Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary
444 Columbia Blvd., Titusville Florida 32780
It wasn't intended to be this difficult. I had hoped to design the world's easiest 100 miler, but too many years of Barkley have clouded my perception, and the Ancient Oaks wound up a perfectly beautiful little monster; really pretty and easy for about 50 miles and then wretchedly heartless and abusive through the long dark night. All of the charming little twists and turns and whoop-te-doo bumps (in a previous incarnation the Enchanted Forest Nature Sanctuary was an ATV park) became genuine obstacles. As the times indicate, all of the runners suffered, but oddly they all claim to have really enjoyed the race.
Jim Musselman (who directs the Pine Mountain 46) was first to finish. Also, for two hours and eight minutes he tied the record for most hundred milers completed in one year (13). But then Jose Wilkie broke his own record with his fourteenth finish in one year. (His secret is chicken soup, by the way - plenty of it!) Fledgling race director Stu Gleman was next across the finish line, followed by Mike Dobies and Matt Mahoney.
Mike and Matt are the real culprits behind this race, by the way - Matt dared Stu to put on a hundred miler in the Enchanted Forest, and then about 3 weeks before the actual race , Mike emailed Stu that he had bought tickets so there needed to be a race! Matt's finish was most poignant: at one point he realized that despite his miserable condition (your basic hamburger 90 mile runner) he had to get in six 40 minute laps of the 2.75 mile loop course to make the 30 hour limit. Mike Gleman jumped in as Matt's pacer and somehow herded him to the line with 5 minutes to spare. Nobody got bored in this race - it was a suspense thriller to the very end! Ray Krolewicz drove down from South Carolina and got to the Forest about a half hour late. He ran well on no training, no sleep, and with a bad cold; but eventually it all caught up with him and he pulled the plug at 60.5 miles. We were all honored to run with him for a while, and we hope to see him again in this and other races. Mike Dobies goal was to set a personal record in the race, and he did - by six minutes! This puts the Ancient Oaks into good perspective since Mike's previous PR was Masanutten!!!
The race was advertized as a no fee, no awards, no aid and no whining event; and so it was except for the aid: the Friends of the Enchanted Forest became enchanted with the race and manned an excellent Linda Moise- type station, right down to the chicken soup and fresh strawberries. We all express our gratitude to the Friends, and particularly Helen English, Jan Lanoue, and John Kalbach, who stayed all night to tend and encourage the runners; and Barbara Hoelscher, who provided the strawberries and homemade chicken soup; and President Martha Pessaro who welcomed the runners at the pre-race briefing. We thank the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, the Parks and Recreation Department, and the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners for their permission to run this race in the Enchanted Forest. I know I have left some people out of these acknowledgements (it's old age memory problems), and I sincerely apologize for the omissions. My special and particular thanks go to the runners, without whom this race really would have been a one-man show.
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