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

2020 Report

January 19, 2020  •  Luray, VA

63 starters, 54 finishers

Final results for the 5th running of the Waterfall 50k, held on Sunday January 19, 2020 (Day 2 of the annual MLK Weekend training runs in the Massanuttens). The conditions were pretty good for the runners for this year’s run: sunny but cold, with winds up, particularly as the day went on. Perhaps that was why the finishing percentage spiked up for this year’s run?

Congrats to overall winner Dan Fogg, who successfully defended his title from the 2019 run. The rest of the podium was taken by Andy Stavers and Aaron Ellison. Kathleen Cusick took the women’s title for 2020. Chelsea Smith and Kira Bartlett joined Kathleen on the WTF women’s podium for this year.

Seven runners doubled up this year, completing the Massanutten Training Academy Run #1 on Saturday, and following that 50k up by getting up the next day and tackling at least a portion of WTF and its highly challenging course. Chris Pabian, Chris Flint, Keith VanGraafeiland, Levi Mason and Barret Stanton all finished WTF, while Jim Harris, back in Virginia after a couple of years away from the Massanuttens, took the shortcut back from the Visitor’s Center and decided he was fine with his 50+ mile weekend.

There were actually 65 starters, but two of the participants had alternative plans to the 63 who took on at least the bulk of this year’s WTF course. Sophie Speidel, accompanied by her son Chapin’s dog, Cooper, got in her standard road-based 18+ miler that involves doing the same 5k start up Waterfall and then running down to the Visitor’s Center, up Bird Knob, down to Catherine’s Furnace, then up purple to pink and back to the finish. Sophie also, as per her most delicious usual, brought a large number of servings of her delicious homemade Chicken and Rice Soup to ward off the chill and replenish the bellies of many of her fellow runners - thanks, Soph! Also participating was Ed Walsh, who is making his way back after a challenging battle with cancer. Ed rocked the Waterfall 5k, then looped back to the start by way of the Visitor’s Center, the Wildflower trail and the orange Massanutten South trail. Ed is most definitely on his way back!

Next year’s run will be held, as per tradition, on the Sunday of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend — January 17, 2021. Look for some changes to the run for next year, including a small addition to the course between Gap Creek and Duncan Hollow that will bring the run up and over the 50k mark (it is currently just under a mile short). And yes, the additional section will add an additional climb - and in good conditions, it should also add an incredible view.

Big big thanks to another great cadre of volunteers for coming out to help their fellow runners on a cold day to in the mountains without running.

