Sunset. 9:00 PM. Starting temperature – 100+F. Let’s run!
On June 17th, the 4th Annual Summer Solstice 3 and 6 Hour Run took place at Redbud Park in the south west corner of Abilene, Texas. Over 70 nocturnal runners got their loopy run-on thanks to the event host, Abilene Runner’s Club. The number of laps you travel within the three or six hours is your result, pretty simple.
Proceeds from the event supported the West Texas Walk Now for Autism Speaks.
Also simple is the course and like most hour timed events, a short loop is the most typical. The Summer Solstice guided runners on a well lit one mile paved trail within the park and required no street crossings.
Run, walk, sit for a while, your choice.
After three hours of racing in the female race, Kristine Chapman had completed over 17 miles / laps and had a one+ mile lead over the next chaser, Angela Tortorice. By hour four, Kristine continued to maintained her lead. Shortly before the five hour mark, Kristine completed 26 laps and appeared to call it a day.
Angela maintained a 11 – 13-ish mile pace for the remaining two hours to win the female race with 30 miles / laps. Laura Euckert finished second with 27 miles / laps.
Top 5 female
- Angela Tortorice – 30 miles / laps
- Laura Euckert – 27 miles / laps (in 5:41:33)
- Kate Teichman – 27 miles / laps (in 5:46:37)
- Kristin Chapman – 26 miles / laps
- Sandy Monson – 24 miles / laps
The male race saw Benjamin Drezek leading the inspiration train by a 1/3 of a mile over Jacob Evans after three hours of loopy fun. Benjamin was clocking consistent low to mid 8 min/mile loop splits and had completed over 21 laps at the midway point of the race.
With 90 minutes to go Benjamin had created a two mile / loop gap. The race for second had gotten more spicy as Jacob and Brian Hill were within a half loop of one another. The three front runners had all travelled 27+ – 29+ miles up to this point.
During the last hour Benjamin had a 19:50 and 32:27 minute mile split that allowed Jacob and Brian to catch and make the pass. Jacob held on for the male win with an ultra distance 36 laps in 5:53:36. Brian stayed strong in second with 36 laps and a 5:57:03 time.
Top 5 male
- Jacob Evans – 36 miles / laps (in 5:53:36)
- Brian Hill – 36 miles / laps (in 5:57:03)
- Benjamin Drezek – 33 miles / laps
- Kent Fish – 32 miles / laps
- Thomas Okazaki – 31 miles / laps
Two hours into the three hour adventure, Joe Schmal had a 90+ second lead over Michael Dotson, Paul Matens, and Jerry Hodge. Low to mid eight minute/mile pace was the theme for all four runners.
Joe maintained these splits during the last hour whereas the others gradually slowed. Joe won the male race with 22 miles / laps. Paul earned second place with 21 miles / laps.
Top 5 male
- Joe Schmal – 22 miles / laps
- Paul Martens – 21 miles / laps (in 3:00:13)
- Michael Dotson – 21 miles / laps (in 3:13:11)
- Jerry Hodge – 18 miles / laps (in 3:02:23)
- Andy Blessing – 18 miles / laps (in 3:11:20)
Hannah Jowers and Teresa Bartnicki both completed over 13 miles / laps and were within one minute of each other at the two hour point of the race. Hannah held the lead and maintained it for the next hour to win the female race with 20 miles / laps. Teresa maintained second place with 19 miles / laps.
Top 5 female
- Hannah Jowers – 20 miles / laps
- Teresa Bartnicki – 19 miles / laps (in 2:54:41)
- Shana Anderson – 19 miles / laps (in 3:12:18)
- Jobeth Huber-Willis – 17 miles / laps (in 2:55:50)
- Sherry Snyder – 17 miles / laps (in 3:04:07)
Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- Bill Rogers enjoyed three hours of running at age 64.
- Gary Garson ran past 1 AM in the six hour event at age 63.
Life is play. Play is life.
- “I finished the 5th hour with laps of mile 28 being 9:35, mile 29 was 9:08 and mile 30 was 9:53. I was feeling much better. I finally caught up with Ben around the 5 hour mark and was only one mile down on him now.” by Jacob @ What Finish Line?
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 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 – EnduranceBuzz.com