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

Mike Bur

2014 Report

August 9, 2014  •  Stokesville, VA

48 starters, 33 finishers


The 2014 running of the Martha Moats Baker 50k saw a record field set off at the start. 48 runners showed on run morning for the 7am start. After getting their run numbers Sharpied on their hands and a bit of a briefing from RD Dennis Herr, the starting whistle blew and the runners took off up The Wild Oak Trail (TWOT) for that initial LONG climb up the steady ascent of nearly 7 miles to the top of Little Bald.

The weather-guessers had predicted that the weekend was likely to be a washout. Rain was considered a near certainty at some point during the run, and thunder boomers, particularly in the afternoon, were a possibility. The weather was chilly at the start, with temps around 60 in the TWOT lot. Things got colder (at least for the volunteers) as the temperature on the top of Reddish Knob, the site of the first aid station 12+ miles into the run, was in the low to mid 50s for the rest of the morning. There was a rather dense fog up there as well, and the runners reported the fog to be prevalent for much of those early miles. There was an actual August wind chill on Reddish! The runners were dripping from what had to be nearly 100% humidity, but the lack of sun and heat made for a great day for the run. This was reflected in the conditions and moods of the runners throughout the day. There was not nearly the degree of MMB suffering we have become accustomed to over the years since Dennis created this run in 2008.

The lead runners were clearly reveling in the autumnal cool. Event and course record holder Dave Frazier shot out to a strong early lead, reaching Reddish in exactly 2 hours. That’s right - 2 hours to cover just over 12 miles, 2/3 of which were serious climbing miles, first up Little Bald and then up Reddish Knob. Sean Andrish cruised into aid station #1 eight minutes later, followed in similar fashion by Nick Combs and then Josh Ott. Dave extended his lead in the next section, the generally downhill Timber Ridge trail. He arrived at the SLAB about 53 minutes (and just over 7 miles) after leaving Reddish.

Dave had doubled his lead over Sean to this point, and also was 7 minutes ahead of his 2013 record pace. By the final aid station at mile 24.4 (the Grooms Ridge trailhead), Dave was still 7 minutes ahead of his record pace, and was now 20 minutes up on Sean. Dave lost those 7 minutes, along with some of the contents of his stomach, during the nasty climb up Grooms Ridge, but finished strong to take the win and to tie his course and event record time of 5:18. Sean finished strong to take second in 5:36. Brad Hinton completed the podium by taking third. Brad had a steady run. One week after running a blazing 3:36 in the Dahlgren Heritage Rail Trail 50km near Fredericksburg, he got off to a comfortable start at MMB. Steadily moving his way up through the top ten runners, Brad came in to the final aid station tied for third with Josh Ott. Josh finished two minutes behind Brad to take fourth.

The women’s run was taken by Sara Fanous, who finished her first running of MMB in 8:33. The women’s course and event records remain in the West Coast hands of Amy Sproston, who ran a 6:15 in 2013. The course was altered in 2013 by the addition of the new Narrowback trail between aid stations 2 and 3, which also necessitated removing the entertaining Hearthstone trail section from the lower half of the course below aid station 1, since it was no longer a useful connector trail to the rest of the course. So both event records were set on the current course.

The traditional “party course” run pulled 11 participants from the field. This course consists of running the same course through the last aid station, and then opting out of the final two trail sections for a short jog down the dirt Tilghman Road back to the TWOT lot and an early finish at just over 25 miles. Enrique Rubio was the first runner into the parking lot after he took the party course (though in Enrique’s case the party was back in Northern Virginia). The first woman to finish this “marathon” was Angela Russell, who walked it in to the start/finish lot in just a shade over 6 hours.

The course was marked this year by Vince Bowman, who was out on his mountain bike on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning ensuring that flour would mark the runner’s path at all key points along the way. The runners were highly complimentary of the course markings, and the virtual absence of any wrong turns by runners during the run was evidence of Vince’s accomplishments.

The runners were also supported by numerous aid station volunteers this year. In addition to seeing RD Dennis Herr at the aid stations, the runners were helped by Justin Peake and Antoinette Landragin at Reddish Knob; by captain Bill Gentry and Erin Frazier at the SLAB (also known affectionately by the runners as the G-Spot, in honor of that aid station’s traditional captain); and by Tara Rohland and Matt Banning at Grooms Ridge.

