KEYSER - Long distance running can be as mentally grueling as it is physically exhausting.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Long distance running can be as mentally grueling as it is physically exhausting.
Add a first-time skydive to the 100-mile run, and the task can seem insurmountable.
Sgt. Scott Huffman of the Keyser Detachment, West Virginia State Police, however, thinks he might just be able to do it because he is “racing for a reason.”
Huffman, who has participated in other long-distance runs but was never able to finish the 100 miles, will be participating in the Sky Dive Ultra to be held in Clewiston, Florida, on Saturday, Jan. 27.
The event begins with a 14,000-feet skydive and is then immediately followed by a 100-mile run.
“I’ve been doing some long-distance events, and I’ve done Iron Man,” he said. “It’s physically and mentally taxing. Physically, it hurts, but mentally, it’s awful,” he says.
“You kind of go to a dark place and come up with all  kinds of reasons why you can’t finish,” he says.
“But I will be doing this one for a reason.”
That “reason” Huffman is working toward is raising funds for SARAH’S House, a child advocacy center in Keyser which he says provides invaluable services to the children and youths of the region who are victims of abuse.
“It aids us tremendously in working with these cases,” he says, adding that not only does the center assist the officers, case workers, and court representatives in interviewing the traumatized children, but the center also provides post-interview therapy.
“If these kids don’t receive therapy, they could be damaged for life,” he said.
Huffman became involved in raising money for the center last year, when the Moorefield WVSP detachment initiated a fund raiser for the region served by SARAH’S House.
“We did a relay on Corridor H between Mt. Storm and Baker,” he said. “I thought it went really well.”
This year, however, when it looked like no event would be scheduled, Huffman said he decided to do something on his own.
Although he has never done a skydive before, he says he “has no problem with heights,” and doesn’t think that part of the event will be a problem.
As for the 100-mile race, he just plans to give it his all.
“I did two long-distance events within the last two months and made it 50 miles,” he said.
“I have a close friend, though, who donated a dollar for every mile - as long as I don’t quit. So that will give me a little extra push.”
Anyone wishing to support Huffman in his race to raise funds for SARAH’S House may pledge an amount per mile or give a flat donation to the Burlington United Methodist Family Services Inc., SARAH’S House, 537 New Creek Hwy., Keyser, WV 26726.
You may also give online at https://www.gofundme.com/sgt-scott-huffmansky-dive-ultra.
Results and updates from the race will be posted on his Facebook event page at http://www.facebook.com/skydiveultrarun/.