CIRCLEVILLE, W.Va. — The official results from the sixth annual West Virginia Trilogy showed Amy For Africa’s dynamic duo doing quite well.
Amy Compston was fourth among nine female finishers and 23rd overall among 39 finishers while her husband, Chris, was 23rd out of 30 male finishers.
The three-day, 94-mile race in the highest West Virginia mountains takes a toll on even the best of runners. They endure extreme elevations, rolling streams and rocky trails along the long path.
Amy was the second female finisher after the 31-mile first stage but chose to run with Chris during the 50-mile second day. It was his first ultra marathon competition and Amy felt like he needed the support. “We were going to get disqualified together or finish together,” she said. “I’m so proud of him.”
“I wouldn’t have made it without her,” Chris said.
But they did finish the second leg, with about an hour to spare, and then completed Sunday’s last day of 13 miles. This time it was Chris who supported Amy, who was reeling injury-wise after the first two days. “He could have had a lot better time on Sunday but he stayed with me,” she said.
The runners took on elevations of up to 8,000 feet during the dangerous trail run where rocks were everywhere along the path. Amy estimated she fell about a dozen times. One mountain was a six-mile climb, nearly straight up. It took them two hours to climb it.
The AFA runners credited some training in Uganda back in May for preparing them to complete the rocky course. The roads in the Moyo district are also rock covered and the duo ran there every morning. Chris had several spills in Moyo but mostly stayed on his feet during the Trilogy.
Amy ran the combined 94 miles in 22:02:53 while Chris ran in 22:59:34.
Twenty women started but only nine finished — more than half of those came in behind Amy despite her sacrificing time on Saturday to run with her husband. There were 30 male finishers after 43 started the competition. Chris was 23rd of those finishers.
“We praise the Lord for his protection over the three days,” Amy said. “That was the hardest run I’ve ever done in my life. Going into it, I thought I was prepared but no way. We have hills in Ashland, not mountains. I have a new respect for those trail runners. Man, they’re something else.”
Amy’s next run will be in the 2016 Boston Marathon, the fourth consecutive year she has qualified to compete in the long distance runner’s most prestigious event. She had her best time in the marathon last April.
Samaritan’s Feet will recognize Amy next month as one of its three international Women of Influence. She continues speaking weekly about the Amy For Africa mission at churches, schools and even prisons.
AFA is planning a trip to Moyo in May 2016.