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Sylamore Trail Run – 2011 Results

Fast trail conditions, a body ready to rip it, and unexpected crew support allowed David Riddle to break the 10 year old 50 km course record and takes home $2000 in cash.

Last weekend the Sylamore Trail run took place in north central Arkansas on the beautiful Ozark National Forest trails with the start/finish located on the property of the Anglers White River Resort in the town of Allison.

Over 300 nature lovin’ runners laced up for the 50 km or 25 km adventure.


All runners have one mile of pavement and enjoy the same out-and-back trail with the 50 km runners enjoying a bit more of it.

The 50 km is a bit Jaws-like with four pointy teeth climbs in the 400 feet range plus two water crossings to get those little piggies wet.

The 25 km trail runners get to experience one big climb and the two puddle jumps.

Course Map

50 km profile


50 km

Dink Taylor had set the 50 km course record in 2000 with a time of 3:40:37. In 2010, David Riddle in his first adventure on this course was on course record pace before the details (hydration and calories) caused him to slow and suffer substantially in the last six miles. David finished eight minutes over the course record.

David came back this year with course experience, a focus on the details, the gracious handler support of Dink Taylor himself. How flippin’ cool is this!?! Why is this sport so damn cool? One of the huge reasons is the people. The people! As David comes flying through various aid-stations, there is Dink handing him his bottle/nutrition and cheering him down the trail.

So how did the race play out? (Thanks to details from David and Feb Boswell’s race reports)

(Rock wall section: 22 second video clip of course by vonralls. If you can’t see the video click here.)

Ben Creehan led the front group of runners into the creek crossing in the early miles. David exited the creek first and ran off with the lead as a man on a self-controlled mission. David reached the turnaround two minutes under course record in 1:48…all alone.

David kept an aggressive but controlled effort on the return trip with extra emphasis on hydration and calories. This additional focus allowed David to fly into the finish line in 3:31:44 (sub 1:44 return split!) and set a new 50 km course record! For breaking the record David also took home a $2000 cash bonus.

While the course record run had to be exciting to follow, the race for second had its own intensity. Ben Creehan had a few minute lead over Feb Boswell after the turnaround. With five miles till the finish, Ben had a three minute lead over Feb.

Both continued to push but Feb was able to cut the lead down to 45 seconds with .75 miles to go. Feb ran out of real estate and Ben was able to hold onto second by 20 seconds. Good stuff!

Top 5 male

  1. David Riddle – 3:31:44 (*course record*)
  2. Ben Creehan – 4:12:17
  3. Feb Boswell – 4:12:37
  4. Tom Brennan – 4:21:16
  5. Lullel Hickman – 4:32:26

(mile 8ish: 19 second video by vonralls. If you can’t see the video click here.)

Anna Assenmacher finished 10th overall and won the female race with a time of 4:56:17. Anna’s time was her second fastest effort on this course (in five attempts).  Twenty-five minute later Angie Zinkus finished second in 5:19:34.

Top 5 female

  1. Anna Assenmacher – 4:56:17 (*10th overall*)
  2. Angie Zinkus – 5:19:34
  3. Alison Jumper – 5:25:34
  4. Natalie McBee – 5:33:53
  5. Katie Helms – 5:39:06

Complete Results

25 km

Melissa Belk was able to create over seven minutes of separation from the nearest female to cross the finish first in 2:28:56. Rosie Laughlin was able to hold onto second place as a stream of chasers followed. Rosie finished in 2:36:15.

Top 5 female

  1. Melissa Belk – 2:28:56
  2. Rosie Laughlin – 2:36:15
  3. Cassie Malone – 2:37:38
  4. Veronica Battaglia – 2:39:07
  5. Tiffany Gaulke – 2:39:36

(mile 17-ish: 17 second video by vonralls. If you can’t see the video click here.)

Charley Hogue and Andrew Oberst were within 52 seconds of each other at the end of the 25 km scamper. Charley was able to maintain the extra turnover to win the male race in 2:06:46. Andrew finished second in 2:07:38.

Top 5 male

  1. Charley Hogue – 2:06:46
  2. Andrew Oberst – 2:07:38
  3. Matt Pruitt – 2:11:17
  4. Eric Butze – 2:12:46
  5. Charlie Duke – 2:14:13

Complete results

Inspiration Point

Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.

  • Hilde Haynes (age 67) and Thomas Mayfield (age 72) went ultra in the 50 km.
  • Otis Edge (age 72), Bill Brass (age 71), and Roger Williams (age 69) enjoyed a great 25 km adventure.

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 recipients:

  • Dottie Rea stuck with the process to finish the 50 km in 9:35:37.

Race Reports and Pics

  • “It all came together.  With a little more than a mile to go, I crashed back into the creek crossing like I was sprinting from the beach into the ocean.  A group of spectators cheered as I ran through the water and exited on the far bank.  I killed the last bit of dirt and paved roads to the finish.  3:31:44.” by David Riddle @ David Riddle – ultra runner and trail addict
  • “As I entered the ice cold creek, I noticed Creehan only about 45 seconds to a minute in front of me.  Ben Creehan is quite the runner and to see him this close got me fired up!” by Feb @ More Horse Than Rider
  • “The 15 miles back were pure misery.  I ran more comfortably and with greater ease over Hope Pass at Leadville 100 than I was running here.” by Mountain Trail Runner @ The Trail Less Traveled

If you have any experiences to share from the event, please include in the comment link below.

Garmin Data Request

If you have Garmin data for the 50 km adventure 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 124 regional trail/ultra races in the TALON Race Guide. Be sure to check it out if you are looking for the most complete 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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