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The Duel Trail Race

Finding Personal Peace, Community, and a Post Oak Double: A Chat with Shannon McFarland of Arkansas

“At the end of the day, you get to spend time with people you want to spend time with.”

Shannon McFarland of Arkansas took on the Post Oak Challenge in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he dashed off a trail 50km on Saturday and a trail/road marathon on Sunday!

Sounds like a dandy weekend of dirt and fun.


Shannon focused during the climb. (Credit: John Watt ©

Shannon was extremely kind to chat with us about this adventure and the sport he enjoys.

Our chat with Shannon includes:

  • running background (as a focused wrestler in his youth)
  • love of Hobbs State Park
  • focused excitement and passion to run his first Western States 100 this June. Plus how he found out his name was drawn in the lottery and why he couldn’t tell his wife.
  • the greatness of the trail running community
  • his favorite recovery drink
  • And of course, the double at Post Oak


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Mud, Miles, and Munchkins: Keep Running

David: I would like to welcome Liz McGarraugh of Texas as our newest contributor sharing reflections, musings, challenges, and the joys of being an active mother in our sport. We are excited and honored for Liz’s interest in sharing with our tribe in a series of articles we are affectionately calling Mud, Miles, and Munchkins.


lmcgarraughartRunner’s World posted an article on their Facebook page recently about a study done with children and their mothers. The study concluded that children of active mothers tend to be more active than children with non-active mothers. I wondered why anyone would fund a study that seemed so obvious. I then looked back on my childhood.

My mother was not active at all. She never learned to ride a bike and I never once saw her exercise. I played softball my entire childhood, I played volleyball and basketball until high school and then ran cross country in high school (it was a Sue Heck cross country team…no cuts). For some reason my mother’s lack of activity spurred my desire to be as active as possible.

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Ultimate Direction Jenny Collection Trail Running Gear Review: Meow, Handy 10, and Handy 20

I’ve been a long-time fan of Scott Jurek so I was pretty excited at the opportunity to test and review some of the products from the Ultimate Direction Jenny Collection. Jenny Jurek is Scott’s wife and the lead designer for UD Jenny Collection, a line of products designed specifically for female athletes by female athletes.

The products I was sent to try out were the Meow waistpack, Handy 10 handheld bottle, and the Handy 20 handheld bottle.


When I unpacked the box the first thing that caught my eye were the bright attractive colors on all of the products. Not TOO girly, but has those nice bright trim colors and reflective accents that give it a sassy look and added bit of safety.

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Exploring the Uncomfortable: A Chat with Texan Libby Jones

On March 2nd, Libby Jones played at this great intimate trail race in Atoka, Oklahoma called the A-OK Trail Run. This year’s 50k and 25k scamper turned hair grey, froze eyebrows and bottles, and served tasty chili in front of a wood burning stove.

Libby Jones, Mitchell, Lesley Jones

(L-to-R: Libby Jones, Mitchel Johnson, Lesley Jones)

Enjoy our chat with Libby as we talk about her A-OK adventure with friends, but before that we learn about her life change when told by doctors that she wouldn’t be able to walk beyond the age of 35. Plus memories from beautiful races outside the region, volunteering at Western States 100, and race directing The Active Joe events. Read the rest of this entry »

Sylamore Trail Run 2014 Results – Snow, Water Crossings, Smiling faces, Singletrack…Trail Running

See your breath (20F) and wet snow covered conditions welcomed runners to an adventure at the Sylamore Trail Run in Allison, Arkansas. An out-and-back singletrack trail that includes a nice water crossing you get to do twice. 50k or 25k – pick one and go!

The water crossing. (Credit: Chrissy Ferguson)

The water crossing. (Credit: Chrissy Ferguson)


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Cross Timbers Trail Run 2014 Results – Interview: Running & Roller Derby with Tracie Akerhielm

Cross Timbers delivered a challenging course under run-happy conditions for its 33rd anniversary. The biggest threat to the trail party was a fire on the other side of Lake Texoma that sent smoke towards the race site. Fortunately all was good race morning!

Credit: Celeste Walz ©

Credit: Celeste Walz ©

CT is a race that has something for everyone including a 5M, 1/2 marathon, marathon, and 50M for those wanting to see the entire trail system – twice! The first six miles of this course are some of the toughest and most beautiful trail around north Texas as you dance along rugged singletrack. Over 300 runners earned a finish at one of the four distances. crosstimbers_map

Credit: Celeste Walz ©

Credit: Celeste Walz ©

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Yoga is for Runners


As an ultra running yogi, I feel strongly about yoga being for everyone, especially runners. I know that some folks believe that tighter is actually better for runners. That faster runners need to be less flexible. I think that is nonsense. We can all improve, as runners, through a regular Yoga practice. This DOES NOT mean we runners need to achieve perfect alignment and work at the full peak of a yoga pose to be good yogi’s. It simply means that yoga is indeed for runners.

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