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Big Bend 50 – Possible Ultramarathon in Big Bend National Park

Interested in running a 50 km or 25 km trail run in Big Bend National Park located in southwest Texas? Currently a race does not exist but potential race organizer, Carroll Voss, is asking the market (us!), if there is any interest in running in this rugged and scenic landscape.

Why Big Bend?

“Sometimes considered “three parks in one,” Big Bend includes mountain, desert, and river environments. An hour’s drive can take you from the banks of the Rio Grande to a mountain basin nearly a mile high. Here, you can explore one of the last remaining wild corners of the United States, and experience unmatched sights, sounds, and solitude.”

Sounds pretty cool.

A couple other neat Big Bend National Park pages to check out are the photos and panoramas. Quite stunning views.

Plus, the main park page has a section titled, How NOT to Die in the Desert. Well duh, of course we should have a trail race at this park!

Here is a cool video capturing some nice images throughout Big Bend.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Proposed Race Date and Options

Currently Voss is proposing a race date of January 16, 2011. (note the year) This could change based on feedback.

The event would include a 50 and 25 km run. Additional possibilities include a 10 km and 45 mile mountain bike course.

Also, any money raised by the ultra would go to the Friends of Big Bend National Park which raises funds for park improvements.

Are you interested?

Voss is trying to determine if there is actual interest for a trail run in this location.

If this event would possibly interest you, check out the very basic race website, and sign up for their mailing list. You will also see a picture slide-show from the event in days gone by.

There is additional info on the the Big Bend 50 Ultra Marathon Facebook page where you can provide feedback and take a four question survey in the My Stuff tab.

The Facebook page already has 177 fans. So, is there interest in a trail running race at Big Bend National Park? It would appear the short answer is yes.

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.

8 Responses to “Big Bend 50 – Possible Ultramarathon in Big Bend National Park”

  1. on 15 Dec 2009 at 8:18 am Dave Elliott

    So on board with this race. It is in January which may conflict a bit with Bandera…but oh this race looks good.

  2. on 15 Dec 2009 at 8:48 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Dave – I agree with the potential Bandera conflict but I think they are open to other dates as well. It will be interesting to see how it transforms in the coming year. Yes, the sport is a growin. 🙂

  3. on 15 Dec 2009 at 10:29 pm Derek

    I would so be in for this race. Being a West Texas boy I have been to Big Bend many times and love it down there.

  4. on 16 Dec 2009 at 3:55 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Derek – Cool! Make sure you add yourself to their mailing list.

  5. on 19 Dec 2009 at 11:07 am lois

    Big Bend 50; race date is set for Jan 16 2011; MLK weekend. (Park influence based on congestion, I think) I worked this race for three years (05-07) and it is an astounding experience. Not for sissies; this race requires patience and perseverance (just to get there!) but rewards you with amazing views, challenges and comraderie. Plan ahead; race has been capped at 200 in the past and close-in lodging gets booked! Run it or work it; you won’t forget it! Remember; this race supports Friends of Big Bend, and funds go to improve/support the Park.

  6. on 20 Dec 2009 at 1:44 pm David Hanenburg

    Lois – Awesome! Thanks for the insight.

  7. on 20 Dec 2009 at 6:59 pm Bob Rampy

    PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!! This is the best Ultra west of the Pecos.

  8. on 21 Dec 2009 at 6:15 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Bob – Thanks for the feedback on the event.

    Hearing many positive comments about the race makes me wonder…why did the event go away in the first place?

    Anyone know?