Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50Km

August 9, 2014
7 a.m. SHARP Start
Wild Oak Trail Trailhead

MMB is the acronym for the Martha Moats Baker Memorial 50K. This is a low-key, no-fee run put on by Dennis Herr. 

Entry is limited to 50 runners. The entry limit has been reached for this year's run. We are sorry that we can't accomodate all the runners who would like to do this event, but Forest Service regulations and the logistics of parking in the start/finish area won't allow more.

Technically, there will be a "fee" of sorts to run MMB. All runners will receive an e-mail the week of the race with a food assignment to bring, which will be used to stock the aid stations.

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 in the parking lot, park along the road, but with all four wheels off the pavement, or go back to the road junction about 200 yards from the parking lot and park along the side of that dirt road. 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: In 2013, there were some course changes from what we had run in the previous years of MMB. There will be some flour and possibly some ribbon markings to help at critical points along the length of the course.

Course Description

The course will be marked – minimally! – but it will be marked. Be sure to carry your turnsheet. Carry your map, but in the section that is on the east side of Tillman Road (between aid stations two and three) the map won’t be as useful, as the new trails are not currently indicated. 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 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/Popsicle Stand 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 up3.5 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]

MMB Memorial

MMB StoneThe MMB Memorial site is 2.3 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 (12.2 miles), The Slab/Tillman Road (19.3 miles) and at the Grooms Ridge Trailhead (24.4 miles).

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