Race Reports , Comments, and So On
Daniel Murphree Tim Crotwell Facebook Albert Marshall
Carolyn Stein Pat Thomasson The Bear Facts Lindsey Nieves
Suzy Usry      
Finally, only for those with a high tolerance, here is a report which is in his terms "kinduva far-out hippie trip" written by a yankee (IL) journalist who has run each and every modern MS50 and goes by the non de plum of The Troubadour

I chose MS50 for my first 50 miler because it is close to home, Alabama, and because there was lots of course support and aid stations. I brought a drop bag, that I passed after every loop and was able to refill my supplies. My plan for the day was to take it easy and finish. I planned to do 5 minute run and 1 minute walk intervals, which my Garmin kept track of for me. I also ate every 35 minutes either a Cliff bar or Honey Stinger waffle. I carried a 24 ounce water bottle filled with half sports drink half water and refilled on the course. This was my first trail run and I loved the course. The path was well worn and clearly marked. I have a fear of getting lost on a course, but it was no problem to follow the colored ribbons. 3 orange loops first, 12.5 miles and 2 blue loops 6 ish miles. After each loop, the race director was standing at the the start finish asking you how many loops you have left. I was very impressed with that, he put in a long day. And he was still there at the very end. The course had more puddles, creeks, and mud bogs than I expected. The water never reached up to my knees. But the weather was warm and I didn't have to face cold wet feet. But warm wet feet worked well for the day. The course is well shaded from the large oak trees so I never noticed the heat. I stuck to my eating an 5:1 interval plan for the first 2 loops. After that I had to eat the course snacks because I had grown sick of my own food. But to my surprise I was able to eat, PB&J, Doritos, oranges, animal crackers, peanuts, M&Ms an pretzels and it tasted great. I also had a few sips of sprite and coke near the end. Midway through my 3rd 12.5 loop. A race worker told me I needed to speed up to make it under cutoff. I hurried along and made it the time. During the first 6 mile loop, my stomach hurt and I began to walk as slow as my 5 year old. My resolve disappeared and I considered curling up on the dirt path for a rest. But when I realized it would probably be by dark before I was missed, I moved on. I decided to quit after 40 miles or the end of this loop. My mental fatigue was wearing me down and I could barely make myself move one more step. I caught up to an energetic girl who was speed walking. She encouraged me to go on. After chatting with her I felt energized again and no longer felt the stomach pain. We walked together until we reached the start/ finish to begin our last loop. Our husbands kindly joined us for our last loop. We walked the first 4 miles together. When I realized I only had about 4 to go, I felt like running this baby home. I jogged to within sight of the finish line. I then sprinted in with a huge grin. After 9 previous marathon finishes, never had a finish line felt so good. I picked the brass belt buckle over the silver, which might as well have been pure gold it was so precious to me. A 32 year old Mom of 3 boys, with a marathon PR of 3:34, I finished this 50 miler in 11 hours 45 minutes. At that moment, all was right with world! I would do this race again. No complaints, well run, lovely course and lovely volunteers.
Thank you, MS50. Suzy Usry

I've never done a race report, but figured I'd give it a shot since it was such a big achievement for me. So sorry if this drags on too much..I've been wanting to run a 50 miler since I ran my first marathon.. it just amazed me that people could run that far..still does.

This past weekend, 3/1/2014, I, Daniel Murphree, completed my first 50 mile race!

I didn’t have a set training plan going into this. I came off a long layoff of running in December (about 4-5 months with very little running, no more than 20mpw). I signed up for a half-marathon the first week of December with very little training. That went well, so I signed up for a marathon second week of January. That went okay, so I signed up for the 50k for this race..giving me 8 wks to prepare. Well, about a month before the race I decided to go to the race trails to see if I could gut it out and run a 50k. Sure enough I did it (5:47), so that night I emailed the race director and asked if I could switch to the 50 miler. Boy, I did not realize what I was getting myself into..My training between the marathon and 50 miler consisted of mostly 50+mpw with a max of 68mpw, with lots of back to back long runs on Saturday and Sunday. Longest run before was a 50k. Luckily, I did not get any overuse injuries during this time. Leading up to the race I felt okay about my training. This race has a 12 hr cutoff, so that was my only goal..finish before 12hrs. I knew I’d be cutting it close.


