The 19th running of the Redeye 50K run took place on Thursday January 1, 2015 from Pine Grove in Prince William Forest Park. It was another great winter day for running with sunshine, light breezes, and temps in the 40’s. Well over 100 runners (131) started just a few minutes (4:00) after the 8:00 AM planned start. Among the assembled crowd were three of the Team Slug members who originated the Redeye Run in 1997: Dan Grayson, Rebecca & James Moore.
Evan Fisher who completed the 3-loop course in 4:29 set a new “event” record. Kathleen Cusick defended her women’s title from last year with a solid run in 5:27. There were 44 runners (14 women/30 men) who met the pre-race challenge to “keep running”, and made 2015 have the highest number and highest % of finishers of any Redeye. A total of 131 runners ran at least one loop, and 34% finished the 50K + distance.
Bruce Tweedie started helping out the day before by marking the course with our standard blue ribbon. He also led the runners on the preliminary unmarked loop, and then took down ribbons on his 3rd loop to make the trails just as clean as when we started (maybe cleaner?). Bruce is in perfect position to soon take over the RD of this “crazy” VHTRC event. Allison Holko, who is nursing a leg injury, came early to help park runners and then kept the aid station clutter free as entrants came and went after each loop. Sarah Smith did one loop and then opened up her kitchen, complete with oven & stove, to offer soup, pancakes, and adult warm drinks to the welcoming endorphined crowd. Thanks to Sarah, Allison and Bruce for helping the runners get even more for their money.
Speaking of payback, I always use the Redeye to get rid of leftover Halloween candy, but it is apparent that many runners put some effort into their contribution to the single aid station. John Sondermann brought his tray of sub sandwiches again, and both Bob Anderson & Bret Kinsella brought bacon. All of these contributions were gone by the second time runners came through the S/F area. There was never a lack for nourishment, but the homemade items seemed to be gone before the standard chips and cookies.
Dave Herring brought a new pair of Montrail Masochist shoes and put them “up for grabs” on the table. Megan McCluer went home as Cinderella wearing a smile (and her new shoes). Megan should have gotten home easily since it was well before midnight when she left.
There were several well-behaved tandems of dogs and runners (at least the dogs were), and perhaps appropriately there were three veterinarians in the crowd on Thursday. Two of them “stepped up” to complete all 3 loops. Way to represent, Kristen and Mary Ellen – two out of three aint bad!
Two sets of brothers started the run, and to prove sibling rivalry is good: all four runners finished. Kudos to the Kline and Mathews “boys”. Stephanie Wilson kept her finish rate going and is now 5 for 5 at Redeye’s. And, Quatro finished for the second year in a row. I’m worried he may feel a streak coming on.
Ranger John, who was the only one on duty for the 15,000+ acre Park, stopped by a couple of times. He was tolerant of our controlled antics, proper use of cups and brown bags, and just-slight overflow parking.
Also of note among finishers was the first ultra run for Betsy Campos. The longest run for Betsy before Thursday was about 10 miles. Husband Al stayed with her the entire time. I hope they are still happily under the same roof.
This year, I did not leave two runners stranded out on the course like last year. But the same two runners were in competition for the DFL Award. The winner of the 2015 DFL was Stanley Podlasik who finished 2 minutes behind Gretchen Bolton. Gretchen is a 69-year-old “hottie” who can still smoke the trails. I slipped her a pack of matches for her 3rd loop just to make sure didn’t lose her spark, but she didn’t need to strike a one. When Gretch & Stan checked in, we knew we were done for the Day. Per usual, the “Three Musketeers” from up I-95 in Maryland (Alan, Paul, and “Smitty”) were there to help clean up the residual of the Day’s activities. Someone called them the “Three Stooges”, but I disagree.
Race management has been confident of the distances represented in the advertising and marketing of the Event, but it is always good to get reinforcement. John Nelson has documented the distances of the various dropping points with his “always present” GPS receiver. These are: 1 loop - 11.8 mi, 2 loops - 21.6 mi, Finish - 31.4 mi.
The results as deciphered and guessed are as follows:
(new Event record)
(finished in spite of a nasty fall on beginning of loop 3)
(finished 2nd last year)
(finished in FL fashion in nothing but haltertop)
(another one of those studly young guys)
(Mom of 4)
(shoes to give away)
(5 for 5)
(too cold to be shirtless)
(took time off from fighting fires)
(probably didn’t get any of own bacon)
(needs to get a blemish on knees or clothing)
(probably didn’t get any of own sub sandwiches)
(no longer a “back of packer” – don’t leave me Ed)
(gearing up for BH)
Mary Ellen Hutchins
(“Necker” from Mason Neck)
(on a roll with 2 consecutive finishes)
Gen. Rob’t Gaylord
(1st ultra distance)
(from start to finish; ribbons in hand)
TWO LAPS (21.6 miles)
(helped Evan get record run by being “rabbit” for 2)
(tried to get credit for running Redeye ’14)
(running and monitoring trails at same time)
(probably botched your name?)
(part of the Loudon underground)
(arrived late but made up time)
(MMT rookie – chuckle, chuckle)
(entire family crewing for Mom)
(sneaky fast 100 Miler)
( ~ 26.2mi )
(lucky dogs – Nicky & Nickie)
(lucky dogs – Nickie & Nicky)
( ~24 mi )
( ~ 24 mi )
Those doing ONE LOOP ( ~ 12 miles ) ; Listed alphabetically