Sunrise from Signal Knob, taken in the early miles of the 2014 Reverse Ring.

Keith Knipling

Reverse Ring

A counter-clockwise wintertime tour of the 71-mile Massanutten Trail surrounding Fort Valley, VA.

Date
  • Sat Feb 27, 2021
Start location
Start time
  • 6:00 am
Distance
  • 71 miles
Total ascent/descent
  • 13,500 feet
Aid stations
  1. Woodstock Tower (13.9 miles)
  2. Edinburg Gap (22.1 miles)
  3. Moreland Gap (30.0 miles)
  4. Crisman Hollow Road (36.3 miles)
  5. Camp Roosevelt (45.9 miles)
  6. Milford Gap (57.5 miles)
GPX file
Print or download
Sunrise & sunset
  • Begin civil twilight 7:20 am
    Sunrise 7:47 am
    Sunset 7:04 pm
    End civil twilight 7:31 pm
What to wear
In charge
Reports
Course records
  • Danny Mowers
    13:47 (in 2017)
    Kathleen Cusick
    16:27 (in 2017)

Entry for the Reverse Ring will open on January 25, 2021. Entry is open ONLY to members of the Fellowship of The Ring. Please read through the event details and then, if you are eligible and available, we know you will want to join us for this highlight of the winter running season!

This late February tradition is back again to haunt a handful or two of trail runners this year – the Reverse Ring. 2021 will be the 16th running of this invitational event. The Reverse Ring is a roughly 71-mile counter-clockwise circuit of the Massanutten Trail, and it will be held on the weekend of February 27-28. The “invitational” label means that there is one important requirement to get in: a runner must have successfully completed a fall running of The Ring and be a member of the “Fellowship of The Ring.” Very simple - and an absolute requirement. (List of Fellowship Members)

Those eligible to run (see first paragraph) should enter by February 24, 2021. If you have questions about the run, e-mail Mike Bur or Quatro Hubbard. We will also be looking for a handful of volunteers to help on race weekend, so if you would like to come out and play for a few hours please let us know.

2020 Volunteers

  • Mike Bur
  • Tom Corris - Rover
  • Ed Walsh - Rover
  • Brian Carr - Rover
  • Serhot Ozturk - Woodstock Tower
  • Brady Haycock - Woodstock Tower
  • Brian Compagnone - Woodstock Tower
  • Janel Bertram - Edinburg Gap
  • James Bertram - Edinburg Gap
  • Tommy Bertram - Edinburg Gap
  • Travis Bertram - Edinburg Gap
  • Tom Simonds - Moreland Gap
  • Bruce Tweedie - Moreland Gap
  • Larry Watson - Moreland Gap
  • Sarah Curtis - Crisman Hollow Road
  • Jake Stephens - Crisman Hollow Road
  • Leah Ginn - Crisman Hollow Road
  • Dan Rose - Camp Roosevelt
  • Sammy Rose - Camp Roosevelt
  • Eli Smith - Camp Roosevelt
  • Adi Smith - Camp Roosevelt
  • Chelsea Smith - Camp Roosevelt
  • Lou Brooks - Camp Roosevelt
  • Aly Brooks - Camp Roosevelt
  • Larry Tumblin - Milford Gap Quartermaster
  • Sophie Smith - Milford Gap
  • Sarah Smith - Milford Gap
  • Mike Dobies - Milford Gap/Statistician
  • Keith Dunn - Milford Gap
  • Michele Harmon - Milford Gap
  • Stephanie Fonda - Milford Gap
  • Jon Jester - Milford Gap/Rover
  • Mario Raymond - Signal Knob Cafe
  • Sarah Curtis - Signal Knob Cafe
  • Eric Watson - Signal Knob Cafe
  • Jessica Faraone - Signal Knob Cafe
  • Quatro Hubbard
  • Jim Harris - Historic Statistician
  • Mike Hart - Radio Communication

The Details for 2021

The Reverse Ring is a fat ass run – there is no entry fee required, there will be no awards. It should also be noted that any whiners will be heckled unmercifully. Actually, everyone will be heckled unmercifully, but as you have all run The Ring, you should be fully aware of that already. As the Reverse Ring runners are all members of the Fellowship of The Ring already, we are confident that there will be no wimps or whiners in the group. Again, the ONLY qualification needed to run the Reverse Ring is a previous completion of The Ring. Some things in life just are what they are. If you can’t do it this year, just go do what you need to do to run this in the future: finish The Ring next Fall. Those who have completed the Reverse Ring in the past are of course welcome to return for future Reverse Rings.

