Running Warehouse banner

Trail Running Course

El Chupacabra de Houston Trail Run – 2011 Results

Last weekend over 400 runners enjoyed some in-the-dark trail fun at the El Chupacabra de Houston 10 km trail run, located within the Lake Houston Wilderness Area, a short 30 minute drive north of downtown Houston.

Light source and glow stick attention required – start time was 9:00 PM.

Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Wolfe /

One distance – 10 km!

One rule – have fun!


The trail contains a dirty mix of straight and twisty, root scattered fun.


Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Wolfe /

Although the sun was nowhere to be seen, that didn’t stop some burnin’ hot efforts at the front of the male race. Andrew Epperson averaged the only sub-six minute pace to win the male race in 36:19 (chip time).

Just over a minute later, Aaron Swift finished solidly in second with a time of 37:24.

Top 5 male

  1. Andrew Epperson – 36:20
  2. Aaron Swift – 37:24
  3. Christian Humphries – 39:39
  4. Alex Moreno – 41:19
  5. John Mannion – 42:06

Andrew Epperson (Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Wolfe /

The top 3 women were separated by less than 12 seconds after 10 km of candlelight racing…if you look at gun time. So it had to be a fun dash across the finish line for Melissa Rothe, Gigi White, and Bernadette Tretta. The chip time creates a bit more spacing and had Melissa lead the female group across the line with time of 49:30.

Gigi pushed through for a second place finish in 50:20.

Top 5 female

  1. Melissa Rothe – 49:30
  2. Gigi White – 50:20
  3. Bernadette Tretta – 50:28
  4. Katherine Weiss – 53:01
  5. Gina Calderone – 53:24

Melissa Rothe (Photo: Courtesy of Andrew Wolfe /

Complete Results

Inspiration Point

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

  • Douglas Mcmillan, Gary Delord, Omer Womack, Jim Moore, Jean Snyder, and Linda Reiger all played during the nighttime hours within the 60-64 age group!

Life is play. Play is life.

Race Reports and Photos

  • I couldn’t find any race reports for this one. 🙁
  • Race photos – by Andrew Wolfe (as of the publishing of this article, the photos were not yet available to look through)

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

Special thanks to Andrew Wolfe at Andrew Wolfe Photography for the collection of race photos you see above.

Check out the TALON Race Guide

There are 145 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.

2 Responses to “El Chupacabra de Houston Trail Run – 2011 Results”

  1. on 19 May 2011 at 9:50 am Jonathan

    Ran the Chupacabra this past weekend and had an absolute blast! It was my first night trail run and second trail race. I ran with HARRA here in Houston on the Ho Chi Minh trail in Memorial Park and I am glad I did. Ho Chi Minh is a highly technical trail and it made me immediately realize what I was in for the following weekend. The weather was perfect and race temp was in the high 60s. The trail was a single track but had moments where it opened up for passing. It does have lot of roots and a few low lying limbs and quite a few runners had spills along the way. No mud from the rains a couple days before so that was a good thing. You can lose a sense of direction running at night and can become disoriented fairly easily. Even though they had glow sticks every hundred yeards or so I managed to get off course for about 20 yards and had to double-back. Got to run with the second and third place female finishers up till about mile 4 and they just left me. Ended up finishing a few minutes behind them and placing third in my age division in 53′. I was certainly not expecting to finish with an 8:38 pace on a night trail race. Run In Texas put on a great event and will definitely be back to run with them next year.

  2. on 23 May 2011 at 11:03 am David Hanenburg

    Jonathan – Thanks for the race insight! Great stuff. Also great to hear about your positive experience.

    Happy Running!