The Ring, 2022: Orange Rhymes With Carnage
We once again held The Ring, with run playing out over the traditional Labor Day weekend in 2022 (September 2-3). Congratulations to the overall winner, Tristan Baxendale; and also to the first women (who tied), Michelle Rindos and Sue Heineman! Among the 15 official finishers of this year’s Ring were 9 new inductees into the Fellowship, so a special pat on the back to all 9 of them. And an official reminder here of what Bur would have told you in the Signal Knob parking lot on Sunday morning: we have you penciled in for the Reverse Ring, so add it to your calendar for that last weekend in February!
For the volunteers, it didn’t feel all that bad on run Saturday. No hint of rain. Comfortable temps, at times even cool, with a mix of some sun and clouds; the car thermometer seemed to live somewhere in the mid-70s all day and then down into the 60s as night rolled in. Yes, it was a good late summer day for a volunteer to spend some quality time in the mountains.
For the runners, it was very much a different story. 45 had toed that start line, and 15 were able to return to the finish on course and under their own power. Hence the report title. The word “carnage” emerged as the theme for what was happening late in the day on Saturday, and truly seized hold overnight, as car after car rolled into the Signal Knob parking lot to disgorge yet more runners who had pulled at the southern end of the Fort Valley.
There have been some rough years for runners of The Ring. 2009: we had 30 starters and 15 finishers; 2010: 38 starters yielded only 18 finishers (though four were DQ’d that year due to running off course); 2013: only 20 finishers among the 44 starters; 2014: half of the 50 starters completed the run. The worst was 2011: when only 12 of the 32 starters officially logged finishes. That is, 2011 was the worst until the Carnage Year of 2022.
Huge thanks to all the participants for coming out this weekend. It was a challenging weekend on those trails for the runners, so those who managed to finish the distance really overcame a lot on a hot and humid run day (and night). Our volunteers were once again stellar! A special note of appreciation to the crew who came out and so willingly and helpfully pitched in when the occasion called for it.