Thanks to all of the runners who came out to play on these great trails again this year, and to those fantastic volunteers who took care of them along the way. Hope to see everyone back again in 2015 for MMB. Dennis announced at the pre-race briefing that he plans to revive his infamous Lovers Leap 50k on the same weekend in 2015 to allow runners to double their weekend pleasure and double their weekend fun. More details on this run, held on a very challenging course just north of the MMB course, will come out in the months to come - but Dennis is “promising” that unlike the last running of the Lovers Leap, this 50k will be a lot shorter than the 43 miles of the last one.


Quatro Hubbard’s photos on Flickr


The 7th annual Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50k was run on a delightfully unseasonable cloudy and cool mid-August day. A record 48 runners started the race, and 33 covered the full MMB 50k distance. 11 others finished the MMB “marathon” by taking the “party route” back to the finish from the final aid station rather than braving the legendarily brutal Grooms Ridge climb and Little Bald descent to the official finish. Congratulations to overall winner and defending champion David Frazier, who tied his 2013 course record in the process. The women’s winner was Sara Fanous. Enrique Rubio and Angela Russell led the marathon field.

PlaceMMB Entrant - 2014SexAgeStateReddish Knob (12.2)SLAB (19.3)Grooms Ridge (24.4)Finish TimeDistance
1David FrazierM28VA2:002:533:405:1832.5
2Sean AndrishM45VA2:083:094:005:3632.5
3Brad HintonM38VA2:283:284:196:0632.5
4Josh OttM31VA2:193:224:196:0832.5
5Nick CombsM31VA2:173:254:266:2632.5
6Jeff GarsteckiM45MD2:273:294:296:2932.5
7Keith KniplingM38VA2:343:454:446:3632.5
8Marc GriffinM38VA2:343:464:487:0032.5
9Gavin WatsonM53MD2:343:434:447:0032.5
10Jarett TigheM47VA2:264:195:297:4832.5
11Scott CrabbM42VA3:004:255:377:5032.5
12Spencer RobbinsM33VA2:564:205:307:5732.5
13Jim AshworthM52VA2:564:205:328:1032.5
14Joe SchramkaM45DC3:014:255:448:1532.5
15Levi MasonM33VA2:584:255:378:1632.5
16Andy PetersonM57VA2:584:255:378:1632.5
17Mike HannonM49MD3:004:255:438:2132.5
18Bruce TweedieM52VA3:104:415:558:2532.5
19Sara FanousF34VA3:184:536:108:3332.5
20Mike SutherlandM38VA2:594:255:438:4532.5
21Geoff GiffinM35VA3:184:536:108:4632.5
22Michael GildeaM50VA3:104:516:188:5732.5
23Brian McNeillM56MD3:184:576:188:5732.5
24Chris MillerM35MD3:324:586:189:1132.5
25Tom SimondsM59VA3:185:026:359:3632.5
26Jill DevereuxF47VA3:285:256:589:5632.5
27Carolyn WilsonF54VA3:285:256:589:5632.5
28Bob AndersonM67VA3:255:126:4110:0032.5
29Hannah LaBerteauxF27DC3:475:357:0810:0632.5
30Tracy DahlF35VA3:415:347:0810:0632.5
31Diane BehmF37VA3:465:417:1710:2132.5
32Dani SeissF44MD3:465:417:1710:2132.5
33Larry HuffmanM53VA3:465:287:1710:2132.5
1Enrique RubioM31DC2:343:464:495:0025.2
2Marlin YoderM61VA3:014:245:375:5325.2
3Angela RussellF38MD3:014:255:446:0225.2
4John GarneskiM37VA3:184:57 6:0225.2
5Ernesto CasarezM58MD3:114:416:016:1625.2
6Jack BroaddusM64VA3:014:436:126:3125.2
7Patricia MillerF57VA3:185:026:356:5525.2
8Alisa SpringmanF39VA3:385:226:547:1025.2
9Jill QuiveyF48VA3:385:226:547:1025.2
10Jim DanielsM41VA3:385:196:547:1025.2
11Jon JesterM55VA3:505:497:257:3925.2
DNFKari AndersonF53VAXXX9:0624.5
DNFDave QuiveyM51VA3:506:06X7:1023
DNFViviana DelgadoF33VA3:385:35X5:3519.3
DNFSamantha Pitts-KieferF36VA3:50XX3:5012.2

Of the 33 finishers, 32 stayed on course the entire distance. One, Bob Anderson, took a wrong turn with about 2 miles to go, which resulted in his covering a couple of bonus miles before his finish.

Last updated December 16, 2019