The run will start at 6 AM on Saturday February 27 at the northern end of the Signal Knob parking lot (the Massanutten trailhead). Note the early start time - yes you will need a light for at least the first half hour of the climb up Signal Knob. Since all of the runners will be repeat offenders, there is no need for additional directions here, other than the reminder of the single directive needed to run the Reverse Ring: follow the orange blazes. Stay On Orange.

Each runner will be allowed a single, sturdy, well-marked drop bag, which will be collected prior to the start in the parking lot. By well-marked, we mean your name should be clearly emblazoned on the outside of the bag where we can easily see it. Please try to keep the size of your bag within reason! We will shuttle that single bag around the course for you. There will be aid available to the runners over much of the course – see the checkpoint list below.

There are two hard cutoffs for runners in the Reverse Ring:

The first hard cutoff is at the Moreland Gap aid station, 30.4 miles into the run. Runners need to arrive by 4 PM in order to continue on the full course. That means that a runner who starts at 6 AM will have 10 hours to go those 30.4 miles in order to continue. Runners who come in after this time can elect to be driven to Camp Roosevelt and continue their run from there.

The second cutoff is at the Camp Roosevelt aid station. Runners who wish to continue with the possibility of an official finish will need to arrive at the aid station no later than 10 PM. This gives the runner another 6 hours to go less than 16 additional miles from Moreland Gap.

For runners who think that they may need more time on the course or who are concerned about making the cutoffs, there is an early start option. Contact Mike and Quatro to discuss this if you are interested.

Check Points on the Ring

Aid StationSplitCumulativeCrew accessDropbagsCutoffNotesMap
Woodstock Tower13.9 mi13.9 mi 
Edinburg Gap8.2 mi22.1 mi
Moreland Gap7.9 mi30.0 mi4:00 pm 
Crisman Hollow Road6.3 mi36.3 mi 
Camp Roosevelt9.6 mi45.9 mi10:00 pm
Milford Gap11.6 mi57.5 mi 

Notes

  • Drop bag availability — weather permiting.
  • Runners who come in after the cutoff can elect to be driven to Camp Roosevelt and continue their run from there.
  • Hiked-in aid station — weather permiting.

The access road to Powells Fort Camp is closed at this time of year, so there will not be aid at that very early point along the Massanutten Trail (as an FYI, during the Labor Day weekend running of The Ring, this is the site of the last aid station). The spring at Mudhole Gap is open 24/7/365, so bear in mind that this delicious flow of water is available to you from the pipe on the right side of the course as you approach Powells Fort Camp and the Mudhole Gap trailhead (just over halfway through this first section of the race).

The first aid runners should anticipate will be after 14.2 miles at the Woodstock Tower Road crossing. As the Woodstock Tower Road is often closed due to icy conditions in the winter, do NOT expect to find your drop bag at this first aid station. If we can drive it up to there, then your bag will be at this first aid station, but otherwise, you will just encounter volunteers with hiked-in aid.

The same situation will apply to the traditional halfway point on the orange trail, the Crisman Hollow Road crossing aid station, as the runners descend from the Kerns Mountain section of the trail. Crisman Hollow Road is closed at this time of year, so the aid will be hiked in from the end of the paved section of that road.

And of course, the notorious 25-mile long night section along the east ridge of the Massanuttens, from Camp Roosevelt to the finish back in the Signal Knob parking lot, has not had formal aid in the past. Thanks to Sarah Smith, a manned aid station is planned at the junction of the Milford Gap Trail and the Massanutten Trail, about 12.5 miles from the finish. But as with the Crisman Hollow Road aid station, your drop bag will NOT be here. After you utilize it at Camp Roosevelt (mile 46.1), your drop bag will be shuttled back to the Signal Knob parking lot, and should be available for your pick up at the Signal Knob Cafe after you finish.

Keith Knipling has put together some very handy pocket charts. This two-page pocket chart is intended to be folded into quarters and placed in a sandwich ziplock protective bag. Start the run with the first chart and then pick up the second at Moreland Gap. For those who prefer larger charts (and carrying more paper) here is a version that shows each segment on its own page.

