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Cross Timbers Trail Run – 2011 Results

Just over one week ago, over 250 runners enjoyed a trail in excellent condition along with some unseasonably warm weather at the 30th running of the Cross Timbers trail run.

Lake Texoma (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

This north Texas event takes place on the southern shores of Lake Texoma and provided the 250+ giddy (at least at the start) runners a 50 mile, marathon, half marathon, or 5 mile trail running adventure.


The out-and-back course is described as mostly narrow, hilly trails with some rocky and hazardous areas. There are multiple miles of terrain that require top-shelf concentration to prevent some undesirable rock tasting. For flatlander country, the course is a hearty challenge for any runner.

The course leads runners out 12.5 miles before returning back to the start/finish. The 50 milers run this out-and-back segment twice, marathoners once. The half and 5 milers simply run shorter out segments.


The start (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

50 mile

Brian Hopton-Jones took off from the start and created two minutes of separation at the 2.5 mile aid-station from the next chaser, Scott Eppelman. At the half-way point Brian clocked a 3:52 split (avg 9:16 min/mile) and built his lead up to 15 minutes over Scott with 25 miles to go. Brian continued to gradually increase his lead and went on to win the male race in 8:43:25. Scott finished a strong second in 9:09:23.

Top 5 male

  1. Brian Hopton-Jones – 8:43:25
  2. Scott Eppelman – 9:09:23
  3. Gerardo Ramirez – 10:06:15
  4. Zach Hill – 11:05:56
  5. Claude Hicks Jr. – 11:19:52

Brian Hopton-Jones (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

Olga Varlamova lead through most of the early miles before being passed by Malane Grace around the 12.5 mile mark of the female race. During the return trip Olga gradually overtook Malane and created nine minutes of separation at mile 25 from now second place, Mariela Botella. Olga kept the feet turning over and extended her lead to finish fourth overall and win the female race in 10:51:14.

The dash for second place occurred between mile 25 through 32 as Malane and Mariela traded the lead through the various aid-station checkpoints. Mariela was able to create the final push and it stuck. Mariela earned second place in 11:22:51.

All 4 female finishers

  1. Olga Varlamova – 10:51:14 (*4th overall*)
  2. Mariela Botella – 11:22:51
  3. Malane Grace – 11:51:38
  4. Michelle Brooks – 15:35:18

Olga Varlamova (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,


Judy Jones led from the start of the female race and was able to create a 10 minute lead over Tammy Winn at the half-way turnaround aid-station. Judy was not challenged during the final 12.5 miles and went on to win with a sub-5 hour time of 4:58:23.

The race for second had a bit more excitement as Jennifer Kimble caught and passed Tammy during the final 6.5 miles and went on to claim second in 5:15:43.

Top 5 female

  1. Judy Jones – 4:58:23
  2. Jennifer Kimble – 5:15:43
  3. Tammy Winn – 5:21:22
  4. Nancy Shidler – 5:33:24
  5. Belinda Young – 5:44:37

Judy Jones (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

Preston Teel and Don Solberg ran within three minutes of each other the entire 26-ish miles of the male race. Don created a two minute lead at the first aid-station (2.5 mile) and Preston was not able to cross that gap. Don won the male race in 3:53:38. In Don’s shadow a couple minutes back, Preston earned second in 3:55:58.

Top 5 male

  1. Don Solberg – 3:53:38
  2. Preston Teel – 3:55:58
  3. Neil Smith – 4:12:17
  4. Ron Lambke – 4:13:289
  5. Jacob Berkowitz – 4:16:28

Don Solberg (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

Half marathon

Chris McClure blazed off a bit too quickly at the front and missed a turn somewhere after the 2.5 mile aid-station. His race was done. Tim Jagoda gradually moved to the front of the race before the turn-around with Tommy Swanson a scant minute behind. Tim kept the high turnover and was able to create just under two minutes of separation at the finish line and win the male race in 2:03:35. Tommy finished firmly in second with a time of 2:05:28.

