Geoffrey Baker makes his way across Doll Ridge on the Tuscarora Trail during the 2017 Elizabeth Furnace 50 km.

Diane Behm

2016 Report

March 12, 2016  •  Fort Valley, VA

70 starters, 54 finishers

The 2016 running of the Elizabeth’s Furnace Fat Ass 50km was held in nearly spring-like conditions on Saturday March 12. At the 7:02 AM start the temperature at the start line in the Signal Knob parking lot was in the mid 40’s, and it later climbed into the low 60’s. The course was dry and the water levels for the stream crossings were noticeably down this year. A large majority of the runners arrived at the first aid station at the end of the Mudhole Gap section of the course with dry feet. This, despite five stream crossings that generally cannot all be navigated without getting wet at this time of the year. The infamous ‘mini-Kerns Mountain” section that followed — the blue-blazed section up on Dolls Ridge — was also in much better shape than usual, with the leaf litter cleared to a large extent, and the trail much more defined and easier to follow (while still fairly rocky at times). After marking many key turns in the 2015 race, yet seeing a number of runners get off course in the latter, unmarked sections, race management decided to eschew all course markings, and to return to the essence of the EFA: allowing the runners to just follow the turn sheet and their maps, and depend on the blazes to make their way around the convoluted 50k course. The runners did their homework, brought their navigational aids, and with very few exceptions, did an excellent job staying on course this year! From comments after the race, this clearly was a well-earned source of pride equal to many a runners’ actual finishing time.

Matt Bugin came up from the Richmond area and led virtually from start to finish. His time of 5:17:49 is now the third fastest for this event, topped only by Brad Hinton’s 5:16:53 in 2013 and Dave Frazier’s amazing 4:59:32 in 2014. Matt had a 10 minute lead by the first aid station, a little over 10 miles into the race. Jack Kurisky and Danny Mowers were in second together through the two aid stations, but by the finish Jack pulled away to finish in second alone, just under 10 minutes behind Matt. Daniel and James Fogg passed Danny for third and fourth in the Sherman Gap section of the course, and Danny held on for fifth overall. James Fogg’s time was particularly impressive in that he planned to fuel up at the finish, and then set off for another 50k run, doing his own variation of the EFA course, in order to get a longer training day under his belt (and on his feet).

The women’s race was led early by Angela Russell. Sadly for Angela, she would go away from the race with one of the signature finishers Girl Scout cookie boxes, but it was for Best Blood rather than for what was shaping up to be her third EFA 50k win in a row. Emily Clay had a very steady day and ultimately it paid off, as she took the win on the women’s side of the field in a time of 7:02. This time ties her with Michele Harmon for the fifth fastest in event history. Michele still owns the race record of 6:23:05, set back in 2008. Diana Widdowson made the run look easy while locking up second in 7:46, and Carrie Anderson took third in 8:40. The best blood award winner on the men’s side was a very determined Art Perraud. John Wirth gave Art a run for this award, badly spraining his ankle early in the race while descending the Big Blue trail from Meneka Peak. But Arts display of copious amounts of blood sway the jury to present him with the Girl Scout cookies over Johns swollen ankle.

As with any of these events, tremendous volunteer response makes this race a joy to direct. Thanks to all who came out to support their fellow runners on race day! Thanks also to the VHTRC for sponsoring the event, and in particular for funding the post-race feed in the Signal Knob parking lot. See you all back in the upper Massanutten Mountains next March for the 2017 running of the Elizabeths Furnace Fat Ass 50k!

