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The Wild Oak Trail 100
(Fall Version - "Hot TWOT")

October 7-8, 2006
by Anstr Davidson


Dennis and the Trail

Last year, in summarizing the low key, tough nature of TWOT, I said: "Hopefully, the TWOT and events like it will prosper. As long as Dennis is around, they will." Little did I know that Dennis being around would be an issue.

Jamey Groff, left, with Dennis Herr as Jamey completes loop three

Six months ago, Dennis's participation in TWOT was a big question. We all knew we would be there, but would Dennis be with us? Because of some great medical care, love of his family, and his damned tenacity, Dennis was there. He started us off in the morning, gave us cookies on the course, and recorded our, in many cases pitiful, times. Yes, Dennis is back. It was a great day.

The weather, however, was not so great. The weather sucked. It rained off and on all weekend. It was cold and wet. This was definitely the Hot, Wet TWOT.

Jamey Joins the Giants

Other than Dennis's appearance, the most impressive event of the weekend was Jamey Groff's finish. His calm, confident manner took him through the 100 miles (if you believe Russ Evans (and I do), it's about 106 miles). He came into the parking lot at the end of his second loop saying he would quit. Unfortunately for that plan, his family was there to greet him. When someone asked him if he was going on, he said, "I guess I am since I am taping my feet." At midnight, in the cold and damp, he headed off into the night with a 2000+ foot climb immediately ahead of him. That's what it takes to finish TWOT. Jamey showed that his VHTRC "Rookie of the Year" award this summer was very appropriate.

RunnerYearLoop 1Loop 2Loop 3Loop 4
Dennis HerrFeb 02 5:36 13:36 23:50 34:02
Sue JohnstonOct 056:5415:1225:1434:02:57
Jamey GroffOct 066:4316:0727:3437:10
Mike DobiesOct 056:5316:4034:0255:54:26
Russ EvansOct 057:2117:4834:0255:54:26

Depending on how you look at it, Jamey is either the third or fifth person to finish the TWOT 100. He is third on the all time list behind course record holder Dennis Herr and first woman finisher, Sue Johnston. Both Mike Dobies and Russ Evans ran 100 miles last year. They availed themselves of the "no time limit" rule and slept for long periods in between loops. Mike calls it the "namby-pamby TWOT." I call it impressive.

The Cookies


Sue Herr's note: I wanted to explain that this is a very old recipe that my sister used when she entered 4-H contests in KY, I think. She won! It is about 1955 vintage, and I don't know where it came from other than from my family. It has been a favorite, and now Dennis is making it!

Cream together:
2 cups br. sugar (we always used lite but Dennis used dark)
1/2 cup butter
Add 2 eggs and beat until fluffy.
Add 2 cups flour
   2 t. baking powder
   2 t. vanilla
   1/2 t. salt

Beat together until well mixed.

Spread in a greased 9" x 13" pan. Bake at 350 until barely done in the center, about 25-30 minutes (I haven't made them for a while, so it might be longer). Best when very chewy, crisp on the outside. It is important to cut these into "fingers" (about 16-20) while they are still warm or they get too hard to cut. (Dennis had that problem).

Dennis and his lovely daughter Holley were at the two road crossings. They had this cookies that looked ok. I had one. Then I had about four more. They were delicious and perfect for running. Sue Herr has passed along the recipe that is to the right.

Thank You, Mike

Mike Bur set out communal aid and also brought soup, etc. for the parking lot. While he bordered on being "un-TWOT like" by providing too much aid, he didn't go over the line. He was a great help to all. Thanks, Mike!

The Trail

The Wild Oak Trail actually has many runable sections. But there are three steep climbs including the killer up Big Bald and, this year, a harrowing stream crossing. It is not for the faint of heart. There is, however, no more satisfying feeling to socialize with your buds in the parking lot after having completed just one of those freakin' loops.

Bonus Miles -- And Notes

Again, there were many bonus miles. Additionally, there were creative ways to shorten or, in one case, lengthen the loops. We assume that these short loops were caused by the weather. Certainly, no one wanted to miss the fun of crossing the stream where falling meant instant death or, worse, embarrassment. The notes at the bottom are mine. Dennis would be too nice for some of these comments.

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The Wild Oak Trail 100 Miler
October 7-8, 2006

Jamey Groff6:4316:0727:3437:10
Mike Dobies7:2718:27  
Barb Isom7:5419:10  
Paul Melzer8:2432:501  
Jaret Seiberg6:4511:1540 miles2 
Quatro Hubbard11:1540 miles3  
Jeff Wilbur6:12   
Sophie Speidel6:14   
Don Padfield6:19   
Justine Morrison6:19   
Tom Corris6:30   
Amy Sproston6:40   
Mike Mason6:4430 miles4  
Kerry Owens6:45   
Keith Knipling6:45   
John Nelson6:4828 miles  
Russ Evans7:27   
Challen Edwards7:48   
Bill Wandel7:59   
Anstr Davidson8:38   
Mike Bur8:38   
Joyce Fendley8:38   
Martha Wright8:42bonus miles5  
Carolyn Gernand11:05 6  
Bill Gentry5:3019 miles7  
Alex Popadopoulos6:0019 miles8  
Jill Quivey6:0019 miles8  
Dave Quivey6:0019 miles8  
Bob Phillips6:0019 miles8  
Debbie Shaffer6:0019 miles8  
Rayna Matsuno5:5516 miles9  
Kirsten Walcott5:0016 miles9  
Prissie Nguyen5:0016 miles9  
Ben Moyer  11:2710 
Sue Thompson 15.5 miles11  
  1. Paul stopped in the middle of loop two and caught a ride to the start. He went back out on Sunday and finished the second loop. Dennis wrote down his running time. I added his sleeping, carousing time.
  2. Jaret completed a "regular" loop and then did an new, shorter add on loop.
  3. Quatro, ah, Quatro. His first problem was to follow his buddies into Ramsey's Draft with the intention of doing the 34 mile loop. Unfortunately, all of his buddies bagged the 34 mile loop and went back to party. Meanwhile, Q blazed new territory, going heaven knows where. (Actually, Carolyn, Dennis, and Q were hovered over a map and probably figured out where all he went.) Anyway, his miles were finally cut short when Sophie found him on the road and gave him a ride back. He had the same approximate miles as Jaret, but Jaret is listed ahead because he actually completed a loop. Q was very late getting in. It was amazing to see the love for Q as folks noted that he was overdue and might be dead or something. I think that had he not come in within a couple of hours someone would have called the authorities on the way to buy more beer.
  4. Bonus miles (I think)
  5. This was the famous "miss the last turn trick." Mike Bur and I, being true gentlemen, made sure that young Martha got across the stream safely. Once past the stream, Martha dropped us like a bad habit going up the hill. Had she stayed with us...
  6. Carolyn was the only one to do the loop counter-clockwise. This is clearly permitted in the rules.
  7. Bill had some lame excuse about something else to do that day. So he parked his car at the first road crossing below Hankey Mountain, ran to the start, and ran with us to his car.
  8. Ran to first road crossing (between Hankey and Big Bald) and ran to start on road. This option has a siren call to many until they realize that it's a long way back on the road and it is, well, a road.
  9. This was the "drop at Camp Todd" strategy. It was made easier this year by the presence of Margie Hughes's van for transportation.
  10. Showing the love that only a brother-in-law can give, ran with Jamey on lap three. It was dark and cold.
  11. Again let down by Dobies, Sue went out with Paul to finish his second loop.

This photo is from last year, but it is pretty.

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