Over March 12,13, and 14, a unique and intimate (field limit of 100) trail running event took place up in Arkansas called 3 Days of Syllamo. This three day trail running stage race consisted of a 50 km, 50 mile and 20 km trail run in the Ozark mountains.
This event had an extremely concerning incident where one runner was missing from the 50 mile event on day two. The 20 km run on day three was canceled and a large number of runners and volunteers all helped with the search of a fellow ultrarunner. The lost runner was eventually found 20-25 miles away from the course walking on a road. He had apparently missed the trail markings around mile 41. Yikes! Fortunately, he was OK.
The RD (Steve Kirk) posted the following about this situation:
I would also like to thanks the runners and their family members that volunteered to go out on the trail and assist in the search for a runner that did not check in after Saturdays 50-mile run. I feel that I witnessed something really special happen and my belief that people really do care was reinforced. We banded together to help another.
The 50 km day, takes runners on the Syllamo trails with aid-stations nestled every 4-8 miles. The course appears to consist of out-and-back and a loop section that includes varied terrain with a couple 400-600 feet climbs and a total of 7000 feet of ascent/decent.
The 50 mile mile out-and-back course has a saw blade profile which starts at an elevation of 400 feet and takes you up to 1216.3 feet at the turn-around. 300-400 foot climbs/descents appeared to be the main meal served throughout the day. There was a total of 14,727 feet of climb/descent to entertain that trail runner in you.
Day 1 – 50 km
A total of 52 runners finished the 50 km distance.
The male race had a fairly tight race between Leif Seed and David Wakefield with less than seven minutes separating the two after 31 miles of running. Seed had a bit more speed to win with a time of 5:07:08.
Top 3 male:
- Leif Seed – 5:07:08
- David Wakefield – 5:13:43
- Jamie Anderson – 5:22:47
If the male race was tight, the female race was a nail biter. Ashley Nordell and Cassie Scallon had a finish time difference of less than three minutes. Nordell took the win in 5:23:33 which was fast enough for fourth overall as well.
Top 3 female:
- Ashley Nordell – 5:23:33 (*4th overall*)
- Cassie Scallon – 5:26:18 (*tied for 5th overall*)
- Alyssa Godesky – 5:59:37
Day 2 – 50 mile
37 runners completed the 50 mile trail running test.
Ashley Nordell had plenty of pep in the legs on day two as she won the entire 50 mile adventure by over 20 minutes with a sub 9:30 finish!
Top 3 female:
- Ashley Nordell – 9:27:35 (*first overall*)
- Alyssa Godesky – 10:52:33 (*tied for 4th overall*)
- Kimmy Riley – 11:54:12
The male race appeared to be spread out between the front runners with Paul Schoenlaub crossing the line first in 9:50:59.
Top 3 male:
- Paul Schoenlaub – 9:50:59
- Travis Liles – 10:34:41
- Jamie Anderson – 10:52:33
After two days of trail racing, Ashley Nordell had the lowest accumulative time of 14:51:08.
Top 3 overall female:
- Ashley Nordell – 14:51:08
- Alyssa Godesky – 16:52:10
- Sara Woerner – 19:19:12
Top 3 overall male:
- Paul Schoenlaub – 15:28:56
- Travis Liles – 16:11:37
- Jamie Anderson – 16:15:21
The Tough-as-Nails Award
The final finishers of an ultra distance event are some of the toughest athletes that are willing to stick with it to the best of their current ability and cross that darn finish line.
The Tough-as-Nails award recipients:
- 50 km – Dianne Seager worked through the 50 km adventure in 9:08:02.
- 50 mile – Ken Chappell enjoyed the most trail time with a 14:51:04 finish.
Race Reports and Photos
- 50 km/50 mile – “If your idea of fun is rocky footing, off camber running for long sections, followed by short steep climb after short steep climb, then you were in for a delightful day!” – Travis guest post @ iRunFar.com.
- 50km/50 mile – “One of the 10 mile stretches of trail was particularly brutal. The ice storms from the year before, as well as the tornadoes they had recently, tore up the trails and the trees. Most of the trail was completely banked on the mountain, so you were either falling off the ledges or just running with your ankle cocked to the side.” Alyssa @ alyssa
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David – EnduranceBuzz.com