Mario Raymond takes in the view from Reddish Knob at the 2013 Martha Moats Baker.

Mike Bur

2009 Report

August 15, 2009  •  Stokesville, VA

Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50Km and Lovers Leap
August 15-16, 2009


MMB 1st and LL last.

For MMB the 4 numbers listed after each person are the times at Reddish, the graveyard, Groom’s, and total. The mileages are 13, 22 and 27 and 35 respectively. I will list the distances for the 28ers and others.

For LL, (SNAFU!). Since there aren’t that many, I’ll describe each one.

Ok. for MMB:

Name Reddish Dog Grave Groom’s
Sec (cum) mileage 13 (13) 9 (22) 5 (27) 8 (35)
35 miles official course
Michael Frazier 2:39 4:27 5:38 7:40!
John Cassilly 3:02 4:43 5:50 7:56
Mike Bailey 2:45 4:56 6:16 8:29
Marc Griffin 3:00 4:56 6:16 8:29
Jaret Seiberg 3:02 4:56 6:16 8:45
Tom Corris 3:02 4:56 6:16 8:58
Marti Kovener 3:16   6:37 9:11
Keith Moore 3:16   6:37 9:11
Doug Sullivan 3:07   6:32 9:14
35+ on alternate course
Charles Bowles       8:02
Ed Cacciapaglia       10:40
Dave Yeakel       10:40
28 mile road finish
John Nelson 3:01 5:01 6:23 6:35
Hallie Hegemeier 3:16   6:56 7:12
Sophie Speidel 3:16   6:56 7:12
Quatro Hubbard 3:17   6:56 7:13
Regina Nuzzo 3:30   7:14 7:29
Jill Quivey 3:31   7:14 7:29
Dave Quivey 3:31   7:17 7:30
Vicki Kendall 3:30 5:54 7:20 7:35
Barb Isom 3:31 5:55 7:22 7:36
Farouk Elkassed 3:31 5:54 7:21 7:36
Tony Escobar 3:30 6:00 7:47 8:05
Jack Broadus 3:02 4:59 5:40 24 miles
Natalie Kennedy     6:45 23 miles
Jamie Groff 3:08   4:50 22 miles
Ban Moyer 3:08   3:50 15 miles
Norman Allen     Got lost unknown

Norman Allen I just have a note that says, “I am ok. Got lost.” I guess he started cc-ing on TWOT and came back. But everybody is home safely. Lost souls are my worst nightmare.

And now LL (ahem!)

Runner Stateline - 15 miles Finish Distance
David Frazier 3:50 10:06! 43 miles
Charle Bowles 4:52   23 miles
Vince Bowman 6:30   23 miles
Joni Fontana 6:30   23 miles
Jaret Seiberg 18 mile fun run
Mark Mckennett 18 mile fun run
Barb Isom 18 mile fun run
Farouk Elkassed 18 mile fun run
Vicki Kendall 18 mile fun run
Gaynor Bourgeois 12 mile fun run + rescure mission

David Frazier singularly breezed the 43er in 10:06! cruising through the 15 mile state line in 3:50. Charles Bowles totaled 22 — state lining at 4:52. Vince Bowman and Joni Fontana also 22ed. Time at state line was 6:30. They waited for about an hour at the top of Red Diamond for the rest of the following pack who took unique ‘tourist attractions”.


Vince found a May apple! FYI, that’s the antidote for biting stinging nettles which grows adjacently to the nettles. If they (nettles) ever “sting” you, never scratch. That’s the worst that you can do. Just grit your teeth and bear it for 5 to 10 minutes.

The Frazier Firebird Weekend and Snafu Sunday is a debriefer (or reefer) for the back to back. Michael Fraz Ma Tazz flamed the MMB (7:40!) accidentally handicapping himself with five extra miles from Sand Spring/Tilghman to Briery Branch road and back to the pooches eternal rest spot. (“Daniel - Never knew he was a dog, never cared.”). John Cassilly (7:56) logged an extra 2 with a Little Bald direction error, but still got in the books as 2nd fastest all time. Everybody was very gracious all day. Thank you!

