Carnage at The Ring
There were a number of big stories at this year’s running of The Ring in the Massanutten Mountains, held as per tradition on Labor Day weekend. The course has never been tougher, with the runners encountering not just the usual rocks, but also heat, humidity, spider webs, flying and biting insects, and overgrowth in abundance from this wet summer. It was a fair challenge for the 43 starters, a challenge that only 47% were able to complete this year.
Congratulations to Danny Mowers, who for the second year in a row ran away from the rest of a strong field with an overall win at The Ring. This year Danny finished in a time of 16:03, which was very impressive under the conditions.
The first woman was Kathleen Cusick - but that isn’t the lead story for her. Kathleen also became the second finisher of the “Double Ring.” Her warm-up for her finish of 22:17 in The Ring was to run the complete course the day before in the opposite direction, in a time of 20:10. With a 5:30 break in between to wash her hair and grab some coffee, that made for a cumulative time of 47:57. This broke the fastest known time for the Double Ring, set by Cam Baker at the 2012 Reverse Ring. She proudly earned her new title as a result, which cannot be repeated on this family website, but can be abbreviated to BAMF-DR.
15 of the 20 finishers are newly annointed members of The Fellowship of The Ring. The raises the number of runners now eligible to participate in the Reverse Ring next February to a pool of 122. We have already penciled in the 15 newbies, and expect they will be joined by a fair number of veterans when entry open up this winter.
Thanks as always to the VHTRC for supporting this Fat Ass event, and to the “brigade” of volunteers that turned out for the weekend, and without whom this race would not possible. And congratulations to all the runners who chose to tow the starting line in the Signal Knob parking lot for this event.