was off to West Virginia! Up and down the hills of the Alleghany Mountains we went, traversing I-68, then I-79, then State Route 119 which took us to our hotel for the next couple of nights. We stayed at the Chief Logan Lodge which was about 25 minutes from the race, but the best/closest lodging to everything. After settling in the hotel, we headed to the 'race area', which was actually along the West Virginia/Kentucky border in the towns of South Williamson (KY) and Williamson (WV). The start line, at the Food City, and pasta dinner, at Belfry High School, were just a bit down the road from those two locales in, well, Belfry (KY). We got a lay of the land a bit, saw where both the start and finish were, hit up the Wal-Mart, and drove the course a bit (had to see Blackberry Mountain - yikes!).

We went back to the Belfry High School for the pasta dinner put on by the school. David Hatfield, race director, was there as well leading the festivities. They even had actors portraying Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy re-enact the feud. After dinner, we scooted out and headed back to the hotel for our pre-race quasi good nights sleep.

Jill and I hitched a ride with some Marathon Maniacs to the start line instead of getting Mike and Gram out of bed at 5AM. Race start temp was cool, but midway through the sun had come out and warmed it up. Jill and I made our way through some beautiful countryside, stopping along the way at almost every water stop to talk with the volunteers ('Where ya'll from' was the favorite question of most). We finished in Williamson with Mike and Gram cheering us on at the finish line. Beyond the usual medals, this race also gave out mason jars for every finisher as well!

We stayed in Williamson a bit after the race, grabbed some lunch at Starters on 2nd Ave, and wandered up to the Coal House before heading back to the hotel. Hung there for a bit - Gram and Mike went swimming, Jill and I destinkafied - then went and had dinner at the Hacienda Mexican Restaurant. Back to the hotel afterwards (after a quick stop for Mike at Wal-Mart that is) so Jill and I could crash out for the night.

Sunday would be another marathon of sorts for us - this time a marathon drive. From West Virginia to home. Nine hours worth of driving. We stopped at Tudor's Biscuit World in Champmanville, West Virginia for some breakfast, and hit a Sheetz somewhere north of that for lunch. The Garmin took us a different way home than she had taken us down (towards Altoona instead of Harrisburg), which worked out well because we stopped at the Quaker Steak and Lube in Bloomsburg for some dinner! Made one more stop, at Rita's in Carbondale for dessert, before making the final push home, arriving here around 10:30 or so on Sunday night.

Total Driving Mileage: 1363 Miles
Total Running Mileage Jill: 26.2 Miles
Total Running Mileage Tim: 26.2 Miles
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Total Trip Mileage: 1415.4 Miles

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Page Last Updated: June 12, 2012