Pretty flat for a trail ultra..the 50 mile course had about 1,500-2,000 ft elevation gain. Still more than I’m used to though. The 50 mile course consisted of three laps of a 12.5 mile loop and two laps of a 10k loop. Nothing technical at all, mostly fire roads, pine straw covered trails, fair share of muddy areas, and a good bit of water crossings. My strategy was to try to run each 12.5 mile loop in 2:30 and each 10k loop in 1:30. This would put me at about 10:30 finish time…but like I said my only intention was to finish before 12hrs. My thought was if I could keep to this strategy as long as possible, even if I completely bonked toward the end I could still walk and finish before cutoff.

Night before race:

I showed up to pick up my race packet/race dinner about 30 minutes before they closed up shop. I got a big plate of pasta and sat down to eat. A couple asked if they could sit next to me. We introduced ourselves and the husband started asking me a little of my running background, race strategy, nutrition plan etc. I wish I remembered his name. He was probably mid to late 50s from Louisiana. Him and his wife were working the only aid station on the 10k loop..his wife said, “we better see you twice tomorrow!” I’m terrible with names, but I came to find out later on from another runner that this guy is hardcore..he’s run Mont Blanc, Western States, and several other 100s. I already felt like a huge newb being there, this just added to it. It felt awesome being around runners like this, but I wasn’t sure if I belonged.

Race day:

Race started at 6am. Alarm was set for 4am, but of course I was up at 3am just watching the clock..scared of oversleeping. I went through my drop bag making sure I had everything (extra socks, shoes, gels, ginger candy, S caps, bodyglide, etc). Going into this race my plan was to run very slow, walk all the up hills, take a gel every 30 mins (as long as I could stomach it), take a S cap every hour, drink 22oz of water every 2-4 miles, eat solids early as much as possible at the aid stations. The forecast was high 73 low 52, mostly sunny. All my training had been done in 20 to 50 degree weather, so this made me a little nervous.

Lining up for the race I tried to get near the back. They had the 50 miler and 50k starting at 6am (20k started at 8am) so I knew the 50k runners would be going much faster than I needed. Sure enough as the race started, people were passing me going out fast. I slowly crept to the back. I was amazed at how friendly everyone was during the race. I met several people, probably 20 or so total during the race, most of which were from out of state..which is pretty cool. I ran the first 25 miles and felt great, no problems at all. My third 12.5 mile loop is when it started hurting. At this point in the race, there was no one really near me, maybe the occasional runner every 10 minutes. The 50k runners only had to run 2 big loops, so it was down to mostly 50 milers on the big loop..it was very spaced out at this point in the race. It was getting pretty hot at this point too. The crew chiefs at the aid stations were being very cautious checking on runners when they came through on this third lap. I found out after the race, two people were pulled off the course by an ambulance due to dehydration. I never felt any signs of dehydration. I just kept to my hydration plan, water, S caps, and heed.

At mile 35 I got a burst of energy out of nowhere. I felt pretty good from mile 35 until 37.5 when I got back to the start/finish line. At this point, I finally got to see my family for the first time. They drove down the day of the race, and got lost a few times on the way down. There were probably a hundred runners near the start/finish celebrating their 20k and 50k races. All eating red beans and rice, some drinking beer, laughing, just having a good ole time. I still had to run 12.5 more miles…

My first 10k loop started okay. The aid station on this loop was at mile 2, so you had little over 4 miles to run back to the start/finish. I started my first 10k loop. I ran the first mile, but I was running out of energy fast…I didn’t see one person this first mile. I walked/ran the second mile..the second mile was all pretty much a straight line. You could actually see the aid station from pretty far away. I could see 10 or so runners way out in front of me..all of them walking. So this made me feel a little better. When I got to the aid station, the couple from the night before was there cheering me on! They said I looked great and was making good time to finish before cutoff. I grabbed some oranges, heed, and water and got back to the trails. The next 4 miles were all walk 5 mins, run 5mins.

