2007 Mountain Masochist Trail Run

Debbie’s final ultra-marathon trail race of the year was the Mountain Masochist Trail Run. The  50 mile MMTR celebrated its 25th year and it was the 25th and final time that trail running legend, David Horton, race directed the event. The course parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western Virginia, going point to point from the James River Visitors Center to Montabello. It ascends 9,000 vertical feet and descends 7,000 feet.

Debbie Livingston at the MMTR.

Debbie finished in 9:33:15, good for 11th woman and 53rd overall. This was not her best ultra result and well off of her 50  mile PR (sub-8 hours), but she still felt really good about the run. She has had a rough couple of ultras, going back to July. Her season had started off strongly, during her comeback year following Shep’s birth, and included a victory at the 55 mile Pittsfield Peaks Ultra Challenge.  Her last long race, the Vermont 50 Mile Run was a lot slower and more painful than in the past. Also, back in August, her attempt to run the 100 mile Ultra Trail Tour du Mont Blanc, in the Alps, ended prematurely after 55 miles. This time, she felt strong the whole way, kept it steady, and even picked up the pace a bit before the finish. She was pleased.

Nikki Kimball cruises.

 

I had a blast “crewing” for Debbie, which consisted of shouting encouragement, shooting photos, and performing Sherpa Dad duties for Shep. With 14 aid stations, I didn’t have to worry about food, clothes, and other typical crewing duties. That was a relief because I really did have my hands full. I was disappointed to keep missing the top male runners, so I don’t have any good action shots of the top three. They were always ahead of me when I got to an aid station. I did get many other great photos and will be posting them online in the next couple of days.

The men’s race was won by Zach Miller, of Michigan, in a time of 7:04:10, which is excellent. He was followed closely by past winner, Virginian Eric Grossman, in 7:06:16, then there was a big gap to third. The women’s race was won again by Nikki Kimball of Montana, in 8:31:42. Second was Annette Bednosky of North Carolina, in 8:43:42. Full results are available here.

A challenging division.

 

After the VT50, Debbie had decided to skip the MMTR, even though she had pre-registered. Then, she recovered a bit and had a change of heart. I’m glad she did because we both had fun and Shep did too. We got to catch up with some good friends, including Nikki and Krissy Moehl from Washington. We also got to make many new friends, which is one of the best things about the trail running scene.

A runner/singer belts out America the Beautiful with Dave Horton looking on.

The Blue Ridge Parkway was bursting with peak fall colors.

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