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Nueces Trail Run – 2012 Results

Jordan McDougal of Virginia and Michele Suszek of Colorado earn the USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship title!  

Plus, course records crushed in every race distance!

Great conditions, beautiful venue, and a USATF 50 mile championship all added extra excitement for the 3rd Annual Nueces Trail Run on the grounds of Camp Eagle, an outdoor lover’s playground north west of San Antonio.

Photo: Courtesy Gerard @

In typical Joe Prusaitis fashion, the course provided plenty of rocks, hills, and fun.

280 runners started either the 50 mile, 50 km, 25 km, or 10 km scamper.

The 10 and 25 km courses are both one loop. The 50 km and 50 mile are two and three loops respectively.


USATF 50 Mile Championship

Similar to 2011, speedster Dave James of Arizona pushed the pace early on, finishing the first 16.67 mile loop in 2:02:49 and creating a 3+ minute gap from Virginia athlete, Jordan McDougal. James actually ran the loop 90+ seconds fast than last year! A little over three minutes behind Jordan, a four person chase pack was charging that included Jason Bryant (VA), Dan Vega (CO), and two fast-footed Texans, Paul Terranova and Steven Moore.

During loop two, Jordan accelerated (running the loop 3 minutes faster than loop 1) while Dave began to slow. Jordan catches Dave and creates a small 26 second gap at the end of loop two. The gap to the chase group grew and was now 10+ minutes with Jason continuing to lead the group that was slowly beginning to get stretched out.

On the final loop Jordan’s lead gap grew as Dave’s pace continued to slow. Jordan would not be caught and went on to win the 50 mile championship in 6:30:47!

Dave dug deep to hold onto second place, crossing the finish in 6:43:48.

Top 5 USATF 50 mile male

  1. Jordan McDougal (VA) – 6:30:47
  2. Dave James (AZ) – 6:43:48
  3. Jason Bryant (NC) – 6:47:53
  4. Paul Terranova (TX) – 7:06:05
  5. Dan Vega (TX) – 7:13:14

Rocks anyone? (Photo: Courtesy Gerard @

Colorado females, Michele Suszek and Melanie Fryar passed through the first two loops together in 5:01:39. During the final loop Melanie power hiked a few hills whereas Michele actually increased the pace. Michele ran the last loop the fastest of the three as she went on to win the 50 mile championship in a course record time of 7:25:41! Impressive pace and pacing!

Melanie crossed the line firmly in second with a time of 7:45:28.

Btw, both Michele and Melanie broke the previous course record of 8:09:59 by Liza Howard.

Top 5 USATF 50 mile female

  1. Michele Suszek (CO) – 7:25:41 (*new course record*, 7th overall)
  2. Melanie Fryar (CO) – 7:45:28 (*broke previous course record*, 8th overall)
  3. Lorena Devlyn (TX) – 9:54:50
  4. Rochelle Frazeur (TX) – 10:44:43
  5. Tina Jeon (TX) – 10:48:44

These athletes were also top 5 of the overall.

50 km

The top three men and women broke the previous 50 km course records! Bam!

Sydney Pitt had a small sub-2 minute gap on Andrea Fisher after the first 15.5 mile loop. Sydney was able to continue fairly consistent pacing which further separated herself from Andrea and win the female race, along with a course record, in 4:52:04.

Andrea was alone in second and finished in 5:06:18 which also beat the previous course record.

Top 5 female

  1.  Sydney Pitt (TX) – 4:52:04 (* new course record*, 6th overall)
  2. Andrea Fisher (TX) – 5:06:18 (*broke previous course record*, 9th overall)
  3. Ellen Rowe (MI) – 5:40:43 (*broke previous course record*)
  4. Mariela Botella (TX) – 6:10:04
  5. Dawn Banka (TX) – 6:13:33

Photo: Courtesy Gerard @

United Kingdom runner, Iain Ridgway ran a crazy fast 7:09 pace through the first 15.5 miles that created nearly a seven minute gap from the next chaser, Texan David Brown. Iain continued a spicy effort on the final loop to average 7:26 for the distance and win the male rain in a course record time of 3:51:09.

