Monday, February 28, 2011

The Reverse Ring

The Reverse Ring is a roughly 71-mile counter-clockwise circuit of the Massanutten Trail, and it was held this year on February 26-27.
NEO Trail Club members continue their high percentage finish rate of the Reverse Ring. 4 club members started, all finished.

Cam Baker set a new NEO Trail Club Record for the Reverse Ring, with a finish of 18 hours 26 minutes.

Jim Harris continued his pre-race taper strategy by running 20 miles the day before the Reverse Ring. Jim stayed on Orange the entire route and finished in 19 hours, 50 minutes.

Bob Combs decided he couldn't stop at Camp Roo if everyone else was going on, with a 24 hour 45 minute finish.

Kim Love-Ottobre attained "Master of the Ring" status and wrote a very long blog post about it. Her finishing time was 26 hours 12 minutes.

It was the worst weather conditions ever. A mild day, with outbreaks of sunshine every now and then, some breezes on the eastern ridge, made it a great day (and night) for running.

Many thanks to Race Directors Mike Bur and Quatro Hubbard and the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club for hosting such a fine event!

Weekend Racing-Last Chance for Boston

Mike Keller saw an opportunity to get a supported long run in for his training for the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run by running the local "Last Chance For Boston" Marathon.

Mike not only got a solid long run banked, he also PR'd his marathon time by 28 minutes 54 seconds! Mike finished in 27 place, in a PR best time of 3.33.53.

Nice work Mike!

NEOTC Logo Contest

The NEOTC quest for a logo will end on March 10th.
Please have all submissions to NEO Trail President (for life, or until he gets it right) Bob Combs by COB on the 10th.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Runnin outta our Mine 5K Race Report

Race Recap by Heidi Finiff

February 19, 2011

A few months ago I got a Facebook event invite to a 5K. This wasn’t your run of the mill road 5K. It was going to be underground in a mine. I knew immediately that this was a race I just had to do. I don’t really run many 5Ks anymore. I’m barely warmed up when the race is over. And my super speedy days are long behind me. But come on when have you ever seen a 5K in a mine? I had to do it. I sent in my registration right away.
The race is held in Wampum, PA. It is in a limestone mine that is now being used as a underground storage facility. The company that owns the mine is The Gateway Commerce Center. It was an easy drive from Cleveland. The race also has a late start time of 11:00am. I got there for packet pick up pretty early. Like most 5Ks the race shirt was your standard cotton t-shirt. I had friends, Sandi Wethington and Tim Vincent, coming in from Cincinnati to join me. We met up at the entrance of the mine where they had registration.
Before the race everyone warmed up inside the mine. The entrance and first ½ mile or so into the mine looks pretty clean. They paved the ground and painted the walls. And it’s very bright. Lots of lights. There are offices up front too. It was a perfect place for pre and post race activities. Warming up for the race I saw several familiar NEO running friends including Jim Christ and Jim Chaney. As race time approached they ushered us down a tunnel toward the starting line. This race sold out with 500 runners lining up at the start.
At the start of the race it was paved for about ¼ of a mile. Then surprisingly the pavement, painted walls, and bright lights ended! The ground was now gravel, walls were dark rock, and lights were much dimmer. Now it was a TRAIL RACE!!!!! I was loving it. I’m not sure if all the road runners felt the same way. The course had a lot of left and right hand turns. It was a lot of fun seeing the runners who were ahead of you pass by after a turn. And then you would see runners behind you as they come into the turn you just went through. One of the amazing things about this mine is what they store down there. There were huge RVs, boats, trailers, trucks, cars. The temperature is always between 50 and 55 degrees down there. I even saw an ice cream truck. So between the turns and checking out the vehicles and the runners the race went by really fast. And for there being 500 people in the race it didn’t feel very crowded. The tunnels through the mine were really wide. And when you looked around the mine looked like a huge honeycomb. It had the huge pillars of rock which hold up the ceiling. But between the pillars you can either see through to the next lane. Or it was a closed space like a cell stuffed with a RV or camper. Before I knew it we met back up with the pavement and the finish line was approaching. They have you finish just outside the mine at the entrance.
The race was extremely well organized. It was chipped timed. And following the race they had pizza, fruit, and Eat N’ Park Smiley Face Cookies. The awards were very nice. They were wooden plaques with a Limestone rock attached. Sandi Wethington placed 2nd in the 40-44 age group. And Jim Chaney placed 21st Overall for 3rd in the age group 45-49. I would definitely say this was one worth checking out. How often can you say you get the opportunity to run a race underground?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Runnin outta our Mine 5K Results

A unique race was held over the weekend in Pennysylvania. "Runnin' Outta Our Mine" 5K was a mine. This race will be held entirely in an underground mine located in Wampum, Pennsylvania. The average temperature will be near 55°F, except for the finish line
located outside the mine entrance.

Heidi Finniff and Bruce McIntosh were two NEO Trail Members that went over for this run. We hope to have a race report on this unique event soon.

Heidi Finniff 28:05.50
Bruce McIntosh 31:13.40

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dirty Dog 10K

The Dirty Dog 10K took place on February 5th, with the warmest weather ever for the history of the event. The warmer weather did not mean the best conditions though, as this year we had the slowest winning time ever for the race.

Pat Dillon took the overall win in 49:43, followed by Eric Harris 33 seconds back, with Coach Todd Hanks in 3rd 30 seconds behind Harris.
On the women's side, Jocelyn Rood took the win in 1:01:13, with a daughter/mother combo taking 2nd and 3rd. Kelsey Dickey was 2nd 4:27 back of Jocelyn, and then Cindy Dickey 5 more seconds back of Kelsey.

