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50 is nifty running for local Langford

50 is nifty running for local Langford
Hickman native David Langford took it to the next level recently at the 46th annual John F. Kennedy 50-Mile run — the nation’s largest and oldest ultra-marathon.
Langford, who now makes his residence in Hagerstown, Md., completed the taxing event in nine hours and 181⁄2 minutes — good enough for 214th out of 927 entries.
The son of Larry and Glenda Langford of Hickman, David credits his love of the outdoors for the reason he chose to take up this daunting task.
“A lot of the reason I decided to do this is because I love being in the outdoors,” Langford, the 24-year-old Wells-Fargo branch manager said. “I enjoy running because it gets me out of the office and it helps me to clear my mind.”
However, the conditions were not what one would term ideal on the day of the race, Nov. 22, with the temperature near 24 degrees and a wind chill of 17.
That was quite the opposite of the some of the temperatures Langford trained in during the six months prior to the event.
The training regimen for the 24-year-old, who graduated from Fulton County and later Eastern Kentucky University, included running 60-100 miles per week through the summer and early fall.
Much of his training was completed during warmer temperatures — a sharp contrast from the actual weather on the day of the giant run.
The event began in the downtown area of Boonesboro, Md., at 7 in the morning.
From there, Langford’s 50-mile trek began with a 15.4 mile stretch that he described as “rough, rugged and rocky” through the Appalachian Trail.
Next up was the dirt Tow Path on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and near the Potomac River — a stretch of the race that measured 26.4 miles tagged as “flat and long” by the Kentucky native.
Finally, Langford’s attitude shifted into the “I think I can make it” category with the final 8.2-mile stretch through the rolling hills and into Williamsport, Md. — the course’s finish line.
The rugged race was created in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy as a challenge to military officers.
Back then, President Kennedy’s plan for the race called for participants to finish the run in less than 20 hours.
Kennedy had hoped that 50-mile races would pop up around the country, according to some reports, but after his assassination, the idea of a race of such length evaporated.
Now, the race is run by both military personnel and civilians and the challenge is to finish the course in 12-14 hours.
Despite the huge undertaking, the 2008 event had all its slots filled in just 22 days.
The 2009 JFK 50-Mile run is slated for Nov. 21.
Entry procedures and pertinent information on the 2009 JFK 50 Mile will be available here on July 1.
For more information, visit www.jfk50mile.org.

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