Katie Burke Photos | Quatro’s Pics


PlaceNameSexAgeStateCrisman 5kGap CreekVisitorsFinishComment
1Dan FoggM35DC33:521:423:345:50:15 
2Andy StraversM42VA33:281:353:366:02:50 
3Aaron EllisonM43MD37:341:513:556:08:37 
4Matt CymanskiM28VA34:541:433:456:10:30 
5Justin ContoisM39VA32:521:393:456:14:40King of Waterfall
6Taylor MaltzM34DC36:311:494:056:39:30 
7William WeidmanM36VA33:121:444:026:40:40 
8Jack KuriskyM52VA44:002:024:206:45:05 
9Ryan BrownM34MD44:002:044:246:48:10 
10Kyle LawrenceM35VA36:251:444:036:53:30 
11Carl BliganM24PA37:471:494:116:54:10 
12Chris PabianM43PA44:002:074:316:54:45MLK Double!
13Greg JacksonM41VA38:021:534:166:56:15 
13Zachariah NelsonM28MD40:032:014:166:56:15 
15Christopher FlintM36VA47:002:104:357:08:20MLK Double!
16Matt ONeilM24VA44:002:104:297:08:35 
17Geoff PattersonM36DC46:002:114:387:10:50 
18Gregory LoomisM45VA44:002:044:357:16:00 
19Peter DiakM41MD44:002:074:357:22:50 
20Benjamin SchoffstallM30VA44:002:104:297:24:50 
21Kathleen CusickF44FL44:352:024:347:27:15Queen/1st Female/MLK Double!
22Keith VanGraafeilandM38VA44:002:044:407:30:05MLK Double!
23Keith KniplingM43VA44:002:044:407:33:58 
24Clint ThompsonM43DC44:002:044:467:38:00 
25Shawn KrauseM40MD44:002:044:457:40:00 
26Chelsea SmithF33VA47:002:165:007:45:45 
26Levi MasonM39VA44:002:104:537:45:45MLK Double!
28Daryl BrubakerM38VA46:002:114:537:57:09 
29Barret StantonM21VA46:002:114:557:57:15MLK Double!
30Jake StephensM23MD45:002:164:577:58:05 
31Derek ScheidtM32VA43:052:044:458:01:20 
32Matt ChristovichM40VA45:002:104:548:07:00 
33Dave HerringM48VA44:002:104:548:07:05 
34Tom SimondsM65VA51:002:225:068:07:30 
35Kira BartlettF27VA47:002:215:118:11:50 
35Jeremy PetersonM28VA47:002:215:118:11:50 
37Karsten BrownM45VA42:502:225:128:19:08 
38Don RileyM56MD52:002:275:218:19:35 
39Brian ChilesM46VA44:002:175:138:23:55 
39Casey FisherM36MD48:002:265:168:23:55 
41Brie HashemF32VA42:202:215:138:30:30 
41Dagmar PaulF35OH51:002:395:278:30:30 
43TJ QuinnM42PA47:002:165:118:33:40 
44Erin AltemosM45MD44:002:295:188:42:00 
45Marty FoxM69VA52:002:305:298:42:40 
46Chris WalshM33IN54:002:395:298:43:00 
47Ashley CarrF34MD51:002:385:298:43:55 
48Bruce TweedieM58VA54:002:385:358:50:00 
49Jesse ParkerM40VA52:002:295:258:53:40 
50John CalabreseM40VA50:002:305:279:02:30 
51Catherine CohenF50MD52:002:436:009:18:20 
52Brian CarrM43MD51:002:385:479:19:00 
53Bill BreidenstineM54PA53:002:405:579:47:15 
53Stuart BrownM68VA52:002:305:529:47:15 
NopeGarret ChristensenM40DC58:002:595:328:33:40less 2 miles
NopePandita GerdyF38VA48:002:115:00DNFFurnace!
NopePatrick EarlyM40VA44:002:105:135:58:00VC in
NopeJim HarrisM55OH53:002:275:255:58:00VC in/MLK Double!
NopeStephen CooperM65MD54:002:436:066:49:10VC in
NopeStephanie FondaF52MD57:003:026:197:06:00VC in
NopeBob GaylordM71VA57:003:026:197:06:00VC in
NopeTony EscobarM56VA56:003:026:547:52:00VC in
NopeLou BrooksM VA69:003:05xxx5:52:001 Waterfall
  • MLK Double! - those seven runners who ran the Waterfall 50k after running the Massanutten Training Academy Run #1 (another 50l-ish run) on the day before!
  • Breakfast Club was rather large for this year, as five runners arrived at the Visitor’s Center aid station before noon. The Breakfast Club members went on to finish 1-5 in the race.
  • There were no members of the Dinner Club this year! Two runners did use lights at the end, but the gloaming had yet to give way to darkness when Stuart Brown and Bill Breidenstine completed their WTF and picked up their stickers.
  • Furnace Tourist Award this year goes to Pandita Gerdy. Pandita was tricked by the evil purple trail, with its faded blazes that came across as pink. She ended up at Catherine’s Furnace and then summoned her Dairy Queen Trail Club to pick her up.
  • VC In = runners who took the direct route back to the finish from the Visitor’s Center aid station, for a total distance covered of about 22 miles.
  • 1 Waterfall = took the white trail back to the finish rather than take in that second Waterfall climb, for about 17.5 miles.

Last updated February 12, 2020