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BALL FIVE: Marathon man has tough test running down Utah mountain

The Bridge City’s marathon man, Curtis Huffman, was off and running again, this time at the East Canyon Marathon in Morgan, Utah.
Huffman ran on what he called one of the most difficult courses he has ever competed on, but still managed to complete the race in three hours, 3.08.1 minutes. His time was the ninth fastest overall and first place in his 35-39-year-old age group.
“It was really a challenge,” said Huffman. “We started at around 7,500 feet and went down. It was also the first time I’ve started in the dark and that was kind of scary.”
This was Huffman’s first marathon since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged this spring. It caused marathon in state number 21 to be run completely different from his previous 20. Not only did the race start by going more than 2,00o feet down a mountain (from beginning to end), and start in the dark, there was no mass starting of the 126 runners. Instead, runners went to the starting line in four- to five-second intervals so each runner would spend most of their time running alone.
If the racing in the dark, they said to just stay on the white line and everything should be all right, wasn’t different and difficult enough, running down the mountain was a real task.
The first four miles of the race were straight downhill. That meant Huffman had to spend his time holding back and regulating his speed. He said that running on the backs of your legs as opposed to running on the fronts of the legs on flatter ground caused a real strain.
Because of the pandemic, his family stayed home this time, but it doesn’t sound like Huffman’s legs would have allowed him to take his wife dancing after the race anyway.
When Huffman will get to race again is up in the air, but his time in Utah did qualify him for the next Boston Marathon. That, of course, does not mean there will be a race in Boston. Many marathons have already been canceled due to the pandemic.
But, Huffman will still spend his time running the streets of Mobridge, preparing for a marathon in state number 22.

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