Running Warehouse banner

Trail Running Course

Rocky Raccoon 100 – Numbers, Weather, and Reality

rocky-raccoon-sleeping1We are one week out from the eve of the Rocky Raccoon 100 and 50 mile trail run at Huntsville State Park in Texas.

The race numbers continue to grow like a bad rash. Or, in this case a good rash, if there is such a thing.

Current ultra and a bit crazy athlete total (as of Jan. 28) – 678.

The number of 100 mile trail running adventure seekers is at 361. The 50 mile finish-before-dark has 317 hopefuls. The overall event is up a huge 55% from last year’s numbers.


As much as you can guarantee weather predictions a week out from the race, it is still a bit interesting to observe:

  • It could be a wet week which could make trail conditions well – wet. From most, I am hearing the trail handles water fairly well, but there definitely could be some water sloshing in the low lying areas. It will definitely be a injinji sock day for me. The potential wet conditions are definitely not something to freak out about as we can’t control it anyways. In fact, it may just be a lot of fun! A bit of additional preparation such as rain gear/clothing and blister management may be worth thinking about. Also as mentioned by RD Joe P., drop bags will not be protected from the elements so you may want to use a waterproof enclosure/container for any aid-station special-needs goodies. Finally, as mentioned by a fellow NTTR member, “Remember, this is trail running – the muddier, the better.”
  • Temps so far, will be extremely mild.


We should have an even clearer picture of conditions in the middle of next week. I am just trying to make you aware so you aren’t scrambling around at the end of next week to handle potentially wet conditions.

The Reality

For the 100 mile athletes, it may be worth coming to terms with this possibility before race day – You may not finish.

Stats from the last few years tell us that ~68% of us will finish the 100 mile journey. Based on the current numbers registered, 115 trail runners will not finish. This is kind of a staggering number but we are talking about a significant non-guaranteed challenge – Reality.

So what to do with this?

Don’t forget to embrace the beauty of the day, and whatever it may bring; the trail, mud, sun, people, laughter, discomfort, pain, friends, trees, plants, diggers, conversation, and family. Control what you can control, to the best of your ability. Then run your ass off!

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

(Raccoon Photo: Courtesy of deste.)

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.

9 Responses to “Rocky Raccoon 100 – Numbers, Weather, and Reality”

  1. on 29 Jan 2010 at 12:07 pm Porta-pot bob

    Maybe it’s time to head out to a local trail, and put in 5 miles in the mud? I’d be happy to join you, let me know. Tiger practices in the rain, we should run in the rain/mud, and be like Tiger (purely talking about his golf life)?


  2. on 29 Jan 2010 at 4:06 pm Jason

    You guys are gonna have a blast running in the dark.

  3. on 30 Jan 2010 at 11:20 am Mark

    The course at Rocky, wet or not, is so runnable! Just enjoy the hell out of it! On top of your Injinji’s, I would put a pair of Drymax over them! Such a great sock, especially in wet conditions! I won’t be at Rocky this year, regretfully, but can’t wait to hear about it from all my buddies out there! Have fun and kick some trail!!

  4. on 30 Jan 2010 at 1:52 pm David Hanenburg

    Oh Bob, you know you won’t let those white road shoes get dirty. Who are you kidding? πŸ˜‰

    Jason – Day and night – is going to be a blast!

    Mark – Cool! From everyone I talk to, unless there is some biblical-type rain throughout the week, the trail will be in great shape. I am definitely looking forward to whatever the day brings. Thanks for the positive thoughts. Great run at Wee-Chi-Tah!

  5. on 31 Jan 2010 at 9:34 pm Bill Cox

    I’m really excited about running my first 50 next Saturday! I ran Piney Woods 10-miler in New Caney Saturday, which is only an hour from HSP and similar in nature. The trails we holding lots of water and we slopped around in ankle deep water for 2-3 cumulative miles.

    Probably not my best idea to run a ten mile race the week before a fifty, but I certainly learned a lot about running in the mud. BTW, bring on the mud and water…. I loved it!

    You can find my informal race report of RD Bill Gardners “Piney Woods 10-mile trail run” on my blog, if you care to read.

    I also made a really cool video from the clips off my Flip MinoHD, but YouTube killed the audio due to copyright issues on the music. Dang. Now my original videos are jacked up and I don’t know what’s wrong.

    -Bill Cox

    Race report:

  6. on 01 Feb 2010 at 1:52 am Bill Cox

    I found a different site to host my trail running video! Not as cool as yours, but I’m still learned….

  7. on 01 Feb 2010 at 10:15 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Bill – Nice report and video! An extended period of mud running had to be well…interesting. Happy to hear you didn’t go down. Gotta feel bad for those that did…especially with the cool temps. Ah, trail running. πŸ™‚

  8. on 02 Feb 2010 at 12:32 pm Rick Sanford

    Good luck to everyone running Rocky Raccoon this weekend. Thinking about driving down to cheer some friends running the 50 miler.

  9. on 02 Feb 2010 at 2:12 pm David Hanenburg

    Rick – It is going to be a special day. Come on down, it will be a good time. The rain currently appears to be leaving us alone on race day.