Nearly 300 trail runners got to experience running and climbing on ice over the weekend for the 31st skating of the Cross Timbers Trail Run up on the shores of lake Texoma in north Texas.
OK, so it wasn’t ice but mix in moderate rain with a clay soil that includes short and steep climbs and descents, and you have yourself a tread-lightly kind of run.
But dang, did I see determination, great attitudes, and a lot of clay covered bumpers as runners crossed the finish line.
This trail adventure guides runners along an out-and-back scamper on challenging scenic single track, double wide dirt paths, and a little pavement. 50 mile (out-and-back twice), marathon, half marathon, and 5 mile race options provided something for nearly everyone.
By the 25 mile mark, David Renfro (8:27 at Wild Hare 50m in 2011) was in the pole position and running hard. David kept the effort high on loop two and came splashing down the final small grade to the finish line and won the male race in 9:54:35.
Keenan Murray had a seven-plus minute gap from the third place male and finished second in 10:44:07.
Top 5 male
- David Renfro – 9:54:35
- Keenan Murray – 10:44:07
- Boog Ferrell – 10:51:59
- Dale Cougot – 11:04:53
- Robert B. King – 11:18:58
3 minute 30 seconds. That was the difference between the top two females at the finish!
Francesca Bissman was able to maintain a small gap from Tina Jeon as trail conditions worsened throughout the afternoon making some sections hike-only for many. Francesca won the female race in 10:46:00 and finished third overall.
A few minutes back, Tina Jeon earned a fourth overall and second female finish in 10:49:30.
All 4 female
- Francesca Bissman – 10:46:00 (*3rd overall*)
- Tina Jeon – 10:49:30 (*4th overall*)
- Tammy Winn – 12:58:33
- Elicia Marquez – 14:33:59
Kristi Wynne’s 12:38 average pace across the 26 mile scamper created over a five minute gap from the next chaser to set up a female win in 5:31:36.
Mariela Botella cross the finish second in 5:37:02.
Top 5 female
- Kristi Wynne – 5:31:36
- Mariela Botella – 5:37:02
- Rochelle Frazuer – 5:42:34
- Carrie Tracy – 5:50:01
- Chris Brady – 5:50:39
Don Solberg was back to defend his 2011 win (3:53:38 in perfect conditions). With less than ideal conditions this year, Don lowered his time from last year and finished in 3:52:25! But this year this effort positioned him third overall.
Raymond Brintle laced up the off road skates averaged an 8:32 pace across the less than ideal footing…at least for half of the course. Raymond went on to win the male race in 3:40:02!
Seth Harney was able to out scamper Don to the finish and created a small 10 second gap to earn second in 3:52:15.
Top 5 male
- Raymond Brintle – 3:40:02
- Seth Harney – 3:52:15
- Don Solberg – 3:52:25
- Pete Mehok – 3:59:25
- Ryan Hess – 4:01:22
After handily leading last year’s event before taking a wrong turn and eventually dropping, Chris McClure was back with extra attention to the course markings.
While Chris would have likely gone two hour or sub-2 last year, this year’s conditions allowed a 2:12:01 finish and male win.
Twelve minutes back Philip Kaufman finished second in 2:24:27.
Top 5 male
- Chris McClure – 2:12:01
- Philip Kaufman – 2:24:27
- Scott Giese – 2:29:17
- Troy Pruett – 2:32:44
- Eric Goethe – 2:40:40
Laura Greuner averaged a 12:41 pace that set up a ninth overall placing and female win in 2:46:20.
Just over three minutes back, Christina Hughes-Babb crossed the finish for second in 2:49:31.
Top 5 female [2/28: Some issues with the female results. Update likely coming]
- Laura Greuner – 2:46:20 (*9th overall*)
- Christina Hughes-Babb – 2:49:31
- Marlee Clark – 2:51:45
- Kate Vanhee – 2:52:29
- Katy Goggin – 2:53:03
The lead group of females were all within three minutes of each other after the five mile adventure. Christina Urbanski was able to separate herself from the main group and went on to win the female race in 1:02:24.
April Dinwoodie led the chase group two minutes back and created a much smaller gap to earn second in 1:04:27.
Top 5 female
- Christina Urbanski – 1:02:24
- April Dinwoodie – 1:04:27
- Carley Royder – 1:04:50
- Sandra Howell – 1:05:09
- Haley Nielson – 1:08:17
Tommy Swanson created a 30 second gap to Thomas Carr to win the male race in 44:15.
Thomas was alone in second with a time of 44:45.
Top 5 male
- Tommy Swanson – 44:15
- Thomas Carr – 44:45
- Austin Parker – 48:44
- Tim Dungan – 50:53
- Karl Swierenga – 51:08
Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- Robert Kosec (age 65) and Ed Kopiak (age 69) went after the marathon adventure.
- Jay Norman (age 74) got it done in the half marathon.
Life is play. Play is life.
The Tough-as-Nails Award
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:
- Omaha, Nebraska runner, Chris Krueger, came down to Cross Timbers to run his first trail run, his first 50 miler, and celebrate his 40th birthday with a finish! He did just that with his wife and kids waiting at the finish in 14:42:26.
Race Reports and Pics
- “The course has many uphills some in the 50ft-100ft range where you just look up and say “Are you kidding me God?” The worse part was going down those uphills, or should I say sliding down them in the mud. I was always good at the slip n slide triple racer game as a kid I didn’t know I would have to revisit this toddler memory in my 20s.” by Tina @ Tina Blog
- “Another couple pretzels, a few gumdrops, and an orange slice to enjoy down the road, and I’m off again. Some major sinkable mud spots through here with nice opportunities to submerge a foot deep enough in the sludge to get your foot just wet enough to make you give out a “Yeow!”” by Libby @ The Active Joe
- “We came around by the lake and hit the aid station where they were playing old 70?s disco (think“Car Wash”… you’re welcome for having that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day). Now either a little before or after this is where we hit the sandy beach, I’m telling you this trail had it all.” by HardCorpsRunner @ hardcorpsrunner
- “The puddles got deeper and the mud got thicker. Kim and I ran it all together and went through every phase and emotion you can go through. Excitement, confidence, doubt, fear, hysterical laughter, fatigue, silliness…I really can’t even be bummed about our slow finish time because we had so much fun and the mud just made running fast impossible. So we made the best of it!” by Julie @ Trailing Along
- “Within a mile I was all by myself running down the muddy single track next to Lake Texoma. The views were awesome, especially with a 20-30ft cliff down to the water on my right. It was sketchy, but I like it that way.” by Jacob @ What Finish Line?
- “I have this reoccurring dream where I am running, but I can’t move. Like I am running through water or mud and in the dream, I grab the ground and roots and trees and anything I can to propel myself forward.” by Christina @ Kick
- Professional Race Photos by Celeste Walz of Team Danger Ventures, LTD
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 – EnduranceBuzz.com