After I completed The Ring in September, people first said congratulations and therefore eligible to run the Reverse Ring (the OTHER way on the Massanutten Trail).
Since I am committed to running the Massanutten Trail 100, it was a no brainer to get some suffering and a very long run in as training for the race.
For the uninitiated, The Ring is a circuit of the entire 71-mile orange-blazed Massanutten Trail in the George Washington National Forest, on the ridgelines of the eastern and western ranges of the Massanutten Mountains around the Fort Valley, roughly between Front Royal and Luray.
Eighteen (?) runners lined up on a mild February morning. First stop, the climb to Signal Knob.
Now, Signal Knob, last fall, after 65+ miles of running, just about sucked my will to live. In fact, when I think of the Ring, Signal Knob kind of overshadows many other details of the run because it sucked so badly.
It was amazing to hit this section, fresh in the morning. Before I knew it, I was up by the Big Tower, took a quick pic and headed on the ORANGE blazed trail.
There is a long downhill off Signal Knob, then some tedious dirt/gravel road pounding until you reach Powell’s Fort. On the road section is where I took my biggest spill! All of a sudden, I was hitting dirt, on my elbow and side, water bottles flying ten feet down the road. I get up, a little shaken, and can’t even figure out what I could have tripped on this road!
First Aid Station was at Woodstock Towers, where Sniper informed me that Bill W. was just a few minutes ahead. I set out to see if I can catch up with Bill. The section through here is rather annoying. You are picking your way through the rocks on the ridgeline, then suddenly you are heading down…just to run and go back up again. I vaguely think I am on Short Mountain.
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Coopers Rock 2010
This year it is up to the highest hill in West Virginia for the weekend. There will be something besides running for all everyone including trout fishing in Spruce Knob Lake if that’s your Thing.
Check out the Weekend Plan now.
A great deal of planning and prep goes into a race. Come race weekend though everything happens fast and it’s the work of volunteers that allows all that planning to fall in place. The West Virginia Mountain Trail Runners want to thank those who have helped make a our events possible and we’re throwing a party in their honor. Now this isn’t just any party this is a WVMTR party! There will be a fine meal catered by the White Grass Cafe, live music and some of Mountain State Brewing Company’s finest beverages.
When – April 2, 2011
Where – Mountain State Brewing Company, Thomas, WV
What time – 5PM – til late
This also by unusual coincidence happens to be the same day as the Highlands Trainer! So come out for the weekend and help thank our many race volunteers for the hours they donate so we can have fun.
Some folks planning to come for the weekend. Rooms and cabins at nearby Blackwater Falls State Park will be on Off Season Rates.
For more information and to make your reservation go to Menu and Ticket Purchase
A small group turned out in Thomas Saturday for a 3 hour run around the Blackwater Canyon. Big wind in the open areas that made this 17 degree exciting at times. The solid snow pack made for decent running conditions in the trees and no one fell over any highwalls. This old sign marks the location of 1970’s reclaimed surface mines which are working their way back into the unique landscape.
More photos and video.
There’s a great article on MSN Sports about club members Ron and Michelle Hamric’s daughter Karly (see photo) and article HERE.
It is quite impressive to see two young women from small towns in WV setting their sights on the 2012 Olympics!