2011 - The Year Everyone got their Muddy's Worth
Race Reports , Comments, and So On
 Active.com UR Article Davis Barlow Running Bear 
Jen Torres video Angela Goundas Kevin Dorsey Kim Pearson
Facebook Vicky Halsey Sara Neal Rick Moran
Jen Torres Blog Mac's Pics Volunteers Joe Edgecombe
George Flatau Jamie Knight Mike Williams Alan Barnes
The Troubled Troubadour Reviews on Active.com
Laurel Leader Call Article The Bear Facts

I just want to  let you know that was the best race I have ever done.  It was fun, it was an awesome course.  Not once during the 20k did I wish it would be over soon- however - the distance was perfect.  You have snagged an annual runner. See you next year.
Angela Goundas

 I just wanted to say thank you for the MS 50. The race was very well-organized and hassle-free for the runners.  I was impressed, pleased, and surprised to see the results posted so soon after the run,
including the split times, especially considering the challenges the weather surely presented to the race director and volunteers in closing down and cleaning up. 

The volunteers were exceptionally helpful, friendly, and encouraging.  The aid station selections were excellent. 

The course was fun, scenic, and interesting.  I very much enjoyed it.   I particularly liked changing to the shorter 6.1 mile loop after 3 "big" loops.  The change of scenery was nice, as well as the shorter "intermediate" goal of 6.1 miles. 

I found the course to be well-marked and easy to follow.  The finishers buckle and medal are quality and nice, and the  technical T-shirt is great.  I especially like that it is not full of advertisements.  The finishers hat is nice, and the gloves were appreciated too.  I hope to return next year.

Kevin Dorsey

I just ran my first ever trail run with you Saturday.  My girlfirends and I did the "fun run"...and it was just that...great fun.  I'm sure the ultras wished for a little less weather, but we came home with mud and laughs.  Thanks for putting on a great race with terrific volunteers.  We'll see you next year.

 The Tortoise

(Kim Pearson)

The only downside to Saturday was it was my first attempt at 50 miles. We were stopped because we missed the 8:45 cutoff, though. I'm disappointed, but it was an incredible experience.

My husband and I were last off the big loop. Going through the "lake" between 11 and 12 miles was truly a memorable experience. Jim stood at the low point that was a mudhole on loop one, and we couldn't tell where the trail was. It looked like we were standing in a lake!

We are curious about the car stuck in the trail. How did he get there? And how did he get out? Another great memory.

Thanks for putting on a great race. Your volunteers were great 3 years ago in perfect weather. They were truly troopers this year, and a welcome sight.

Vicky Halsey

Thank you SO much for hosting such a fun event in that mess! That was the most fun/horrible thing I've ever been involved in! I absolutely CAN NOT wait until next year! I think in the craziness of it all I forgot to say thank you to everyone that helped and made the race possible. THANKS!!


Simply outstanding......food, weather, course, volunteers......wouldn't change a thing.


That was a true test.  This was my first attempt at 50 miles and we had to stop at 40miles.  I was feeling good, but I've never seen weather so violent.  Mother Nature really wanted to win that one.  
Last night for the Ice Age 50 miler in Wisconsin.  I switched from the 50k to the 50miler.  I also signed up for my first 100 miler Javelina Jundred - guess i'm hooked.  I suppose I will have to come back to Mississippi one day to get that buckle.


Bears do it in the woods.

Bear's perspective of the event:
once again we had a great group of runners (plus Rich Limacher) come to our run. A few got lost trying to find the Friday supper, a few trying to find the start/finish, and a very few during the race. But that's mainly the web messer's fault and we can fix that. The main thing we could not fix was that the RD had apparently used up all his beginner's luck (about time since it was his 6th MS50) and we had weather issues. But contrary to rumors, we did not have rain. Rain is when the ground gets wet and there are puddles and you see drops on the windshield. We had a monsoon, with creeks appearing out of nowhere and covering the trail and coming down the access road, and through the s/f tent, and rising to waist deep in the woods. There were no puddles or mud, just ponds to run through. But that's enough growling.

Many, many thanks to everyone who registered, ran, watched, or commented on the race. Trail runners have to be the nicest people on the planet. And MS50 trail runners are the best of all. Hope to see you all again next year.