I finally got back to the start/finish. At this point I really could not imagine going another 6 miles..it just didn’t seem possible. My feet were numb, my calves felt like they had just ripped off of my bones, my shoulders felt like jello from carrying water bottles all day. I filled up my water bottles, grabbed some gummy bears, gave the family hugs, then hit the trails. I was determined to not let myself even think quitting was an option. I had already run 43.7 miles, what’s another 6..even if I had to walk. Well, that’s what I did. I walked the ENTIRE last lap. I literally did not have anything left to run. But I was doing more of a “power walk”, pumping arms and all. I was able to walk at about a 15min. pace. The entire loop I was crunching numbers in my head making sure I could finish before 12 hrs. I started the last lap at about 9:30 race time, so this gave me 2:30 hrs to go 10k. I just kept on walking. I did not let myself think about pain, instead I tried to focus on how big of an achievement this would be for me, on how hard I have worked to get to this point. I thought, “gosh, if I can do this..I can literally do anything I set my mind to.” This entire lap I did not see anyone besides the aid station crew, who was starting to take down the aid station.

I finally got the 2 mile left point, then the 1 mile left point. I tried to wobble/run a little. Then I finally got a glimpse of the finish line. I literally felt like crying, I had so many emotions going through my head at this point. I ran the last 100yrds or so! There were probably 20-30 people at the finish line at this point and they were all cheering my name!

My official finish time is 11:06:26. I got 47th out of 79. There were 160 people signed up for the 50 miler, and only 79 finishers!

Loop 1: 2:18:12 (12.5 miles)

Loop 2: 2:38:48 (25 miles)

Loop 3: 3:00:10 (37.5 miles)

Loop 4: 1:31:06 (43.7 miles)

Loop 5: 1:38:09 (50 miles)

These are the only photos I have at the moment:



Thanks to the planners and volunteers for putting on an excellent run! The aid stations were awesome, trail well-marked and red beans/rice was a perfect ending! Looking forward to next year!  Tim Crotwell


MS50 Race Recap! 20K Version. - Lindsey Holcombe Nieves

So. From my bajillion Facebook posts over the past few days, I'm sure you have gathered that my brother and I ran some kind of insane trail race this past weekend. That is a fact jack. I have officially been inducted into the trail racing family (most definitely not the trail racing hall of fame). It all started a few months back when several Resolute Running team members began chattering about signing up for the Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi 50 Trail Race in Laurel, Mississippi. I, being extremely susceptible to peer pressure, thought this would be a good mid-winter goal race to keep me training. And, bonus, my brother decided he wanted to sign up for the 50K to have a winter goal as well. I was super excited to have a fun adventure with my brother. Life is busy for both of us and it is rare that we do anything with just the two of us.

If I'm being perfectly honest, my training has definitely suffered this winter. I haven't been a total waste of space but I haven't been very consistent either. Typically having a race on my calendar keeps me pretty honest but something about the cold days, erratic weather and business around selling our house just had me super overwhelmed about getting things in. Actually overwhelmed is putting it nicely - I have downright hated running many a day this winter. (Or every day). But I digress.

Months turned to weeks, weeks turned to days and days turned to hours until race time. I sent a semi-panicky e-mail to Coach Alex early in the week confessing that I wasn't sure if I was ready and he assured me that it was only 12.5 miles and to just have some fun and not worry too much about the rest. After all, this race self advertises to be a "relatively easy course and a good first 20K/50K/50 miler with a course featuring soft dirt trails and pine needle paths" (straight from the horses mouth).

