Just below Front Royal, off to my left I could see the spine of the Massanutten range of mountains, a 2000’ high ridge that runs some 50ish miles in the Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge to the east (of Skyline Drive fame) and North Mountain to the west (the first ridge of the main body of the Alleghenies).
Two sights that I remember well are Short Mountain, famously described to me by Anstr Davidson of the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club (VHTRC) as being a “3-bottle section.” And Bird Knob, the turn-around point of the race, just south of the gap in the Massanutten range for U.S. Route 211.
I ran the race in 1998 as my first attempt and first finish of a 100 mile trail run. The run came perilously close to kicking my butt. See my race report, over at Stan Jenson’s marvelous site.
Please note, however, that in my report when I describe Atlas Shrugged as an “awesome work” I was speaking strictly of how well-written it was as a novel—to me, Rand’s political and economic theories are pure crap (see my Rev. Martin Luther King post for more on that).
And I wanted to use a quote that Rand just happened to write, that has no relation to Ultrarunning but sounds like it does:
He knew that he felt an odd, joyous, light-hearted self confidence. He knew that these were the right steps down the trail he had glimpsed.