Grossman captures 50 Mile Run
By Don Hill, Sports writer, Laurel Leader Call
Eric Grossman of Louisville, Ky., wasn't at his best, but it
was good enough to win the ninth annual Carl Touchstone
Mississippi Trail 50 Saturday in the Desoto National Forest
"I didn't feel good the whole time," said the
35-year-old Grossman. "I've been sick, but it didn't hit me
until that last lap."
Other "ultra" runners probably didn't want to see
him on his best day, as his first-place finish time of 6:39.21
was almost one hour ahead of second-place finisher DeWayne
Satterfield of Huntsville, Ala.
This year's preamble to the race was a good rainstorm in the
early hours of the morning, which, running in mud, has been some
what of a tradition at the race.
"When I got up at 1:30 this morning," said race
director Steve DeReamer, "it was pouring up to about 5
o'clock, then it let up. It dumped a lot of water on the
Runners had to cross five different creeks on the Long Leaf
Horse Trail in the DeSoto National Forest, which is south of
Laurel. The first creek, the West Tiger Creek, had runners
crossing the water up to chest high. Later after the rains, the
sun came out and treated the runners to Mississippi's high
"The course had a good variety of terrain," said
Grossman, who has been running in 'ultras' for only a year.
"It had water, plenty of mud, roots, log roads, creeks and
sun. Plus it had more heat than I'm used to."
Satterfield, who has run in every Touchstone 50 mile run,
said he is not a good hot weather runner. Temperatures rose to
the mid 70s, but the humidity was high after the sun came out on
the rain-soaked ground.
"I had to stop and sit down in the creek," said the
three-time winner from Huntsville Ala. "I was just sick on
the last loop. I just knew my legs were going. I had to do the
'ultra shuffle' and just get one foot in front of the
The run also had two other races, 50 kilometer and 20
kilometer runs, and in all, a record number of 151 runners
participated, according to DeReamer.
Matt Wilson of Georgia won with the 50k men's race with a
time of 4:05.19.
"It was a good run. I was about 10 minutes faster than
my time from last year," said Wilson, who is a Sgt. 1st
Class with the U.S. Army Rangers out of Ft. Benning, Ga.
"This is my second time to run this race. I had a great
time. It was muddy, but that adds to the ambiance of it. You
don't remember the easy ones."
Laura Clark-Taylor, from Madison Wisconsin, came with her
husband, Gene Taylor, who is trying to run an ultra in every
state. He has now ran in 27 states. But much to Taylor's
surprise, she past her husband and was the women's winner of the
50K with a time of 5:20.55.
In the 20K, Alan Gerstle won the men's division with a
1:27.59, and Christie Barber of Crystal Springs took the women's
run with a time of 1:59.52.