Now that a couple of days have passed since the Carl Touchstone Memorial Trail Run (I did the 50K), I wanted to share my thoughts.  Saturday, March 5, 2011, marked my first trail run and my first 50k.  I will admit to being a little nervous and a little apprehensive as I did not really know what to expect.  The anticipation of bad weather increased my nervousness.  Why, I have no idea as it is not like I have never run in bad weather before.  Regardless I reached the starting line Saturday morning a little out of sorts, and frankly dreading the thought of spending hours on end in the rain (I am admittedly slow as molasses). 

I think Saturday might have been the best day of my life - if not the best it is definitely a top five day for me!  I so enjoyed every second I was out on the course.  Being slow has it advantages as I had the opportunity to meet and speak with a lot of different people. 

I also got to witness firsthand the awesome power of God when  lightning struck a tree about 50 yards or so in front of me around mile 14 or 15.  It was an awesome sight, but one that freaked me out and sped me up.  At that point I met Jen Torres who was running almost next to the tree that got struck at the time it got struck.  We ended up running together the rest of the way and finished together, along with a co-worker of mine, George Martin, who was also running his first 50K.  The three of us finishing our first 50K together was pretty cool.

Please pass along my thanks to the aid station volunteers.  They were awesome, totally supportive and made sure we had whatever we needed.  As well please pass along my thanks to the race director and everyone else who works behind the scenes, but gets very little recognition.  This was an excellent, excellent event from the communication provided up to race day (and after) by you, to the dinner and packet pick-up the night before, to race day itself.  Y'all are so fortunate to have such a beautiful trail to run.  I am jealous.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for all that y'all do.  I really enjoyed my weekend and hope to be back for many years to come.  

Davis Barlow        


Thanks to all the volunteers who worked in the rain and mud to make the 2011 Mississippi 50 our largest run to date. And one of the most memorable for all involved.

 I could say thanks over and over and how each of you allowed 226 runners to have one of the greatest days of their lives, be it muddy or cut short by the weather. Better each of you look at the comments you garnered from the runners. The comments say more than I ever could. Be sure to look at the comments which are linked from Active.com. Click on “reviews” so far we have 5 out of 5 stars on each of 18 reviews.

 If you know of someone who helped  and is not on this e-mail list (Del had several on the Blue Loop Aid Station)  get me their contact info so I can thank them also and make sure they get shirts, caps and so on.

 Dennis B, RD


Mississippi Trail Run

There is a little pre-story to this story. I first attended the MS50 to run my first 50K on my 55th birthday. Richard Cozart and his wife Shirley invited me to join them on this adventure.  Skip ahead 7 years and I had this urge to run my first 50 miler on my 62nd birthday at the same MS50.  Richard, at 81 years old, decided to go and run the 20K. Marty and another friend, Lisa, also joined in the fun. Marty was doing her first 50K since she was 40! That is 18 years ago! This was to be Lisa’s second trail run in her short career.

Well, here is my story! It rained the entire night before the run. What I had remembered as a “flat” course was anything but flat. I had touted this flatness to Marty and that helped make up her mind to join us.  Well, it is hilly with most of the trails made of clay!  Picture clay and water...What do you get?? Extremely slick down hills! We had streams to cross about every mile or two. The 50 mile course was 3 loops x 12.5 miles and then a separate 6+ mile trail that had to be done twice.  The 50K was 2 big loops with one shorter one while the 20K was just one big loop.  Marty and I ran the first 25 miles together. Slippin’ and slidin’ along.  She had braved wearing road shoes but on the second loop, quickly switched to trail shoes!

Richard stopped at mile 8 of his 12.4 mile quest. The conditions were so bad, we feared him falling and being hurt and even getting hypothermia. It was a cold rain that never gave anyone a break. Lisa managed to finish her 20K in 2:58.  Another local girl, Cari Trapp ran a very fast 50 mile time of 9:52.

As remote as this race was, Marty and I were breaking out of the forest and had to cross one of the very few roads that were navigate able in the park when a car just happened by at that very instance. It was our friend Lisa. Had her car been 30 seconds earlier or later, we never would have seen each other.  Things happen in very mysterious ways! Might just have to reflect on that one for a moment!

