|The 7th annual Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 was held March 1, 2002 on the
Longleaf Horse Trail at the De Soto National Forest. Almost
100 runners participated this year, and all seemed to have a good time.
It rained heavily (as usual) the night before, but not at all during
the race for a change. The creeks were ample but not flooded, so no one
complained of hot dry feet for very long.
The course featured soft dirt trails and fire roads on 12.5 and 6.1 mile loops. The 12.5 mile loop had been modified to eliminate a 1.5 mile road section, so everyone set personal course records this year. Despite the very wet trail and a new, slower course, a new race record was set in the 50km
The 50km and 50 Mile endurance runs began at 6 a.m. in surreal predawn darkness. The temperature was in the 50's at the start, and stayed pleasantly cool till nearly noon, but got over 70 by mid afternoon.
Well supplied aid stations were positioned every two to four miles with easy crew access, so no one had to worry about dehydration or lack of calories. Trophies, and finisher mementos were awarded as each person finished. A full course chicken supper (courtesy of South Central Regional Medical Center) was served to each finisher, and the pleasant weather made relaxing at the picnic grounds with your platter very enjoyable.
The runs were sponsored by Bancorp South, South Central Regional Medical Center, the Laurel Area Dental Society and the Laurel Rotary Club. Many thanks to them and Steve DeReamer (race director), Marvin Overstreet, Shannon Holder and all the many course and aid station workers for putting on another fine Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi 50 trail run.
Read a poem written by Carl Touchstone which illustrates the unforgettable spirit of Carl Touchstone, and of many persons who participate in running and life.
See pictures taken at the prerace dinner, and at the race