The Mountain Masochist 50-Mile Trail Run is the defining ultra of the East. It was founded 27 years ago by David Horton, and today it’s part of he Montrail Ultra Cup. No other race in the East attracts as many world-class runners to its starting line.
This year’s event was no exception. Elite runners from Brazil and Canada—along with top pros from out West—toed the line near the James River Bridge along the Blue Ridge Parkway last Saturday. In the 5:30am darkness, a stream of 300 headlamps blazed down the Parkway for a few miles before turning onto steep, rugged mountain trails and dirt roads. Among the celebrated runners was Vladmir Nunes, who broke Scott Jurek’s record by over an hour at the Badwater 148-Mile Ultramarathon from Death Valley to Mount Whitney. Nunes relied primarily on soda—Coca-Cola, Fanta, Mountain Dew—as well as injections of sugar directly into his bloodstream, to win Badwater earlier this year.
But it was Geoff Roes who would be doing the record breaking at Mountain Masochist. The curly-blonde Alaskan shattered the course record by over 20 minutes to finish in 6:27. The time alone is astounding, but it’s even more impressive considering the caliber of runners who have won the race over the decades: Dave Mackey, Eric Grossman, Howard Nippert, and even the new race director, Clark Zealand have never come close to breaking 6 1/2 hours, but the lean Alaskan cracked it on his first attempt.
Full results, photos, and blogs from the race director can be found here.