Results

PlaceNameAgeSexStateA.S. 1A.S. 2FinishComment
1Matthew Bugin34MVA1:303:265:17:491st Overall
2Jack Kurisky48MVA1:403:455:27:262nd Overall
3Daniel Fogg31MDC1:413:485:33:233rd Overall
4James Fogg38MMD1:413:485:34:534th Overall
5Daniel Mowers38MPA1:403:455:45:005th Overall
6Greg Zaruba49MMD1:524:036:01:00 
7Jeffrey Garstecki47MMD1:443:566:14:00 
8John Cassilly49MVA1:554:136:15:00 
9Erik Price32MVA1:564:116:18:00 
10Keith Knipling40MVA1:524:176:31:00 
11Kevin Walker36MVA2:044:316:42:00 
12Andy Peterson59MVA2:104:517:01:00 
13Emily Clay26FMD2:154:517:02:001st Female
13Gavin Watson55MMD2:034:357:02:00 
15Brian Carr40MVA2:154:517:06:00 
16Richard Bennett35MVA2:114:537:07:00 
16Steve Barge49MVA2:134:537:07:00 
16Jesse Fuller32MVA2:144:537:07:00 
16Dan Rogers40MMD2:144:537:07:00 
20Scott Lee45MVA2:095:017:20:00 
21Mike Hannon51MMD2:415:187:25:00 
22Bob Fargo56MPA2:255:237:39:00 
23Alvin Lee41MMD2:145:087:40:00 
24Dan Aghdam47MVA2:145:137:42:00 
25Devin Blythe38MVA2:034:487:44:00 
26Diana Widdowson49FPA2:175:107:46:002nd Female
26Rob Tidwell45MVA2:145:107:46:00 
26Doug Massengale40MMD2:135:127:46:00 
26Paul Crickard61MMD2:145:127:46:00 
30Art Perraud58MMD2:195:147:48:00 
31Jeff Pence57MVA2:375:378:23:00 
32Bryan Slotterbach42MPA2:285:358:26:00 
33Irawan Balcet39MVA2:375:438:28:00 
33Fred Fialco42MMD2:375:438:28:00 
35Gary Maier63MNY2:355:428:35:00 
36Carrie Anderson33FMD2:415:538:40:003rd Female
36Larry Tumblin47MVA2:285:378:40:00 
38Dani Seiss45FMD2:305:528:41:004th Female
39Geoffrey Baker57MMD2:285:499:00:00 
40Paul Sherlock59MVA2:376:129:07:00 
41Tony Escobar52MVA2:355:519:08:00 
41Alan Gowen66MMD2:506:129:08:00 
43David Robertson63MVA2:416:189:15:00 
44Alan Lagon46MMD2:506:229:18:00 
45Paul Bassette58MVA2:356:049:20:00 
46Doug Campbell41MVA2:386:139:25:00 
47Jill Jacobs49FMD2:386:219:27:005th Female
47Carolyn Wilson56FVA2:386:219:27:005th Female
49Diana Gorham42FWV2:406:179:39:00 
49Sarah Hodder26FWV2:406:179:39:00 
51Frank Probst72MVA2:496:429:49:00 
52Judith Weber56FMD3:006:489:51:00 
53Christine Schauerman50FMD3:006:5910:06:00 
54Carole Williamson54FMD2:576:5910:24:00 
DNFAngela Russell39FMD2:044:387:05:0028.5 miles
DNFJill Quivey50FVA2:295:327:32:0028.5 miles
DNFDavid Quivey53MVA2:295:387:33:0028.5 miles
DNFStephen Yurek53MVA2:144:535:25:0023 miles
DNFStephen Cooper61MMD2:155:185:51:0023 miles
DNFErik Fargo28MPA2:255:315:56:0023 miles
DNFJohn Nelson66MVA2:255:456:12:0023 miles
DNFDenise Coll55FVA2:376:136:42:0023 miles
DNFLisa Johnston51FMD2:406:176:42:0023 miles
DNFJoyce Fendley50FVA2:416:24xxx22 miles
DNFFarouk Elkassed66MVA2:386:24xxx22 miles
DNFMichael Hart52MVA2:38xxx6:17:0021 miles
DNFFrancesco Smith61MMD2:45xxx6:39:0021 miles
DNFLisa Bandiera-Woetzel47FVA2:15xxx4:52:0020 miles
DNFStephanie Wilson51FVA2:51xxx7:37:0025 miles
DNFJohn Wirth36MVAxxxxxxxxx9 miles

28.5 mile runners did not complete entire Sherman Gap/Shawl Gap section of the race.
23 mile runners ran to Aid Station #2, and then ran directly back to the finish.
22 mile runners ran to Aid Station #2 and then obtained a ride back to the finish.
21 mile runners ran directly to the finish after the initial loop, and did not visit A.S. #2.
John Wirth sprained his ankle about 5 miles in and ran directly to the Furnace aid station.
Lisa Bandiera-Woetzel missed a turn and arrived at the finish directly off of Signal Knob.
Stephanie Wilson started 20 minutes late, missed two turns, and generally ran her own thing.

Last updated November 11, 2020