|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. 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, which made getting to the start
interesting. Sunrise was at 6:13 so the course was easy to run without lights. The course was almost dry and there were
some 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 course records. 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. Joel Sather from Montana, a forest ranger on temporary duty
in Mississippi's Desoto National Forest, took the early lead and ran
a 1:40 pace for 3 laps of the 50 miler, well ahead of the fastest of
the 50K runners. But even he felt the heat on his final lap, taking
over two hours and finishing with a time of 7:02:22, 10th place on
the all time fastest list.
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.
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 runners came from 32 states, Mexico, and Guatemala to run in the MS50 this year. 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 mid-afternoon temperatures in the mid 70's.
Jeff Troyka of Laurel MS participated in his tenth MS50, and was presented with a special 10 year award trophy at the pre-race supper. That makes a total of 6 persons who have attended at least 10 of the 11 times the race has been held in Laurel.
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. Thanks to everyone who came and hope to see you next year.