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Big Bend Trail Run – 2012 Results

Wispy clouds, dry temps reaching low 70s, groomed dirt-lovin’ trails, and views…oh the views at the Big Bend Ultra which celebrated another great fundraising event for the Friends of Big Bend on January 15.

Sunrise at Big Bend National Park (Photo: Courtesy Big Bend Ultra Run /

Run a 50 km, 25 km, or 10 km point-to-point dash within the beautiful grounds of Big Bend National Park located in southwest Texas. A net downhill course that doesn’t require any big climbing gears or a significant amount of technical concentration which allowed runners to soak up the surrounding natural environment.


The fun begins! (Photos: Courtesy Big Bend Ultra Run /

50 km

Neil Smith ripped a sub-4 hour finish and created 20+ minute gap at the finish to win the male race in 3:58:34.

Gergo Perlaky cruised in for second in 4:20:56.

Top 5 male

  1. Neil Smith – 3:58:34
  2. Gergo Perlaky – 4:20:56
  3. Stephen Brooks – 4:24:30
  4. Patrick Frasier – 4:26:44
  5. Wouter Bossuyt – 4:33:56

Photo: Courtesy Big Bend Ultra Run /

Monica Duffell finished fifth overall without another female in sight with a time of 4:27:15.

Launi Evans crossed second female and rounded out the top 10 of the overall in 4:46:51.

Top 5 female

  1. Monica Duffell – 4:27:15 (*5th overall*)
  2. Launi Evans – 4:46:51 (*10th overall*)
  3. Jeannie Hightower – 4:53:12
  4. Becky Wells – 5:01:15
  5. Brandi Shipman – 5:20:49

Complete 50 km results

25 km

Beryl Gibson averaged a 7:31 pace to run a sub two hour 25 km and win the female race in 1:57:01 and finish 3rd overall.

Carrie Barrett finished ninth overall and second female in 2:07:32.

Top 5 female

  1. Beryl Gibson – 1:57:01 (*3rd overall*)
  2. Carrie Barrett – 2:07:32 (*9th overall*)
  3. Meredith Bush – 2:12:43
  4. Merry Wolf – 2:15:45
  5. Gretchen Sanders – 2:16:45

Photo: Courtesy Big Bend Ultra Run /

Dust was the only thing seen as runners chased male winner Brant Speed who averaged a 6:30 pace as he crossed the finish in 1:41:10.

Twelve minutes later Lee Simmons earned a second place finish in 1:53:21.

Top 5 male

  1. Brant Speed – 1:41:10
  2. Lee Simmons – 1:53:21
  3. John Bryan – 2:00:18
  4. Collin Wallis – 2:00:31
  5. Nicholas Doyle – 2:04:01

Complete 25 km results

10 km

Did brother and sister Patrick and Maggie Hillery just dominate the 10 km race? I think so!

Sixteen year old Patrick Hillery inspired at the front and won the male race in 42:13.

Brian Comeaux snuck in for second, ahead of other youthful speedsters with a time of 44:00.

Top 5 male

  1. Patrick Hillery – 42:13 (*age 16)
  2. Brian Comeaux – 44:00
  3. Thai Eckley – 45:50
  4. Chris Thompson – 46:54
  5. Andrew Stone – 47:41

Photo: Courtesy Big Bend Ultra Run /

The most exciting race of the event was between 14 year old Maggie Hillery and 17 year old Rashae Skillern as they pushed the pace for the female win. Maggie was able to create a 16 second gap at the 10 km finish, winning the female race in 47:23 and earning fifth overall.

Rashae was sixth overall and second female in 47:39.

Top 5 female

  1. Maggie Hillery – 47:23 (*age 14)
  2. Rashae Skillern – 47:39
  3. Heidi Knippa – 52:57
  4. Kristin Fason – 54:03
  5. Jessica Fenley – 54;44

Complete 10 km results

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:

  • Gerard Kaylor and Heather Hamilton worked through the finish line together in 8:17:51 and 8:17:52 respectively.

Race Reports and other Groovy Media

  • “Sure, I’m in fairly descent shape, but I’m anything but an endurance athlete.  The farthest I have ever run in competition was a 400 meter sprint.” by Team ActiveATX
  • Race start photos by the Big Bend Ultra team

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

Here is a video that shares some nice imagery of the area.

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

Special thanks again to Big Bend Ultra for the photos above!

Check out the TALON Race Guide

There are 150+ 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.

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