2009 MMT Update 5 – Evening Washout [Also, Karl Wins!]
iRunFar would like to give a hearty salute to those women and men still out on the Massanutten 100 course. Yeah, the weather conditions could have been worse, but it was still a brutal day out there. The day started with light fog and humidity levels near or at 100%. As the sun burned off the haze, the temperatures AND the dew point quickly rose. In nearby Front Royal, the temperature topped out at 85F at 2 pm while the dew point was miserably above 70F from noon until after 2 p.m. After being broiled, the runners were “treated” to a round of torrential rain and frequent lightning mid-afternoon. At least at 211 East lighter rain lingered for an hour or so in the afternoon. A second more significant round of thunderstorms swept over the course between 6 an 7 pm with nasty lightning. There were even reports of golf ball sized hail. This second system lingered until 10:30 or so. Radar estimates show 1 to 2 inches of rain fell over the entire course between 2 p.m. and midnight.
Why so much info about the weather? Because it influenced every runner’s day, as well as that of iRunFar. I was supposed to stop posting updates to iRunFar before 6 p.m. as I was going to pace my good friend, Greg Loomis over the final 30-35 miles of the course. Unfortunately, the combination of 65+ brutally rocky miles and hours of rain brought him to the decision to drop. Due to logistical reasons on the course and a pending house sale and move I decided to forgo an evening in the rain pacing another runner. Even if I hadn’t paced another runner, I must admit I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t stay out there to follow the race.
Why would I have wanted to stay out there in the rain late into the night? Three reasons. First, it appears that many folks have enjoyed reading iRF’s MMT 100 race coverage. In fact, iRunFar saw more traffic yesterday than any previous day! (Thanks!) Second, the VHTRC’s race update system is currently down and iRunFar could provide you with the only race updates. (Race Twitters keithdunn and ultrarunnergirl have also both gone to bed.) [Update: The VHTRC's MMT live is updating again.] Third, I want to know what’s going on in the awesome race for second! Alas, if I wasn’t 1.5-2 hours from the course or had gotten more than 50 minutes of sleep last night with only a short nap this morning, I’d be out there in a flash.
According to the VHTRC website, second, third, and fourth place were all within 9 minutes of one another at the Woodstock Tower aid station (84.1 miles). Glen Redpath remained in second, while Mike Mason had caught and was running with his good friend, Todd Walker. Howe good of friends are those two? Well, Walker and Mason shared accommodations at last year’s MMT and it wouldn’t surprise us a bit if they were doing the same this year. Glen’s second place finish could be in big jeopardy if Todd and Mike can work together.
Update: This just in – Karl Meltzer wins the 2009 Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 in a blistering time of 18:29. Congratulations, Karl, on your second MMT victory!