Hot TWOT Results

As always at an event like Hot TWOT, there are many great stories and amazing feats to celebrate.  This year was no exception, but three stories clearly stand out.

Katie -- Katie Keier must now be acknowledged as a force of nature.  She sweeps in to The Wild Oak Trailhead parking lot, sets up shop with her select crew from Team Gaylord, and then executes her well-designed game plan to complete four loops of TWOT.  The only thing that can stop her is Bad Luck.  Katie has now completed four loops of Hot TWOT on two occasions, and on the other two occasions she has run multi-loops on The Wild Oak Trail, Katie has been thwarted by injury and by a life-threateningly dangerous winter storm.

Joey -- Joey Cohen came down to Hot TWOT with his own detailed plan for completing the full 100+ miles, and he pulled it off to perfection. Like Katie, Joey exhibited no outward signs that the climbs and descents that make TWOT so notorious were having any deleterious effect on him.  Joey's final time of 28:19 is the second fastest at TWOT or Hot TWOT, behind only Keith Knipling's sparkling 27:08 from Hot TWOT 2007. Joey's loops were 5:45, then 6:50, then 7:49 (in the dark), and finally 7:55.  And this is not factoring in the 10-20 minutes that Joey used between loops to refuel and rearm while in the TWOT lot.  Post-run, Joey then settled in to heartily join in to the standard Saturday "party-in-the-parking-lot" that developed over the course of the afternoon, again without any hint of being tired or sore from his efforts over the previous 28+ hours. Last but not least - this was his first 100 miler.  Look out for Joey at future trail races!

Dennis -- Dennis Herr knocked out a loop of TWOT, completing his circuit in just over 15 hours on Friday, and then returning on Saturday to take on his standard role of TWOT Host With The Most, doling out giant bear hugs and TWOT bumper stickers to all the Hot TWOT participants with equal enthusiasm. Dennis had his famous Mason jars of apple butter to pass out to the two Hot TWOT finishers as well.  As most know, Dennis is a legendary trail runner from the Harrisonburg area, who has not been able to run since being struck by a car while bike commuting a number of years ago.  It was incredibly moving to see his determination and strength over those 15 hours on Friday to churn out the 27 miles needed to complete the loop despite the balance issues that make running so difficult for him.  He was dead-set on running solo, wanting nothing more than to be on the trails on his own, and achieve this circuit without any aid from a pacer.  As it became clear that he was going to need to finish in the dark, he finally did acquiesce to meet a safety runner.  Eva Pastalkova met him somewhere on that final stretch, and helped to ensure his safe traverse of the trail over Hankie and Lookout Mountains and back to the TWOT lot.  Welcome back, Dennis!

Other notes from the weekend:
Congratulations to Jim Smucker, first finisher among the Saturday single-loop runners of Hot TWOT!  Congratulations to all the other runners as well for coming out to take on this challenge.

Only one runner chose to go clockwise on the course this year, and that for a single loop.  Clockwise used to be the standard direction, and the course narrative still details the run with the assumption that the runner will be going in that direction.  But with a little encouragement from race management, virtually all the runners opted to go counter-clockwise this year.

Big thanks need to be expressed to a number of volunteers and crew that helped make this year’s Hot TWOT not only a big success but a great deal of fun as well!  Dennis and Eva were wonderful as always, and the indefatigable crew that made up the Hot TWOT weekend’s version of Team Gaylord were amazing.  While Bob Gaylord, Mary Shaw and Jayme Dubinsky were out there primarily to crew for Katie Keier, they were a huge help in aiding and tracking other runners throughout the race weekend.  Thanks also to Preston Dudley and Antoinette Landragin for their Saturday aid station help, particularly since Antoinette was under the weather but had nonetheless completed two Friday loops!  Very strong.

Results, with links to some pictures, are posted here.