Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50Km

August 12, 2017
7:00 a.m. Start
Wild Oak Trail Trailhead

MMB is the acronym for the Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50K. This is a low-key, no-fee run.  Results for the 2016 event, and for the previous nine years of MMB 50k's, can be viewed through the links in the "MMB Resources" box below.

Entry to this event is limited, due to Forest Service regulations and the logistics of parking in the start/finish area. The entry to the 2017 race will open on Monday July 10th. More details on the entry format will be posted prior to July. Mark it on your calendar and plan to join us for the 10th annual MMB 50k!

All MMB runners will receive an e-mail the week of the race with a food assignment.  It is this runner-supplied "tribute" that will be used to stock the three event aid stations.  The leftovers will be brought to the finish line for snacks in the parking lot after the race.

Runners at Memorial
2013 Runners at the Martha Moats Baker memorial - Photo: Tony Escobar

The Start

The start is at the same trailhead as the TWOT start/finish. If there is no room for your vehicle in the parking lot, park along the road near the lot, but with all four wheels off the pavement. You need to be careful in some places as there may be a stone culvert or ditch to be avoided.  Another parking overflow option: you can go back to the road junction about 200 yards from the parking lot, turn left and park along the side of that dirt road (Tilghman Road), where there is a shoulder that can handle a couple dozen vehicles. Do NOT park at the Camp May Flather entrance. For directions, refer to the TWOT page.

Here is the course narrative, the inscription on Martha's memorial, and other information about the course.

IMPORTANT NOTE: There will be flour markings to help at critical points along the length of the course, which the runners have indicated in past years allowed them to stay on course with little difficulty.

Course Description

Again, the course will be marked – minimally, but it will be marked. Be sure to carry your turnsheet and your map as a safety precaution. If you are new to these trails, you may find it helpful to pair up with a veteran to be on the safe side.

Okay - here we go:

Start at the parking lot, heading counter-clockwise on the white-blazed Wild Oak Trail. Go up and over Grindstone Mountain and continue on Chestnut Ridge to the top of Little Bald, all on the white TWOT trail. Here you leave the Wild Oak Trail and go right on Bald Mountain Road for 4.4 miles past the 2nd gate to FDR 85 and hang a right. Go 1.2 miles uphill on this dirt road to the stone spring (this will be flagged), and climb up the short, steep “trail” to the Reddish Knob aid station (12.2 miles). From the top of Reddish Knob take a new trail between the guardrails on the north side of the parking area, descending down stone steps. After a steep descent through a thicket, cross the paved road and enter Timber Ridge Trail (431). You will follow this trail for 7 miles down to Tillman Road. During this section at the first trail junction stay to the right/straight, and at the second you will stay left/straight. At this second trail junction, the trail you should stay on will now be the Sand Springs Trail (423). You will bottom out on Tillman Road, then go right for a very short distance (1/10 of a mile), then left on Narrowback Trail (432) and down into The Slab aid station (19.3 miles). Leave the aid station on your left, climb the yellow-blazed Narrowback Trail to the Tower Trail (432A), then right for about a mile to Tillman Trail. Right on Tillman Trail back down to Tillman Road, then left for a mile on the road to the last aid station (24.4). Right on Grooms Ridge Trail (blazed yellow) and trudge up 3.5 miles to the junction with the white-blazed Wild Oak trail. Go left on Wild Oak and bomb 4 more miles down to the parking lot and the big MMB 50 finish.

Turnsheet [pdf]

Volunteers - 2016

  • Dennis Herr
  • Vince Bowman
  • Dave Frazier
  • Bill Gentry
  • Chris Pabian
  • Jorge Astorga
  • Megan Alvarado
  • Jack Broaddus
  • Samantha Strong
  • Sandy Walsh

Volunteers are eagerly sought to make this event a success. Contact if you are available and interested in helping out.  

MMB Memorial

MMB StoneThe MMB Memorial site is about 2 miles north of Little Bald on the right side of the Bald Mountain Road between two oak trees. Once you pass the 1st gate, it's at the northern end of the 2nd large wildlife clearing area. The inscription says:

Martha Moats Baker
Born 1880
Froze To Death Near This Spot
On Brushy Mountain
January 1925
Found August 30, 1925

Again, the aid stations for the event will be set up at Reddish Knob (12.5 miles), The Slab/Tillman Road (19.5 miles) and at the Grooms Ridge Trailhead (24.9 miles).

Final Note: This race is NOT an official VHTRC event.  It is wholly the responsibility of the race director.  The MMB site was created on the VHTRC site as a favor to the race's founder (and an old friend of the club's) Dennis Herr.

Thanks to Keith Knipling for creating the course map and profile below:

Course Map and Altitude Profile

Martha Moats Baker Course Map
Course Map. Click for larger image (1 MB)

Martha Moats Baker Elevation Profile