Rocky Raccoon

Rocky Raccoon results. Read the comment from Rob Dolan.


...that's the 2nd lowest finishing rate ever.  Other than me doing some stupid things and not being prepared for the cooler than expected night, I thought the conditions were great.  Here's a recap since I have plenty of time on my hands not going to work in DC today:

I was not there but would like to point out that VHTRC member Jeff Holdaway was there and completed yet another 100 miler (20:13) AND his 18 yr old son Chris went along and also completed the 100 miler in 27:54!!! Anyone who was at the Redeye this year will remember Jeffs sons there running in shorts and tank tops like it was a warm sunny trail run in July.

A big VHTRC Congratulations to Jeff and the next generation Holdaway ultra runner Chris!!

Hard to believe how great the weather was for Rocky Raccoon considering current storm conditions.  RR is having growth problems with more than 700 signing up for the two events this year although only about 640 actually ran.

Despite the entries race management did a superb job.  It was definitely challenging with the usual problems of trail congestion, parking and support.  All were handled well, and course marking is extraordinary.

Despite the marking Jeff Holdaway managed to run past a "wrong way" marker on his last loop and by the time he recognized his error he went from sub 20 hours to 20:13 but still finished 32nd.  This was Jeff's 10th finish so he received a 1,000 mile award.

Jeff Zaruba finished 15th at 17:55, probably the best VHTRC performance in the 100.

My last trip to Huntsville was in 2006.  Considering the intervening years I corrrectly deduced I needed to run the 50 miler if I expected to finish, especially considering the course has been changed and is slightly slower with more trail and less road.  And those damn roots - as challenging as rocks - fell hard twice.  Runners were very timid when it got dark because of the roots since they are very hard to see in the dark.

Anyway I had a good run although I had hoped to run somewhat faster.  But "to finish is to win" and I was a winner.  At JFK this year I finished just ahead of Mike McCumber with Mike finishing RR in 14:25/214th just before me at 14:29/215th, and I never saw him at the finish line.

One of the good things about the 50 miler is the 29 hour time limit.  It felt good to be competitive and passing runners on the last loop.  Lots of slower runners finish thanks to determination to finish.  The course is slower than JFK with its 14 hour time limit.  RR had 207 finishers under 14 hours with 241 overall.  I'm grateful to race management for giving me another opportunity to finish an ultra.