During the weekend over 600 trail runners enjoyed the pleasant daytime conditions at the 9th Annual Bandera Trail Run. The evening hours were a bit more interesting as heavy rain added a new challenge for those still working the 100 km course.
This event was both the USATF 100 km National Championship and part of the Montrail Ultra Cup Series which brought additional fast feet into the Lone Star State. This led to some crazy new course records and a national championship for a local TALON athlete. This was one of the most exciting races I have personally been able to witness.
What is your running meal of choice? 25 km, 50 km, 100 km? Bandera had it!
This course has a bit of everything Texas has to offer – knarly rock gardens, roots, 200-400 foot climbs, some fast flatter sections, rugged nature, and some plants that bite (Texas Sotol).
Every race distance enjoys much of the same trail but each start on different sections of the course to help spread out the various races and limit the amount of congestion.
The 100 km course is a two-loop adventure, that includes a handful of attention-required climbs per loop. The middle, flatter miles allow a nice tempo effort due to its flat and nicely groomed terrain.
The 50 km course provides three significant climbs in the first six miles before you try and find a running rythmn for the remaining miles. There is one last steep climb within the last couple miles called Lucky Peak that delivers one last opportunity to enjoy the Bandera hills before the gradual downhill grade to the finish.
The 25 km had runners either going up or down until mile 11-13 where you can turn it up if you still have the legs. The Lucky Peak climb is saved for one mile before the finish then you can cruise to the tape.
100 km USATF Championship
Three words – Fast, Fast, Fast!
In the male race, the pace was extremely hot from the start. Dave Mackey came cruising into the 50 km aid-station with a split over 30 minutes faster (~3:43:03) than last year’s course record run by Nick Clark (4:15:49 1st 50 km split, finish 9:16:57). Maybe a handful of minutes later, Dave James and Geoff Roes arrived at the half way point. Geoff unfortunately ended up dropping.
Mackey extended his lead on the second loop to win the championship and set a new course record of 8:16:48. This is just over one hour faster than the previous record. Wow! Seventeen minutes later Dave James finished in 8:33:36. Yep, under the previous course record. In fact, the top four finishers all sped under nine hours.
Top 5 male
- Dave Mackey (CO) – 8:16:48 (*new course record – $500*)
- Dave James (OH) – 8:33:36 (*broke previous course record – $350*)
- Jason Bryant (NC) – 8:57:19 (*broke previous course record – $150*)
- Dan Olmstead (OR) – 8:57:42 (*broke the previous course record*)
- Steven Moore (TX) – 9:32:32
The female race was led by local TALON athlete Liza Howard early in the race. This adventure was just as intense as the male race. Liza completed the first loop and created approximately a 12 minutes gap on Meghan Arbogast. Pam Smith cruised into the 50 km aid-station a few minutes after Meghan. All under course record pace.
Howard continued to push as she heard her lead gradually reduced to under double digits bit still had plenty of turnover to win the championship and set a 58 minute course record of 9:35:23. Too cool! Smith eventually passed Arbogast during the second loop to cross the line second in 9:46:42. Arbogast held onto third in 10:19:53.
The top three finishers were all under the previous course record of 10:33:18 (Jill Perry / Aliza Lapierre – 2010)!
Top 5 female
- Liza Howard (TX) – 9:35:23 (*new course record – 6th overall – $500*)
- Pam Smith (OR) – 9:46:42 (*broke previous course record – 7th overall – $350*)
- Meghan Arbogast (OR) – 10:19:53 (*broke previous course record – $150*)
- Amber Monforte (NV) – 10:59:18
- Bridget DeLaRosa Lopez (TX) – 11:12:36
Both Melanie Fryar and Carla Uribe were the only women to run sub-5 on the day. Fryar was able to create over four minutes of separation to win the female race and set a new course record of 4:51:17. The previous record was 4:54:15 (Jean Herbert – 2009). Uribe finished a strong second in 4:57:35.
Top 5 female
- Melanie Fryar (CO) – 4:51:17 (*course record*)
- Carla Uribe (TX) – 4:57:35
- Amanda McIntosh (TX) – 5:09:21
- Jennifer Schwartz (TX) – 5:13:58
- Janice Hauge (TX) – 5:43:37
Matt Turnbull ran the second fastest time in the races nine year history to win by over four minutes in 4:02:41. The dash for second was a good one with Sean Lewis and Chris McWatters separated by just over one minute after 50 km of racing. Good stuff. Lewis was able to stay in front near the finish to earn second in 4:07:18. McWatters was next in 4:08:38.
