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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Little D passed her second of three #taekwondo #blackbelt tests. The third, and biggest, is in October. #tkd #sunset #md90 🌞✈️ #echoamphitheater #carsonnationalforest #newmexico Stopping to stretch our legs and use the potty was the best $2 I've spent in a while. I even borrowed a nickel from @trailrunningmom and got rid of the 95 cents in my pocket. Amazing #durango #colorado trails. These are the #HorseGulchTrails near @fortlewiscollege which has an amazing #cycling culture. When I raced collegiates @bcclubcycling & @bucycling in the early 90's, it wasn't anything like what's happening with the powerhouse @flccycling team. What an amazing backyard. Imagine rolling out of your dorm and onto this landscape. I would never go to class! Don't tell my kids I said that! #mountainbiking #cyclocross #teamhorstsports #teamhorstjuniorsquad #horstspikes 🚵‍♀️ @trailrunningmom finished in 41 hours and 1 minute. #hr100 #hardrock100 #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports #trailrunning #ultrarunning #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom  at the #hr100 #womenofultrarunning @trailrunningmom left the Chapman Aid Station at 2:10 P.M. I paced her from Ouray (56.6 miles) to Chapman (82.2 miles). @ultramarathondan will take her to the finish of the @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 Most importantly, she is in good spirits and despite the altitude, is moving OK on the climbs, albeit slowly. As for the descents, her legs are trashed but she is still bombing them. Finish could be in the 40-42 hour range if all goes well. Who knows? Lots of variables! Fingers crossed. I have tons of photos to go through, so I selected one of our crew with Deb as she headed out for the final 18 miles. #trailrunning #ultrarunning #shenipsitstriders #teamhorstsports We finally reconnected with @trailrunningmom She arrived at Grouse Gulch, 42.2 miles at 8:33pm and departed at 8:50pm. She was soaked to the bone after climbing her first ever 14,000 foot peak. Handies had lots of hail and rain. She changed every piece of clothing and shoes and felt much better. The drive to/from was white knuckle insanity with our rental. @ultramarathondan is with her now. It will be a long night. I'll see her in Ouray. Our kids  have been awesome. Mom just wants to finish, but a long way to go. @hardrock100 #hr100 #hardrock100 #trailrunning #ultrarunning 🏃🏻⛰

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