Friday rolled around and my crazy brother had been in DC for work and was flying back to ATL to drive to me in Birmingham and then we left together for Laurel, MS. I really don't even know how he did all of that in one day - I assured him he was bonkers about 700 times on the 2.5 hour drive. We stopped in Meridian at some super random pizza place he Yelped that was part of a Subway?? I was a little suspect at first, but the pizza was literally hand-tossed and, I thought, super delicious. We ate way too much as we laughed about where we were and what we were doing. We finally arrived at the hotel and promptly crashed with our alarms set for 4am to pick up some RR teammates to head for the forest bright and early. I, not surprisingly, barely slept. Curse of the race day nerves. I can't do it. I always toss and turn all night. Sigh.

The very dark, early morning drive out into the middle of the Desoto National Forest was a bit unnerving. There is nothing - and I mean nothing - out there. Except probably bears. And werewolves. Against all odds, we actually did successfully find the start, manage to park in the woods without hitting a tree and get all checked in. The 50K and 50 milers went off at 6am so I had two hours to kill until the 20K went off at 8am. I stood at the start and sent CWH off with a hug and a wave and then went back to the car to hang out. And by hang out I mean eat a Cliff bar and chug a Red Bull. Oh, and take picture of the very beautiful empty forest at first light.

Around 7:45 I ambled over to the start line where I met up with the other RR ladies who were running the 20K with me. Here is where the obligatory "We're so tough, we run trails" photo was taken.

Around this time some of the 50K and 50 mile runners were making their first loop and we noticed a disturbing trend: muddy shoes. And by muddy shoes I mean mud up to their knees. And I, in my infinite naivety, still thought "I'm sure most of that is avoidable." Ha. I decided not to take a change of socks - mostly because I couldn't figure out where to put them. It wouldn't have mattered.

Mile 1 was great - and fast for me - under 12 minutes. Around mile 2 I started to realize that, yes, there really is going to be mud. Lots of mud. I began by following the runners who were tip toeing their way around the worst parts but there was a traffic jam at every mud pit and it became tiresome and time consuming. It became evident that this was not going to work and so I said screw it and tried to make a pass and go straight through the mud. Except my shoe got sucked off. Sucked OFF people. Like shoeless in a pit of mud. Helpless. For a few frightening moments I wondered if I could even find my shoe again. Thankfully, I dug it out. I liken it to this memorable scene from The Neverending Story.

If you don't believe me about the mud, here is a picture of Carrie on the course (I can't believe I didn't take photos of this stuff!) Carrie looks thrilled, no?

This pic makes me laugh out loud every. time.

Aside from the mud pits there were also creek crossings. Yes, I said creek crossings. The deepest was maybe knee high and I got to where I kind of enjoyed those. At least my shoes got washed off and I got cooled off every now and then. Most of the course looked like this though. It's not that I minded getting dirty, I just was sorely unprepared to expend so much energy slogging through this stuff. Were people actually running through that? I guess so. After the first shoe incident though I was much more wary of trying to run through the unknown. I did my best to expeditiously navigate but basically it just really slowed me down and I tried to make up some time where I could on the service roads and "nice" trail.

Despite the challenges and my less than stellar winter training, I didn't really have many problems until mile 9. I just died. The gel didn't take. I was thirsty and accidentally grabbed HEED instead of water at the turnaround aid station. I can't say it was the HEED for sure, but about halfway through the out and back portion of the race my stomach had some pretty severe cramps and even when I was walking I just could not get a very good breath. Some days you got it and some days you don't I guess!

I can absolutely say that my favorite part of this race was sharing the course with some AMAZING runners. Everyone was so encouraging. Several RR people passed me on their 50K or 50 mile loops and really helped me along with their smiles and kind words. I can't even wrap my brain around running that course 2 or 3 times (!!!) like they were all doing. AH-Mazing people.

