Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 Mile Run

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Massanutten Mt Trails 100
2008 Report, Results, and Information

All 2008 MMT information -- including results, splits, reports, and photos -- will be linked from this page. Come back to check them out.


Fixing Feet at Edinburg Gap
Volunteer Eric Levy-Myers fixes feet
at Edinburg Gap Aid Station
Photo: Aaron Schwartzbard

Who would have thought that a meeting at the IHOP in Arlington, Virginia in 1994 would lead to all of this? But from that inauspicious beginning has come a great undertaking, the Massanutten Mountain Trails 100.

This year's MMT was a huge success because so many contributed to something much bigger than any individual.

As usual, weather played a staring role. We again had rain on Friday, but Saturday started clear. It was generally cool and breezy over the weekend. There was some rain, but its severity seemed to depend on where you were on the course. Gap Creek was the wrong place to be during the storm. Edinburg Gap was a better place to be. But to be at the latter location during the rain, you had to have run pretty fast.

Two "Nice Guys" Battle, Neither Finishes Last

Todd Walker
Winner Todd Walker just after his finish
Photo by Tom Sperduto (
Speaking of running fast, there was an exciting battle for the male win between Todd Walker and Keith Knipling. Each had prior good performances on the course but had never won the top prize. Todd had two prior second place finishes (in 2005 and 2007) and a fourth. He was clearly out for the top prize.

Keith is another story. In 1999, a 23-year-old Virginia Tech student entered MMT. He was dead last, but he finished. Since that time, Keith has moved up the field. Last year, he had a very impressive third place finish behind Karl Meltzer and Walker. (Keith then went on to win each of the Old Dominion's on the next two weekends.)

Keith Knipling
Keith Knipling
Photo: Aaron Schwartzbard
Keith and Todd battled all day. Reports from around the course put one or the other of them in the lead. At Edinburg, with 25 miles to go, Todd was in the aid station first. He stayed a while eating and getting ready for the final push. Keith came in to the aid station and Todd promptly left. Keith was in the aid station a shorter time, but when he left, he was behind.

The race was won on the last downhill. Todd pulled away for the win. He was unable to break Keith and had to worry about him all day. He said with very good nature, "I'd just as soon punch you in the face then race you again!"

As one observer pointed out, the good news was that, whoever won, it would be a nice guy whom you wanted to see win. Our guess is that Keith will, one day, pull off the win. But this year's strong second was a long way from 1999's DFL.

Sproston Takes Women's Title

Amy Sproston
Female Winner Amy Sproston
Photo: Aaron Schwartzbard
Meanwhile, the women's race was all Amy Sproston. She won without being pressed. She looked calm and in control all day. Some observers, whom we will not identify since we protect our sources, were convinced that Amy had gone out too fast and would crash and burn. She didn't. Amy's time was eighth on the all time women's finishers list and she is the fifth fastest women in MMT history. (Sue Johnston is responsible for four of the times ahead of Amy's.)


Among the constants at MMT has been that Tom Sprouse finished. He was the only person to have finished all of them. This year, we jinxed him.

Our practice is to give the returning champions bib number one (and two if both winners return). Neither of last year's winners returned. So who should get number one? Tom Sprouse was the obvious answer. So what happened? He missed the cutoff at Gap II.

Tom had persevered over the years. Joe Clapper and this reporter have always felt responsible for his string. One year he wanted to drop out at Edinburg. We wouldn't let him. He reluctantly left the aid station and finished. But it was not to be this year.

Tom Sprouse
Tom Sprouse

The other big change among the multi-year finishers was just behind Tom on the list. For many years, the other finisher of all MMT's was John Geesler, the winner of the first MMT. John stopped at 10 finishes. This year, the VHTRC's favorite veterinarian, flower guy, and "ambassador," Gary Knipling, finished his 11th MMT. The only year he didn't finish? 1999 when son Keith finished DFL. Gary is now in sole, undisputed second place for number of MMT finishes.

Speaking of Geesler, the man who battled John at the very first MMT, Joe Clapper, got 11th this year. That's pretty good for an old guy whose vision in one eye goes uot over the night time parts of the race.


There were two famous wrong turns this year. Both were made by front-of-the-pack runners. Our policy is not to name people who screw up like that so we will use code names -- Tall Guy and California Guy. Tall guy went 12 miles out of his way, but preserved until he came into Edinburg Gap and crashed. He had taken the "going down to Gap Creek" wrong turn. Then there was California Guy. Forgetting that the course goes south of Route 211, he decided to go north at the bottom of Waterfall. But how would California Guy know that? He only won the race in 2003.

You will notice a pattern here. Fast people screw up more frequently than slow people. My theory is that they are used to the motorcycle cop leading them around. They get in the Massanutten Mountains and they have to find their own way. They don't know how to do that.


Edinburg Aid Station
Terry and Brenda at the Edinburg Gap Aid Station. Everyone who had the Edinburg soup finished
As usual, the event was the result of many wonderful volunteers devoting long hours and little sleep to the undertaking. They manned aid stations, marked trails, provided communication, and kept track of everyone. All but two of the aid station captains were repeat offenders. Vicki and Barb were new at Woodstock and Charlie Miracle, taking over from Carolyn Gernand, was newly in charge of Bird Knob. Brian McNeill took over for Bill van Antwerp as the "Grim Reaper," and Kevin Bligan settled into his second year as the course marking czar.

Quatro delivered a great post-race party. Everyone, runners, pacers, crews, volunteers, and just about any one who wandered by, could have great food at the finish line. MMT's one weak spot, the finish line, was no more. It was a great party. Thank you to Q and all of his volunteers.

Bill Sublett with the dropbags
Bill Sublett supervises the drop bags

Critical "regulars" who came back include Bill Sublett who drives the truck around to deliver drop bags and Valerie Meyer who produces timely and accurate results. And, of course, there is Stan Duobinis who puts it all together.

Many of the aid stations are very difficult to supply. Probably the most difficult is Milford Gap. Jean Whitman, Janice Heltibridle, and Brian White got all the aid up a washed out road on an ORV. Here is how.

It is really impossible to thank all of these volunteers properly. But you can be comforted that all of them, except for those whom the Vermont 100 coerced into being there, were happy to do it. Somehow, it's very rewarding to be part of this great enterprise. It is so heartwarming to watch you puke in our aid station, then go on and finish and to know that we are part of that!


The great thing about MMT is that it is bigger than anyone person or group. No one "owns" MMT, everyone owns it. Everyone contributes to its great success. You can make it yours too. Just come back and see if Massanutten really rocks!

Anstr Davidson

If you have any comments on the race, RD Stan Duobinis would welcome them. You can send an e-mail to Stan

Note: We welcome the submission of reports and photos that we will either post here or link to. Contact Anstr Davidson at in this regard.

Finishing Rate


This year's MMT had the same finishing rate as 2007 and was just 2% greater than the overall average. Year in and year out, with all the many factors in the event, the number of people who finish is about the same.

An interesting data fact. The average of the 160 entrants to the event was 42.89 years. The average age of the finishers was 42.17 years. Age was not a predictor of success.

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Runners Start Their 100 Mile Journey
Photo by Tom Sperduto (