The Ring

The Massanutten Mountain from Milford Gap

The Ring
Massanutten Trail Circuit Run

August 30 & 31, 2014

There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. --Will Rogers

The 2014 registration for The Ring will open in mid-July.  There will be no wait list, so don't delay once entry opens, if you want to inflict this level of self-abuse on yourself.

2013 Entrants List
| 2013 Results

The Ring

For the uninitiated, The Ring is a circuit of the entire 71-mile orange-blazed Massanutten Trail in the George Washington National Forest, on the ridgelines of the eastern and western ranges of the Massanutten Mountains around the Fort Valley, situated roughly between the towns of Front Royal and Luray. The "trail" is hard, rocky, and slow. Sections of the trail have been around for centuries, but the entire, uninterrupted, 71-mile Massanutten Trail was not completed until 2002.

Even before the trail could be officially dedicated in the summer of 2002, Chris Scott convinced a reluctant Anstr Davidson that they had to be the first to run the entire Massanutten Trail. Having beaten others to the glory of christening the trail when they completed that initial circuit run in April of that year, Anstr and Chris were then kind enough to serve as the hosts for the first organized running of The Ring in the fall of 2002 (for others foolish enough not to heed their warnings that a sane person would not really want to do this run). Over the next four years the Lords of The Ring continued to induct new members into the Fellowship of the Ring. After a one-year sabbatical in 2006, The Ring returned in search of more victims, but under two new Ring Leaders. Chris and Anstr passed the burden on to Mike Bur and Quatro Hubbard, who have remained in charge since.

The Fellowship of The Ring

The Fellowship of The Ring – those who have previously completed The Ring – currently consists of 122 members. Previously, the best part of being a member of The Fellowship was that, unless you were the first finisher the year before, you were not eligible to run The Ring again. That original rule prohibiting recidivism has been eliminated. If you have run The Ring in previous years, you are now welcome to come back and infllict all of this punishment on yourself again.  

The selective amnesia of most trail runners is an amazing thing to behold.  Virtually every finisher touches on these three themes before they drift off to sleep after completing their 71-mile run: the aid stations and volunteers were great; the finishing descent down Signal Knob sucks; and thank goodness that this is done, so that I never have to do it again.  Yet somehow many do return to beat themselves up on that rocky Massanutten Trail yet again.

Now the best part of being in The Fellowship is that it is only members of The Fellowship of The Ring who are eligible to run the Reverse Ring in late February. So plan ahead for 2015! Get this prerequisite course completed in 2014 so that you will be eligible to come back and play on the same beautiful trail in the middle of the winter, which is when it really shines.

How to Enter

Registration for the 2014 running of The Ring will open in mid-July, sometime around the week of Hardrock.  Registration will be limited to roughly 50 runners, and will again be strictly limited to only those who meet the qualifications detailed below.  Seriously.  We check.  So please don't try to enter if you don't meet these simple qualifications.

In order to enter The Ring, you will need to demonstrate that you are "qualified" to run in this event. Being a member of The Fellowship obviously meets this requirement. Otherwise, we are just looking for runners to fall into one of the following two simple categories in order to gain entry into The Ring:

  1. Completion of a trail 50 miler *AND* recent experience on the Massanutten trails (e.g. Tom Corris's "Massanutten Training Academy" MMT 100 training runs).
    OR
  2. Completion of any 100-mile race.

Backcountry experience and the ability to read a map would be helpful since there will be no ribbons or glow sticks to follow, just the "native" trail markings (i.e. those orange-painted blazes on the trees). Carrying a course description and the PATC Map G is highly advisable (see link below) and required for first timers.

Anyone interested in volunteering at The Ring should contact Q and Bur – we would love to have your help. We are specifically seeking a volunteer to head up each of the aid stations along the course, at least one additional volunteer for the last three aid stations on the western ridge of the mountains, and we could use extra volunteers to serve as "roving aid" during the day, and into the night as well.

