2022 Report

January 15, 2022  •  Fort Valley, VA

38 starters, 36 finishers

Training Academy runners at the start of Run #1
Lauren Gabler and John Hord, poles at the ready at the start

For the second year in a row, the first of the three 2022 MMT Training Runs was held on the shorter “Northern Loop” due to the still-spreading Omicron variant of COVID. This was done to eliminate the shuttling of runners from the Signal Knob parking lot to the start of the traditional, point-to-point run along the first third of the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 mile course near Caroline Furnace Lutheran Camp.

Nonetheless, runners unanimously enjoyed the 26-mile loop, designed by Keith Knipling. This route generally covers the sections of MMT before and after Elizabeth Furnace, which runners hit about one-third of the way into the run. The course features four significant climbs (Shawl Gap, Veach Gap, Mine Gap, and Meneka Peak) yielding 4,850 feet of ascent; some flat to rolling road sections; and challenging ridge and downhill running. In this RD’s opinion, this is an excellent route to add to your training list. [northern-loop.pdf]

Of the 38 starters, 36 finished, with two runners dropping before or at the first aid station. One runner took a tumble on the descent to the finish, but thankfully suffered no serious injuries.

See if you can spot the four significant climbs in the Northern Loop

Of the 38, twenty are training for the MMT 100, to be held in May for the first time in two years. Of these 20 MMT runners, thirteen will be toeing the line for the first time.

It was a very cold day. The weather at the start was cloudy and 22F, with a “feels like” temperature of 16F. It didn’t get too much warmer during the day, maybe into the mid-20s, and there was always a breeze to make it feel colder. At least one runner was heard to exclaim “it was REALLY cold out there!” Fortunately, though, the snow expected for the following day didn’t show early. Trails were in good shape, with some icy spots here and there.

Your RD can’t recall anyone going seriously off course, but two runners took intentional detours. Kathleen Cusick got an extra four miles in on the roads (“I needed some road miles” — we love it), and James Miller got an extra road mile “sightseeing and looking at real estate”, a worthy reason for bonus miles if I’ve ever heard one.

Runners were welcome at the finish with two hot soups: a broccoli and potato, and a split pea, along with chicken dogs. Despite the cold, many stayed a while to chat about their run with fellow runners and an assortment of spectators and volunteers. Regarding volunteers, the RD and runners wish to thank our awesome team for this year: Kevin Bligan, Brian McNeill, Charlene Howard, Mike Edwards, Larry Tumblin, Matthew Lancaster, and Stephanie Fonda. Thanks, as well, to the VHTRC for their support of this and so many other training events.

Listed in the “results” are the running times for the MMT Training Academy Run #1 participants. There were two aid stations, and the runners’ arrival times into those points are noted here. Finishing time is noted in the final column.

Your RD looks forward to next year’s Training Run 1, and hopes it can return to the traditional first-third of the MMT 100 course. See you Saturday, January 14th, 2023!

The Meneka Peak trail junction at the top of the fourth and final climb


And here is our usual admonition regarding the “results” below… Bear in mind: this is not a race. No one treated this as a race. These should not be considered “race results.” The times are provided for informational purposes only. This can help others who pull the route from the event site and run the course self-supported, so that those runners can approximate times. It can assist those considering this training run in future years to estimate their own run times. And it is helpful for volunteers to see the range of times that runners take to cover certain sections.

MMT?First?NameAS #1AS #2FinishDistanceComments
yes Dan Aghdam10:3611:266:5726 milesStarted roughly 10 minutes late
  Cris Bell--DNF6? milesDropped before Shawl, ran back to start
yes Carl Bligan9:209:484:0326 milesNew course record!
  Jared Byrd9:4010:104:4126 miles 
yesyesJohn Calabrese10:2211:056:2626 miles 
  Kathleen Cusick10:2011:186:1430+ milesExtra 4 miles on road
yesyesVivien Deparday10:0410:405:3426 miles 
  Heather Dougherty10:0310:405:3426 miles 
yesyesNick Drozdiak10:3411:206:4126 miles 
yesyesChristiana Fogg10:4411:257:1326 miles 
  Dan Fogg9:4010:104:4126 miles 
  Marty Fox10:2010:547:4526 miles 
yesyesLauren Gabler11:0611:268:1226 miles 
yes Jamie Greenawalt10:2711:056:2626 miles 
yesyesBradley Hawley11:2012:046:5326 miles 
  Magalil Hoebeeck10:3511:246:4126 miles 
yes John Hord10:4811:337:3826 miles 
yesyesStacie Humm10:3611:527:2726 miles 
yes Jon Jester10:3811:357:3826 miles 
yesyesRobert Kazmierski10:2411:056:2626 miles 
  Hompeng Komthirath10:20 6:4726 miles 
yesyesAmanda Lichy11:0612:008:1226 miles 
yesyesMike Maddock10:2311:056:2626 miles 
  James Miller10:4411:527:4926+ milesBonus mile on road
yesyesJoseph Nah10:3611:266:4126 miles 
  Ram Oruganti0:0012:008:1626 miles 
yes Jeff Pence10:2211:106:1826 miles 
  Andy Peterson10:2411:056:2626 miles 
yesyesMark Peyton10:3411:527:2726 miles 
  Jeff Reed11:20-DNF12 milesDropped at Veach Gap AS
yes Dirk Schulze9:43 4:5026 milesStarted several minutes late
  Patricia Scott10:4211:267:1326 miles 
  Huanuyuan Sheng10:2211:056:2026 miles 
yesyesChelsea Smith10:3611:266:5726 milesStarted roughly 10 minutes late
  Lu Sun10:1810:546:0326 miles 
  Makoto Suwa9:5010:205:0026 miles 
  Bruce Tweedie10:2010:547:4526 milesConvincing winner of Best Blood
  Kevin Walker9:4310:195:0126 miles 

Start time was at 7:30 AM

12 mile aid station was located in the Veach Gap parking lot in the Fort Valley

18.5 mile aid station was located at Powell’s Fort Camp

Last updated January 18, 2022