Panoramic view from Duncan Knob during the 2021 Waterfall 50K. The entire course is visible, including the antennas on Bird Knob off in the distance to the left.

Keith Knipling

2019 Report

January 20, 2019  •  Luray, VA

48 starters, 30 finishers

The Waterfall 50k - Day 2 of the two-day traditional kick-off to the MMT 100 winter training season - was held as scheduled on Sunday January 20, 2019. Day 1 is traditionally the first MMT Training Academy run. This year that event was postponed a week, due to an ominous weather forecast that made it look likely that runners and volunteers alike would stuck in the mountains in either a snow or ice storm, or both.

Final results for the 4th annual Waterfall 50km, held on a gloriously sunny day on Sunday January 20, 2019. [insert note about how bloody cold it was in the wind, and how wet and icy much of the course was here …]

Before going ANY further, we have to start with a HUGE thank you(!!) to the die-hard cadre of fantastic volunteers who came out on a day that, while challenging for the runners, was bloody cold as all get out for those standing around. Kevin Bligan, Guy Towler, Charlene Howard, Sarah Curtis, Jesse Fuller, Steve Yurek, Derek Kennedy, Ben Tidwell, Rob Tidwell - and did I mention Kevin Bligan?! Thanks to you all.

Dan Fogg is the 2019 Waterfall 50k champeen! And congrats also to Adam Watkins, who is the 2019 King of Waterfall, as the first finishing runner to the top of the opening 5k climb. Kelly MacDonald is the 2019 Waterfall 50k women’s champeen, and Kelly was also Queen of the Waterfall (first woman to the top of Waterfall at the end of the initial 5k of the run)! Congratulations, Kelly! But, wait - with Kelly, there is more! Kelly is now the Three Time WTF50k women’s champeen, Three Time WTF5k Queen, and still the only woman to finish this course in under 7 hours (which she has now done in consecutive years of 2018 and 2019). All right, that’s probably enough Kelly for now - she is very modest, so she is likely embarrassed at this much attention as it is.

Your podium peoples for the WTF50k:

  • For the men: Dan Fogg, Adam Watkins and a hard-charging Ryan Quinnelly.
  • For the ladies: Kelly MacDonald, Emily Warner, and Becky McGraw.

Well done not only to the exemplary runners above who are now stepping down from that podium. But a hearty clap on the back to all who showed to run on a day that was forecast to be less-than-ideal: temps falling from an early morning high around freezing into the low 20s, with winds from a polar vortex whipping in by mid-morning and dropping the wind chill to … well, dropping it considerably. This was most felt in the latter stages of the run for those hardy souls (and soles) that made their way up to Bird Knob after the final aid station at the Massanutten Visitor Center. The VC is the Moment of Truth for the WTF runners: do you want to just jet down a less than three mile downhill trail back to an early finish and a spot by the warm campfire, or do you scale the heights of Bird Knob and the Purple Trail and complete the thing you set out to do.

This year, despite that wind and cold, and very wet, slushy, muddy and at times icy trail conditions, and despite word at the pre-race briefing by the 211 Gate that someone(?!) had neglected to bring the finishers’ stickers to the run that day, a remarkable 62.5% of the starting field of 48 runners got their finish (i.e. 30 of those runners). Only 2017 - the year of the sticker’s debut, mind you - had a higher finishing rate (67%). These, in marked contrast to the inaugural Waterfall year of 2016 (aka the No Sticker Year), which sported a pathetic finishing percentage of less than 25%. Clear evidence that the trail running community is made up children who come solely for the free toy at the end (“I want my WTF sticker!!”). But to their credit they are tough children!

Other reports

Becky McGraw's report.


PlaceNameAgeSexHomeCrisman 5kGap - 9 milesVC- 19.7 milesFinishDistance
1Dan Fogg34MDC0:34:061:393:335:34:2050k
2Adam Watkins38MDC0:33:531:423:455:56:3350k
3Ryan Quinnelly36MVA0:401:513:586:05:5050k
4Christopher Moore33MVA0:391:503:586:3350k
5Erik Price35MVA0:421:574:136:4350k
6Kelly MacDonald29FVA0:41:571:594:216:52:1550k
7Kyle Lawrence34MVA0:401:514:117:1550k
8Matt Christovich39MVA0:411:574:307:1650k
9Emily Warner35FVA0:46:002:174:447:1850k
10Josh Howe39MVA0:432:074:387:1850k
11Carl Bligan23MPA0:412:014:337:2450k
11Ryan Brown33MMD0:422:084:387:2450k
13Greg Loomis44MVA0:422:124:447:3550k
13Matthew Smith39MVA0:432:124:447:3550k
15Keith VanGraafeiland37MVA0:422:084:497:3950k
16Becky McGraw39FVA0:46:002:174:497:4250k
17Kevin Walker39MVA0:432:124:537:4950k
18Eric Harris46MMD0:452:114:517:5650k
18Levi Mason38MVA0:462:114:517:5650k
20Shelley McLaughlin45FVA0:54:002:345:288:3650k
20Andy Peterson62MVA0:522:345:298:3650k
22Wendy Valdes39FDC0:51:002:295:308:5250k
22Daisy Weill30FDC0:51:002:295:308:5250k
24Bruce Tweedie57MVA0:51xxx5:248:5450k
25Dawn Gray44FVA0:52:002:365:499:0450k
26Don Riley55MMD0:522:345:339:1350k
27Larry Huffman58MVA0:562:425:579:4450k
27Art Perraud60MMD0:582:435:589:4450k
29Jeff Pence60MVA1:152:516:1210:0250k
30Larry Tumblin50MVA0:542:426:1210:2550k
Party Routes         
NopeJeffrey Garstecki50MMD0:422:034:216:5050k-ish
NopeJustin Faul38MVA0:402:034:246:5050k-ish
NopePaul Jacobs40MDC0:361:464:124:4123 miles
NopeJack Anderson36MDC0:371:514:205:0023 miles
NopeJoe Schramka49MDC0:562:295:266:0723 miles
NopeMichael Hannon54MMD0:552:335:266:0723 miles
NopeJim Daniels45MVA0:562:395:316:0823 miles
NopeLaura Bergmann36FVA0:462:205:326:0823 miles
NopeHelen MacDermott40FVA0:562:405:576:4723 miles
NopeBill Pelton41MDC0:422:034:34xxx20 miles
NopeMegan Hardey31FVA0:532:345:28xxx20 miles
NopeChristian Stanton45MVA1:022:516:39xxx20 miles
NopeElaina Stanton48FVA1:022:516:39xxx20 miles
NopeTom Simonds21MVA0:532:29xxx4:5817.5 miles
NopeDan Aghdam50MVA1:002:40xxx5:1617.5 miles
NopeJeremy Gray45MVA0:562:49xxx5:4117.5 miles
NopeTammie Garstecki47FMD0:563:04xxx6:3117.5 miles
NopeJake Stephens22MMD0:532:50xxxxxx9 miles

All times above are “gun time” - the start was inexcusably delayed until 8:01 AM.
Kyle Lawrence spotted the field 5 minutes before he decided to start racing.
Jeff Pence did Kyle one better, as he spotted the field 20 minutes before trotting up the trail.
Four members of the “Breakfast Club” this year [i.e. runners at the Visitors Center by noon]
Two members of the “Dinner Club” — Jeff Pence and Larry Tumblin [finished after dark]
Furnace Tourist Awards this year go to the indomitable duo of Justin Faul and Jeff Garstecki.
Best Blood, in a landslide - Matt Christovich. Matt is a bleeder …

Last updated January 20, 2020