Contact the MS50 : Phone: (601-) 425-7005 (day) or (601) 319-9602 (night)
The 20K runners sprint from the start line in the 2009 Mississippi 50 Trail Run
The Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 is held in early March each year on the Longleaf Horse Trail in the De Soto National Forest just south of Laurel, MS. The race was moved to Laurel in 1996 by Carl Touchstone, a local dentist and accomplished ultra runner. The 2011 race will be the 15th anniversary of the race in Laurel, and the 10th that commemorates Carl's untimely death due to cancer.
The Longleaf Horse Trail: The course features soft dirt trails, pine needle paths, and fire roads on 12.5 and 6.1 mile loops through the piney woods. (See more about the trail). The 20 K runners do the long loop and are finished. The 50K runners run the big loop twice, and finish on the small loop. The 50M runners do the big loop three times and the small loop twice. (See change) Note that since all 50K and 50 Mile runners come by the start area several times, they can leave a drop bag with extra socks, a change of shoes, or special goodies in the area provided.
This is a relatively easy course and a good first 20 K / 50 K / 50 Miler.
There is a 12 hour time limit (dictated by the NFS permit) for both the 50K and 50 Mile events. The cut-offs for the 50 milers to start their first 6.1 mile loop is 8:45 elapsed, 2:45 pm, and the last 6.1 mile loop is 10:15 elapsed time, 4:15 pm.
It is a rainy time of year in Mississippi, and there are a lot of small creeks on the course. If it's been dry you can step across them, but if it's been rainy they could be knee deep. Hot dry feet are not usually a problem.
The 50 K and 50 Mile runs begin together promptly at 6 am in surreal predawn darkness. Lights are not necessary as the first mile is on smooth double-track, and by then dawn is breaking. The 20K folks start at a civilized 8 am, so they finish just in time for an early lunch. Well supplied aid stations are positioned every two to four miles with easy crew access, so no one has to worry about dehydration or lack of calories. Hammer Nutrition (e-caps) is one of our sponsors and provides the aid station energy drink. If you have not tried Heed yet, you may want to test it during training to be sure it you like it, but most folks do.
An interesting feature of this race is that the organizers allow runners to switch races after one or two loops; 20K to 50K or 50 Mile; 50K to 50M or 20K; or 50M to 50K or 20K (anyone who switches during the race will not be eligible for a trophy, but will be counted as a finisher). This makes the Mississippi Trail 50 a great place to try a new distance. If you get part way into the run and decide you have bitten off more than you can chew, just switch down to a shorter distance. The only way to get a DNF is to sit down and make us carry you out!
Each entrant will receive a cotton short sleeved t-shirt (see 2010 details). Trophies are awarded to the top several male and female runners in each race. A finisher memento (in 2010 it was a tec long sleeve t-shirt) is given to each finisher. 50 mile finishers also receive a handsome belt buckle. Food and refreshments will be available to each finisher, and hopefully pleasant weather will make relaxing at the picnic grounds with your friends very enjoyable.
The run is sponsored by our major sponsors, South Central Regional Medical Center, the Touchstone family (Alex, Bradley, Kathleen, Wanda, and Brooke), and several other community-minded and good health-promoting sponsors. Many thanks to them for promoting community fitness, and for supporting this race every year.
A physical is not required to qualify to run in this event, but you should be fully trained and in good health to participate. All competitors participate at their own risk. If in doubt as to your physical condition to engage in an event as strenuous and taxing as this 20K, 50K, or 50 Mile run, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice and approval of a licensed physician. The race officials reserve the right to stop any participant who in their opinion is not fit to continue. Runners must be 18 or older to enter. Registration is limited to 200, and historically closes before January 1, so don't put off entering.
Branches and additional offices:
(402) 274-5013908 Central Ave Auburn, NE 68305-1616