We ran together for about 6 hours in a horrible thunderstorm! All the rivers were rising and the trails were like ice!  I split off from Marty after the first two big loops. She then headed to the shorter one while I headed back to the bigger loop.  The shorter loop consisted of flatter trails at times but they had 2-4 inches of water in them on the level ground!  It was a real slog-fest! Marty finished her race in 6:50 and was the 5th O/A female and the first female over 51 years old (she’s 58)!  I continued on with my wet and wild challenge. I had just finished mile 44 and was at the start/finish line with a time of about 9:40. I had ONLY 6 more miles to go. The race director held me up saying the National Forestry Service had pulled the plug on the race! We had lightning popping all around, had trees falling across the trails, etc. Reports were received about a line of worse thunderstorms carrying tornado cells headed towards us! He stopped the race! I felt great! Had more energy and had the course been dry, I feel I could have run much faster.  I was bummed about not getting my 50 mile buckle. I could have walked the last 6 miles slowly in 2:20! The race director is trying to make those type of decisions as to whether or not to give out the buckles for essentially finishing the race. He made a good decision but I'm still bummed. I will warn everyone that if we talk about this race you might just hear a little disappointment in my voice about not finishing (and not getting my buckle!).  I was the first person over 58 to run the 44 miles. I turned 62 the next day.

Our trail run turned out to be a real adventure race. Wonderful volunteers! We had a great time in spite of not having “great” times!  I think we are finally starting to dry out!

 Joe Edgecombe


Thanks so much for a great event. No amount of rain could prevent us from noticing what beautiful trails (& streams) we were fortunate to be running on, nor did it dampen the spirits of your great volunteers. Yes, it was an epically muddy day, but a great one nevertheless. Hoping to be back in 2012 to take a shot at the full 50.

Thanks again,



This was my first 50K and after having done 4 marathons since June I would have to say it was the most difficult and fun thing I have ever done.  I am admittedly a trail goober and loved every aspect of the course.  I even came into one aid station around mile 21? when the rain started again.  I commented "thank goodness I was feeling dry and warm, the rain started again!"  The volunteers were exceptional, especially the guy at the blue loop aid station who kicked me out because I was doing so well lol.  I found myself hanging out and chatting with everyone forgetting I was actually in a race.  It probably cost me a top 10 finish, but I was happy regardless!  I wore my "Why do I run shirt" and commented to you at the last station that there were a "few puddles" on the course!  Absolutely brutal, hardest thing I have ever done since I became a Navy Diver and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!  I personally have renamed it the Muddy Waters 50 in tribute to the blues great.  And the coup de gras was having a beer later that evening, called yup you guessed it "mudslinger".  Kudos to you and the organization.  Also I love the hat, is there any chance of purchasing more?  It's in my favorite colors and great for runs.  Thanks so much and I look forward to attending again next year!

Jamie Knight
Baker, Fl

I simply wanted to thank the race director, officials, and volunteers for hosting such a wonderful event! This was my first 50K and one I will not soon forget! I enjoyed every minute of it. The pre-race banquet, the run, the aid stations, the organization, and the fun environment were all incredible!

Again, thank you!

Run THE Race!

Mike Williams,

Running Bear and all volunteers - Thank you for a wonderful experience. This has been on my "To Do List" for a long time. I turn 50yrs old this year and a 50K seemed like the right thing to do to celebrate the event. I've done several marathons but nothing can compare to what we all accomplished on Saturday. Now its on my annual "To Run List".

Alan Barnes

Note: persons who are easily disturbed should skip this race comment/report (?).

Bud Light presents...


{Re-al men of geeeeeene-yuss!}

Today we salute you, Mr. Race Official and Weather Forecaster Who Casually

Mentions "Some Chance of Rain" for Raceday.

{Mis-ter "commmmmme fro-lic in-our-rainnnn-drops-and-splash-innnnn-our-mud!"}

"A slight chance of thundershowers"? "What's a few sprinkles among friends"? And "it'll be so much fun"? Are you kidding? When we show up for your race, wearing only shorts and a plastic garbage bag, and then just ten miles into it we get, like, today's Japan!--we *know* damn well you're NOT a weatherman.

{"It'sssssssssss prob-bab-blyyyyy just a pas-sing cloud-burst!"}

"Thundershowers"? Try: Tsunami! Because there is now more hard falling water driving itself out of the sky and onto your swamp and into our misery than has EVER been reported on CNN before! The temperature has dropped and the monsoon is ripping the entire jungle apart and we are all just freezing to shivery death!

{"The aid sta-tions allllllll have Tup-per-ware to keeeeeep your po-ta-to chips crisp!"}

You probably have this race confused with your last family vacation to some Caribbean wading pool and water park. Sprinklers? Does your giddily gleeful family simply delight in scampering under hoses in 85 degrees in the midday lush paradise? Wellllll, get a load of this!

