|The 9th annual Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50
(MS50 for short) was held March 6, 2004 on the Longleaf Horse Trail at
the De Soto National Forest. For the second consecutive year we had an
all time record crowd , with 150 runners signed up to participate, up
slightly from 146 the previous year. The weather cooperated
somewhat the week of the race, with no appreciable rain all week. Until
race day, that is. From 1:30 to 3:30 am on race day it poured. This
resulted in a course condition in which, as one runner described it
"the mud was not as bad as last year, but the creeks were
deeper" (waist deep on short folks). 139 entrants finished, but
nine 50 milers switched down to the 50K, and several 50k folks dropped
The temperature was in the high 50's at the start, and stayed comfortable for several hours, then rapidly climbed to near 80°, causing some folks to have heat related problems, but nothing serious.
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 were awarded to the top 3 males and females in each event, and finisher mementos of Tyvek jackets were awarded to each finisher. The 50 milers also got a handsome belt buckle. A full course chicken dinner was cooked on-site this year, so everyone had a hot meal to help everyone recover from their exertions.
Eric Grossman, Dewayne Satterfield, and Matt Wilson (who was running the 50K) ran together the first several laps, but then Eric started to widen his lead on Dewayne, and won the 50 miler, while Matt pealed off to the short loop and won the 50K. Dewayne was second in the 50M, and Greg Gearhart from Jackson MS was third. (Look at another of Matt's 2004 runs)
Only 4 women ran the 50 miler this year, with Sally Brookings from Atlanta winning in 8:57, Kristen Schnacke from Tennessee finishing second in 9:02, and Barb Dutrow from Louisiana third in 9:29. Raz Estridge from Laurel completed her first ever 50 miler, and was 4th in 12:14.
The runs were sponsored by our major sponsor - the South Central Regional Medical Center, Horne CPA, Jeffrey LeBlanc Orthodontist, artist LaDonna Stroud Walters, Audubon Family Dental Care, Scott Martin DMD, Family Dental Center Of Laurel PA, Buffalo Peak Outfitters, Fleet Feet Sports, Brooke Touchstone, Touchstone Dental Care, Dodd's Family Grocery, These sponsors make the race possible. Many thanks to them for all they do to promote healthy life styles and recreational events in south Mississippi.
This event draws quite a few people to Laurel for the two days. 150 runners came from 18 states to run in the MS50 this year. Most of them brought at least one spectator along to cheer and/or crew for them. The runner who came the furthest was from CA. Several were from WI, CT, MN, PA and other cold weather states, looking for a change in weather. Several entrants were in their 70's, and one runner, Jimmy Moore from Crystal Springs, MS was 82.
4 persons who attended have run in the MS50 all 9 years. Three persons have run 8 times, four persons have run 7 times, and altogether forty-two persons have run 4 or more times (see more statistics and records). Steve DeReamer has never gotten to run the MS50, as he has been Race Director for every race.
Congratulations to Race Director Steve DeReamer, Marsha DeReamer, Susan Brosette, Marvin Overstreet, Shannon Holder, Steve Burgess, Bill McMullan, Ann Poole, Jeff Troyka, Wyck Neely, Brenda Wade, and to all the many course and aid station workers for putting on another fine Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi 50 Trail Run.
As usual, Running Bear never worked up a sweat or did anything very useful. If anyone spots errors in the write-up or results, it's his fault. Please let us know and we will make the appropriate threats till he corrects them.
Once again we had a slight problem with some runners trying to get extra miles without paying anything extra, including about ten 20K runners who missed the first turn and started on the small loop! Most shortly realized their error and doubled back, but the leader of this group completed the short loop, and was first to the finish line, but was promptly booted out to run the short loop again. And one runner who is in the process of running an ultra in all 50 states, and who dropped from the 50 Miler to the 50 K (because he missed the 9 hour cut-off to start the 4th loop), insisted on running the short loop (thus running over 43 miles for the price of 31) in order to become an official 50K finisher.
Read a poem written by, and illustrating the unforgettable spirit of Laurel's Carl Touchstone, and of many persons who participate in running and life.
If you recognize any of the unidentified runners in the pictures, please let us know. See pictures taken: Prerace registration and supper, Start/Finish Line, Aid Station #2, Aid Station 201, More Aid Station 201, Awards. See complete race results. A note of appreciation from 9 year Race Director Steve DeReamer to all the runners, race workers, and 2004 sponsors.