Straight from the GUT

A Quarterly Publication of the
Georgia Ultrarunning and Trailrunning Society

What's new

Fourth Quarter 2012

Happy Trails...

Greeting from the President

Greetings GUTSies

Summer seems like a distant memory since we have had such great fall weather for many weeks now. I am so glad it is here, as it’s now time to really start hitting the trail for some great runs!  I hope everyone is taking advantage and getting in lots of great training for all the fall marathons and ultras.


Just in time for the cooler weather, new GUTS gear will soon be available. We also have a lot of current gear available.  Check the GUTS forum on the website or our Facebook page for more information. And check this issue for more details on how to order your gear or pick some up at the next GUTS event.  It will be great training for Pine Mountain, which is just over a month away or joining us for the November training run at 3-Forks.

As daylight savings time approaches please remember to be safe out there. Dig into your closet and make sure you have a good reflector vest. And you’ll need a good headlamp if you want to join us on Tuesday nights; starting the 2nd week of November we will then begin our practice of running trails at night. And we will continue to have the first Tuesday of each month designated for GUTS beer & pizza night.

Happy Trails,
Janice Anderson, Prez


GUTS End of Year Party

Sunday, December 9, 5 pm


You will get an email invite shortly, but save December 9th for this year’s GUTS annual member meeting and party.  This year’s party will again be at the house of the current Secretary, Kim Pike. Directions will be included in the invite. 


As it is each year, the party also serves as the official yearly meeting of GUTS members. This year we will hold elections for President and Public Relations Officer.  Janice Anderson (current Prez) and Matthew Grund (current PR) will be running for re-election. Each elected position has a 2-year term.  Nominations will be sent to the membership at least two weeks prior to the meeting, but nominations are also allowed “from the floor” on the day of the meeting. If you are interested in a position please email with the subject line “Nominations” to


Finally – GUTS will be supplying the catering as well as non-alcoholic beverages.  You need only bring your favorite adult beverage, if you are so inclined. We’d love to see some of you in your street clothes (vs sweaty running gear), so please plan on attending.  Send any questions or your RSVP with the subject line “Time to Party” to  Please RSVP no later than December 1st.


Red Top Rumble

Preparations are well underway for the 6th annual Red Top Rumble to be held February 3, 2013. We’ve got some great sponsors lined up to provide really awesome prizes and the raffle tent will be stocked giving everyone a chance to win! Most importantly, these are some great trails to run on and the event really helps support the park through our donation that your participation supports.

Registration opens Nov 12 at 10 am EST ( there will be a link on the GUTS website). Over the last couple years, the race has sold out really quickly (a couple hours) so please mark your calendars for 10 am. As always, GUTS members get $5 off the cost of the race. See the GUTS Members-Only Section of the Forum ( under GUTS Member Discounts for the code.


Proceeds from the 5th Annual Red Top Rumble in 2012 were donated to the Friends of Red Top Mountain. As a direct result of this funding, children volunteered with the Friends group to convert the old restaurant patio into a wildlife attractor garden. Your race registration dollars actually make a difference in the park!



GUTS Hot to Trot 2012

by Ryan Cobb, Race Director


Hot to Trot 2012 didn't quite live up to its' name. The weather was unseasonably cool (below 90 degrees), and rain was forecasted. Nevertheless, a record number of runners toed the line for the 8 a.m. start. The race course stayed the same this year, a 1.1813 mile loop descending down to Sweetwater Creek and climbing back to the start/finish line. 83 runners took off into the cold weather after new RD Ryan Cobb gave them their instructions. The RD nervously looked at his phone and the weather forecast and when the rain started an hour later he announced that it was a small cell that should be past us in 20-30 minutes. Four hours later, the rain which was heavy at times, finally stopped. As the clouds cleared, one thing was certain, Johan Desmet was having a great day regardless of the rain. Johan went on to win the race with a new Sweetwater course record of 53.1585 miles. Beth McCurdy took the woman's win with 43.7081 miles logged. The winner's awards included some amazing running inspired original artwork from local artist Gabby Perry. The race packets were filled with great items from very generous sponsors this year,and every runner also received a great moisture wicking embroidered visor and Sports Science T-Shirt. All in all, everyone seemed to have a great time, and the RD is planning bigger and better things for 2013.


