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2011 Hardrock 100 – TALON Athlete Results

Last weekend 23 TALON athletes played in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in the toughest and possibly the most scenic 100 mile trail run in the United States – Hardrock 100.

This race is not for the ill prepared.

  • ~34,000 of climb/descent
  • avg elevation – 11,186 feet, low point – 7,680 feet, high point – 14,048 feet
  • crossing 13 major passes in the 12,000 to 13,000 foot range

Descending Handies Peak (highest area of the course) (Photo: Courtesy PaddyMurphy @

And when weather gets sketchy like it did this year for some, it can become a race of survival…and that is not being overly dramatic. 57% of the 140 courageous starters finished. 48% of our TALON athletes kissed the hardrock! All those that took the first step down the trail had one hell of a journey.

TALON Results

A few cool things to chat about before listing the results.

TALON Fast Feet

The TALON region had two athletes finish in the top 20!

Flatlanders Chad Armstrong (TX) and Scott Eppelman (TX) finished 13th and 20th respectively. This is mighty impressive for a couple athletes whose largest training hill within an hour’s drive is likely 200 feet. Obviously both Chad and Scott are exceptional athletes but they highlight many of our barriers to what we wish to experience in this life – is simply in our minds. Scott has proven his ability in past year’s on this course but you still have to bring-it on game day. Oh, and this was Chad’s first attempt at this event!

If you looked at the results, the only athletes to finish in front of Chad or Scott were from France or Colorado. Impressive finishes indeed!

Endurance Buzz interview with Chad.

Wisest TALON Finisher

Dennis Drey (NM) was our sage finisher at age 60! Barriers – Bam!


Four out of the five TALON states were represented at the race. Louisiana was missing from the trail party. New Mexico had the largest number (13) of TALON athletes. Texas brought the second largest crew with seven.

Deb Pero (NM) was the sole TALON athlete representing our better-half. Only 16 women entered the race! Where have all our ladies gone?

Back For Another Finish

Yep, some keep coming back! As crazy at it may sound, many of our athletes are return offenders.

  • Scott Eppelman (TX) – 7th finish this year
  • Blake Wood (NM) – 16th finish this year
  • Randy Isler (NM) – 15th finish this year
  • Dennis Drey (NM) – 8th finish this year
  • Ken Gordon (NM) – 2nd finish this year
  • Kristen Kern (NM) – 10th finish this year

Views on top of Handies Peak on Race Day – Video

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)


  • Chad Armstrong (TX) – 34:55
  • Scott Eppelman (TX) – 36:14
  • Blake Wood (NM) – 38:21
  • Randy Isler (NM) – 38:57
  • PoDog Vogler (AR) – 39:41
  • Dennis Drey (NM) – 43:57
  • Neil Blake (NM) – 45:13
  • Ken Gordon (NM) – 46:21
  • Kristen Kern (NM) – 46:33
  • James Ficke (TX) – 47:01
  • Stan Ferguson (AR) – 47:23
  • Adam Watters (NM) – cutoff DNF mile 95…but did finish the course.
  • Bill Geist (NM) – DNF mile 72.7
  • Joe Prusaitis (TX) – DNF mile 56.6
  • George Hitzfeld (TX) – DNF mile 56.6
  • Tom Stockton (NM) – DNF mile 56.6
  • Richard Knapp (NM) – DNF mile 56.6
  • Glenn Mackie (TX) – DNF mile 42.1
  • Steve Pero (NM) – DNF mile 42.1
  • Lance Johnson (NM) – DNF mile 42.1
  • Jim Baker (OK) – DNF mile 42.1
  • Allen Wrinkle (TX) – DNF mile 42.1
  • Deb Pero (NM) – DNF mile 42.1

Overall Race Results

Top 5 male

  1. Julien Chorier (France)- 25:17
  2. Dakota Jones (CO) – 27:10
  3. Nick Clark (CO) – 27:43
  4. Daniel Levy (France) – 28:57
  5. Joseph Grant (CO) – 29:38

Top 5 female

  1. Diana Finkel (CO) – 29:27 (*5th overall*)
  2. Darcy Africa (CO) – 29:46 (*7th overall*)
  3. Betsy Nye (CA) – 39:17
  4. Tina Ure (CA) – 41:58
  5. Tara Burton (CO) – 42:14

Complete Results

Bryon Powell of iRunFar has some great coverage for the pointy-end.

  • Race Summary – also check out the pre and post race interviews. Good stuff!

Photo Buffet!!

TALON athlete, Olga Varlamova, took some great photos out on the trails in the Silverton area. You must check it out!! Go here and click on the Photos link at the bottom of the blog post.

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.

10 Responses to “2011 Hardrock 100 – TALON Athlete Results”

  1. on 13 Jul 2011 at 9:56 am Mark S

    Yeah! Go PoDog!!

  2. on 13 Jul 2011 at 11:53 am David Hanenburg

    Mark – True dat! It appeared to be his first attempt as well. Inspiring stuff!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. on 13 Jul 2011 at 12:00 pm olga

    Where are the ladies? Trying to beat the odds fo the lottery!

  4. on 13 Jul 2011 at 12:23 pm David Hanenburg

    Olga- Good point! Do you feel a similar percentage of women enter the Hardrock lottery as other 100 mile events? I was taking a WAG and assuming less simply due to the numbers that raced (11% of total)…but I could definitely be wrong.

  5. on 13 Jul 2011 at 1:34 pm Lisa

    I am so impressed with the Talon athletes! They did awesome.

  6. on 13 Jul 2011 at 2:18 pm David Hanenburg

    So True Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing with us and good luck with your upcoming marathon!! 🙂

  7. on 14 Jul 2011 at 9:56 am olga

    As for why not many gals enter (besides lottery stuff) – I read yesterday on some girl’s blog (she was a pacer) that despite how inspired she is by all the runners doing it, numerous times she felt incredibly selfish in many dangerous situations, with thunders, steep drops, snow…thought about her family she has no right to leave behind. That said, there was almost the first time I thought that Hardrock in particular is actually that – selfish dangerous pursuit. Doesn’t make any difference in MY decision to be back there, tested, again and again. But many women have more awareness of family responsibilities, and of fear itself.

  8. on 18 Jul 2011 at 11:52 am David Hanenburg

    Olga – Thanks for sharing your additional thoughts! 🙂

  9. on 20 Jul 2011 at 8:57 am Steve Pero

    Yes, Dave…this is a tough one. I’m now 2 for 8!!! Will hopefully be at the starting line again next year, selfishly 😉

    Here is my blog post…

    Thanks for the newsletter,

  10. on 21 Jul 2011 at 8:38 am David Hanenburg

    Great report Steve! Lots of great photos and quite the journey. That vertigo stuff…no fun, especially at a course like Hardrock. Hope you are able to gain some insight on it.