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

Keith Knipling

2019 Report

February 23, 2019  •  Fort Valley, VA

21 starters, 9 finishers


2019 Reverse Ring winner Dan Fogg
2019 Reverse Ring winner Dan Fogg.

The 2019 was the 14th running of the Reverse Ring. This year’s run was made more challenging than usual by the weather conditions. All the runners were tested by the wet weather, the entrenched cold (temps did not stray out of the 30’s all day or night), and what turned out to be more snow and ice on the trails than expected, vestiges of a mid-week storm. These did not seem to be record-setting conditions. And ultimately they were not. But they were not conditions for the second fastest running of this run, either - and ultimately they were. While Danny Mowers’ incredible time of 13:47 for this 70.1 mile loop remains the event record, 2019 Reverse Ring winner Dan Fogg’s time of 14:31 is now the second fastest.

8 other runners completed the Reverse Ring, with a total of 6 of the 9 finishers now joining the Master of The Ring club, having now completed the loop in both directions for the first time. First place woman and second overall Kathleen Cusick is of course not only a legacy Master of The Ring, she is a two-time Bad A* MF* of The Ring, as well, having completed back-to-back Ring and Reverse Ring runs on consecutive days on two previous occasions. This year she settled for just running the regular run with everyone else without first warming up with a loop in the opposite direction on the previous day. Scott Lee is another previous Master, and this year’s record-setting last place finisher, Larry Huffman, was the final Master to return and get a finish this year. Larry’s run was a record, in that none of the 13 previous editions of the Reverse Ring had a final finish close to his 25 hours. We are not used to wrapping up the proceedings and hitting the highway so early on Reverse Sunday! Well done, Larry, and all the runners!


Preliminary Results for the 2019 Reverse Ring. Final results once everyone associated with this year’s race dries out, warms up and has a chance to review the results to see where I messed up …

Congrats to Dan Fogg for taking the overall win, in an incredible time of 14:31!! This is not a course record, but it is a record for this race considering the conditions he faced. Well done, sir. Second overall, and first woman to the finish was Kathleen Cusick. She covered the 70.1 miles of the Orange Trail in 19:39. Or better, put, she finished the Reverse Ring in that time, after roughly an hour off-trail on the east ridge on Saturday night. All the runners commented on the challenges that the fog, blowdowns, slick footing and the steady rain that started for most of them around midnight. In Kathleen’s case, it led to some misadventures off-trail. Her total distance is not recorded, since she is not on Strava(!??!)

Seven other runners left Camp Roosevelt after 46 miles and all of them made their way to the finish in one piece. Larry Huffman may have set a record for the fastest final finisher. Larry arrived in the Signal Knob parking lot at 7 AM, for the finish of his 25 hour tour around the Fort Valley. We are normally not finished collecting the final runner(s) until much closer to noon on Reverse Ring Sunday.

All of the runners who started should be commended, considering the forecast and what that was likely to mean for an event run along a mountain ridge in late February. This was going to be a true test of everyone’s resolve - and their rain gear. It is tough to learn the difference between “water resistant” and “water proof” when you are still dozens of miles and many, many hours from the finish, your warm car, dry clothes, and Mario Raymond’s great Signal Knob Cafe cooking!

PlaceNameClassSexAgeStateWoodstock - 14.2Edinburg - 22.4Moreland - 30.4Crisman - 36.8Camp Rosey - 46.1Milford - 57.5Finish - 70.1
1Dan Fogg201834MDC2:193:485:297:00†8:4511:2214:31:00
2Kathleen Cusick201343FFL2:594:486:569:00†11:0715:2519:39:00
3Josh Howe201839MVA2:524:447:019:05†11:2015:3120:34:00
4Matt Christovich201840MVA2:494:507:099:1211:3415:5720:55:00
5Jose Cardenas201830MVA3:085:137:329:2211:5315:5821:02:00
6Daisy Weill201830FDC3:185:348:0910:2813:1617:5623:03
7Scott Lee201548MVA3:346:039:0211:3214:5019:4424:51:00
8Paul Valenzuela201852MVA3:346:039:0211:3214:5019:4424:51:00
9Larry Huffman201258MVA3:506:229:1611:4114:4519:3925:00:00
NopeElsa Araujo201841FVA3:275:499:1611:4415:06xxxDNF
NopeAshley Carr201733FMD3:516:269:1711:5115:15xxxDNF
NopeMichael Gildea201354MVA3:516:309:2411:5215:35xxxDNF
NopeMichal Kawecki201639MPA3:085:258:06xxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeStephen Cooper201264MMD3:506:229:18xxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeMarty Fox201668MVA3:516:259:24xxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeMandy Pierce201844FPA4:207:0710:09xxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeGuy Towler201649MVA3:536:4610:17xxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeKatie Keier201548FVA4:247:4211:19xxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeBrian Carr201743MMD3:516:30xxxxxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeChris Pabian201542MPA2:53xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxDNF
NopeRyan Brown201833MMD3:24xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxDNF

20 of the 21 starters escaped Mike Bur’s pre-race briefing and began their run up the trail towards Signal Knob at 6:01 AM on Saturday.

Kathleen Cusick got off to an undocumented later start, no doubt staying after class to ask Professor Bur some questions.

† Crisman A.S. times for early runners indicate that “ish” should be added to the number, as times were not precisely recorded for the first three runners.

Last updated December 16, 2019