My least favorite part was never seeing my brother out on the course. I thought for sure he would loop me but he never did! He finished in the top 10. TOP 10. His first 50K - 32 miles in the mud and he absolutely KILLED it. But he did confess that it was the hardest thing he's ever done - Ironman included. That should give you some indication of the effort required to complete this race.

I was super happy to just finish. I'll just say that for my first trail run I was very proud. I know I could do it faster next time. I ended up finishing in 3:12ish. Considering that my half marathon PR is 2:45 I feel like I put forth a worthy effort for sure. It was all worth it for this.

I know I should wrap this up, but it's my blog and I'll say what I want to. I must add that I am continually shocked at what I am capable of doing. And not just this race. After my Las Vegas half marathon, I was so poorly trained that I could not walk for days. I have already, this week, put in a 4 mile recovery run and a 5 miler - with relative ease. It should also be noted that I have PR'd a half marathon, PR'd a 10K, run my first 15K and my first 20K all in the past 5 months. So while, yes, I have hated running at times, I'm so glad I have these moments to look back on. I sincerely could not have done it without the inspiration and training of Coach Alex and the great people of Resolute Running.

I encourage you all to step outside of your comfort zone, push past the moments of self-doubt, set aside the excuses we all have, and Just Do It (in the words of Nike)! Go out and do something you never thought you would, or could, and I promise you - that even if you fail - you will have made a great memory and learned how strong you really are.

Just want to congratulate everyone who showed up and put up some miles yesterday. Ultrasteps, baby! Admittedly, I may have had too good of a time at the aid station. Never hit a wall and wasn't sore when I woke up this morning:)  Albert Marshall

Congratulations to all the runners! You were incredibly inspiring yesterday! I took some pictures and hope I got at least one of everyone. I wish I'd been able to stay longer and do more photography but was not able to. I've posted these with a Creative Commons license, which I believe means that you can use the photos for anything you want but can't claim them as your own. Carolyn Stein

The Mississippi 50 Mile Trail Race
Posted on March 3, 2014 by pat thomasson

It’s a lot easier to quit a 50 mile race when you have to run by your car four times during the race. Torture really, that builds with each passing. At the 2014 Mississippi 50 Trail Run, the course consisted of three 12.5 mile loops and two 6.1 mile loops (just shy of 50 miles). This race also includes a 20k and 50k race options and they also allow you to drop down or move up in distance during the race. For 50 milers, you have to decide after that second loop whether or not to start the third 12.5 mile loop or take the turn at the 6.1 mile loop and finish at 50k. If you start the third loop your options are: (1) did not finish (dnf) or (2) get a belt buckle at the finish line. Things had not gone well for me on the second 12.5 mile loop. I was feeling too fatigued for the 10 minute mile pace I had been averaging. It was boggy in low spots and creek crossings and at one point I slipped and nearly ran straight in to a tree. In the acrobatics to avoid the tree I felt my calf muscles complain crampily about the awkward, jerky movement. For the last couple of miles of that second loop I had periodically thought about my car and how it meant a quicker end to the discomfort in my legs. Just drop down to 50k, and be done in an hour. The other option; start the third loop and run another 25 miles in what I thought would take five more hours. I would have to make a decision soon.

Training for my first 50 mile trail race included running The Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, MS in January seven weeks prior. The Blues was followed by the Mississippi River Marathon from Arkansas to Greenville, MS just three weeks prior. I’m a newbie at ultras though. I ran a 50k last year but that’s it for ultras. I’ve also read Scott Jurek’s Eat and Run and Running Through the Wall by Neil Jamison, so I did have quite a bit of head knowledge. Over the last couple of months I have had some tendinitis in my right foot/ankle, or “fankle” as I call it. It had limited my running in recent weeks but I ran my last marathon three weeks prior in 3:26 (7:53 pace) so a 10:00 minute mile pace seemed safe. Not sure I could have been more ready except for maybe getting in a long slow run of up to 35 miles. With the marathons so close together and fankle issues it was not to be.