Directions to the start at Signal Knob

From the DC Beltway (I-495) take 1-66 West approx. 60 miles to US 340 south (Exit 6, - the second Front Royal exit). Follow US 340 south 1.1 miles to the traffic light at VA Route 55. Turn right onto VA 55 and follow it west for 5.2 miles to Waterlick. Turn left (south) onto VA Route 678. Follow VA 678 1.8 miles into George Washington National Forest, and a total of 3.4 miles to the marked entrance of the Signal Knob parking lot, located on the right-hand side of the road. Plenty of parking spaces are available in this lot. Map

Photos

Masters of the Ring

2005

  • Mike Bur
  • Quatro Hubbard

2006

  • Mike Broderick
  • Bob Combs
  • Mike Dobies
  • Margie Hughes
  • Barb Isom
  • Vicki Kendall
  • Bill Losey
  • Kerry Owens
  • Deb Pero
  • Graham Zollman

2007

No First-Time Finishers

2008

  • Jim Harris
  • Debbie Shaffer
  • David Snipes
  • John Straub
  • Bill Wandell

2009

  • Keith Knipling
  • Greg Loomis
  • David Garman
  • Jen Jacobs
  • Bill Wandell
  • Mark Mckennett

2010

No Finishers

2011

  • Dan Rose
  • Zsuzsanna Carlson
  • Bob Anderson
  • Kim Love-Ottobre
  • Ernesto Casarez
  • Cam Baker

2012

  • Randy Brown
  • Kari Brown
  • Jeff Best
  • Jeff Gura

2013

  • Kent Gallup
  • Ken Wolters
  • Alex Papadopoulos
  • Jack Kurisky
  • Matt Smythe
  • Larry Huffman
  • Yukiko Nishide
  • Hiroyuki Nishide
  • Gary Lukacs
  • Paul Crickard

2014

  • Jack Anderson
  • Ron Eshleman
  • Kathleen Cusick
  • Stephen Cooper
  • Charlie Joyce
  • Michael Gildea

2015

No Finishers

2016

  • Justin Faul
  • Danny Mowers
  • Grace Fisher
  • Chris McIntosh
  • Gavin Watson
  • Aaron Ellison
  • Paul Leflhocz
  • Stephanie Dempsey
  • Scott Lee
  • Ed Rangel
  • Andrew Thomas IV
  • Bruce Tweedie
  • Chris Pabian
  • Irawan Balcet

2017

  • Jake Rankinen
  • Joey Cohen
  • Jeffrey Garstecki
  • Dan Rogers
  • Dan Aghdam
  • Larry Watson II
  • Michal Kawecki
  • John Fitz
  • Robert Kolb
  • Adeline Ntam
  • Jayme Dubinsky
  • Marty Fox
  • Gilbert Gray
  • Don Riley
  • Steve Pero
  • Sarah Curtis
  • Leonard Martin
  • Ed Walsh

2018

  • Christopher Moore
  • George Sefzik
  • Patrick Vaughn
  • Todd Ellick
  • Philip Yeager
  • Jesse Fuller
  • Andy Peterson
  • Doug Massengale
  • Brett Martin
  • Justin Peake
  • Alvin Lee
  • Jeff Pence
  • Andrew Burnette
  • Dan Hawk

2019

  • Dan Fogg
  • Josh Howe
  • Matt Christovich
  • Jose Cardenas
  • Daisy Weill
  • Paul Valenzuela

2020

  • Levi Mason
  • Kevin Walker
  • Raymond Rogers
  • Ashley Carr
  • Steve Andrews
  • Greg Trapp
  • Larry Tumblin
  • Sirisha Golla

Last updated July 29, 2020

Club Event Participant Medical Policy

This is an event with very real risks to your well being. The VHTRC does not provide medical care for runners at this event. Runners are responsible for their own health, safety, and well being at this event. No doctors, nurses, or emergency medical technicians, or anyone with any medical training are available along the course, at any aid station, or at the finish. The club does not supply any medical goods or services, including bandages, splints, antiseptic, or Ibuprofen or any other drugs to maintain the health of runners. Physical, medical, and emergency care is the runners' responsibility. In case of an emergency, we will endeavor to get local emergency personnel to an injured runner as soon as possible. Since most of our events are in remote areas, medical care may be far away in distance or time. Each year, runners finish — or are forced to drop out — with scrapes, deep cuts, hematomas, dislocations, and sprains. Runners have experienced cuts, bruises, bee stings, and asthma attacks. This is an event with very real risks.