Here are a few good stories. “Wrong way” Charles Bowles counter clocked the entire TWOT loop. For extra credit, he added 8 miles (34 total) by sidetracking down on Dowell’s Draft and returning to TWOT on FDR 96 enduring the entire hot day with ONLY 32 oz of water! I’d a died. Ed Cacciapaglia and Dave Yeakel also ran the TWOT C section (11 miles), were carted to the bottom of FDR 85, ran up to Reddish (6) and completed the proscribed course WITH the Grooms/TWOT sucker punch (40 miles).

Next day, hilarity at the initial confusion was the inspiration for “Snafu Sunday.” I loved the agility of people doing 2 things at the same time, i.e. asking questions and scratching their heads. At one point, Quatro and I exchanged glances breaking into simultaneous grins. For starters, Michael’s brother, David, singularly and easily 43ed the course (10:06!) test tasting the SAME toothpick ALL DAY! Gave me the inspiration to try an unlit cigar. Charles Bowles, Vince Bowman and Joni Fontana followed David as far as the state line and ran the Shenandoah Mt. Trail in WVA. Jaret Seiberg showed his expert orienteering skills by running the the 18 mile loop. Everybody else missed the Red Diamond and experienced the ‘85 flood-caused rock cascade for several miles. Comparatively, Massarock is a snoozer. Before the 1985 flood, the cascade was a downhill paradise for mt. bikers including yours truly.

And that’s the truth!

foof fluffer gooch

Quatro’s Report

And now for some footnotes and addendums to Dennis’s excellent account of the MMB/LL double weekend …

The runners who ventured out in to the northern section of Lovers Leap course on Sunday all mentioned the stinging nettle sections that they had to endure. Dennis noted that “may apple” plants grow near the nettles, and while the small “apples” on those plants are not helpful, crushing the fresh leaves and rubbing the resulting salve into the sore areas has been known to help ease the sting. Otherwise, it is best to just ignore the sting until it goes away on its own.

Dennis has dubbed the back to back running “events” (races?!?) held on the weekend of August 15-16, 2009 the “Frazier Firebird Weekend.” This is due to the first finisher for each day’s run being one of the Frazier brothers (Michael on Saturday and David on Sunday). Saturday was the date of the Martha Moats Baker Memorial “50K” – start time was 7am sharp. There seems to be a general consensus that the full distance for this event is actually 35 miles. The first finisher of the full 35 miler was Michael Frazier who ran a very strong time of 7:40, setting a new course record. This despite taking what is not an uncommon detour in the LONG downhill middle section of the course: missing the turn for the Hearthstone Ridge section of trail down to the Tilghman Road, and instead continuing straight to Tilghman. Not knowing he was “lost”, Mike took the prescribed left once he hit the road, but realized his error when he got to the junction with Briery Branch Road/Route 257. So he reversed his direction and ran back down the road to the second aid station at the “Dog Graveyard” (Dennis here quotes a sample epitaph on one of the dog tombstones there). Dennis credits Mike with an additional 5 miles – so his time is particularly impressive, as he may have been in a position to go after the 7 hour barrier if he had stayed on course. John Cassilly also got lost for a brief period – he continued on the white-blazed Wild Oak trail at the top of the initial Little Bald climb, when he should have taken a right on to a fire road instead. John realized his error when he started running into spider webs (he knew others should have been ahead of him) and when he started going down hill (he then knew he had been to the top of Little Bald, which is not marked as such on the trail). John felt he might have gone an extra mile as a result – Dennis credits him here with two bonus miles, which did not prevent John from running what is currently the second fastest time on the course in the two years of this run.

