Straight from the GUT

A Quarterly Publication of the
Georgia Ultrarunning and Trailrunning Society

What's new

First Quarter 2015

Happy Trails...

Greeting from the President

Greetings from the President
Happy New Year GUTSies!!  It is January and the big question on my mind is whether this will be another crazy winter, and will it be snow and ice, or thunderstorms and tornados?  Or maybe both?  At least the mild weather has made training in the winter bearable.  Check the GUTS Facebook page or the GUTS forum for the frequent training get-togethers: easy (Red Top Mtn), medium (Kennesaw) and difficult (Coosa) trails.


The ever popular Red Top Rumble is coming soon!  If you got in, you might not have realized that the race closed in just over 30 minutes!  If you didn’t get into the race, please consider volunteering.  Either way, we hope to see you there.  Or if you have something a little longer in mind, keep training…March 28th will be the Operation Endurance 24/12/6 hour solo and relay event. It is held at Fort Benning and is on a super-fast and flat one-mile loop.  Check the website or Ultrasignup for more details.


Don’t forget to join us for the weekly Tuesday night trail run of each month at Kennesaw Mountain. The first Tuesday trail run is followed by pizza & beer at the Marietta Pizza Company, with GUTS springing for the first pitcher. I hope more members can join us.

Happy Trails,
Janice Anderson



Pumpkin Butt
October 18, 2014

The Pumpkin Butt event was back this year and was rewarded with beautiful weather. 50k Runners met the challenge of running to the top of Kennesaw Mountain six times. Those few runners who did not decide to stop early to hang out and enjoy the day relished the opportunity to carry a pumpkin for a loop (or two) over the top of the mountain. Matthew Grund was the first overall in 5:32.  Tying for the women’s title was Catherine Toriello and Elizabeth George, who were also finishing their first 50K.






Matthew Grund



Greg Myers



Joel Tapley



Perry Sebastian



Catherine Toriello



Elizabeth George



Ankur Chatterjee




GUTS Annual Party….er Meeting?

Sunday, December 14th 

We had a great turnout at the annual meeting and party this year.  This year's event was once again held at the home of GUTS RD and Secretary Kim Pike (who was still removing hidden beer bottles from the 2013 "meeting" in preparation for this event). Over 100 members were in attendance, some still hobbling from the weekend’s ultra events.  The event was catered by Willy’s Cantina, and many fabulous desserts were brought by members. 

This year’s elections were held for President and Public Relations. Janice Anderson was re-elected president, and Matt Grund was re-elected Public Relations.  Both ran unopposed.  Laura Pound and Aaron Dwelski were appointed as the two at-large board members.  As a reminder:  Elected board positions are held for 2 years, with elections taking place each year for the given board positions. The final two at-large positions are selected by the president on a yearly basis.  All of this is contained in the bylaws of GUTS.  Ask any GUTS board member if you would like more information.  If you have any suggestions or comments for any board members please email us at

With all of the events that we coordinate throughout the year, we simply could not do it without our GREAT volunteers! GUTS presented a ‘GUTS Super Volunteer' award to several outstanding volunteers. All were awarded very cool GUTS embroidered Patagonia fleece vests.  Mike Delang received his award for his tireless work at Red Top Rumble and Pine Mountain Trail Run, where he worked all day to keep aid stations stocked and running smoothly.  Mike also showed his GUTS dedication at Operation Endurance 24 and Mystery Mountain Marathon.  Brandi Garcia received her award for her duties as chief timer at H2T, running the kitchen at MMM and then running the timing on race day.  Anthony Fournier received his award for his tireless work at multiple events, including working 3 jobs at RTR and working tirelessly at MMM despite some car troubles en route to the event.

We truly appreciate the support of ALL of our GUTS volunteers and hope that we can encourage even more of you -- both "old" and new members -- to give back to the running community.  We’re always looking for volunteers for upcoming events; it is a terrific way to meet other GUTS members and see races from a whole new perspective!



