It was 10 degrees at the start. 10 degrees - Fahrenheit. Not optimal running weather for most of us, and even less optimal for the Red Eye 50k participants after what was surely a rockin’ New Year’s Eve for so many of the runners. Or maybe for some of the runners? Okay - for the 60 or so runners who signed up but failed to show up for the 22nd running of the Red Eye 50k. The 84 (+/-) runners who did point their frozen toes towards the start line generally seemed to have been tucked into their warm beds well ahead of the dopping of the ball in Times Square the night before. The good news for that brave group of 84 was that by the afternoon, the temps had skyrocketed up into the low 20s. Positively balmy!
New Red Eye RD Dave Woll maintained the great tradition of this New Year’s Day classic. The Red Eye 50k had been passed down to Dave from Team Slug, by way of Gary Knipling. Dave was helped in putting on the 2018 race by: Alex Papadopoulos (parking), Dave Robertson, Ed Walsh and Gary (course marking) and Gary, Michele Harmon, Bill Gentry and John Stacy (course cleanup). Hot food and beverages were also provided by Sarah Smith, Homer Komthirath and Sheila Vibert. Thanks all!
The runners were faced with what likely was the coldest of the 22 Red Eye runs (it is not often 10 degrees in Northern Virginia). But it was at least a sunny day, a dry trail, and most of the course was shielded from the occasional wind that would sweep across the start/finish area in the field near the PWFP’s Pine Grove Visitor’s Center.
Justin Contois was first to the finish, in a speedy time of 4:32. Michele Harmon was the first, and only, woman to finish all three loops (7:45), so she gets to start her year off with a win at the Red Eye. Not to mention with the warm and fuzzy feeling of having won the race while also clearing it of the blue ribbons at the same time.
As is traditional at this race, the finishing percentage of roughly 25% was relatively low for such a runnable 50k. But since this is less a race and more a fun, social get-together on local trails, it doesn’t much matter.
Results, such as they may be for an informal “race” of this nature, and a short director’s report have been posted. Any errors are likely the fault of the runner and his/her bad handwriting; hope that they don’t impact your Ultrasignup rating too badly!
See you all on January 1, 2019, for the next Red Eye 50k!
The 2018 Red Eye had 84 runners brave the cold conditions; it was reported as one of the coldest New Year’s since 1944. Of the 84 runners, we had 53 males and 31 females start. 21 runners finished all three loops to complete the 50k distance.
Justin Contois was first male with a time of 4:32. Michele Harman was the first and only woman finisher with a time of 7:25.