At 4:00 AM on August 20th, a focused and excited group of TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) athletes positioned themselves at the corner of 6th and Harrison for the start of the “Race Across the Sky” – the Leadville 100 Trail Run.
This out-and-back trail and mountain road course dances between 9,200 feet and peaks at Hope Pass which sits at a cloud-like 12,600 feet. You have 30 hours to get your bumper back to the finish line!
While not the seemingly ideal flatlander course description, our TALON athletes went out there and created their own reality!
Out of the 347 official finishers, the TALON region had 27 of them!
Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico all had 100 mile finishers with Texas topping the list with 17. Oklahoma and New Mexico each had five runners cross the line within 30 hours.
Texas athlete, Lance Gay led the TALON inspiration train while being the 54th person to cross the finish line in a sub-24 time of 23:53:32.
Top 5 TALON male
- Lance Gay (TX) – 23:53:32
- Jason Lippman (TX) – 24:35:40
- Chuck Cofer (TX) – 24:38:47
- David Brown (TX) – 24:46:35
- Brian Murray (NM) – 25:32:17
While all our TALON athletes are inspiring bad asses, I have to highlight Chuck Cofer. Chuck was the 79th finisher and first athlete above age 60 to finish. Guess where in Texas this dude lives? The high climbing paradise of Houston! Flippin’ cool!
Another Texas athlete guided our female runners back to the finish in Leadville. We needed to get our ladies home and Lesley Hempfling dropped the kernels of popcorn for the rest to follow. Lesley was the 16th female finisher and first TALON female with a time of 27:29:25.
Top 5 TALON female
- Lesley Hempfling (TX) – 27:29:25
- Carrie Delbecq (TX) – 28:32:34
- Lisa Dougherty (NM) – 29:44:31
- Sydney Pitt (TX) – 29:45:51
- Shelly Oroshiba (TX) – 29:46:04
Here are the rest of the amazing Texas athletes that completed this adventure.
- Jeff Bennett – 27:24:43
- Ken Fries – 27:29:27
- John Peck – 27:40:45
- Allen Wrinkle – 27:52:46
- Matthew Heininger – 28:43:15
- Francisco Moreno – 29:21:21
- Maurice Forshee – 29:26:31
- Kristopher Kepler – 29:38:08
- Eric White – 29:39:32
Here are the TALON finishers from Oklahoma.
- Rex Pace – 28:12:04
- John Appert – 28:31:56
- Dan Keefe – 28:40:06
- Michael Scoggins – 29:17:23
- Charles Parmain – 29:23:59
The New Mexico finishers not listed in above.
- Ken Gordon – 27:25:45
- Devin Farrell – 29:39:35
- Mark Mackenzie – 29:47:55
The Tough-as-Nails Award – Final TALON Finisher
The 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:
- New Mexico trail runner, Mark Mackenzie’s 29:47:55 time earned him a Leadville 100 finish and our final TALON finisher!
Congrats to all the runners that laced them up for the 4 AM start! Love it!
If you have any thoughts or experiences to share from the race, feel free to include them in the comments link below.
A special thanks to Rex and Lesley for the TALON photos you see above!
Check out the TALON Race Guide
There are 151 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
Posted on 29 Aug 2011
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