New race director set to take over FOTM

November 7, 2020


2021 race date set for Nov. 7

* 2020 race coverage
* FOTM event page
* PHDC Facebook group

LITTLE ORLEANS, Md. — Adam Lowe had a number of thoughts go through his mind after winning the Fire on the Mountain 50K trail race on Nov. 1 in Green Ridge State Forest. After learning this year’s race director was going to hang up his RD hat, one of those thoughts was that he hoped the race would find a way to continue.

Adam Lowe

The race needed someone who would be dedicated to the runners, in tune with the needs of the public land on which the race is run, and in touch with volunteers who served the runners on that land every first Sunday in November. Lowe looked around. Then he decided to step forward.

“I love that race,” Lowe said.

Lowe was a part of the winning two-person relay in 2017. He placed second in the 50K in both 2018 and 2019. This year, he won the race outright, finishing with the eighth-fastest time in the event’s 10-year history.

Lowe acknowledged on Saturday that he won’t be able to defend his title in 2021, “but if I’m able to serve 80 to 100 runners (on the course), I’ll be okay with that.”

Lowe plans to keep the 50K course as an out-and-back venture, as it has been since 2016. He plans to retain the 25K course, which debuted this year, in its current loop-course format.

Event registration for the following year’s race often begins in late November or early December as a discounted period of entry. Lowe said he plans to stick with that schedule, too, so runners, be sure to keep an eye out for registration options.

Outgoing race director Kevin Spradlin, who began the race in 2010 with Jason Griffith and Joe Bever, said he is glad to see the event continue.

“One of my favorite things over the past decade has been to introduce people to Green Ridge State Forest,” Spradlin said. “So many people have said, ‘I’ve driven by here so many times but I’ve never stopped.’ I know what they mean; I was exactly like that until former Forest Manager Champ Zumbrun invited me to consider Green Ridge State Forest as a site for an ultra marathon I was planning. Five minutes out of the car with my running shoes during my first visit to Green Ridge, I knew this was the place. The number and strength of friendships made in the woods since then astonishes me.”

Since the inaugural race in 2010, the event has attracted runners from across the country and Canada. Last year’s winner — the guy who beat Lowe to the finish line — was from Alaska.

“I can’t wait to see what 2021 has in store,” Spradlin said. “I know this: the event has some awfully devoted volunteers — the race couldn’t happen without them — and I know they’ll work very well with Adam.”

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