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The Duel Trail Race

2014 Cactus Rose 50 Race Report: 1.55 in 15

Surfing. With your shoes as the board, and the loose rocks combined with the steep pitch become a good little wave. Our small little group of three glided down the final technical descent, Lucky Peak, hoping to stay upright on our boards. We could feel the closeness of the 50 mile finish line in the distance pulling us towards her shores.

“Do you know how far to the finish?”, Michelle asks two 100 milers as we near the base of this final descent.

“1.55 miles”, one of the two runners respond.

If you mention the distance to the hundredth of a mile, you must know what you are talking about…at least that was my reasoning at that moment.

As we get back to running and less surfing, I look at my watch. 15 minutes before the 12 hour mark on the race clock. I quickly saw this fun little opportunity to finish off our race and announced to our 3-pack.

“Here is the opportunity. We have about 1.5 miles to the finish. It is 15 minutes before the 12 hour mark. The rugged technical stuff is behind us. If we focus and get after it, we can sneak under 12 hours.”

No words were spoken, yet we all heard each others response.

With focus and determination, Armand, Michelle, and I progressively dialed up the effort which we knew we had to hold for the next 15 minutes after running 48+ miles.

We went for it.

October is often a beautiful time through the region and is my favorite trail running month. The cooler temps and drier air mark a transition to Fall and the start of many mild months of trail running in the South.

This would be the first time the entire fam would come down for Cactus Rose. After a few days of family camping this summer in New Mexico and Colorado, we were fairly confident we could handle a couple nights of somewhat primitive camping together. What we haven’t dialed in yet is need vs want with respect to what we bring, so the Outback was filled from front-to-back, plus our portable Roof Bag (which we love) was filled to capacity. Thank goodness for the hearty suspension on the Subaru.

After 6+ hours of driving, we were still all accounted for as we drove into the Hill Country Natural Area.


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EB26: Ask Meredith: Unhappy Stomach During a Run – Why it Can Happen and Ways to Prevent

We are super excited to share more awesomeness for our Endurance Buzz tribe with the addition of the Ask Meredith episode on the Endurance Buzz Podcast!


What is Ask Meredith?

Periodically, Texas-based ultra athlete and nutritionist, Meredith Terranova will share her thoughts on your nutrition question on the Endurance Buzz Podcast!


Do you have a question you would like Meredith to share her thoughts on in a future Endurance Buzz Podcast?

If so, simply visit the Ask Meredith page and submit your question through the submission form.

Let’s get to the first Ask Meredith episode on the EB Podcast!

James asks…

During the Summer months I struggle with nausea during long training runs. I am about to experiment with gels & drinks free of fructose opting for dextrose instead. I suspect the warmer temps play a role as well. Your thoughts?

Enjoy as Meredith and I chat about the unhappy stomach including:

  • some reasons why the stomach can revolt regardless of the weather
  • the type of nutrition isn’t the only component to be concerned about
  • ideas that may help keep the stomach smiling
  • the best dictator of what calorie sources to use
  • David shares a couple nutrition #Fail stories and one #Win
  • a reminder of our individual uniqueness

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The Long Run Book Club: The Science of Running

lhoward-artMy reading has consisted of children’s books for most of the last six years, and while books like Everybody Poops and Harold and the Purple Crayon have important messages, I’ve been desperate to find a way to bring grown-up literature back into my life. I knew it’d never happen if I just waited around for quiet free time, so I asked David Hanenburg if I could write a series of book reviews for Endurance Buzz. I suggested some of the recent books on running (‘cuz I’m a running geek and because it’ll be another six years before I find a way to justify time for fiction). I told him I wouldn’t be writing formal critical reviews exactly. They’d be something more along the lines of conversations you might have on the trail about books you’ve just read.

“Hey, I just read this Science of Running book. The author is this fellow who is the Head Cross Country coach at the University of Houston. He’s a speedy runner himself, and, anyway, he says that it’s good to do some fasted long runs because it helps the body adapt to dealing with low glycogen during a race.”

“That sounds idiotic and miserable.”

“I know. But he says….”

The conversation topics will be geared towards things that will be useful to ultrarunners (and TALON runners in particular whenever possible). These conversations won’t be exhaustive, comprehensive, or thorough treatments of the books– we’re supposed to be talking while we run afterall. Hopefully, they’ll pique your interest though, and leave you with some fodder for your next run. I’m hoping the “reviews” will also generate some good discussion in the comments.

So without further ado:

The Science of Running: How to find your limit and train to maximize your performance by Steve Magness (Origin Press, 2014.)


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EB25: Wesley Hunt – Enjoyment of the Process, 40 Mile Treadmill Runs, Winning the Arkansas Traveller 100

Wesley Hunt Of Arkansas loves the goal race, the commitment, the disciplined training cycle, and the opportunity to bring it all together on race day and “give it your best shot.” 

