The Rock/Creek Race Team left the Mississippi Trail 50 feeling confident and empowered despite this year's weather and course changes. What was intended to be a training run resulted in two great achievements of the day. John Brower won the overall 50 mile title (for the second time) by about 20 minutes with a final time of 7:21:50 and Kris Whorton won the women's overall 50 mile title with a final time of 8:05:44.
The Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 in Laurel, MS demonstrated the meaning of the phrase, "over hill, over dale, over fire burnt trail" this past race. The race trail underwent a minor change after controlled burning in the area caused some remapping. Rock/Creek Race Team Members Randy Whoton, Kris Whoton, Doug Dooley, and John Brower each had a different experience out on the trail compared to previous years.
Rock/Creek Race Team member Randy Whorton recalls the MS50 event;
The scalding 80 plus degree heat influenced Randy's decision to back down to the 50K event, but still offered enough mercy for his 7th overall finish. Randy was not the only runner to feel the heat that day. Bear comments from the MS50 race day report, "We may have the only 50K in the country where 62 people sign up, 60 start, and 92 finish,"
Randy Whorton praised Doug Dooley, who "presented good strength and pace, despite uncertainty of his healing double stress fractured foot, and placed 10th in the 20K event." His intention for the race was to test his foot strength and feel out his recovery efforts.
The weather was no match for Kris Whorton, and Rock/Creeks newest member John Brower. Kris won the women's overall 50 mile title. Randy explains: "Kris did have some competition. Ann Heaslett led Kris by nearly 10 minutes with 17 miles to go. Ann won two national ultra titles in 2002 (50 mile and 24 hour) and was named the USA Track and Field 'Ultrarunner of the Year' in 2005. Kris not only caught her, but ended up winning by over 12 minutes, also beating all but 4 of the guys. Doug aptly called it the 4th quarter smack down."