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Hells Hills Trail Run – 2011 Results

Sub-7 for the boys and sub-9 for the girls lead to new course records in the 50 mile.

Photo: Copyright Craig Mitchell /

Over 300 athletes played on the varied trails of Rocky Hill Ranch for the 11th annual Hells Hills Trail Run on April 2nd. The moderately warm and humid conditions added some extra fun for the 50 mile, 50 km, 25 km, and 10 km adventures.


Plenty of rolling and twisting single-track that includes the Wall and the Grind at the end of each loop.

50 mile – 3 loops

50 km – 2 loops

25 km – 1 loop

10 km – 1 loop


Let's roll! (Photo: Copyright Craig Mitchell /

50 mile

Two runners that have been turning up the Texas trail heat (as in speed) in the last couple months are Neal Lucas (3:25 – 2011 Prickly Pear 50 km) and Paul Terranova (4:43 – TnT 50 km, 2:13 – The Maze 30 km). Both speedsters showed up for the Hells Hills 50 mile and were ready to inspire one another to course record performances.

Both Neal and Paul broke the 2007 course record (7:31:39 – Robert King) by 29+ minutes and were separated by an extremely small two and a half minutes…after 50 miles! We are talking about an average of 3 seconds per mile difference. Neal was first to cross the finish line with the only sub-7 hour finish of 6:59:45 (8:23 min/mile average) and set a new course record.

Paul finished solidly in second with a finish time of 7:02:22.

Top 5 male

  1. Neal Lucas – 6:59:45 (*new course record*)
  2. Paul Terranova – 7:02:22 (*broke previous course record*)
  3. Steven Moore – 7:35:47
  4. David Brown – 7:43:11
  5. Stephen Baumgartner – 8:08:51

Neal Lucas cruising along the single-track. (Photo: Copyright Josh Baker /

Lesley Hempfling and Sydney Pitt are both 3:30-ish road marathoners. Their road fitness seemed to translate well on the trail as well because they finished within 4.5 minutes of each other and they both broke the previous female course record (9:21 – Juliet Morgan 2010). Lesley displayed the extra turnover to win the female race with a sub-9 time of 8:56:57.

Sydney earned second place in 9:01:36.

Top 5 female

  1. Lesley Hempfling – 8:56:57 (*new course record*, 10th overall)
  2. Sydney Pitt – 9:01:36 (*broke previous course record*)
  3. Tina Jeon – 9:36:42
  4. Julie Grant – 10:57:39
  5. Fawn Simpson – 11:24:47

Leslie Hempfling looking relaxed. (Photo: Copyright Craig Mitchell /

50 km

Megan Haley mixed it up in the top of the overall race and created separation from the next female chaser. Megan finished 6th overall and won the female race in 5:04:49.

Samantha Lambert finished 12th overall and second female with a finish time of 5:37:47.

Top 5 female

  1. Megan Haley – 5:04:49 (*6th overall*)
  2. Samantha Lambert – 5:37:47
  3. Susan Levitan – 6:12:03
  4. Jennifer Vogel – 6:22:10
  5. Amanda Botello – 6:26:09

Megan Haley pushing the pace...with a smile. (Photo: Copyright Josh Baker /

62 seconds separated Brent Bellm (3:09 – 2011 Austin Marathon) and Geoffrey Whitfield (1:57 – 2011 Bandera 25 km) after 50 km of dirt fun. While Geoffrey appeared to have little to no 50 km (or greater) race experience, that didn’t stop him from running at the front and win the male race in 4:43:44.

About a minute later, Brent came blasting through for second place in 4:44:46.

Top 5 male

  1. Geoffrey Whitfield – 4:43:44
  2. Brent Bellm – 4:44:46
  3. Christopher Haley – 4:51:35
  4. Josue Stephens – 4:57:45
  5. John Reynolds – 5:01:01

Geoffrey Whitfield in the early miles. (Photo: Copyright Josh Baker /

25 km

Justin Hoffman (4:07 – 2010 Wild Hare 50 km) created six minutes of separation to win the male race with an average pace of 7:16 min/mile and finish time of 1:53:05.

The race for second was heated as four athletes all could have grabbed the runner-up spot if someone tripped on a smilin’ root or rock monster. Patrick Hall led this group of runners across the finish and earned second with a 1:59:05.

Top 5 male

  1. Justin Hoffman – 1:53:05
  2. Patrick Hall – 1:59:05
  3. Derek Purvis – 2:01:41
  4. Chris Chancey – 2:01:49
  5. Jack Daly – 2:02:10

Justin Hoffman celebrating the win. (Photo: Copyright Craig Mitchell /

Erin Ruyle averaged 8:52 min/miles to win the female in 2:17:59. Melanie Bruce claimed second in 2:30:11.

Top 5 female

  1. Erin Ruyle – 2:17:59
  2. Melanie Bruce – 2:30:11
  3. Ashley Johnson – 2:34:03
  4. Ali Klein – 2:34:21
  5. Olga Varlamova – 2:42:05

Erin Ruyle (#357) enjoying some sub-9 minute pace. (Photo: Copyright Josh Baker /

10 km

Debbie Harkness ran alone at the front of the female race to finish 6th overall and win the female adventure in 1:03:34.

Just over eight minute later Erika Moore finished second in 1:11:46.

Top 5 female

  1. Debby Harkness – 1:03:34 (*6th overall*)
  2. Erika Moore – 1:11:46 (*8th overall*)
  3. Kerin Bross – 1:13:48 (*10th overall*)
  4. Carolyn Rost – 1:15:11
  5. Theresa Sanchez – 1:15:52

Debby Harkness (#743) enjoying the day with friends. (Photo: Copyright Craig Mitchell /

Mark Zimmerer (age 14) ran a 7:47 pace and could not be caught. Mark won the male race in 48:25.

Heath Ribprdy finished a solid second in 51:34.

Top 5 male

  1. Mark Zimmerer – 48:25
  2. Heath Ribprdy – 51:34
  3. Johnny Ybarra – 54:37
  4. Chris Rankin – 59:25
  5. Matt Zimmerer – 1:00:24

Johnny Ybarra crossing the finish for third place. (Photo: Copyright Craig Mitchell /

Complete Results

Inspiration Point

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

  • Ioannis Pontikas took a 10 km journey at age 66.
  • Weldon Glockzin got dirty for 25 km at age 67.
  • Mirek Malinowski got himself a little 50 km at age 70.

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:

  • Kimberly McQuire kept moving forward to finish the 50 km in 10:25:51.
  • Kent Fish turned off the lights of the event after he celebrated his 50 mile finish in 14:34:54.

Race Reports

  • “As I pass my campsite, I have a fleeting thought of dropping & going back to sleep. I negotiate with myself that it is so damn humid that I wouldn’t be able to get comfortable. I alternate between walking & running for the next 5 miles.” by Tom @ San Antonio Area Trail running
  • Race report in Luna Sandals – by Josue @ Josue Stephens blog

If you have an experience or thought to share from the event, please feel free to include in the comment link below.

Check out the TALON Race Guide

There are 141 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 Josh Baker and Craig Mitchell of for the great collection of race photos you see above.

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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