The pre-race dinner and packet pickup was in Laurel, MS the night before the race. I arrived only about 15 minutes after the scheduled start and almost everyone had already gone through the buffet line and was seated. It was cold outside with temps in the 40?s and it felt like there was no heat on in the building. Brrr. It’s a bare bones event; check in, pick up your packet, get your food and listen to announcements. They had pasta with your choice of meat or veggie sauce, salad, bread, cookies and brownies. I have the world’s least discriminating pallet so you should never take taste recommendations from me, but the spaghetti reminded me of my Mom’s and the brownies had chunks of chocolate in them so the food was fine in my book and there was plenty of it. The sound system was inadequate so you could not really hear the announcements and awards given to those who had run a lot of Mississippi 50 Mile races. By the time I was done eating I was uncomfortably cold so I chatted for a couple of minutes with someone I knew and headed back to the hotel to get some rest.

Sleep was hard to come by as it always seems to be for me the night before a long race. From my hotel in Laurel, it was a thirty minute drive to the race start in De Soto National Forest so I had to be up early to get there for the scheduled 6AM start. I was up at 3:45AM, about a half hour earlier than planned. Meh, sleep issues. I left the hotel about 5:00AM and arrived uneventfully at the start/finish about 5:35AM. This was the first time I have started a race this early in the morning and in the woods, so it was a different experience seeing people walking around with headlamps, folding up tents and just running through pre-race routines. After checking in at the race tent I joined the others at the start and just tried to remain calm. The temps were moving up already from the previous night and I was almost comfortable in a tank top which I took as a bad sign. The forecast high was 70F. I knew I would need to be liberal with the fluids but the 10 minute pace still seemed appropriate.

The race started about 5 minutes after the hour and the field stretched out quickly with the fast 50 milers and the 50k runners moving out at a quicker pace. The 20k start would not happen until 8AM, but parking was pretty crowded at 5:30AM. I wonder where all those 20k’ers parked? The course is a mix of forest service roads and single track horse trails. It’s hilly as you can see in the elevation profile I made from my Garmin data.

Elevation Profile – 2014 Mississippi 50 Mile Trail Run

The hills were not all that steep, but they were long with miles 7 to 9 being mostly a steady uphill grind that was difficult on the second 12.5 mile loop and excruciating on the third. There were a half dozen creeks to cross and many boggy spots that were wet and muddy. My feet were soaked within a couple of miles of the start and stayed that way all day. Wet feet does not bother me but I don’t particularly care for the mud. In some flat sections the mud was pock marked by horse hooves and made for tricky footing.

As I mentioned the 20k started at 8AM. I ran the first 12.5 miles in a little over 2 hours which put me back at the start not long after the 20k’ers started. This seemed like a nuisance to me at the time because the course was a little congested when it narrowed to single track and some of the slower runners were not yielding. This was completely uncalled for on my part because I was not competing to win. I probably could have conserved some energy and run with some of the slower 20k groups for a bit instead of feeling anxious. Lesson learned.

The aid stations stocked heed, water, endurolyte pills, gels and a generous assortment of salty snack foods, PB&J, candy, bananas and oranges. The longest gap between aid stations was 4.4 miles and that was the first one after the start/finish on the long loop. I was worried about cramping at this distance and in the heat so I ate and drank well throughout the day. I have a stomach that can take anything and I literally tried everything on the table at least once during the day. I know the experts say you are not supposed to do that, but I don’t have to worry about eating something that will upset my stomach and I wanted to keep putting calories in. At the end of the day my Garmin said I burned over 5000 calories, so eating was something I had to focus on. There was one funny moment when an aid worker handed me a cup of “water” that turned out to be Sprite. He was so sorry when I just about gagged from surprise when I was expecting cold water and got sugary fizz. I told him it was no big deal. I like Sprite anyway. There was one aid station that had a couple of younger kids working there that I found a little off putting. They were cute and bless them for spending the day in the woods helping complete strangers, but they are kids and they need more supervision than was provided. I think adult volunteers should have been more responsible for that aid station.

