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The Wild Oak Trail 100

February 10-11, 2007
by Anstr Davidson

Links: Results | Photos on Flickr | John Nelson Pictures

RunnerYearLoop 1Loop 2Loop 3Loop 4
Keith KniplingFeb 076:2213:4823:0432:23:20
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

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...."

Keith KniplingThis 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.

Brennen WysongOne 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.

Three Old Farts
Three Old Farts from the Wild Oak 50: Anstr, Dennis, and Harry

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.

Anstr Davidson

Runners at Start

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The Wild Oak Trail 100 Miler
February 10-11, 2007

1 Keith Knipling6:2213:4823:0432:23
2 Brennen Wysong6:4415:52  
3 Jim Harris 7:2917:13  
4 Mike Dobies7:4017:13  
5Amy Sproston6:45 1 
6 Mike Schuster  2  
7 Gary Knipling8:0316 :503 
8 Kerry Owens7:38 4  
9 Sean Andrish5:49   
10 Courtney Campbell5:49   
11 Don Padfield6:30   
12 Chase Duarte6 :31   
13 Jamey Groff7:07   
14Rick Kerby7:07   
15 Jim Daniels7:07   
16 Mike Bur7:40   
17Russ Evans7:52   
18 Diana Widdowson7:52   
19 Paul Melzer8:04   
20 Bob Combs8:12   
21 Steve Bowles8:13   
22 John Nelson8:17   
23 Charlie Miracle8:23   
24 Tom Rineer8:23   
25 Challen Edwards8:55   
26 Vicki Kendall8:59   
27 Barb Isom8:59   
28 Joyce Fendley9:05 5  
29 Bryon Powell  6  
30 Harry Smith9:17   
31Bob Phillips10:40   
32 Karen Sandt   7  
33 Quatro Hubbard  7  
34 Bill Wandel  8  
35Chris Scott  9  
  1. And ran loop 4 w/ Keith in 9:08
  2. Ran Loops 2 and 3 W/Keith in 7:15 and 8:42
  3. 51 miles. Ran to Camp Todd on the second loop and then ran 9 miles on the road to the parking lot
  4. and 9:30 for 32 miles
  5. Ran Sunday morning from 2 - 11AM
  6. Ran the 4th loop w/ Keith in 9:08
  7. Ran to Camp Todd (on the trail) and then ran 9 miles on the road to the parking lot for a total time of 6:49 for 25 miles
  8. Ran to Camp Todd in 5:20 and brought Chris Scott's truck back to the parking lot. Ran 16 miles on the trail.
  9. Ran from Camp Todd to the parking lot on the Wild Oak Trail in an amazing time of 1:50! Ran 10 miles. This is not "the" Chris Scott. It's the other Chris Scott.

River Crossing
The River Crossing before the correct path was obvious

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