GUTS Pumpkin Butt 50k 2012

October 21, 2012
Marietta, GA


For the 9th annual Pumpkin Butt the date of the event was moved from the weekend closest to Halloween in hopes of avoiding other races and the heat.  We at least avoided the heat as the weather was cool, sunny, gorgeous fall weather, but numbers were down possibly due to so many other events (including MMM) occurring in October. Like its FatAss cousin, the Pumpkin Butt is meant to be a low-key event that encourages runners to just get out there, run and have fun.  The course takes runners over the top of the local mountain - 900+ feet of climb on each loop – five times for 50K.  Prize incentives are given for any runner willing to carry a pumpkin on a loop, and bring it back in one piece.  Overall winners and best costume are awarded a homemade pumpkin pie.


Matthew Grund and Kerry Dycus took the pace out hard on the first loop. Ultimately Kerry ran with Sally Brooking for most of the remainder of the run, just managing to pull ahead on the last loop by a few seconds.  But Sally still took the top female honors and a well-deserved pie. Of the only nine finishers the majority this year were women!  Joy Sandoz won the best costume prize wearing a full length Chiquita Banana lady dress for one loop. Several pumpkins this year were particularly light-weight and we ended up improvising by allowing two or three small pumpkins (aka twins and triplets) to take the trip over the mountain.  Many runners completed this task, and for their troubles received prizes and many stares and whispers from the unknowing hikers that met on the trail.

50K Finishers







Kerry Dycus*





Sally Brooking*





Molly Freeman*





Di Sha*





Andrew Powell*





Susan Hornbuckle*





Vikena Yutz*





Malissa Piersol*





Rico Dorsey*




* denotes pumpkin carriers


Mystery Mountain Marathon


What a MMMarvelous day we had at Fort Mountain this year for the 5th Annual Mystery Mountain Marathon & 12-Miler on October 14!


A record number of runners finished the marathon this year, with 114 brave souls surviving the Power Lines and earning the traditional (and trend-setting) MMM annual pint glass. 90 more folks finished a seriously challenging 12-miler race. All of our finishers this year received an original medal, hand-crafted by Aaron Dwileski.


This year's race was competitive and very exciting to watch! Congratulations go to the overall Marathon Champion, Patrick Chamberlain, who raced hard and finished in 4:01:49, just ahead of Skinny Jim Bickelhaupt, who took home the Masters prize. Sarah Woerner set a new and decisive female Marathon course record by winning in 4:44:23 -- nearly 46 minutes faster than the prior course record! Tim Tatarka reclaimed his 12-Miler course record (captured from Tim by the 2011 winner, Hunter Orvis), winning in 1:32:55. And Jessica Marlier, our reigning female 12-miler course record holder, defended her course record and won in 1:52:38 . . . . besting all but four of the *men* in the 12-miler. Full results and photos from the event can be found on the GUTS website.


Thank you to our awesome MMM sponsors, and to our amazing volunteers (we had over 60 dedicated volunteers come out to support the runners!) Be sure to mark your calendars for 10/13/13, because registration for MMMv.2013 will open immediately after Red Top Rumble.



Come Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the GUTS FatAss 50K!!


On Sunday, January 6, join GUTS for an astronomically low-key 50K. The course is 6 loops, all trails with a few hills, on the blue and white trails of Sweetwater Creek State Park. The Start/Finish will be at the Group Shelter. Plan to stay and hang out by the toasty fireplace, enjoy some warm food and great company, and vote for your favorite chili in the annual FatAss Crockpot Chili Contest (more info below)!


