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Trail Running Tips For Bandera 100 km Ultramarathon

BanderaBuckleWhen attempting a new ultramarathon, it can be beneficial to have some insider tips from those that have ran and experienced the race in the past.

With my first attempt at the Bandera 100 km trail run coming up fast (January), a couple trail running friends that have survived and even tamed this beast of a course, have been kind enough to share some tips to assist a Bandera newbie to run, hike, crawl, and claw their way to the 100 km finish line.

The Course

Before we get into the golden insights, here is a quick look at the course loop that you get to traverse twice in order to complete the 100 km hilly rock-a-thon.


Click image to view course

Race director, Joe Prusaitis has his shat together. The Bandera website has lots of great information to help familiarize yourself with the pleasurable punishment waiting for you.

These are just a few items that may be of interest.

Bandera 100 km Get Your Butt To The Finish Line Tips

mike-k-trail-runMike Krejci completed this 100 km journey last year (race report) and shared these words of wisdom and insight.

  • Train on the most technical and rocky trails you can findThis is the most gnarly course in Texas.
  • Be ready for hills Prepare to be a fast hill hiker. The treadmill can work really well for this. It’s not fun giving up a day of running to walk/hike on the treadmill but it will really help on race day.
  • GO OUT SLOW –  Some say this 100 km is as tough as some of the easier 100 mile trail runs. Just accept that you are in for a long day and take your time heading out. You’ll thank yourself later. To assist in this process, the first five miles of the course are pretty technical with poor footing so the slow start will happen somewhat naturally. You have 24 hours to complete this event which supports a slow start and should be enough time for most folks.
  • Carry a backup flashlight – Bandera is in the middle of nowhere Texas. It is ruggedly beautiful, but also really, really dark at night.

matt-c-trail-runMatt Crownover has explored and experienced this course six times and had these cerebral thoughts to share.

  • Accept the unexpected – No matter what you do/plan, something will go wrong. This is, the single difference between ultras and more traditional races. It is also what allows ultras to be spiritual teachers. This is part of the sport and the beauty is that you can stay patient, stay calm, and work it out.
  • Be strong, in fairly good shape, and relaxed – It is really fairly rugged in places, so just relax and be joyful.
  • Manage race effort by energy level and body awareness, not time
  • Bring lights to finish the race – You won’t need lights at the start of the race but you will at the finish unless you plan to break the course record.
  • Plan to enjoy the night/darkness

I want to give a huge thanks to Mike and Matt for taking the time and sharing some of themselves with us. Their Bandera tips cover both the body and mind. As most ultrarunners know, you can’t complete these challenges without both involved in the game.

For other experienced Bandera athletes, feel free to share any additional tips you may have to help all of us finish the distance.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

3 Responses to “Trail Running Tips For Bandera 100 km Ultramarathon”

  1. on 09 Nov 2009 at 10:03 am Ryan V.

    Bandera is an awesome run. I’ll be there for the 50 km. Did the 100 km last year. Get ready for fun.

  2. on 09 Nov 2009 at 1:16 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Ryan – I think I recall watching your video from last years event. It looked like quite the adventure. The translation of fun is an interesting one. 😉

    See ya down there!

  3. on 28 Nov 2009 at 8:08 pm Russ

    I want that belt buckle!