2021 Run Ragged Last Person Standing Race

It’s not often that I write about one of Debbie’s races while it is still going on, but that is the case this morning. She started the Run Ragged Last Person Standing Race at 8:00 A.M. yesterday and stopped just shy of 7:00 A.M. today after completing 23 five kilometer laps for a total of 71 miles.

When she stopped, there were still five runners headed out for a 24th loop/hour. It’s almost noon, and I know that there are three runners still on course and in contention to be the last woman or man standing. This was Debbie’s first time running an event with this format and it was a good experience.

I won’t describe all of the rules of this event, but you can read about it at the race signup page and in the runner guide. The gist of it is that the race was held on a rugged (lots of rocks and roots) hilly (500 feet of vertical gain) five kilometer loop. The goal was to complete one loop every hour until only one person was left. The race will not stop until one person completes a final lap inside the 60 minute time limit. The win will not go to the fastest runner but rather to the runner who has the most endurance (physical and mental). That runner would arguably run the “smartest race” conserving energy, fueling properly, pacing consistently, and using the best strategy. Mental toughness is a hallmark of this format because you have to have serious grit to keep going.

The Ragged loop could be completed in 40 minutes or less, but on average, runners completed it in 45 to 55 minutes. As the race went on, the remaining runners came closer and closer to the 60 minute limit leaving themselves very little time to rest or prepare for the next loop. Some runners didn’t complete their laps in time and were automatically DNF’d.

Debbie had her own little aid station set up at the start/finish. She brought a big blue tarp to cover all of her gear. On Saturday, it rained most of the day. Overnight, the rain stopped, but the temperature remained in the low to mid 40’s Fahrenheit. It was raw and uncomfortable and unseasonably cold for Memorial Day Weekend. I would imagine that most New Englanders stayed in side yesterday and today. After a few weeks of warmth and very dry conditions, this weekend’s weather is just plain awful, unless you adore trail running (like us). By the time we got home, it was pouring again, which will make it even harder for the hearty runners still on the course.

The Connecticut Trail Mixers did a fantastic job hosting the race. Their volunteers were numerous and helpful. Race Director Stacey Clark barely slept. She got extra help from Karen Prado. The two of them were tracking all of the 42 runners who started when the left for a lap and returned from a lap.

Debbie started the race on her own, but Laura Becker spent the afternoon crewing for her while I was at work. I also spent time shuttling our son to a birthday party and then to Debbie’s parents house where our daughter was spending part of the weekend. I left the Schieffer’s by 6:00 P.M. and was at the venue in time to see her start her 7:00 P.M. lap.

Parking at the trailhead was limited, so I parked at the assigned grocery store parking lot a mile away. I brought my commuter bike and shuttled gear, food, and water to the trailhead with three bike trips. Eventually, I was able to move my car to the trailhead around midnight after there were fewer runners remaining, less volunteers hanging around, and no day hikers at the Ragged Mountain Memorial Preserve.

Debbie and I were in this area last month when we ran the Metacomet – Timberlin Loop, but we hadn’t been on this segment of the Metacomet Trail since our thru-run on last year’s New England Trail E2E Adventure. The Metacomet is likely the toughest trail in Connecticut and is known for numerous rocks and roots.

Debbie felt good about her race. Up until 2:00 A.M., her laps were very consistent. She frequently left herself five to eight minutes to rest, fuel up, and swap gear. Runners were given three minute and one minute warnings. They had to be back in the start corral prior to the start of the next lap. Otherwise, they were disqualified. Most of the runners who dropped out, did so voluntarily or they missed an hourly time cut.

Her roughest lap was the one between 2:00 and 3:00. That’s when she first talked about stopping. Her rnext lap was a little better, and then the 4:00 A.M. lap was better than that. She rallied a bit and decided to keep going. In between laps, I hung out and chatted with volunteers. Several times, I returned to the car to don more clothes, drape myself in a sleeping bag, eat, and rest. I didn’t really sleep at all.

After her 6:00 A.M. lap, I ran a loop in the reverse direction so that I could experience it and take some photos. I cheered for all of the remaining six runners on the course and thanked the volunteers who I encountered. The trails were muddy and challenging. This was a true test for any runner and these were strong runners.

Debbie was very happy with her race. She has been running strong all year and is building towards her “A race” the Bighorn Trail Run, next month in Wyoming. With the race less than four weeks out, it didn’t make sense to thrash her body this weekend. She completed 71 miles, which sets her up nicely to run a mountainous 100+ miles at Bighorn.

Justin Kousky, Lance Reed, and Julie Melanson Fraysier are the last three on course. When the results are posted, check back to see which one of them was the last standing. They are all amazing runners with incredible perseverance. Kudos to them.

Check out the CT Trail Mixers Facebook page for live results/posts.

Race Results (will be posted when available)

2 Responses to “2021 Run Ragged Last Person Standing Race”


  1. 1 Canuck Carl 14 June 2021 at 8:56 am

    I have never done a “Last Person Standing” race. When you look at the number on entrants on the chart, and that Debbie completed 23 loops and only 5 headed out for the 24th loop, she was incredible.

    As more and more loops are completed, and as weariness creeps in, I can see how tough it would be to finish each loop within the hour cutoff. Great write-up. 😀🏃‍♀️


  1. 1 2021 Bighorn Trail Run | Life Adventures Trackback on 26 June 2021 at 8:14 am

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@trailrunningmom finished the 100 kilometer #metacomettrail in about 14 hours and 21 minutes. We think she got the #fastestknowntime by about three minutes but her GPS watch died so we have to do the math and build the evidence package. She really worked for this one. Now she is ready for @hardrock100run in July. Little and ran with her on the last mile on Orchard and that was crucial.
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@trailrunningmom is crushing the Metacomet Ultra Traverse (MUT). Thanks to @dfyc38 and @laurab_312 for their support. Deb has about eight miles to go at the 12 hour and 30 minute mark.
Helping out our neighbors: the kids are playing “farmer” this weekend. 🐓 🐐
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Little D says my artistic ability is lacking and that I’m better at business and cycling. Even still, we had a great afternoon @thefirestonect and then at the library. Florence was lovely company at our cafe table. The librarian pointed out a book option and then I reminded all within earshot that you can’t judge a book by its cover! #art #painting
Well that was pretty incredible. Congrats to @trailrunningmom Congrats to ALL the participants whether they finished or not. Mahalo to ALL of the volunteers. More will be written about this ohana when we get home.
@trailrunningmom was holding steady as she departed Nu’uanu for the last time at 92.5 miles. Shepard is having fun but it’s all business now. There is a pitched battle for second place and if they keep pushing, it’s a threat to Debbie’s lead. I’m doing the mental math and she has to keep pushing too. Anna and Mele left the aid station together and are throwing down.

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