FatAss is FREE to GUTS members (yes, that's right -- FREE!), but to register, you must be a 2013 GUTS Member! GUTS' yearly membership fee is still a remarkably low price of $15, so be sure to renew your membership for 2013 soon! Registration for FA will be online ONLY (or race day if we are not full), and will open on Ultrasignup on December 3. Come burn off those holiday pounds and run more than anyone has the right to enjoy!


Click here for more information.


FatAss Crockpot Chili Contest!


Bring your best chili and vie for a special GUTS prize! Please bring the chili in a crockpot because we don't have enough burners on the stove for everyone. GUTS will provide the bowls and utensils as well some yummy chili toppings. Each runner will be given a ballot to vote for their favorite chili and the winner will receive a special award.


Volunteers Needed for Pinhoti 100

Hey GUTS members!
We are looking for a few brave volunteers to help out at two aid stations for this year's Pinhoti 100. In case you didn't know, this race takes place along the Alabama portion of the Pinhoti Trail (and some jeep roads), starting in Heflin, AL and finishing up in Sylacauga, AL. If you've never experienced a 100 mile race before, this is a great opportunity to witness one first hand without having to do the running!


The aid stations that we will be manning are both located in the beautiful Talladega National Forest during the peak of the fall color season! The first aid station is located at mile 23 and will be open from 9:15 a.m. until 12:46 p.m. Saturday. The second aid station, known as "The Pinnacle", is located at mile 75 and will be open from 5 p.m. Saturday until 4:13 a.m. Sunday.

We have openings available for either a morning or evening shift, or if you are crazy like me, BOTH! Lunch will be provided for volunteers of either shift at the Mellow Mushroom in Oxford. If you are interested please email Aaron Dwileski at and include "PINHOTI 100 VOLUNTEER" in the subject line.

We look forward to hearing from you!



This will be the 3rd annual GUTS January 1st member run


The unofficial Resolution not to run the "Resolution Run" Run (aka RN2RRRR) will be held at noon at the Marietta HS track.


Teams of 2 will be created based on a trial 800 before the relay (no sandbagging PLEASE!). Each team will alternate 800 meters for a total team distance of 6 miles, or 3 miles per person. First place team wins a fantastic prize!!


Snacks and warm drinks (think hot cocoa) will be provided!! So, please let us know if you plan to run so we can plan accordingly. Email us at with subject line of RN2RRRR.


Upcoming GUTS Training Runs

Join us for a run to the "bridge and back" on Sunday, November 11th!


From 3-Forks to the suspension bridge over the Toccoa river and back
3-Forks marks the confluence of 3 creeks as well as 3 trails – the Appalachian Trail(AT), Benton MacKaye Trail(BMT) and Duncan Ridge Trails(DRT). The first mile of the run is on a concurrent section of trail for all 3 of the famous GA trails. At approximately 1 mile, you will take a sharp left away from the AT and the rest of the run will be on the combined BMT/DRT. The run to the bridge and back is approximately 17 miles. It is hilly, with many "relatively" short, steep climbs, and 1 long climb back up from the Toccoa river. Aid will be provided at the Toccoa river. Otherwise there is one water source(needs to be treated) about half-way to the river. You can add on 6 miles by running to Highway 60 and back from the bridge.


Run Leader/Contact:
RSVP to Janice Anderson with subject line of "Bridge and Back"


Start Time for Run:
8:30 am



  • Take 575/5 to Ellijay (takes about 1 hour from the north 120 loop on I75)
  • Take RIGHT onto Hwy52, 1 mile past Burger King/ Colonel Poole's in Ellijay
  • Soon you will come to a stop sign
  • Take LEFT onto Hwy52
  • Go 4.5 miles and take LEFT onto Big Creek Rd (is after road goes to only 2 lane; road has a cement divider on the corner where you will turn)
  • Go 14.6 miles and the road will become gravel
  • Take RIGHT just after Fellowship Primitive Baptist church onto FS 58
  • Follow FS58 5 miles to the trailhead at 3 Forks
  • It takes about 30-45 minutes to drive from Ellijay to the 3 Forks trailhead
  • Note: FS58 is moderately rough, but a SUV is not required

Here are links to the profile and a description of the course, courtesy of the Benton MacKaye Trail Association:


Welcome New GUTS Members

Click here for a list of the newest GUTS members.