Results are available here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ohio Office of Trails

Did you know the State of Ohio has an Office of Trails? It's true. Created in 2008,

The short term goals of the Office of Trails over the next year include the following:
* Completing the revision of the Statewide Trail Plan
* Administering the next round of grants, which includes the Clean Ohio Trails Fund
* Development of a web based trail map that would be available on our web page, the Ohio Division of Travel and Tourism’s web page, as well as others.

It appears the web site is due for some work, as some items have not been updated.

There is a handy table of trails within the Ohio State Parks, marked with number of trails, mileage, and difficulty. If you are looking for some new dirt to pound, check it out!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NEO Trail Member Spotlight: Bill Losey

Bill Losey is one of the founding members and Vice President of NEO Trail Club. Bill took a break from snowboarding to answer the NEO Trail questions:

Why do you run trails? The sights, the sounds, the one with nature. They are softer and hurt less than roads. I love the mountains, mountain life and mountain people. They are real, all things mountains don't lie. .

How did you first hear/get involved with NEO Trail? I've been NEO Trail since the beginning. Sometimes trail talk turns into reality. I think YUTC was and is the driving force behind our club.

Do you have a trail name? Can you share it with us and tell us where it came from? Shubi is my trail name. It comes from Gombu during a snowy trek to one of our many ultras in VA

What do you do to pay for the trail shoes? I steal them, it sucks because most of the time I only get right foots or lefts but eventually they all fit. I work in restaurant management. I work to live, not the other way around.

What's your favorite trail to run? Mill Creek Park (so many miles training and always enjoy the company when I make it home): MMT (so many man up memories), Laurel highlands, Colorado trail before twin lakes, Kentucky Arches course, Any trail in Frozen Head, Angeles Crest, Mt. baden-powell; San Diego 100 seeing the rattlesnake, Catawba near the finish when Bob did the HTE. (haha hilarious); Three sisters in Evergreen CO, The Grand Canyon because of the change in colors. The Reverse Ring the snow year, making freshies for miles, The Ring coming down Signal Knob with DeWalt and Combs; Stone Steps 50k course.

What is your most memorable race? disclaimer( very rarely do I race, I do like to run though)
1. Kissing the Hardrock
1a. Laurel Highlands 70 miler with a swollen ankle from the night before. Damn you english Saab.
1aa. First MMT finish, I cried three times and wanted to DNF 4 or five.
1aaa. The Bear 100, Airlines lost my luggage and I had to buy everything brand new the day before the run/very stressful.
1aaaa. Last years MMT, slept a few hours after throwing up numerous times and was 5 minutes to cut off and still finishing.
1 aaaaa. Late night on the Wasatch course with Bob.
1 aaaaaa And pacing Bob at Hardrock the year Peter did his rockhard/hardock.

What are your goal races for the 2011 season? Run happy, run often and enjoy the moment. 1. MMT(#5) 2. Barkley fun run 3. Hardrock 4 Cascade crest 100. See new trails, meet new people
What is your dream race? now, Ultra Trail du Monte-Blanc has been on the radar for the last year, so my guess, I will probably run that in 2012, all the people is gonna suck but France, not so much. Dreams: Barkley 100 finisher.

Any advice you could give someone just starting out to the dirt side of running? Have fun, get dirty, don't get caught up in time. It is all relative. Push your limits, push yourself, then you will be a better person. Talk to the vets at the runs, they are open/honest and true people who have tons of wisdom, I have learned so much from listening to Johnny DeWalt that it makes my runs more enjoyable. The vets have a passion for this and that is the common ground. Trail running is a laid back sport with great people. Pick a run, enjoy the training and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hardrock Hundred Lottery

Congratulations to NEO Trail Members John DeWalt and Mike Dobies for being selected in the 2011 Hardrock Lottery.

Bob Combs and Roy Heger are high on the wait list, # 16 and # 22 respectively. Jim Harris is not far behind at # 32.

The eighteenth running of the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run is scheduled to start at 6:00 am, Friday July 8, 2011, in Silverton, Colorado. In 2011, the course will be run in the counter-clockwise direction - a big loop through the San Juan Mountains of beautiful southwest Colorado: 100-miles plus 33,992 feet of climb and 33,992 feet of descent for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet - low point 7,680 feet (Ouray) and high point 14,048 feet (Handies Peak)

Wasatch Lottery Results

Congratulations to NEO Trail Member Desiree Cowie, for getting selected in the 2011 Wasatch lottery.

The Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run is held in Utah the first Friday and Saturday after Labor Day each year. The run stretches from Layton, Utah to The Homestead in Midway, Utah and covers some of the most beautiful scenery the Wasatch Mountains have to offer. There is a cumulative elevation gain of approximately 26,882 feet, as well as a cumulative loss of approximately 26,131 feet throughout the course. This is a premier run that will test the endurance of any runner.

The Hardrock Lottery Results will be available later this Sunday.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

NEO Trail Club Logo Contest

Attention - NEO Trail Club is in search of a Logo.

The NEO Trail Club Bored is looking for a logo to represent the Club.
We are looking for something that will be easily reproduced on gear such as shirts and hats, and also used on the webpage.
If you have something in mind, please submit your idea to the NEO Trail Club President, Bob Combs at
The final design winner will receive a small gift package in recognition of their creativity and support of the Club.