Volunteers - 2013
Allison Holko - Milford Gap/Roving
Paul Crickard - Milford Gap/Roving
Fred Fialco - Milford Gap/Roving
Jarrett Tighe - Milford Gap/Roving
Joe Miller - Milford Gap/Roving/Medical
Bill Wandel - Roving
Denise Coll - Camp Roosevelt
Mike Ludwig - Camp Roosevelt
Bob Gaylord - Camp Roosevelt
Toni Aurilllllio - Camp Roosevelt
Sara Davidson - Camp Roosevelt
Meg Weigand - Camp Roosevelt
Jen Page - Camp Roosevelt
Beni Hawkins - Camp Roosevelt
Alisa Springman - Crisman Hollow Road
Jim Daniels - Crisman Hollow Road
Rick Kerby - Crisman Hollow Road
Dan Rose - Moreland Gap
Jeff Garstecki - Moreland Gap
Antoinette Landragin -- Night Rover
Gary Knipling -- Milford Gap/Night Rover
Tom Simonds - Edinburg Gap
Ed Walsh - Edinburg Gap
Larry Huffman - Woodstock Tower
Kata Major - Woodstock Tower
Kate Montgomery - Woodstock Tower
Matthew Lancaster - Woodstock Tower
Rogue Chef Bob Fabia - Powells Fort Camp
Sous Chef Katie Raezer - Powells Fort Camp
Caroline Williams - Powells Fort Camp
Stephanie Danahy - Signal Knob Cafe
John Stacy - Signal Knob Cafe
Herman Orgeron - Sweeping/Roving
Quatro Hubbard
Mike Bur

The Ring is a typical Fat Ass run in that there are no entry fees, no significant awards, and no t-shirts.The support from this race comes from the generous sponsorship of the VHTRC. Entrants in other Fat Ass events are generally admonished that there will be no wimps and no whiners. In this instance, just choosing to start The Ring proves you are not a wimp, and EVERYONE whines at the end. We would be disappointed if it appeared as though the runners were actually having fun. So when it gets to be your turn to whine about how badly Signal Knob sucks, try to be at least a little bit creative. 

Those Pesky Details 

The run will start at 7 a.m. on Saturday August 30 at the Signal Knob trailhead off of Route 678 near the northern entrance to Fort Valley. Each runner will be allowed a single, sturdy, well-marked runner bag, which will be collected prior to the start in the parking lot. By "well-marked" we mean PUT YOUR NAME ON IT. ON THE OUTSIDE.  On something that will be be visible to volunteers in the aid station. This means YOU! We will shuttle that single bag around the course for you. You will not see it at Milford Gap (the first aid) nor at Powells Fort Camp (the last aid station).  But you should see it at every aid station in between. Please try to keep the size of your runner bag within reason. Make sure that it will also reliably and easily seal so that the contents remain in your bag during transport. And did we mention that it should have your name clearly marked on it?

Be prepared to run long stretches at The Ring in between aid stations. For those of you who have run VHTRC events before, even the Fat Ass runs tend to provide everything you might need at an aid station. If you have special requirements, there is the above-mentioned runner bag option for you. You may have crew come out to follow you around, and even to run some with you if they can arrange their own transportation.  But crew should be aware that the Ring Leaders will almost surely press them into more general checkpoint duties - particularly shuttling runner bags forward.  So they should be forewarned of that likelihood.

There will be some aid at the Milford Gap crossing of the trail (mile 13.3). This will be mostly a water pit stop for the runners.  The biggest mistake runners appear to make it getting behind in their fluids early, so take full advantage of this water stop in the middle of the opening 25 mile stretch of The Ring. The first full aid station where you will encounter your roving runner bag with be at Camp Roosevelt at mile 24.9, so plan accordingly. The other official checkpoints are listed below, and if all goes according to plan, your runner bag will be waiting for you at each of them through Woodstock.  We will not shuttle your bag to the last aid station at Powells Fort Camp, but instead will return it to the finish at Signal Knob after the aid station at Woodstock closes.  Plan accordingly!

There are three cut-offs at The Ring.  The first is at Moreland Gap (mile 40.7), which you need to leave before 9:30 PM to continue the run with our support.  The second is at Edinburg (48.7), where you need to be out by 1:30 AM.  The final enforced cut-off is at Woodstock (56.9, and last runner bag station), at 6 AM.  We hope that these cut-offs will put you on pace to get through Powells Fort Camp before 8 AM and then on to the finish before noon on Sunday (29 hour pace).  These cut-offs are put in place for the benefit of the race volunteers, and they will be strictly enforced under all circumstances.