These two were not the only directionally challenged runners – Charles (“Chuck”) Bowles, Ed (“Cappuccino”) Cacciapaglia and Dave (“Yakey”) Yeakel all started their run about 15 minutes late. Poor Chuck then followed Ed and Dave as they took him off course within a half mile. MMB starts in The Wild Oak Trail parking lot, which serves as the trailhead for the 26+ mile TWOT loop. The first 7 miles of the run consist of the counter-clockwise running of the white-blazed Wild Oak trail to the top of Little Bald, one of three major climbs (along with Big Bald and Hankie Mountain) on the TWOT loop. There is a spur trail from the parking lot to the actual TWOT loop – Ed, Dave, and Charles ended up going clockwise once they finished that spur and hit the trail itself, running the roughly 11 mile Hankie Mountain section of TWOT. Charles got to the point on Hankie where the Dowells Draft trail leads down towards Route 250 – he followed this section and then ran back on roads to the TWOT trail head on FDR 96 at the base of the monster climb up to Big Bald. His GPS and Dennis’s calculations led to the decision to credit him with 34 miles once he finished his loop of TWOT with the Dowells Draft bonus section. Chuck’s feat was doubly impressive in that he did the run without receiving any additional aid, and in that he was one of only 5 runners to attempt to run on Sunday as well as Saturday. Ed and Dave, meanwhile, ran that entire first section of TWOT down to FDR 96 (commonly known as the “road crossing” aid station during TWOT). They caught a ride to get back into the area of the correct MMB course, ran up the narrow and scenic paved road to Reddish Knob and aid station #1, and continued from there, finishing after everyone else had left for the day. Both are training for Wasatch, so an impressive feat and no doubt a very useful day on the trails for them!

The majority of the runners on MMB Saturday ended up running 28 miles, this by cutting off the final 8-mile trail section up Grooms Ridge and then down the initial 4 miles of Little Bald/TWOT trail back to the parking lot. From the final aid station on Tilghman Road, runners had the option of trotting roughly ¾ of a mile down the road to get back to the start/finish parking lot. This improved the quality of the post-race rehydration experience for everyone involved, since the requisite party in the parking lot was in full force as the real runners came streaming down the trail to the finish of the 35 miler.

Sunday August 16 2009 was the day for the second “race” – the initial running of the Lover’s Leap “50K” which Dennis soon dubbed “SNAFU Sunday.” And rightly so. The pre-race “briefing” consisted of a series of arguments over how best to get in the distance each runner hoped to log for the day, using parts of the course and various connector trails and roads, as Keith Knipling had kindly mapped the course the previous week and calculated the full distance to be about 43 miles. Jokes about alerting search and rescue prior to the start, and using the traditional “class photo” taken at the start of any area Fat Ass event to help rescuers identify missing runners, were circulating before the run officially began at around 7:14 am. Dave Frazier, who had helped out with an impromptu aid station early in the MMB run on Saturday, led from the start at Lover’s Leap on Sunday, and was the only runner to attempt the full, original 43 mile distance. So his 10:06 is a course record … particularly impressive in that there were only two official aid stations. Mike Frazier returned his brother’s Saturday aid bonus aid station favor by setting up some early aid on Sunday at Flagpole, at the end of what were described as brutal early climbs. The first official aid station was at the West Virginia/Virginia state line on Route 33, about 15 miles in. The second official aid station was supposed to be at about mile 23 – for the most runners it was, but for the four runners who did the northern loop and went to state line, they were met at closer to 22 miles.

Chuck Bowles and Vince Bowman had intended to try to log what appeared to be a 50K distance on the course by doing the northern section of Lover’s Leap and then cutting out the southern end. The rest of what turned out to be a 10 person field of runners on this day were opting for a loop that appeared to be in the 18 mile range. The SNAFUs started early, as only Jaret Seiberg was able to figure out the 18 mile course without difficulty. Well, at least no directional difficulties – his only issue on the day was getting by a mama bear and her cub on the final trail section.

The rest of the peloton generally stayed together, and generally got lost for much of the first 5 hours of their run. Joni Fontana broke away from this group early, before they devolved into the Keystone Kops, and thus was not talked in to getting lost – she eventually would continue with Vince Bowman on the northern section in an effort to run 50K as well. The now five person peloton eventually reached their only aid station after about 5-1/2-hours and maybe 12 miles of official running (with many many bonus miles tacked on). They then finished their “18 milers” without further incident. Charles, Vince and Joni were all talked in to calling it a day after 22 miles by the RD and the other aid station volunteer, after battling their way through some semi-Barkley-esque trail conditions to get to that point. All in all, a great SNAFU Sunday out on the trails – no one got hurt, everyone seemed to be happy with their accomplishments (except for poor Joni, who was running well and really wanted to go on get 50k or so in).

Hope that folks will return next year for the third running of the Martha Moats Baker Memorial 35 mile run – see you in the Wild Oak Trail parking lot for a 7am start on Saturday August 14, 2010!

Other reports

Ed Cacciapaglia’s report


Quatro Hubbard’s photos on Flickr

Last updated December 16, 2019