{"It'sssssss not tooooooooooooooo bad, izzzz-zit?"}

The entire National Guard has been called out to fill sand bags to try and keep the county from being washed out to sea. So. Now. We're guessing the Good Lord WASN'T willing and the creek DID rise, eh? To a depth, say, of about 8 feet above flood stage?

{"Maaaaaay-beee a few sand bags will al-so save the po-taaaaa-to chips?"}

Even the Navy has been called in. Entire fleets of warships are now banging into one another atop those very creeks your race has us crossing several times per loop. Did you think we could continue having fun and playing in the mud when most of Planet Earth is underwater?


So crack open an ice-cold Bud Light, O Mr. Al Roker of Today's Show of overly optimistic hype, but please wait until *after* the National Forest Service officially shuts down your race for the umpteenth time due to weather, to save your runners from drowning--or worse, being coated with leftover oil from the BP spill--and to force everyone still stuck out on the trails to evacuate because, as you have told us yourself, this race takes place in a "dry" county; so beer of any kind, whether ice cold or lukewarm, is completely illegal. But apparently homicide by raindrops is not.

{Missssss-ter Raaaace Off-fi-cial and Wea-therrrrr Fore-cas-ter Who-Cas-u-al-ly-Men-tions-Sommmmmme Chance of Rain for Race-day!}

Bud Light beer: we don't care where they brew it; we just dig their commercials.

( O_O )

Yours troubly,

Rich Limacher


"your 800-year-old running-and-often-swimming lute plucker from France" (now on tab at http://www.runrace.net/)

Leader Call

March 13, 2011

Louisiana’s Multon wins Mississippi Trail 50

From Dennis Bisnette, Race Director
Laurel Leader-Call

LAUREL — All 240 runners braved the monsoon-like conditions at the Carl Touchstone Memorial Mississippi 50 Trail run on Saturday, March 5, but smiles dominated the day.

The run which features races of 20K, 50K and 50 miles on the Horse Trails of the Desoto National Forest, is sponsored by South Central Regional Medical Center, EMSERV Ambulance Service, the US Forest Service, Bill and Susan McMillan and several national trail running related businesses started and finished in the rain.

The light rain falling kept the temperatures low and cooled runners off during the early stages of the race. Mike Brown, winner of the 20K, was over a minute faster in the rain that he was the year prior on a dry trail.

Some 99 runners eventually finished the 20K. Participating in the 20K were Jesse Smith, Rick Youngblood and Brian Ginn, from Jones County Junior College. Other local runners included Rod Armstrong, Mobby Overstreet, Shannon Holder, Matt Flowers and Judge Tony Mozingo.

By noon, conditions were still great, but began deteriorating soon after. The trail was rapidly reaching a saturation point and creeks were rising. Over the next three hours conditions were getting grim. The 6 water crossings on the yellow loop were at least waist deep and getting deeper. The shorter blue loop with three creek crossings started out with a nice waist deep soak followed by two creeks with long stretches of mud.

Still conditions deteriorated even further. Eventually more rain fell in a few short hours making even the roads rivers. A concern was that runners were unable to see anything underfoot as water covered roots, holes, and creek beds. Soon after, tornados hit Louisiana, and warnings were issued for the race site. One report specifically mentioned a bad storm cell in Ovett a few miles from the race. Eventually conditions got so bad that the decision was made to pull the remaining runners from the course. However, with only two access points on the blue loop collecting runners from the course was at best a long process.

Louisiana’s Troy Multon, probably with the advantage of training in swamps, won the 50K in a time of 4:21:46. Not a record for the course but a great time considering the horrendous conditions.

On the female side, Kristel Liddle, now living in Colorado, but recently of Louisiana, finished in a time of 5:37:26. Swamp runners?

Finally winning the 50 mile on his 9th attempt was 54 year old Greg Gearhart of Mississippi leading the field of those able to complete the long run in a time of 7:53:58. Karen Ray of Indiana made the trip south to run in the rain and was the winning female with a time of 8:36:41. Only 14 other runners were able to complete the 50-mile run before the race became untenable. 36 participants in the 50 mile event were awarded 50K finishes for the longest distance completed before being rescued from the conditions. No one including the RD and volunteers was happy that any runners’ race was cut short. One female participant was heard to object about being pulled from the course until a ground strike of lighting a few yards away quickly convinced her to leave

Naturally a number of less hardy souls and those having better sense declined to start the race. At the end of the day, as one competitor put it, “everyone got their muddies worth.”