The 27th running of the club’s first event, the MGM 50K, was a fabulous success! 129 runners started out from Hemlock in the December cold, and 129 runners ended up back in the warm and cozy Hemlock lodge, eventually. There were 57 runners who completed the entire 31 miles with Matt Perkins finishing in first place in 4:53 and Suzie Brashler as the first woman to finish, 8th overall, in 6:06 - her first ultra! Congratulations to both of them! It was great seeing many first time ultra runners, many familiar faces, and many new faces on the course, including Tom Green, getting his 20 miles in looking strong (without poles!) and Ed Walsh, who stopped by to say hi only days after his surgery. The VHTRC welcomed several people new to the area who are now members, and look forward to joining us at future events.
We had many volunteers helping to make this event possible. Thanks to Bob Gaylord, Denise Coll, Deb Cawthorn and Tom McNulty for marking the Do Loop, Marina and start/finish. Thanks to their marking, no one got lost in the Do Loop, right?! Denise Coll, Meg Wiegand, Dan Aghdam, and Tom McNulty made sure that parking was great in the early morning cold. Cherry Grassi, Deb Cawthorn, Toni Aurilio, Dawn Gray and Smitty checked everyone in and greeted runners with their “jolly as f*#@” spirit. Sarah Smith kept the fire going all day and coordinated the pizzas with the delivery guy. Iris Golla, Simon Crisp, Stephen Gould and Mikhail Petrovskikh ran the Marina Aid Station (with Iris doing a most wonderful job at her first AS Captain gig!) and Eric Levy-Myers took care of runners at Fountainhead with hot food and drink (those runners are so lucky to have you). And Eric made extra sure that no runners were hit by cars - a special point of emphasis this year. Quatro was selling VHTRC swag, recording results all day, posting results before we left the lodge (!!!), answering all of my questions and doing a ton of behind the scenes stuff. THANK YOU! ROCK STARS!!! A huge thanks to all the volunteers!
The after-party in the Lodge started early, with the first runners returning around 10:30, beverages being opened shortly after that, and pizzas arriving at noon. It lasted all day, as old friends and new friends enjoyed sharing time with each other, drinking beer & bourbon, eating pizza and telling tales in true VHTRC style. Thank you to Joe Clapper for starting the tradition that is the MGM 50K! A fabulous time was had by all. Join us next year on the second Saturday in December for the 28th year!
Meanwhile, here are the 2018 results. The link allows leads to a race day synopsis, and additional links to photographs and to an article posted on DCist by race participant Mikka Macdonald.
Happy holidays and happy trails!
Mikka Macdonald’s article in dcist.