2007 Race Reports

Dennis' thoughts
(Race Director)
Laurel Leader Call (Local Newspaper) Article Dennis thanks
his crew
Pictures Article submitted to
Mississippi 50 Trail Run Pictures Laurel Leader Call Montana Article

The 11th Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 (MS50 for short) was held March 10, 2007 on the Longleaf Horse Trail at the De Soto National Forest. We had an all time record crowd , with 229 runners signed up to participate, up over 10% from the last race in 2005. (2006 was Katrina'd). The weather cooperated again, with no appreciable rain for several weeks before the race. Race day weather was good at the start, 54 and clear skies but with ground fog. Sunrise was at 6:13 so the course was very runnable without lights. The course was almost dry (except in a few low spots which we wont get into here) and there were quite a few fast times. But the temperature, after dipping to 52 at 7:00, quickly rose into the 70's, with a high of 75, probably precluding many attempts at course records, and causing a few folks to have heat related problems, but nothing too serious. A new record was set in the female division of the 20K, with Karen Trittschuh from Florida breaking the previous record of 1:42:48, with a time of 1:40:29. Mandy Conrad, who had set the old record, was second.

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 race medals were awarded to each finisher. The 50 milers also got a handsome belt buckle. Pizza of all possible kinds and drinks were served, so everyone had a meal to help them recover from their exertions.

The runs were sponsored by the South Central Regional Medical Center, Touchstone Dental Care of Hattiesburg, Bradley Touchstone of The DodStone Group, P.A., Brooke Touchstone, Wanda and Justin Touchstone, Susan and Bill McMullan, Horne CPA Group, Patagonia, Trail Runner Magazine, RoadID, e-Caps, Fleet Feet of Jackson, and Buffalo Peak outfitters of Jackson.  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. 229 runners came from 32 states, Mexico, and Guatemala to run in the MS50 this year. Most of them brought at least one spectator along to cheer and/or crew for them. The US runner who came the furthest was from Washington state. The majority were from MS, LA, GA, FL, and AL, but many were from WI, CT, WV, PA, CO and other cold weather states, looking for a change in weather. 25 runners were over 60, and 2 were over 70. The average age was 43. 70% were men.

This is a great event to try your first run at a longer distance, and 79 of the 229 entrants were doing just that, running their very first 20K, or 50K, or 50 mile event. But a record number of people decided mid race to switch to a shorter distance, probably due to the temperatures in the mid 70's. Inexplicably, 46 entrants did not make it to the starting line!

Jeff Troyka has attended the MS50 10 times, and was presented with a special 10 year award trophy at the pre-race supper. (see more statistics and records). That makes a total of 6 persons who have attended at least 10 of the 11 times the race has been held in Laurel.

The race has a maximum number of entrants that we can accommodate at the pre-race meal, as well as permit and parking considerations at the race site. It filled up in mid-January this year, so sign up early if you want to come next year.

Congratulations to Race Director Dennis Bisnette, his wife Renee, daughters Katie and Katelyn, and mother and father; Randy and Sandy Saxon; David Dill; Steve Burgess; Bill McMullan; Ian Bergin, his wife, mother and father; Jeff Troyka; Wyck Neely; Brenda Wade; Howard Thomson; Steve Ulery; Tony and Robert Mozingo; Ann Beardshall, 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 was never caught doing anything very useful. But if anyone spots errors in the write-up or results, it's his fault. Please let us know and we will try to focus him long enough to have them corrected. We will send the results to UltraRunner after everyone has had a chance to catch errors.

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.