By Oksana Lightfield
The year 2020 has definitely proven to be the epic year of legendary challenges. With official races falling like dominoes, cancelled or becoming virtual, our Steeps ultra tribe did not stop running for one minute. In fact, people have been running farther and faster.
Take Chris Bailey and Elaine Griesbach. On October 10, the two Steeps successfully ran the Catoctin 100-mile Challenge. Chris and Elaine, who participated in a friendly ultra running challenge before, were each looking for an opportunity to run a 100-miler this year. Since the hit of COVID-19 in early March resulted in cancellation of most organized races, the two ultra running buddies, seeking inspiration and motivation despite the unfolding chaos, decided to attempt another friendly challenge — to run their own 100-miler on a grueling but beautiful variation of the former Catoctin 100 Mile Race, originally organized by Jim Treece and his incredible team of volunteers: Vince Vaughn, Mike Holland, Dave Garmin, Jodi Treece, Lance Cummins, Carole and Addie Smith, and Bill Susa. The inaugural race was run in 2009 but after 2011 the race was unfortunately shut down due to permit issues on the Appalachian Trail.
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