Last weekend, the 26th running of the Palo Duro Trail Run took place within the ruggedly beautiful red rocks of Palo Duro Canyon state park in west Texas. The canyon is one of those places that you don’t believe exists as you look around the local terrain…until your vehicle suddenly falls directly into the canyon. Here a new world awaits.
Trail runners can enjoy a 50 mile, 50 km, or 20 km adventure.
327 athletes finished this dirt lovin’ adventure.
Special thanks to Teresa for sharing the various pics!
The trail consists of well groomed double wide trail within the canyon. Since you don’t crawl your way out of it, there are no monster climbs but plenty of variety (gradual up, gradual down, flat, steep up, steep down).
The main loop is 12.5 miles. 50 milers get to do this four times. The 50 km runners run a modified loop, followed by two main loops. The 20 km runners enjoy one main loop.
By the end of two loops (25 miles) of running, Stuart White was in the lead and never looked back in the male race. Stuart knocked out three fairly consistent loops before finally slowing in the last 12.5 miles. Stuart won by nearly 10 minutes, with a time of 8:26:25.
The chase for second – At the start of the final 12.5 mile loop, Charlton Taylor positioned in second, had a five minute lead on Bogie Dumitrescu. While everyone was slowing down during the final loop, Bogie was able to run it 14 minutes faster than Charlton and claim a second place finish in 8:46:04.
Top 5 male
- Stuart White – 8:26:25
- Bogie Dumitrescu – 8:46:04
- Charlton Taylor – 8:55:12
- Gergo Perlaky – 9:03:48
- Barry Roberts – 9:10:27
Similarly in the female race, during the second loop Barbara Schultz scampered to the front and maintained the lead throughout the remaining miles. Barbara won by 30 minutes in a time of 9:48:21.
Olga Varlamova had the extra gear over chaser Cindy Schlandt, to finish second in 10:18:36.
Top 5 female
- Barbara Schultz – 9:48:21 (*8th overall*)
- Olga Varlamova – 10:18:36
- Cindy Schlandt – 10:34:48
- Tracy Holland – 10:52:17
- Debra Pero – 11:16:02
Sub 5 hour wins the female race!
Merry Wolf and Jean Herbert could hear each others feet and rhythmic breath for the first 19 miles. Two seconds officially separated the two at this point. One lap to go! Somewhere during this final 12.5 miles, Jean struggled while Merry kept the consistent diesel engine pacing and pulled away. Jean ran a four second negative split from her previous 12.5 mile loop to win in 4:58:46.
While Jean tried to keep it together during the final miles, Stacey Paddock ran an 80+ second negative split from her previous 12.5 mile loop and was able to cross the finish second in 5:09:32. Jean kept it moving to finish third in 5:12:13.
Top 5 female
- Merry Wolf – 4:58:46 (*5th overall*)
- Stacey Paddock – 5:09:32 (*6th overall*)
- Jean Herbert – 5:12:13 (*7th overall*)
- Marleen Clark – 6:11:49
- Deeann Marshall – 6:13:02
Sub 4 hour wins the male race!
Quent Bearden took off like a rocket from the start in the male race. He was running a minute per mile faster than the next chaser throughout the first 6-ish miles. After the first 19 miles, Quent was on 3:30 – 3:40 pace. This may seem like suicide pace but Quent clocked a 3:39 in ’03 on this course. The final loop appeared to be a bit of a struggle as he ran 23 minutes slower than the previous loop but still easily won in 3:57:51.
Shane Petrey finished a strong second in 4:40:11
Top 5 male
- Quent Bearden – 3:57:51
- Shane Petrey – 4:40:11
- Dan Aja – 4:52:37
- Jay Benton – 4:56:59
- Roger Brown – 5:12:19
Nathan Jenkins – see ya – 5+ minute win in the male race with a 1:29:52 finish time.
The acidic stomach sprint for second place saw Kevin Donnelly and Jon Korte separated by 3 seconds at the finish. That final quarter mile loop near the finish had to be fun! Kevin was able to stay in front of Jon to claim second place in 1:35:19.
Top 5 male
- Nathan Jenkins – 1:29:52
- Kevin Donnelly – 1:35:19
- Jon Korte – 1:35:22
- Byron Benoit – 1:37:50
- Mark Flanigan – 1:41:07
The female race was more spread out. Colleen Casey was mixin’ it up at the front of the male race and solidly won the female race in 1:35:30. Colleen’s time also grabbed fourth overall. Karen Roberts finish second in 1:50:09.
Top 5 female
- Colleen Casey – 1:35:30 (*4th overall*)
- Karen Roberts – 1:50:09
- Tammy Moriearty – 1:54:06
- Breennan Phelan – 2:00:44
- Megan Childers – 2:01:31
Check out the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- 20 km: Alan Englisch (age 71), Kathy Moffitt (age 73), Ron Daniel (age 72), Joseph Luccioni (age 70), Patricia Butler (age 72)
- 50 km: George Kempston (age 66)
- 50 mile: Fred Thompson (age 61) and Bobby Keogh (age 61)
- “Anyway, when H and I were running by Red’s Rock, we both noticed a dramatic temperature drop. Not a breeze or cool spot, a COLD spot. Like the temperature felt like it dropped 20 degrees. Felt like we’d entered a cave.” by Julie @ Trailing Along
- “Getting back in the mental game of kicking ass. This was my break-through mile. I thought, 8 miles left. No problem. I can run 8 miles in my sleep. This heat is no problem. I’ve run in WAY worse heat. This leg pain is no problem. I’ve run with WAY worse leg pain.” – by Michelle @ Wed with the Fishes
- “It was to be treated as a training run, as a “take it as it comes”, as “just finish since it’s the first 50 in a series” thing. I don’t think I had ever had such a simple and profound attitude. All I had to do is just take care of my body, plain and simple, and believe that I will finish – and finishing in good spirits and with minimal damage was my agenda.” – by Olga @ Run More Talk Less
Feel free to share any additional thoughts on the experience in the comment link below. If you have a race report that I missed, ping me as well.
Check out the TALON Race Guide
There are 113 regional trail/ultra races in the TALON Race Guide. Be sure to check it out if you are looking for a fairly large list of events in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. New events are always being added.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 22 Oct 2010