ENDURANCE RUNNING: ‘Last Man Standing’ event returning to Ragged Mountain in spring of 2020

ENDURANCE RUNNING: ‘Last Man Standing’ event returning to Ragged Mountain in spring of 2020

reporter photo

SOUTHINGTON — The Run Ragged Trail Race tests the human body to its limits and will return again for its second year in 2020.

The May 30 event will again be staged by the CT Trailmixers running club at Ragged Mountain, which straddles the Southington and Berlin town line.

Run Ragged is the only “Last Man Standing” event held in Connecticut. Participants run a technical 5K trail loop starting every hour on the hour. They have one hour to complete the 3.1-mile course. The cycle continues until there is one runner left.

The 2019 winner was New Jersey’s Scott Snell. He won the event after 31 hours and just under 100 miles.

There are three directors staging the event: Karen Prado of Wethersfield, Brian Roccapriore of Clinton and Stefan Rodriguez of Berlin. 

The CT Trailmixers, a nonprofit organization, began in 2015. The group holds two races a year at Southington’s Camp Sloper. On Nov. 24, the CT Trailmixers is staging The Fall Fling 400 at Camp Sloper. To register for that and any of the group’s events, visit cttrailmixers.com.

The Traprock 50K/17K trail race is held in Simsbury on the Saturday before the Boston Marathon. But the Last Man Standing race is something unique.

“It’s the only one of its kind in its state,” Roccapriore said. “The race with no actual finish line, which can screw with people. Last year, it went more than [30] hours before there was a finisher. If two people are left, the last person still has to do the last loop. There’s a mental toughness not knowing when it’s not going to end.”

As the night went on during the 2019 race, more and more of the 50-runner field dropped off. The race directors won’t know if Snell will return to defend his title until registration opens up in early December.

“The night claims a lot of people going up and down Ragged Mountain with a head lamp on,” Roccapriore said. “Every shadow you see, you think is a bear.”

Sixty percent of the athletes were from Connecticut and 40 percent came from out of state.

“Connecticut has a tremendous trail running community,” Roccapriore said. “But if runners are interested in joining, join our Facebook group and try out a social run that we have every weekend. Once they get there, endurance running is not as hard as they think it is.”

As far as spectators go, Roccapriore said the Last Man Standing race is one of the group’s better events to watch because of the hourly starts. The winner gets no cash prize, but will receive a custom trophy.

”This is a great chance to see how much endurance someone can have and what the human body is capable of. No one is getting rich doing this,” Roccapriore said. “It’s just for the love of the sport.”