Operation Endurance
24, 12 & 6 Hour Runs

March 28-29, 2015 Fort Benning, Georgia

Join GUTS for an outstanding chance to rack up some miles! Once again we are hosting a 24-hour (individual and relay), 12-hour and 6-hour event at Fort Benning, Georgia. The course is a one-mile flat dirt loop around Stewart Field, and we anticipate seeing many great performances again this year.

More details at:


Pine Mountain Trail Run

We had another successful PMTR this year- I typically gauge success by being able to account for all runners at the end of the day & no overnight trips to the ER! At final count, we had 183 registered runners, coupled with a handful of race day registrations. This was the largest registration pool that I have seen, in my brief time as RD. We had 149 starters and 126 finishers this year - both numbers are also the highest that I have seen.

We had a solid race up front this year. Ed Farley made the trip down from Montana & won the overall race with a time of 6:17; this was good for the 6th best time in the history of the race. Natalie Sims joined us from Chattanooga, winning the women's race with a time of 7:48, finishing just 13 minutes before hometown hero Molly Freeman. There were also over a dozen runners completing this race as their first "ultra" - awesome!

This year we tried something new & partnered up with the Harris County Humane Society and offered a "Doggie Double" event. There is a local 5K held the day before the race. We were able to entice a handful of runners to run both races. Reclaimed Wood Project made some cool desk sized dog houses that we gave to the top three runners (combined time). We are hoping this becomes a bigger event and an event the volunteers can join in the future.


Click here for the race results.


GUTS 2014 Donations

GUTS is a non-profit organization and has zero paid employees. We are entirely run by volunteers, and those many volunteers are the fuel that allows GUTS to give back to the running community.  For each race held GUTS makes a donation to the given park or organization.  These donations are in addition to the donations required by our contracts with the state parks/organizations.  In 2014 GUTS donated almost $15,000 dollars.  GUTS also gives back to the parks by participating in trail work to help maintain the trails so all trail users can safely get out and explore.


In case you were curious, here is how our donations broke down in 2014:

• FA - $400 (leaf blower)   - Sweetwater State Park
• RTR - $6,000 – Red Top Mountain State Park
• OE - $1,000 – House of Heroes (Fort Benning)
• H2T - $500   - Sweetwater State Park                       
• MMM - $3,000 – Fort Mountain State Park
• PMTR - $4,000 – FDR State Park                   

GUTS also recently made a significant pledge for an upcoming project that will involve major trail enhancements at Fort Mountain State Park.  GUTS has pledged to donate $3,000 and 80+ hours of volunteer time to the project.  This pledge helped allow those at Fort Mountain State Park to complete the grant application, as it required the project be at least 25% self-funded.  We are looking forward to working with the park on this project and will have more details about how members can get involved in the near future.


SAVE THE DATE for 8th Annual MMM!

It's never too early to start filling in your Fall race schedule, so be sure to include GUTS' awesome traditional Fall race in your planning. The 8th annual Mystery Mountain Marathon & 12-Miler will take place on Sunday, October 11 at Fort Mountain State Park. As usual, registration will open the Monday after Red Top Rumble (February 9th). Stay tuned for more information via Facebook and email, and enjoy the other three seasons of great trail running between now and October.



Don't call it a comeback
-- tips for training after time off

by Coach Carl

No one expects to take time off during the middle of a training plan. But whether it's a sudden injury, a stressful period at work, a vacation (or holiday season!) where you lose motivation -- sooner or later there's a good chance you'll find yourself off track. When that happens, the last thing you want to do is have another setback. So it's important to make sure you get back to training safely and effectively.

