|TWOT ALL TIME LIST|
|Runner||Year||Loop 1||Loop 2||Loop 3||Loop 4|
|Keith Knipling||Feb 07||6:22||13:48||23:04||32:23:20|
|Dennis Herr||Feb 02||5:36||13:36||23:50||34:02|
|Sue Johnston||Oct 05||6:54||15:12||25:14||34:02:57|
|Jamey Groff||Oct 06||6:43||16:07||27:34||37:10|
|Mike Dobies||Oct 05||6:53||16:40||34:02||55:54:26|
|Russ Evans||Oct 05||7:21||17:48||34:02||55:54:26|
The 2007 Wild Oak Trail (TWOT) 100 Miler was held in very cold weather. That is nothing new, but this year was particularly so. There was a fresh couple of inches of snow on the ground that became more inches on the ridges. Opinion differed on whether the snow conditions helped or hurt the runners.
Prior to this year, only five people had finished the 100. Far more than five have planned to run 100 miles at TWOT, but the siren call of a warm car in the cold, dark night often defeats the 100 mile plans. "If I had a dollar for every person who said he was going for 100...."
This year, however, one person was talking about 100 miles in a very positive and realistic way. It seems that to do four loops, you need a mix of bravado and reality. Keith Knipling was in that groove. He kept slugging it out in the cold and became the sixth and fastest runner to finish TWOT.
In the typical fashion of a scientist, Keith kept meticulous records of his run and even has a graph of his heart rate-altitude monitor.
Over 30 people participated, one way or the other, in the run. Besides Keith, only three -- Brennen Wysong, Mike Dobies, and Jim Harris did two, more or less official loops. Additionally, Mike Schuster and Amy Sproston did two loops in aid of Keith, and Gary Knipling almost did two loops. But Gary, since it wasn't horse shoes or hand grenades, "close" doesn't count.
One of the best free shows around was watching runners trying to cross the river at Camp Todd. This crossing has changed greatly over the years. When Dennis started the old Wild Oak 50 miler, there was a big tree across the stream that one could use to avoid wet feet. The tree was a bit precarious, but it worked. Then the tree disappeared and there was no way across the river without wet feet. But recently, global warming, or some other vast conspiracy, has dropped the level of the river so that, last October, anyway, one could cross the stream on rocks with dry feet.
This year, however, had a special challenge. There was snow on the rocks in the river. One could make it across with dry feet, but he had to take the right path. There were some weak snow bridges that would collapse with the right amount of weight. Some runners found the proper path, a few broke through. Brennen Wysong (right) broke through twice on the first loop. On the second, he used the hands and knees strategy to avoid another bath.
[Editor's Note: Earlier versions of this report incorrectly stated that Brennen broke through the ice on both of his loops. That was incorrect. We are trying to decide whether to force the guilty reporter to run another TWOT loop or just shoot him.]
One of the official "rules" of TWOT is that no one write a report about it. Hmm. I have violated that rule several times. TWOT is not supposed to be popular or very public. TWOT doesn't make heros. But it is an undertaking worth documenting. It is a celebration of many things -- the trail, the mountains, Dennis, etc. While much of what "goes at TWOT, stays at TWOT," posterity demands some respect.
TWOT is the low key heir to the more official Wild Oak 50 miler. Not many people remember that event. It was a long time ago. But at that event, everyone did two loops. That's when men were men! And everyone was much younger.
As usual, the heart and soul of the run was Dennis Herr, its founder and first finisher. Dennis and his lovely daughter Holly, tracked and cared for the runners. We are sure that Dennis will be out on the trail with us soon.
The "Hot TWOT" will be held in October when the weather is warmer but the trail is no easier.
|7||Gary Knipling||8:03||16 :50||3|
|12||Chase Duarte||6 :31|
The River Crossing before the correct path was obvious