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Glenn Dell Kasper

Mississippi 50 Trail Run
Mississippi 50 miler race report!

Initially I looked at the Lovin' the Hills 50k in Louisville in early February but after several trail runs I knew I was not quite ready. The Mississippi 50 in March was another option but I was late to sign up and missed getting a slot. A facebook message from one of the runners that could not make it offered her slot first come first serve. I responded and sent an email to the race director and it was was denied because she had already been refunded her money and her slot given out. Two days before the race the race director sent me an email and said I could run but would not get a t-shirt. I jumped on it...after numerous phone calls with the wife of course! She seemed okay with me spending my Saturday attempting to regain my childhood.

Finding the race start was challenging in the in the dark down dusty dirt roads to Desoto National Forest. The sun had not come up yet as the race website had predicted for a 6 am start. The race began with the usual chit chat among runners, all with steamy breath from the crisp below freezing temperature. I did not seen Henry Cubera, a trail running buddy that I run with in Louisvile, KY who inspired me to sign up at the the last minute.

There were about 150 fifty miler participants the rest were 50k runners. The 20k folks had a gentlemanly...or lady like?... start of 8 am, so they were not there yet. I was pumped to be hanging out with some awesome trail runners. I knew I was not gonna come even close to keeping up with them. At this point I was just looking to finish the race, as I have never gone further than 26 miles...and this was on a road without obstacles. Jason Hynd an old jet pilot buddy of mine had given me some advice on fueling and ...well... smiling. He said when you get to that spot where every muscle and bone in your body has turned to jello try to smile. I did not believe it would work but hey, I am new at this sport. Someone asked me before the race how you run 50 miles...I told him ... well you run as far as you can ... then you run 42 more miles!

A quick shot of adrenalin that normally happens minutes before a race helped warm me up on that cold dark 28 degree morning. I was not sure where to place myself in at the start line so I went to the very back. I quickly realized that I had placed my self way too far back. I have yet to program out that "mile run" sprint from the start line that I learned in high school so I went with it and passed about half the crowd by mile three.

The first three miles were flat double track and easy as the first light of the sun lit the trail. Down a small hill was the first creek crossing and the experienced runners just went straight through getting wet up to their mid calf. Me I was way too cold for that so I found a much dryer route that cost me a minute or two. After that there were numerous mud holes on a double track horse path. The next creek crossing at about mile 5 was harder and my right shoe got wet. My right foot quickly became numb from the cold. I toughed it out through a lot of single track and dual track with many mud holes. There was a lot of techy stuff to cross the remaining mud holes and creeks only because I was trying to stay dry. Some guys just ran right through knee deep water. It was way too cold for me to do that. I finally accepted my fate to a wet foot run and I pressed through but the numb right foot was much of a concern.

I saw Henry at the 1.6 up an back turnaround point...he was about 2 miles ahead of me at that point. At mile fifteen I caught up to Doris, a 68 year old quadruple bypass survivor that I had met at the carb dinner the night before. She was running the 20k that started two hours later. I had gotten behind on fueling and I ran with her for a good three miles. We talked about her surgery and her grandchildren...only because I was pretty much out of steam...and I was having serious doubts about this whole fifty mile thing. She told me her doctor pretty much told her that he thought if she ever stopped running she would die...so having been a runner all her life there she is...absolutely inspiring! After i told her that I was running my first 50 miler she said she could remember those days. I told her I wanted to remember them also. I did two honey stingers running with her...trying to stay on the diet plan...and ten minutes later I crunched through 5 miles in about a 9:30 pace.

Sticking as close to the Jason Hynd, (he came in third at the Cascade Crest 100 mile ultra last year) ...uh...scientifically, systematically trail tested and approved ultra run diet plan as I could...I found myself at the 25 mile point in 4:37...certainly on track for an under 10 hour run...however the numb foot was going to keep me from my goal of finishing the race. A good 10 minutes was used changing shoes and socks and a much needed bathroom break...and a change of a dry undershirt. I felt like a new man! I ran the next 5 miles in about a 10:30 pace. This time I spent more time keeping my feet dry and it definitely cost me time but it was well worth it to have dry feet. As my foot became unnumb it began to hurt so I spent 5 minutes sitting and warming it in my hands. A couple of guys stopped to make sure I was okay...one even offered his armpit to warm up my foot...I almost took him up on it! It was here that I realized that I had forgotten my water bottle and I began to get dehydrated. With only two aid stations left...well three because you pass one twice... I pounded 4 cups of water at each....and started feeling much better.

I caught a root at mile 37 and down I went. What were those out of control flight procedures for for the A-4...who was the guy who pushed me into the pool after my first solo flight...what was that little blond headed gal in third grade that I liked so much...wow the wind feels good blowing over my face...hey wait I can't lay here I have to finish this race! I had banged my knee on another root when I hit the ground. I had ripped my cool running pants but overall I was okay and luckily nobody saw me. This was the loneliest part of the race as I was on a good pace and I did not see anyone for almost 5 miles.

I finished my third twelve mile loop in 7:41, plenty of time under the cutoff to make the next six miles and the last cutoff time. Passing through the timer the race director asked me if I was done or did I have more. Remembering Jason Hynd's words I smiled as big as I could and thought "what 50k" and said "I've got more!" Another shoe change and a long sleeve undershirt change and I was on the way. I opted for the long sleeve because the wind began to howl at about 20 knots...and I was getting a little hypothermic from all the sweat on me. One runner had told me that the six mile loop was a lot dryer than the 13 mile loop...well he was wrong...It was just as bad or worse.