If you've missed a few days, you can most likely pick up where you left off. But if you miss more than a week, here are a few guidelines to get you back running full-speed:

Don't get discouraged if you don't feel the same as you did before the break
The first thing to understand when you start back is that your body has changed. Physiologically there is a detraining effect that causes you to lose some of your hard-earned fitness, and your body composition might have changed as well (obviously these effects will vary depending on the time you took off, the amount of cross-training you were able to do, etc.). You won't have to start at square one, but you will have to adjust for it. 
I recommend running based on feel rather than trying to hit a specific pace as you return to training. Soon enough you'll be back running at pre-break levels, but pushing yourself to hit paces that you were hitting before can leave you working too hard.

Build mileage gradually
That same detraining effect means that your legs will need some time to be ready for the pounding of the miles you were doing pre-break, as well. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend runners spend the same amount of time at a reduced weekly mileage as they took off during their down time. 
For example, if you took two weeks off, your first week back running would be at 50 percent of the mileage you were running before your break.  Your second week would be 75 percent, and then you could resume training at your previous mileage the third week.  If you took four weeks off, then spend two weeks at 50 percent and two weeks at 75 percent, and aim for 100 percent in week five.

Don't rush the intensity
Just like you probably don't do hard speed work as soon as you start a training plan, you're going to want to give it some time before going hard after a break in your training. Ideally you would get your mileage back up to pre-break levels before beginning any speed work. 

Given your race schedule, however, this may not be practical. In that case, I recommend using the same formula for workouts as for mileage. So if you missed four hard workouts, your first two workouts back would be 50 percent of your normal workout, your next two would be 75 percent, and then you could resume at full volume from there.

By following these simple guidelines, you should be able to have a quick and successful return to training, making that unplanned break a distant memory by race day!

Carl Leivers is a USATF Level II Endurance coach who offers personalized training plans, group speed workouts, and running form analysis for runners of all abilities in the Atlanta area. Contact him at or by email at


Welcome New GUTS Members

Click here for a list of the newest GUTS members.


Fun Facts about GUTS Members

• We currently have 405 members.
- 243 Male
- 162 Female


• Our youngest member is 13 and we have two members that are 71! The average age is 43.


•  Our members live in 10 states. AL, AZ, CO, FL, GA, IL, NC, NY, TN and WI.


Race Calendar

GUTS events

  • February 8, 2015 - Red Top Rumble

Click here for more events.


GUTS Member Spotlights

David Milner

Click here to learn more about Dave.


Race Reports

Pinhoti 100

by Brian Kenah


Remembering Roger Ackerman


On October 25 we lost one of our long time members, Roger Ackerman. He passed away competing in his first triathlon. He was 68.

Roger was born in Flintsville, Pennsylvania in 1946 and served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Roger had a long career in Real Estate in California and Georgia. Shortly after Roger moved to Georgia in 1992 he was introduced to running by then-girlfriend Carol. Roger proposed to Carol in the middle of the 1995 Peachtree Road Race, and over the years, they ran many other races together, including the New York, Boston, and Chicago marathons. Roger joined GUTS the first year the club was formed and participated in many GUTS events over the years.He volunteered for the first time ever at MMM in 2013, and was hooked, volunteering at many other events throughout the year. He returned to volunteer at MMM in 2014 the month before he passed away, and expressed his joy from the experience. Roger was a fierce competitor and completed more than twenty 100-milers. He was the first person from Georgia to complete the “Grand Slam,” finishing 4 of the oldest 100-mile races in one summer. His greatest accomplishment in running was finishing the Hard Rock 100-mile trail run in 2008. He served as Sponsorship Director for the race ever since.

Roger never met a dog he didn’t like or a trail he couldn’t run. While he passed away suddenly, while competing, we take solace knowing he died doing what he loved. He will be sorely missed.

Roger is survived by his wife, Carol of 18 years; his step grandson Cameron, whom he has helped to raise; two sisters, Joan and her husband Bob and Betty and her husband Arthur; his stepdaughter Heather; his stepson Ryan and his wife Beth, and three step granddaughters, Lily, Caroline, and Zoe.