The Reverse Ring

The Winter Massanutten Trail Circuit Run
February 25-26, 2017

Entry for the 2017 Reverse Ring will open Jan 24, 2017.

2016 Entrants List

This late February tradition is back again to haunt a handful or two of trail runners this year – the Reverse Ring. 2017 will be the 12th running of this invitational event. The Reverse Ring is a roughly 71-mile counter-clockwise circuit of the Massanutten Trail, and it will be held in 2017 on February 25-26. The “invitational” label means that there is one important requirement to get in: a runner must have successfully completed a fall running of The Ring and be a member of the “Fellowship of The Ring.” Very simple - and an absolute requirement. (List of Fellowship Members

Those eligible to run (see first paragraph) should enter by February 21, 2017. If you have questions about the run, e-mail Mike Bur or Quatro Hubbard. We will also be looking for a handful of volunteers to help on race weekend, so if you would like to come out and play for a few hours please let us know.


2016 Volunteers 

Mario Raymond - Woodstock/Milford Gap
Shawn Krause - Woodstock/Milford Gap
Sarah Smith - Woodstock/Milford Gap
Kevin Bligan - Edinburg Gap
Jim Smucker - Moreland Gap
Tom Simonds - Moreland Gap
Allison Holko - Moreland Gap
Mike Dobies - Crisman Hollow Road
Joe "Moose" Novicky - Crisman Hollow Road
Mike Bur - Camp Roosevelt
Alice Hisamoto - Camp Roosevelt
Jackie Ong - Camp Roosevelt
Quatro Hubbard - Rover
John Stacy - Signal Knob Cafe (finish)
Stephanie Danahy - Signal Knob Cafe (finish)
Jim Harris - Historic Statistician 

The Details for 2017

The Reverse Ring is a Fat Ass run – there is no entry fee required, there will be no awards. It should also be noted that any whiners will be heckled unmercifully. Actually, everyone will be heckled unmercifully, but as you have all run The Ring, you should be fully aware of that already. As the Reverse Ring runners are all members of the Fellowship of The Ring already, we are confident that there will be no wimps or whiners in the group. Again, the ONLY qualification needed to run the Reverse Ring is a previous completion of The Ring. Some things in life just are what they are. If you can't do it this year, just go do what you need to do to run this in the future: finish The Ring next Fall. Those who have completed the Reverse Ring in the past are of course welcome to return for future Reverse Rings.

The run will start at 6 AM on Saturday February 25 at the northern end of the Signal Knob parking lot (the Massanutten trailhead). Note the early start time - yes you will need a light for at least the first half hour of the climb up Signal Knob.  Since all of the runners will be repeat offenders, there is no need for additional directions here, other than the reminder of the single directive needed to run the Reverse Ring: follow the orange blazes.  Stay On Orange.

Each runner will be allowed a single, sturdy, well-marked drop bag, which will be collected prior to the start in the parking lot. By well-marked, we mean your name should be clearly emblazoned on the outside of the bag where we can easily see it.  Please try to keep the size of your bag within reason! We will shuttle that single bag around the course for you. There will be aid available to the runners over much of the course – see the checkpoint list below.

There are two cutoffs for runners in the Reverse Ring:

The first hard cutoff is at the Moreland Gap aid station, 30.4 miles into the run. Runners need to arrive by 4 PM in order to continue on the full course. That means that a runner who starts at 6 AM will have 10 hours to go those 30.4 miles in order to continue. Runners who come in after this time can elect to be driven to Camp Roosevelt and continue their run from there.

The second cutoff is at the Camp Roosevelt aid station. Runners who wish to continue with the possibility of an official finish will need to arrive at the aid station no later than 10 PM.  This gives the runner another 6 hours to go less than 16 additional miles from Moreland Gap.

For runners who think that they may need more time on the course or who are concerned about making the cutoffs, there is an early start option. Contact Mike and Quatro to discuss this if you are interested.

