John F. Kennedy 50 mile Memorial Hike/Run 1972

4/1/2005 - I don't know what made me think of it, but as I was walking in the park today I got to reminiscing about the time I participated in the John F. Kennedy 50 Mile Memorial Hike/Run that  is held out in the Boonesboro area and uses the Appalachian Trail, the C&O Canal and some country roads for a challenging 50 mile event.

I'm pretty sure it was 1972 when I tried it. My buddy, Barry Karwacki, drove my new 1972 Chevy pickup as the chase car for me. My intent was to hike the distance, but I got caught up in the pack at the start of the race and ended up jogging the first couple miles (in my hiking boots and carrying my walking stick.) That little surprise put some extra wear and tear on my feet that I think eventually did me in.

About the point where the course leave old Rt. 40 and enters the Appalachian Trail is where I managed to get down to my walking pace and do some serious hiking. According to the records at there were over 1000 participants that year (the event has run continuously from1963 to date.)

I hiked on down to the Potomac and headed up the C&O Canal. After hike 43 miles I met up with Barry and decided to call it quits. I didn't think I could take the climb back out of the valley. All I can say is my hat is off to anyone who completes that event. I can recall lying in the camper on the back of my truck on the trip home and nursing some incredible leg cramps and foot blisters.

Ah, such fond memories...... 8-)

Rick Holt

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