Top 5 male

  1. Tim Jagoda – 2:03:35
  2. Tommy Swanson – 2:05:28
  3. John Runyon – 2:13:55
  4. Nick Polito – 2:20:04
  5. Bryan Warren – 2:23:05

Tim Jagoda (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

Leana Sloan led the female race with 2.5 miles to go and had a one minute lead over Vera Suarez. Leana struggled through the remaining miles and was passed by Vera and Marlee Clark. Vera went on to win the female race in 2:37:34. Marlee was able to sneak in front of Leana to earn second by 22 seconds.

Top 5 female

  1. Vera Suarez – 2:37:34
  2. Marlee Clark – 2:41:30
  3. Leana Sloan – 2:41:52
  4. Julie Pareya – 2:45:55
  5. Amy Christiansen – 3:01:19

Vera Suarez (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

5 mile

Shery Solberg locked down the female win in 55:06 and 7th overall. The race for second may have had a bit more excitedment as Haley Heppes and Taylor Ann Reed were separated by one second at the finish. Haley had the extra step and claimed second place in 1:03:23.

Top 5 female

  1. Shery Solberg – 55:06
  2. Haley Heppes – 1:03:23
  3. Taylor Ann Reed – 1:03:24
  4. Delise McCarter – 1:03:54
  5. Bk Steib – 1:06:10

Shery Solberg (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

Thomas Walsh dominated the male race and won in 40:43. The race for second had three athletes all within one minute of each other. Luke Germann was able to lead this group and cross the finish first and earn second place in 48:43.

Top 5 male

  1. Thomas Walsh – 40:43
  2. Luke Germann – 48:43
  3. Lane Allen – 49:23
  4. Mychael Ramirez – 49:39
  5. Brian Baldwin – 53:02

Thomas Walsh (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

Complete Results for all races.

Inspiration Point

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

  • Mary Ann Miller (age 74) and Jay Norman (age 73) enjoyed the half marathon course.
  • Duane Matthes (age 67) went after the marathon adventure.

Jay Norman (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

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:

  • Rene Villalobos kept the steady forward progress to finish the 50 mile in 15:35:20.
  • Doug Harrison enjoyed the marathon adventure in 8:32:14.

Race Reports and Other Goodies

  • “She sees me at about mile 11 with cramps so sever I couldn’t straighten them out. She massages the cramp out and got me going again… I still chuckle at seeing her line up for a half mary…kinda like seeing Ryan Hall run the 100 meter dash.” by Dave @ …And the Adventure Continues…
  • “It’s absolutely true that some of the hills on this course are so steep you have to reach for things to grab onto to pull yourself up.  I could feel my heart pounding in my chest so hard after getting up some of those hills.  Tough!” by Julie @ Trailing Along
  • “Breathe, eat, drink, and trust your body. Trust that it knows the pace, it is strong, trust your own training, trust that it knows what to do, when to walk, when to run, don’t think. Don’t think. That’s my motto. La-la-land.” by Olga @ Run More Talk Less
  • “On the way down from the aid station I felt honored when other runners would yield way on the trail, just as I had done for those in front of me. I cheered each person on as I passed. A few minutes later one person asked me if the aid station was close. I responded, “Only one more hill to go!” I didn’t have the heart to describe the hill!” by Thomas @ The Trail Jogger
  • “Soon the sun came up and it was time to begin the marathon.  The race director reminded trail running newbies not to expect to run their usual marathon pace, to expect to add about 30% to their usual marathon time.  I chuckled to myself; I thought, more like 50% if I’m lucky, possibly more!” by Paul @ Lean Forward Run Farther
  • My half marathon report.
  • Course Flyover – Check out the entire out-and-back section of trail goodness.
  • Team Danger Ventures, LTD. – Check out the sweet collection of professional photos by Celeste Walz.

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

RD Teresa Estrada-McCoul breaking it down! (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

Garmin Data Request

If you have Garmin data for the marathon or 50 mile adventure and would be willing to share a copy of it with me, please let me know through my contact page. Danke!

[Update – Garmin data received!]

Noah C. (age 9) completes his first 5 mile trail run! (Copyright Celeste Walz /Team Danger Ventures, LTD,

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.

Special thanks to Celeste Walz @ Team Danger Ventures, LTD. for providing all the great race photos.

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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