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2010 Western States 100 – Our Texas Trail Runners

We have reached the final group of TALON trail runners running Western States. Good thing to, the race starts tomorrow (Saturday) morning 5:00 am.

Texas has the largest number of wrist-band recipients from the TALON region. How many? 13!

For those I was able to hunt down, they were kind enough to share a bit about themselves and allow us to get to know them…just a little bit.

A little Midnight Rider Runner to support the Texas trail runner profiles.

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

Our Texas Trail Runners Heading to the Western States 100

Fred Thompson – Bib # 430

How many years have you been playing in this goofy sport of trail/ultra running?

I have been running trails for about 8 years–starting with 25k’s and quickly exploring longer distances, but did my first 100 miler at Cactus Rose 2009.

Have you ran Western States in previous years? If so, how many runs on the historic course?

This will be my first time to run Western States 100. I was out there in 2006 to pace, but my runner dropped at Michigan Bluff, 55 miles, and I never got on the trail.

Western States puts your downhill running skills to the test. What specific training (if any) have you done to prepare yourself for this unique challenge?

Being “flatlanders”, we are challenged to train properly for such a hilly trail. We have hills, of course, but none that would allow you to run up or down for a couple of hours like we will encounter at Western States. I did some weight training early in the year doing “negatives” to prepare specifically for downhills. I received help from Drew Meyer on this. Once the mileage started increasing, I stopped weight work on my legs, but continued to work on upper body and core. Now, I’m doing more intense runs on the hilliest trails we have around here, e.g.-Sansom Park, Cross Timbers, and Cedar Ridge Preserve and utilizing the one advantage we do have here–heat training. I also was able to mix in some big mountain running at Jemez Mountain 50 mile on May 22 and the WS Training Camp over Memorial Day Weekend. If soreness is a sign of progress, I’m in good shape.

Besides the finish, what specific section of the course are you most looking forward to running or experiencing?

There are a couple of areas or landmarks of the Western States trail that I look forward to experiencing–the view from the top of the first climb and the river crossing at Rucky Chuck in particular. Also, crossing No Hands Bridge on race day will be huge because it is so iconic with Western States and tells me I have 3 miles to go. Even though those last 3 miles are not necessarily easy with a final climb up to Robie Point and into town.

Fun bonus question: Which animal best characterizes that way you plan on running Western States?

A pack mule. Slow and steady.



Cindy Melder – Bib # 106

How many years have you been playing in this goofy sport of trail/ultra running?

Ran my first ultras in 2004 so it’s been almost 6 years.

Have you ran Western States in previous years? If so, how many runs on the historic course?

I have not – I’ve been a pacer but this is my first WS and my first 100.

Western States puts your downhill running skills to the test. What specific training (if any) have you done to prepare yourself for this unique challenge?

I run the last half of my second weekend long run on the hills around White Rock Lake, specifically hitting the downhills as hard as possible. Hard to train around Dallas for the hills, up or down, at WS since we don’t really have anything long and steep enough.

Besides the finish, what specific section of the course are you most looking forward to running or experiencing?

Getting to Michigan Bluff – I’ll have a pretty good idea of what kind of a run I’m having at that point.

Fun bonus question: Which animal best characterizes that way you plan on running Western States?

Hmmm – I plan on running intelligently so I guess that would make me either a monkey or an elephant – not sure I like thinking of myself as either one of those!! LOL


Quent Bearden – Bib # 94

How many years have you been playing in this goofy sport of trail/ultra running?

8 years.

Have you ran Western States in previous years? If so, how many runs on the historic course?

none

Western States puts your downhill running skills to the test. What specific training (if any) have you done to prepare yourself for this unique challenge?

Eccentric quad exercises and downhill treadmill running.

Besides the finish, what specific section of the course are you most looking forward to running or experiencing?

Devils thumb or maybe those blazing hot canyons, it’s a toss up.

Fun bonus question: Which animal best characterizes that way you plan on running Western States?

A Flying squirrel, need I say more?


Drew Meyer – Bib # 325

How many years have you been playing in this goofy sport of trail/ultra running?

1st ultra in 2002, a 50k.  First 100 in 2004 (AT).

Have you ran Western States in previous years? If so, how many runs on the historic course?

Ran Western in 2006, struggled with the heat to finish in about 29:37.  I was well heat-trained, it was simply hotter.