After 25 miles it was hard for me to imagine running another 25 miles. But I had come to this race for one reason, to run 50 miles. I also felt like my family, friends and coworkers were expecting me to finish. It’s not that I see myself as anything special or an inspiration to others. I just did not want to see the surprised expressions and have to relive telling the story of why I couldn’t make it. After a brief stop at the aid station, I set off for my third loop. There are not many spectators there, but the ones that are seemed to be paying attention. As I ran past some would yell out encouragement and some would even say, “Third loop? You’re gonna run 50!” That was fun.

I ran most of the last 25 miles alone, occasionally I would find myself with someone else and we would talk for a bit, but conversation grew increasingly difficult and I grew more terse and mean spirited. Some people passed me. I passed some others. It is just so hard to push yourself when the fatigue sets in so deep. There was a constant dull pain in my hamstrings and anything that caused my right ankle to roll slightly in or out caused sharp pains from my “fankle” tendinitis. On a trail like this there was a lot of ankle rolling.

After 43 miles I had one more chance to just call it a day as I rolled in to the aid station. The race director, Dennis Bisnette, was meeting every runner and asking them how they felt and whether or not they were going to keep going. I had been running for 9 hours, nearly 4 hours longer than I had ever run before and I was spent. I knew I had 3 hours before the time cut off and only 6.1 miles to go. At about 30 minutes per mile I could stroll the rest of the way and make the cut off. The last 6 miles I had averaged about a 16 minute pace when you throw in uphill walking and stopping at aid stations. I told Dennis I was hurting but I could keep on. I was going to finish.

As the last lap wore on I began visualizing crossing the finish line, being done and making the pain stop. Three more people passed me on that loop which I’m not happy about but there was nothing I could do. On this course, there is a point close to the end where you make a turn and the two loops join together. From there it’s only a half mile to the finish. I hit that point and before long I could hear people cheering at the finish line as those in front of me finished. Their cheering urged me on and I started checking off the mental cues of things I had passed five times already knowing each point was nearing the destination. I saw the clock and the finishing tent through the pine trees first and moments later I was crossing the line, stepping on the timing mat and stopping. I just stood there as people were cheering and complimenting me. Someone to my right called me over to a table where I got the belt buckle in the photo at the top of this post and a seat saver seat cover.

A local restaurant had been at the race serving red beans and rice, but unfortunately by the time I finished they were long gone. Bummer. I got a couple of cups of water and the hand towels I had brought and scrubbed my feet and the dried mud off my legs. I did this as I sat by my car and watched others finish the race; my car which had been haunting me throughout the day. After slipping my jeans on over my shorts and changing shirts I got in the car and started the two hour drive home but not without stopping in Laurel for a burger and two Red Bulls for the drive.

Overall, with only a few minor exceptions, this is a great race, one that does the state of Mississippi and ultra runners proud. It is organized, the volunteers are friendly and well prepared and the course is in great shape. I’ve learned a new respect for those who can run this distance and beyond. Not sure what distance the future holds for me, but this experience will make whatever I do in running better.

Bears do it in the woods. Even when it's too cold, or too hot.

Hope everyone had a great pre-race supper and race day. Sorry to say, Running Bear did not get to go to either this year. Dennis did not let me come to anything. RB was almost half way through rehab and promised to be good, but Mr. D.A. wouldn’t take a chance.

Once again we had a great group of runners, plus Rich Limacher come to our run. We had a record crowd despite a lot of late withdrawals. Over 400 registered, and 311 finished.

Many, many thanks to everyone who registered, ran, watched, or commented on the race. Trail runners have to be the nicest people on the planet. And MS50 trail runners are the best of all. Hope to see you all again next year.