It's time to renew your GUTS membership!

Attention GUTS members, it is almost time to renew your membership! GUTS memberships are only $15 per year, and include discounts at local and online vendors, $5 off GUTS races, and weekly and monthly training runs. Don't forget Fat Ass 50k in January, free to all members! Registration will open in early November. New for 2013, we will be using Ultra Signup instead of Active and online registration will be required. Instructions will be sent via email in the next week or so.


Who is it?

Each quarter, we'll see just how well you know your fellow GUTS runners. So, were you able to guess last month's mystery GUTS member?



It's Peter Kaiser, enjoying a dip in the river after a run in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. If you've ever enjoyed a piece of fresh fruit at MMM, or a gourmet cookie at MMM or the EOY party, you can thank Peter -- he arranges for the fruit at MMM, and the delicious cookies are from the bakery at Twist, where Peter is the Executive Chef.



Can you guess who this quarter's GUTS member is? Check your guess in next quarter's newsletter!


Race Calendar

GUTS events

  • Dec 2 - Pine Mountain 40 Mile Trail Run. Pine Mountain, GA.

  • Jan 1, 2013 - Resolution not to run the "Resolution Run" Run (aka RN2RRRR). Marietta High School Track

  • Jan 6, 2013 - FatAss 50k. Sweetwater Creek State Park, GA

  • Feb 3, 2013 - Red Top Rumble Trail Run.
    Red Top Mountain, GA.

  • March 30-31, 2013 - Operation Endurance
    24, 12 & 6 Hour Runs.
    Fort Benning, GA.

Click here for more events.


GUTS Member Spotlights

Susan Hornbuckle

Click here to learn more about Susan.

Wilson Clemons

Click here to learn more about Wilson.




“Don’t let a bear do it for you…..

Q:  Dear GUTS –   I feel out of breath running up the slightest hill. Not much has changed for me lately, what could have caused me to suddenly feel this way?

A:  Have you had any diet changes lately? If you are eating less meat, then you might want to consider  iron supplements. Or spring in Atlanta can bring out allergies that you never knew existed. You could check with a doctor for possible allergies. Or just suck it up and bear it until the pollen season is over (ATL is about the worst in the US).  If the issues continue then you might want to consider some other experts. But you know your body best and know what has changed so be sure and give anyone treating you, all the details of your current and former diet and exercise routines.

Q: Dear GUTS – If I attempt a double rim crossing of the Grand Canyon and need to drop out what are my options?

A:  Your options include: Death, sympathetic rangers saving your ass, 5 hour bus ride from north rim,  high-jacking a mule train, $3,000 helicopter rescue, or sucking it up and keep going. I suggest the last option.

Q:  Dear GUTS –   What are some tips for completing a long run in the mountains with no reputable water sources along the trails?

A: Consider wearing a hydration pack that carries at least 90 ounces of fluids. Don’t forget to “burp” your pack to get all the air out and prevent sloshing. If you will be running for many hours then also consider carrying a bottle that has a filtration device. The bottle can be use to filter from any water source and you can then fill your other bottles or hydration bladders. One final method is to carry some bleach (be sure and bring something to cover the taste) or treatment tablets (require time to work).


Operation Endurance
24, 12 & 6 Hour Runs

March 30-31, 2013  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.


Race Reports


Cranberry Island 50k

by Richard Schick


Mystery Mountain Marathon 12-Miler

By Jen Ridgley



Mystery Mountain Marathon

By Wilson Clemons


GUTS Patagonia Gear Order

We are ordering men's and women's long sleeve tops.  Each shirt will have the GUTS logo screened on the item. 


Click here to learn more.