|Among the record number of participants in this year's Carl Touchstone Memorial MS Trail 50 in Desoto National Forest was this group from Vicksburg. From left, Mack Varner, Francine Johnson, Lee Johnson and Terry Waller head to the finish line together in the 50K Run. Photo/Shawn Wansley
Dewayne Satterfield is quite familiar with the woods of Desoto National Forest.
After all, he has participated in all 10 Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 runs. On Saturday, he won the event for the fourth time, finishing the course in a time of 6:51.37.
"Believe it or not, this was my 500th mile on this course," he said while relaxing minutes after the race. "I've done all the 50 milers for 10 years, so that's the reason I wanted to go ahead and stick it out again this year."
Satterfield, a Huntsville, Ala., resident, also won the event in 1997, 2001 and 2002. Last year, he finished second to Eric Grossman.
He said low 70-degree temperatures had an effect on the race, which is held on the Longleaf Trail of the Chickasawhay Ranger District.
"It got a little warm, but it was not too bad," he said. "I ran with another guy, Peter Cotland, for the first two loops, which we hit in about three hours. I think he decided to drop back to the 50K after that.
"The heat really got to me on the last loop. I had a lead and kind of got home as best I could. But I'm happy with that time today, considering the heat.
Satterfield said the race conditions were fine, much better than some years when heavy rains have caused a slow pace.
"I thought the conditions, as far as the trail goes, were great," he said. "You could pretty much keep your feet dry the whole time. It was nothing like the flood year. The only thing about today, like I said, was it did get a little warm.
"But compared to other years, this is some of the best weather we've had."
A record number of runners participated in the race, which pleased first-year race director Dennis Bisnette.
"Everything went fine," he said. "It was a little hotter than we would have liked, but it was dry. That led to some really good times. As the day goes on, the heat gets to you and it makes it more difficult.
"But we had 205 entrants this year, which is a record by over 50 people for us. We had to move the date back one week, which, I think, really helped attendance a lot. We had three countries (Canada, England and South Africa) represented, in addition to 26 states. That's a load of people."
Coming in second for the men was Brian Robinson with a time of 7:21.40.
The women's 50 Mile winner was Ann Heaslett with a 7:33.07. Amanda Perron was second with a 9:58.32.
In the men's 50K, Ryan Melcher won with a time of 3:34.42, while Nicholas Clark was second with a 3:45.0 and Christopher Hallows was third with a 3:51.25. In the women's 50K, Dana Overton was first with a 5:30.54 with Donna Broussard second at 5:30.02 and Frances Johnson and Lee Johnson tied for third with a 5:41.43.
In the men's 20K, Dale Reichender was first with a 1:18.57, Alan Gerstle was second with a 1:21.34 and Curtis Swisher finished third with a 1:23.35. In the women's 20K, Mandy Conrad of Starkville was first with a 1:42.48, Jennifer Dick of Ontario was second with a 1:43.32 and Brandy Gamblin took third with a 1:45.32.
Satterfield won the Mountain Mist 50K in January in Huntsville. He is scheduled to run a 50K next week in Birmingham, Ala., and will run a 100-miler in October.
But he looks forward to returning to Mississippi next year.
"It's a great race," he said. "The aid stations are always so great. They have everything you need and the people are friendly. I come back every year, obviously."
In addition to running in his 10th MS Trail 50, Satterfield has reached another milestone. He turned 40 recently, but do not look for him to slow down any time soon.
"I just turned 40, but for ultra-runners that doesn't really matter," he said. "It's more of a strength thing, rather than it is speed. I'm pleased with the way things are going. It's fun still."
For more on the Carl Touchstone Memorial MS Trail 50, go to www.ms50.com