Three hours for two 6 mile loops partly because I failed my diet plan as I could not hardly tolerate anything but the honey stingers, gue was out of the question and the hammer gel was a little better. I ate some doritos and PBnJs at the only aid station on the small loop. There was a girl there with her parents ...they were extremely nice...on the second loop I asked her what what her name was and she was way too shy to answer so I said "I know...your name is Sarah"! and ya know ... I was right! The parents could not believe I had guessed her name! I told them that she looked like a Sarah.

I walked and ran the last four miles and I got passed by about 12 runners...but I had nothing left. I had used it all up and it felt great! What an awesome run!

Oh yea...I finished 41 of 80 finishers and my time was 10:45:46. I was only an hour behind Henry Cubera...an ultra runner with 4 ultras and numerous marathons under his belt.

What a blast...may have to do it again next year! This is the very best and well organized race I have run so far!

Rock/Creek runner John Brower takes third place at the Mississippi 50 Mile

I love mud… and cold… and loops… and bogs… and I love Mississippi trail running! It was my pleasure to once again entertain myself for a few hours with the madness that is the Mississippi 50.

I have run this race several times, and only once has there not been mud… that type of mud that sucks your shoes off. This year was considered to be a “dry” year, but all that meant was that the mud was extra-tacky… the kind of mud that, after a few thousand feet have gone through it, turns into a bog, where shoes stay and feet go.

In fact, one guy did lose his shoe in one of the mudpits; he reached in and literally couldn’t find it, and was left with one shoe!

Despite all this mud, I do love this race, for its volunteers, and its race director, Dennis Bisnette. He and his crew do all they can to ensure that a good time is had by all. The course is well marked, and the aid is solid, including red beans and rice at the finish. And man, red beans and rice on a cold day is MONEY. The 50-mile course is set up as three 12.5ish mile loops, and two 6.2ish mile loops. The 50k race and the 20k race are run on the same loops, but with variations for their distances.

Following my breakfast of champions (Pop Tarts and Citrus Drop Extreme, which is off-brand Mountain Dew), I headed to the start line, and met up with some buddies. Following a few “good lucks” we were off into the morning twilight. It was cold, but usually as the day progresses, I tend to get warmer. However, given the cloud cover and the wind, I stayed pretty cold throughout the run.

I settled in to a pace with my buddy Ed Daly, who had just gotten back from a ski trip to Colorado. As we ran and chatted, I could tell that the fatigue of the past few high mileage weeks was working on me, and that I needed to back off the pace a bit for the rest of the time. There is an out-and-back section to the course, and as we came back on it, we were able to size up the competition for the day. I told Ed that today was his, and to take note of who he needed to get. We finished up loop one, and I let Ed go off to track down his destiny. I, on the other hand, focused on keeping a solid pace for the day, not sure where I would end up at the end, but knowing that I needed to run patiently… just another long run.

The next big loops were uneventful, other than the adventurous crossings of the by-now bogs. Man, that mud will make you tired after a while! I just focused on being comfortable and patient with myself. At the start of the first short loop (mile 37.5), I decided that I would give myself two hard miles, just to see if I saw either Ed or Eric Lee, who was now leading the race. I figured that although I was on tired legs, maybe the sight of them would inspire me… but after a good push, they were still nowhere in sight, so I settled back into my groove, and was content to do my thing to the end.
John Brower finishing
Coming to the clock for the final time, I felt great. Although my legs were tired for a good portion of the day, I didn’t give in to it, and maintained an even keel for the better of the last 37 miles. I finished the race in 7:39, good enough for 3rd place. Not too bad for a long run.

Congrats to my buddy Ed Daly, who stayed strong the whole time, and was unrelenting all the way to the finish, good enough for 2nd. Congrats to Eric Lee on the “W” also… great guy. If you haven’t heard of him, Google him; he finished up Nolan’s 14 last year. If you don’t know what Nolan’s 14 is, Google that, and then have your mind blown.

Up next is the Lake Martin 50 miler on March 23rd! VAMOS!!!!


I just wanted to thank you for the great race you put on this year. I look forward to doing it in 2014 and hopefully meeting my goal of finishing the 50 miler. Your aid stations were great, but I have to say the guys at the first aid station really rocked. They went out of their way to encourage the runners. I had some terrible nutrition issues and one of the guys at the first aid station was trying to help me find something that my stomach would accept. I look forward to next year!

Rebecca C. Stockman

Bears do it in the woods. Even when it's cold.Temps from 28-42 made it the coldest MS50 in years. But maybe not, there is no proof that Running Bear was actually at the race this year, although he claims to have worked the Friday registration.

The new chip system worked great and we had very few results corrections to make.

Once again we had a great group of runners, plus Rich Limacher come to our run. We had a record crowd despite a lot of late withdrawals. About 423 registered, and 290 finished.

Many, many thanks to everyone who registered, ran, watched, or commented on the race. Trail runners have to be the nicest people on the planet. And MS50 trail runners are the best of all. Hope to see you all again next year.