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Big Bend Ultramarathon – 2011 Results

Great conditions provided runners an epic day at the Big Bend Ultra Run which took pace in the ruggedly beautiful Big Bend National Park in southwest Texas on January 16. Around 300 new and experienced trail runners enjoyed the 50 km, 25 km, or the newly added 10 km scenic run.

This event is a fundraiser for the Friends of Big Bend National Park, so part of your entry helps with park improvements. Over the last 15 years this group has raised over $1 million dollars for park support. Huge!

Special thanks to Vincent Doogan for granting permission to share his pictures throughout this article.

The Course

The 50 km, and 25 km route appear to be point-to-point adventures that run on some nicely groomed dirt park road/trail. The course is generally a downhill run with the highest elevation point (in the early miles) reaching 3500 feet and then you cross the finish line near 15oo feet.

The 10 km course appeared to be an out-and-back run that had runners either going slightly uphill or downhill. The entire course danced between 80 feet of elevation.

Course maps and profiles


50 km

John Yoder blasted through the course in 7:19 min/mile pace to win the male race with the only sub-4 finish time of 3:47:08. The was not only speedy enough for a course record but is the first time someone has scampered for a sub-4 finish on this course. Neil Smith crossed the line second, in 4:07:20.

Top 5 male

  1. John Yoder – 3:47:08 (*course record*)
  2. Neil Smith – 4:07:20
  3. Zebulon Lang – 4:14:39
  4. Ryan Cantor – 4:23:05
  5. Jim Weddell – 4:24:25 (*masters winner*)

John Yoder - Led the 50 km train.

Tanya Hunter and Amanda McIntosh were in an inspirational footrace in the female race. Tanya was able to hold onto enough separation in the closing miles to win by less than three minutes with a time of 4:28:00. Amanda finished in 4:30:44. Both finished in the top 10 overall!

Top 5 female

  1. Tanya Hunter – 4:28:00 (*6th overall*)
  2. Amanda McIntosh – 4:30:44 (*8th overall, masters winner*)
  3. Rachel Ballard – 4:55:10
  4. Amy Monsivais – 5:14:33
  5. Jazzy Stallworth – 5:23:25

Tanya Hunter closing in on the finish line.

Ultra runner and coach, Amanda McIntosh (2nd female), and female winner Tanya Hunter all smiles post race. Btw, this was Amanda's 3rd 50 km in eight days!

Complete 50 km results

25 km

Meg Ayers averaged an 8:32 min/mile pace to win the female race in 2:12:40. Meg also earned forth overall and was 13 seconds from dashing into third. Kimberly Aubuchon finished a solid second in 2:15:56.

Top 5 female

  1. Meg Ayers – 2:12:40 (*4th overall*)
  2. Kimberly Aubuchon – 2:15:56 (* 5th overall, masters winner *)
  3. Brandi Shipman – 2:26:45 (*9th overall*)
  4. Grace Duffy – 2:28:31
  5. Stacie Austin – 2:30:50

Mike Mccorgary ran alone at the front of the male race averaging 7:05 min/mile pace. Mike won in 1:50:05. Thirteen minutes later, J.B. Bryan crossed the line for second with a time of 2:03:40.

Top 5 male

  1. Mike Mccorgary – 1:50:05
  2. J.B. Bryan – 2:03:40 (*masters winner*)
  3. Allen Etheridge – 2:12:27
  4. Irv Downning – 2:21:13
  5. Kyle Clader – 2:24:13

Complete 25 km Results

10 km

Just over 45 minutes wins the male race. Bart Stevens averaged 7:15 pace to cross the finish line first in 45:06. In the reoccurring trend of masters winner’s finishing second, Todd Bureau claimed second in 48:11.

Top 5 male

  1. Bart Stevens – 45:06
  2. Todd Bureau – 48:11 (*masters winner*)
  3. Rio King – 50:44 (*65-69 age group*)
  4. James Anderson – 53:27
  5. Craig Kapitan – 55:11

Zoe Berra ran near the front of the overall race to win the female dash in 55:10.  Yep, you guessed it, Miroslava Shoemaker (masters winner), finished second in 57:10.

Top 5 female

  1. Zoe Berra – 55:10 (*5th overall*)
  2. Miroslava Shoemaker – 57:10 (*8th overall, masters winner*)
  3. Sommer Kapitan – 57:17 (*9th overall*)
  4. Beth Nobles – 1:06:02
  5. Therese McDevitt – 1:10:56

Complete 10 km results

Inspiration Point

Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me. Unfortunately, the results don’t list specific age but age group.

  • Rio King dashed through the 10 km in the 65-69 age group.
  • Thomas Beitinger, Mike Mcshane, and Bella Hoverman all enjoyed the 25 km adventure in the 65-69 age group.
  • Bob Abbott and Albert Burrier inspired all in the 50 km park journey at an age of 70 (+).

Love this! Love this! Love this!

Life is play. Play is life.

The Tough-as-Nails Award

nails1The 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:

  • Mick Stamm worked it mile-by-mile and finished the 50 km in 8:36:05.

Race Reports and other Groovy Media

  • “I walk down a dirt road and see a line drawn in the sand. This must be it. I scan my surroundings and can’t help wondering if I’m in the most gorgeous spot on the planet.” by Greg @ Greg’s Running Adventures

If you have a report or other experiences to share from the event, please feel free to share in the comments link.

Video by Big Bend Ultra organizers of all three race starts, a little bit of running, and the 50 km winners.

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

Congrats to everyone on what appeared to be a very special day to enjoy a run in Big Bend National Park.

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.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

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.

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