Western States puts your downhill running skills to the test. What specific training (if any) have you done to prepare yourself for this unique challenge?

I planned downhill training but injuries prevented my getting around to it.  The plan was to simply do more downhilling on equivalent trails (there’s one in central OK that I like).

Besides the finish, what specific section of the course are you most looking forward to running or experiencing?

The river crossing is the highpoint for me.  They used boats when I ran it in 2006, and we waded  when I paced in 2010.  When wading is done, they place glow sticks at the bottom of the river every few feet – it is an ethereal experience.

Fun bonus question: Which animal best characterizes that way you plan on running Western States?

After reading Born to Run, I think its hard to beat a human being for distance running.


Mark Sobus – Bib # 415

How many years have you been playing in this goofy sport of trail/ultra running?

I have been trail/ultra running for about 5 years but didn’t start to take it at all seriously until about 2 years ago.

Have you ran Western States in previous years? If so, how many runs on the historic course?

This is my first time for the Western States 100 and actually my getting in was a bit of a fluke.  A friend of mine circulated an email just days before the lottery closed.  This friend has been trying to get in for about 4 or 5 years now.  He encouraged some of our group to enter the lottery which I did on just about the last day you could.  As one would predict, I am the one that got in and my buddy still has to wait until next year (when he is in for sure).  So, that was it – I got in and decided I better seize the opportunity.  I really had to ramp up my miles because I was not doing much more than about 30-40 per week, and even with only trying to ramp up to 60-70, this turned out to be harder than I imagined.  Anyway, at three weeks out I am healthy, decently trained, and have received tons of good advice from experienced runners.

Western States puts your downhill running skills to the test. What specific training (if any) have you done to prepare yourself for this unique challenge?

As for downhill training, let’s just say I have not done enough but I have tried.  I did two main things, one pretty successfully and one not so successful.    First, I bought a 4×4 piece of treated lumber and put it under the rear of my treadmill.  This created a nice little slope on which to train but my body really rejected the pounding.  I think this approach can work but it was too much too soon for me and I had to pull back to avoid serious injury.  The second thing I have done with much better success has been to run backwards – uphill on the treadmill.  This really hits the quads and calves.  I suspect this could hurt you also, but I think I had enough in the bank from my effort out downhill treadmill running that I was able to make this second approach work without injury.    I have also done a lot of steep uphill walking on the treadmill.

Besides the finish, what specific section of the course are you most looking forward to running or experiencing?

Since I don’t really know the course I am not sure what to fear or look forward to, but the thing that intrigues me is being on trails that have been around for so many years and getting to see remote areas that so few people will ever see.  It is actually a shame to have to run so much at night and miss all the scenery, but since I won’t be finishing before dark I’ll just have to live with it.

Fun bonus question: Which animal best characterizes that way you plan on running Western States?

Given my tall thin stature it is probably fair to compare me to a deer, but I suspect Ostrich is a better comparison.  That said, at Western I will be proceeding down the trail more like an armadillo – short strides, not too fast, and hoping not to get run over by the course.


Elizabeth Howard – Bib # 248

Unfortunately Liza encountered an injury that forced her to drop out of Western States but does have her eyes set on Leadville.


The Mysterious Ones – Those in hiding throughout Texas.

  • David Brown – Bib # 130
  • David Coats – Bib # 148
  • Joe Constantino – Bib # 150
  • Paul Goodwin – Bib # 216
  • Axel Reissnecker – Bib # 379
  • Hal Taylor – Bib # 426
  • Meredith Terranova – Bib # 428

Good luck to all the Texas athletes as they begin their 100 mile journey on the Western States trail.

A special thanks to Fred, Cindy, Quent, Drew, and Mark for sharing with us all.

To see the complete list of athletes profiled so far, check out the 2010 Western States TALON Athletes article.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

(Photos: Courtesy of Fred Thompson, judepics, Cindy Melder, CarbonNYC, Quent Bearden, nikoretro, Drew Meyer, ImNotQuiteJack, Mark Sobus, leppyone)

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.

2 Responses to “2010 Western States 100 – Our Texas Trail Runners”

  1. on 23 Oct 2011 at 3:39 pm Sam

    So cool! I just came across your site! I had a chance to chat briefly with Quent at the 2011 PDTR. Cool guy.

  2. on 24 Oct 2011 at 12:27 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Sam, One cool…and fast dude! 🙂 Thanks for visiting and welcome to the Endurance Buzz tribe.