Top 5 male
- Matt Turnbull (CO) – 4:02:41
- Sean Lewis (TX) – 4:07:18
- Chris McWatters (TX) – 4:08:38
- Grant Glauser (TX) – 4:15:21
- David Brown (TX) – 4:22:21
6:22 min/mile pace is a crazy fast time for most of us in a road 25 km. Well, Erik Stanley averaged this pace on the Bandera course and set a new course record by over six minutes with a time of 1:39:01. Second place finisher, Dan Lanzillotti, was only three minutes behind Stanley’s flying pace and finished in 1:42:00. Fast? Um, yep!
Top 5 male
- Erik Stanley (TX) – 1:39:01 (*new course record*)
- Dan Lanzillotti (TX) – 1:42:00 (*broke previous course record*)
- Paul Terranova (TX) – 1:54:24
- Jamie Cleveland (TX) – 1:56:22
- Geoffrey Whitfield (TX) – 1:57:09
2010 25 km winner, Jennifer McRae, lead the female race once again in 2011. McRae won the female race in 2:25:44 and snuck under last year’s time by just over 30 seconds. Marla Briley finished second in 2:29:53.
Top 5 female
- Jennifer McRae (TX) – 2:25:44
- Marla Briley (TX) – 2:29:53
- Julie Kostka (TX) – 2:33:44
- Merry Wolf (TX) – 2:34:28
- Nancy Germond (TX) – 2:36:58
Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- Bill Wandel and Paul Jensen completed the 100 km adventure at age 67.
- Weldon Glockzin knocked out one loop in the 50 km at age 67.
- Michael Geissler enjoyed the 25 km adventure at age 63.
Life is play. Play is life.
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 recipient:
- Renee Shaw persevered through the nighttime rain and finished the 100 km in 23:03:38.
- Savitha Sridharan kept the forward momentum to finish the 50 km in 15:36:12.
Race Reports and other Goodies
- “…I felt great going up the Cairns climb, and then the Boyles Bump climb, which are decent 400 foot climbs with technical footing. On the 50K midway back at the start/finish, I noted 3:43 on my watch, knowing it was way too fast to run a negative split and knew I would be paying a price for it soon.” by Dave Mackey @ Dave Mackey
- “That’s what my father in-law yelled at me around mile 42. Five miles later “She’s eight minutes behind you!” It was down to “Six minutes!” nine miles before the finish. Sheesh. There are worse things than running a 100k race withMeghan Arbogast and Pam Smith gaining on you each mile, but they certainly didn’t come to mind yesterday afternoon 50 miles into the race.” by Liza Howard @ LizaHoward’s Blog
- “And then we started and within minutes I felt really crappy. My stomach was off, my legs were off, my lungs felt really stressed, and the pace felt way too fast. I should have slowed down right then.” by Geoff Roes @ Fumbling Towards Endurance
- “…you’re wondering why I am was so astute on how long I stayed in an aid stations? Part of my pre race goal was to never linger…in Ultra Terms…”Don’t make love to the aid station!”” by Dave @ …And the Adventure Continues
- “At the pre-race dinner I was in line and started a conversation with the guy behind me, who turns out to be ultrarunner phenom Dave James. I didn’t know who he was, and hopefully didn’t embarrass myself too much (Me: “So do you have a goal for this race?” Him: “To win.” Me: “Oh.”).” by ultra.tortoise @ A Trail Runner’s Running Blog
- My Report
- 25 km Course Flyover
- 50 km Course Flyover
- 50 km Video Report – Finished her first marathon / ultra marathon on the 50 km course!
Here is a cool video of the 100k adventure and provides some really good images of the local terrain. Fun, fun, fun!
(If you can’t see the video, click here.)
Garmin Data Request
If you have Garmin data from the 50 km and would be willing to share a copy of it with me, please let me know through my contact page. Danke!
Check out the TALON Race Guide
There are 119 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.
Congrats to everyone that enjoyed the epic day on the Texas trails.
Feel free to share any experiences from the day.
Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com