Wesley may also now love 40 mile training runs…on the treadmill, after his recent win and third fastest time in race history at the Arkansas Traveller 100.

Wesley Hunt leading the way at the AT100. (Credit: Mark Mccaslin)

Wesley Hunt leading the way at the AT100. (Credit: Mark Mccaslin)

A running journey that began less than a handful of years ago after finishing law school and starting a family. Wesley wanted to recommit to a more healthy lifestyle and running seemed like the perfect hobby and became his place of solace, a home for reflection, quiet time with self, and some good old fashion stress relief.

With a focus on the roads and enjoyment of the longer distances including 10 marathon finishes, Wesley wanted to keep it interesting and try something different. His brother, a passionate trail runner on the east coast, became the seed that led to his first trail race and ultra in 2013, the Arkansas Traveller 100. This adventure led to a second place finish and exciting race with 22 year old Brock Hime (2013 AT100 interview with Brock).

One year later, Wesley was back at the AT100 start line with greater fitness, more experience, and a renewed focus to give it his best shot.

Enjoy as Wesley and I chat about:

  • his running background and reintroduction into the active lifestyle
  • interest in the longer run distances
  • enjoyment of the training process
  • 3 favorite trail running books that inspired and helped supply his trail running tool-box.
  • Lessons learned after the 2013 Arkansas Traveller 100
  • Pushing the pace with PoDog Vogler at Mt. Nebo
  • two key training sessions in prep for the 2014 AT100
  • mental approach to the ultra distances
  • this year’s AT100 adventure and win in 15:59:12
  • tips to run your first 100

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Racing Goals: How to Define, Follow Through, and Expand Your Experience Beyond the Clock

Whether we run on roads, trails or track, short, long, or anything in-between, one thing is clear – if we sign up for races, some kind of goals are always on our mind. Goals are something that drives us to excel, to do something beyond plodding along the serpentine path wherever it takes us.

We runners are a driven bunch. It is almost  mandatory that we set goals, talk about them, dwell on failing at them – and do it all over again. At the same time, the range of goals, the outline, the formulation of them differs greatly. And each of our goals has to come from within, from what is important to us as individuals, and not what others view necessary to achieve the end result.


Time Goals

Let’s first talk about a simple set of goals. That finite end result for which we strive and what we mention when talk about a race afterwards in our first sentence. Time.

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EB24: Gia Madole – From First 5km to Complete and Win the Tahoe 200

“You got to start. Just get out there and do whatever you can do. Take that first step.”  - Gia Madole

Two years ago, Gia Madole of Oklahoma along with a few friends decided to participate in a Warrior Dash event. This 5km-ish length run plus obstacles, required a bit of focused run training and is the spark that started Gia’s running journey.

Gia really enjoyed the simple act of running.

Gia really enjoyed the people involved with the sport.

Her passion and drive to challenge herself, led to the trails and the Lake McMurtry 25km in northern Oklahoma.

The friendly people. The amazing and supportive camaraderie that all runners had with each other – even the ones you are competing against. Gia was all-in to explore this sport further.

This positive experience led to bigger challenges, bigger adventures, including signing up for the Tahoe 200 before she had even finished her first 100 miler.

Her strong mental attitude and desire and ability to do-the-work added two 100 mile finishes in her still shiny ultra tool-box before the Tahoe 200 start.

Gia Madole at the start line of the Tahoe 200.

Gia Madole at the start line of the Tahoe 200. (credit: Jill Collins)

Enjoy as Gia and I chat about:

  • her rapid progression through the trail running distances
  • favorite type of cross training
  • Tahoe 200 training prep that included lots of miles and flights of stairs
  • the 75:76:00 adventure around lake Tahoe which saw her first female across the line…along with a few bonus miles as she neared the finish!

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Rachel Adamson – Transforming her life with Running – Conquering the Crown at the Rough Creek Trail Run

“If you really want it, you just have to go for it.” – Rachel Adamson

In 2010 Rachel Adamson of Texas was inactive and 272 pounds. After an emotional conversation with her son, she was determined to make a change in her lifestyle.


After a short period of taking weight loss pills suggested by her doctor, Rachel would quickly determine it “wasn’t a good situation.”

She felt she had to be more involved with this desired change.

Running became the pill of choice.

Over the next couple years Rachel progressively worked on her running, often secretly, before running her first race in 2012.

“It was the most glorious feeling in the world.”

Since then she has raced on both the road and trail with her most recent and longest race finish to date, the 40 miler at the Rough Creek Trail Run in north Texas.


Enjoy as we chat about Rachel’s journey to start running, the strong community vibe at her first trail race, and the 40 mile adventure at Rough Creek.

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