Checkpoints 

The Massanutten Trail

  • Milford Gap - 13.3 miles
  • Camp Roosevelt - 24.9 miles
  • Crisman Hollow Road - 34.4 miles
  • Moreland Gap - 40.7 miles
  • Edinburg Gap - 48.7 miles
  • Woodstock - 56.9 miles
  • Powells Fort Camp - 62.4 miles
  • Finish (Signal Knob Parking) - 70.8 miles

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

Links to reports and results from the previous years' of The Ring can be found below. If you have questions, comments, or smart remarks, send an e-mail to Quatro and Bur.

Reports and Results of Prior Runs

Other Information

Sun and Moon Data for One Day

The following information is provided for Front Royal, Warren County, Virginia (longitude W78.2, latitude N38.9):

Saturday, 30 August 2014  Eastern Daylight Time

                        

SUN

        Begin civil twilight       6:12 a.m.
Sunrise                      6:40 a.m.
Sun transit                 1:13 p.m.
Sunset                       7:46 p.m.
End civil twilight         8:14 p.m. 

                         MOON

Moonset                    9:47 p.m. on preceding day
Moonrise                  11:22 a.m.
Moon transit               4:55 p.m.
Moonset                   10:22 p.m.
Moonrise                  12:22 p.m. on following day

Phase of the Moon on 30 August:

waxing crescent with 22% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.

First quarter Moon on 2 September 2014 at 7:11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

 

The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lords of The Ring

Anstr Davidson
Chris Scott

The Class of 2002 (6)

Harry Bruell
Scott Mills
David Horton
Bethany Hunter
John Dodds
Gary Knipling

The Class of 2003 (9)

Ryan Henry
Randy Dietz
Jaret Seiberg
Steve Pero
Deb Pero
Mike Dobies
Alex Papadopoulos
Bill Turrentine
Ed Demoney

The Class of 2004 (15)

Sue Johnston
Scott Brockmeier
Mike Bur
Scott Crabb
Bill Wandel
Quatro Hubbard
Sophie Speidel
Margie Hughes
Anita Finkle
Barb Isom
Vicki Kendall
Dru Sexton
Graham Zollman
Bob Phillips
Carolyn Gernand

The Class of 2005 (12)

Jeff Wilbur
Steve Burton
Mike Broderick
Greg Loomis
Tom Corris
Kerry Owens
Ed Cappuccino
Bill Gentry
Bill Losey
John DeWalt
Bob Combs
Jeff Washburn

[No event in 2006]

The Class of 2007 (10)

Mike Schuster
Joe Clapper
Jim Harris
Diana Widdowson
Debbie Shaffer
David Snipes
John Straub
Teresa Sukiennicki
John Prohira
Gerard Pritulski

The Class of 2008 (9)

Keith Knipling
Jon Norris
Dave Garman
Bryan Banning
Frank Probst
Bob Anderson
Jen Jacobs
Alan Roche
Mark Mckennett

The Class of 2009 (12)

Sean Andrish
Dan Rose
Justin Faul
Mason Parker
Ryan Fulwider
Karsten Brown
Zsuzsanna Carlson
Paul Crickard
Marti Kovener
Gary Lukacs
Robert Andrulis
Caroline Williams

The Class of 2010 (13)

Jack Kurisky
Dave Yeakel
Ernesto Casarez
Elise Harrington
Rhonda Stricklett
Alan Gowen
John Godinet
Scott Millar
Gary Maier
Rick Moyer
Jill Devereux
Carolyn Wilson
Kim Love-Ottobre

The Class of 2011 (8)

Rande Brown
Cam Baker
Kari Brown
Jeff Best
Yukiko Nishide
Hiroyuki Nishide
Brian Beduhn
Jeff Gura

The Class of 2012 (11)

Danny Mowers
Kent Gallup
Matt Smythe
Ken Wolters
Gray Weaver
Ed Rangel
Charlie Joyce
Stephen Cooper
Larry Huffman
David Quivey
Doug Sullivan

The Class of 2013 (15)

Brad Hinton
Jack Anderson
John Cassilly
Joe Schramka
Kathleen Cusick
Jay Finkle
Paul Lefelhocz
Ron Eshleman
Michael Gildea
Tony Escobar
Mitchell Potter
Diane Behm
Shelly Cable
Todd Hanks
KC Guevara