Mason-Dixon Shortest Day Challenge

The Mason-Dixon Trail
Shortest Day 50K Challenge

A do-it-yourself TrailDawgs running and solstice celebration for 9 hrs 20 min  

SUNDAY, December 23, 2012
Start: Shanks Mare Store, Long Level, Pennsylvania
Sunrise: 7:25 AM

Finish: County Park, Cold Cabin Road, Delta Pa
Sunset: 4:45 PM

Results at bottom of page

The Winter Solstice is not just the shortest day of the year; it marks the beginning of the lengthening of days. Can you beat the challenge of finishing 50K++ of gnarly trail between sunrise and sunset?

The run: This do-it-yourself concept run will take place on Sunday December 23, 2012 on the west bank of the Susquehanna River south of Wrightville, PA, using the northern half of the Mason Dixon Longest Day 100K Challenge route. It will not likely be the easiest 50K you've run.

To enter:
This run is a TrailDawg concept run, 
a personal challenge, and an opportunity for you to celebrate trail running. It is NOT an actual organized event this year so no need to enter -- if you want to do it, do it -- if not, stay home. A
 normal person would have more fun enjoying the holiday season with loved ones than trying to run 30+ miles on a frosty frigid day in December. 

Aid and Run Support: None. There will be no aid, nobody at the start or finish, no organizers anywhere along the trail. Runners are totally on their own. You're responsible for your own foolish decision to try to run this route in the short daylight hours on a very difficult, fairly isolated trail. Plan to support yourself and have an emergency contingency plan in place.. 

Trail Markings: Mason Dixon Blue Blazes and good sense of direction. Interested runners should purchase a set of the maps published by the Mason-Dixon Trail Association and carry them. This run's challenge includes the not-always-easy task of following the course blazes and remaining on the Mason Dixon Trail.

Sun and Moon Data for December 22, 2012

The following information is provided for Wrightsville, York County, Pennsylvania (longitude W76.5, latitude N40.0):

Saturday, 22 December 2012, Eastern Standard Time         

        Begin civil twilight       6:55 a.m.                
        Sunrise                    7:25 a.m.                
        Sun transit               12:05 p.m.                
        Sunset                     4:45 p.m.                
        End civil twilight         5:15 p.m.                

        Moonrise                  12:30 p.m. on preceding day
        Moonset                    2:08 a.m.                
        Moonrise                   1:01 p.m.                
        Moon transit               8:00 p.m.                
        Moonset                    3:05 a.m. on following day

Phase of the Moon on 22 December: waxing gibbous with 73% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.
First quarter Moon on 20 December 2012 at 12:20 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

2012 Trail Run Results: 

Full 34 mile run

  1. Ryan Vandenberg, 7:25 am to 4:25 pm, 9 hours, non-event record
  2. Gary Lukacs, 7:25 am to 4:45 pm, 9 hours and 20 minutes exactly!

Ryan on trail
Gary above Muddy Creek

Other frolickers at various shorter distances:

  • Hunt Bartine
  • Steve Bunville
  • Laura DeWald
  • Tom Haines
  • Pete McLaughlin
  • Jerry Meyer
  • Henry Peck
  • Peter Searson

photos by Rebekah Vandenberg, Steve Bunville, and Pete McLaughlin