Check Points on the Ring

  • Woodstock Tower 14.2 (Drop Bag - weather permiting)
  • Edinburg Gap 22.4 (Drop Bag)
  • Moreland Gap 30.4 (Drop Bag)
  • Crisman Hollow Road 36.8 (aid station - weather permitting)
  • Camp Roosevelt 46.1 (Drop Bag)
  • Milford Gap 57.6 (aid station - weather permitting)
  • Finish 71.1

The access road to Powells Fort Camp is closed at this time of year, so there will not be aid at that very early point along the Massanutten Trail (as an FYI, during the Labor Day weekend running of The Ring, this is the site of the last aid station).

The first aid runners should anticipate will be after 14.2 miles at the Woodstock Tower Road crossing. As the Woodstock Tower Road is often closed due to icy conditions in the winter, do NOT expect to find your drop bag at this first aid station. If we can drive it up to there, then your bag will be at this first aid station, but otherwise, you will just encounter volunteers with hiked-in aid.  

The same situation will apply to the traditional halfway point on the orange trail, the Crisman Hollow Road crossing aid station, as the runners descend from the Kerns Mountain section of the trail. Crisman Hollow Road is closed at this time of year, so the aid will be hiked in from the end of the paved section of that road.

And of course, the notorious 25-mile long night section along the east ridge of the Massanuttens, from Camp Roosevelt to the finish back in the Signal Knob parking lot, has not had formal aid in the past. Thanks to volunteers Sarah Smith, Shawn Krause and Chef Mario Raymond, a manned aid station is planned at the junction of the Milford Gap Trail and the Massanutten Trail, about 12.5 miles from the finish. But as with the Crisman Hollow Road aid station, your drop bag will NOT be here.  After you utilize it at Camp Roosevelt (mile 46.1), your drop bag will be shuttled back to the Signal Knob parking lot, and should be available for your pick up at the Signal Knob Cafe after you finish.

Keith Knipling has put together some very handy pocket charts.  This two-page pocket chart is intended to be folded into quarters and placed in a sandwich ziplock protective bag.  Start the run with the first chart and then pick up the second at Moreland Gap.  For those who prefer larger charts (and carrying more paper) here is a version that shows each segment on its own page.

Directions to the start at Signal Knob

From the DC Beltway (I-495) take 1-66 West approx. 60 miles to US 340 south (Exit 6, - the second Front Royal exit). Follow US 340 south 1.1 miles to the traffic light at VA Route 55. Turn right onto VA 55 and follow it west for 5.2 miles to Waterlick. Turn left (south) onto VA Route 678. Follow VA 678 1.8 miles into George Washington National Forest, and a total of 3.4 miles to the marked entrance of the Signal Knob parking lot, located on the right-hand side of the road. Plenty of parking spaces are available in this lot. Map

Prior Results


Masters of the Ring

Mike Bur
Quatro Hubbard

Mike Broderick
Bob Combs
Mike Dobies
Margie Hughes
Barb Isom
Vicki Kendall
Bill Losey
Kerry Owens
Deb Pero
Graham Zollman

No First-Time Finishers

Jim Harris
Debbie Shaffer
David Snipes
John Straub
Bill Wandell

Keith Knipling
Greg Loomis
David Garman
Jen Jacobs
Bill Wandell
Mark Mckennett

No Finishers

Dan Rose
Zsuzsanna Carlson
Bob Anderson
Kim Love-Ottobre
Ernesto Casarez
Cam Baker

Randy Brown
Kari Brown
Jeff Best
Jeff Gura

Kent Gallup
Ken Wolters
Alex Papadopoulos
Jack Kurisky
Matt Smythe
Larry Huffman
Yukiko Nishide
Hiroyuki Nishide
Gary Lukacs
Paul Crickard

Jack Anderson
Ron Eshleman
Kathleen Cusick
Stephen Cooper
Charlie Joyce
Michael Gildea

No Finishers

Justin Faul
Danny Mowers
Grace Fisher
Chris McIntosh
Gavin Watson
Aaron Ellison
Paul Leflhocz
Stephanie Dempsey
Scott Lee
Ed Rangel
Andrew Thomas IV
Bruce Tweedie
Chris Pabian
Irawan Balcet