David was able to hold off a hard charging Tim Rieger to claim second in 4:09:00.

Top 5 male

  1. Iain Ridgway (UK) – 3:51:09 (*new course record*)
  2. David Brown (TX) – 4:09:00 (*broke previous course record*)
  3. Tim Rieger (OH) – 4:10:06 (*broke previous course record*)
  4. Toby Vicknair (TX) – 4:33:59
  5. Rasim Musal (TX) – 4:43:18

25 km

New course record? Why not!

Chris McWatters and Scott Rabb both broke the previous course record of 1:59:12. Chris’s 6:55 pace was too hot for anyone to handle. Chris won the male race in course record time of 1:47:35.

Scott pushed through to a sub-2 finish and earned second in 1:57:33.

Top 5 male

  1. Chris McWatters (TX) – 1:47:35 (*new course record*)
  2. Scott Rabb (TX) – 1:57:33 (*broke previous course record*)
  3. Robert Clark (TX) – 2:03:15
  4. Nat Collins (NM) – 2:03:45
  5. Michael Linke (TX) – 2:04:20

Tanya Espalin guided the female scamper, winning in 2:32:06.

Anita Perez earned second in 2:41:56.

Top 5 female

  1. Tanya Espalin (TX) – 2:32:06
  2. Anita Perez (TX) – 2:41:56
  3. Cindy Salazar (TX) – 2:44:09
  4. Beatrice Miller (TX) – 2:48:41
  5. Sarah Harris (TX) – 2:56:38

10 km

OK, 12 out of the top 13 finishers broke the previous course records. If you can’t tell, being a new course some of the records are soft.

Kitsten Betterton finished fourth overall as she won the female race in 52:45.

Amanda Pucek finished just over the hour mark as second female in 1:00:01.

Top 5 female

  1. Kitsten Betterton (TX) – 52:45 (*new course record*, 4th overall)
  2. Amanda Pucek (TX) – 1:00:01
  3. Anne Chapman (TX) – 1:02:25
  4. Shannon Sletten (TX) – 1:03:11
  5. Michelle Gilbert (TX) – 1:03:40

Two sub 50 minute finishes with Joe Rosas crossing the line first and setting a new course record in 47:26.

Adam Betterton followed shortly behind in a time of 49:40.

Top 5 male

  1.  Joe Rosas (TX) – 47:26 (*new course record*)
  2. Adam Betterton (TX) – 49:40 (*broke previous course record*)
  3. Jeffrey Miller (TX) – 51:59 (*broke previous course record*)
  4. John Reed (TX) – 56:27 (*broke previous course record*)
  5. Carter Reed (TX)  – 56:27 (10 years old, *broke previous course record*)
complete results

Inspiration Point

Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.

  • Tom Reed (age 72) went after the 10 km.
  • Paul Jensen (age 68) went after the 25 km.

Life is play. Play is life.

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:

  • Iva Paleckova (TX) dug deep to finish the 50 mile in 13:19:46.
  • Kevin Walker (TX) turned off the lights on the 50 km in 9:53:52.

Race Reports

  • “But, what rugged beauty! More climbs means more scenic views. You get to the top of one hill and you can see a beautiful expanse of the Texas Hill Country.” by Gerard @ The Boy Who Loves to Run
  • “Meredith was totally ready for me with a cup of trail mix, M&Ms, pringles, and some cold coke.  She knew I had to quickly bank some energy to make up for the hot pace on Loop 1 and half of Loop 2.  Time to grind it out…” by Paul @ grandkonaslam2012
  • “Maybe half a mile before the first aid station on loop one I took a nasty fall. Basically, I rolled down a rocky hill and OUCH it hurt!!!” by Melanie @ RUN!!
  • “I really don’t even know how to describe the weekend I had at Nueces but I the best way to do so is to say comical, brutal, demoralizing, amazing, and rocky. You can take the term “rocky” and apply it to my day and you can also use it when talking about the terrain.” by Jay @ McDowell Mountain Man
  • “Coming out of this station, you then cross a rickety wooden bridge.  This area was quite beautiful in the morning.  Maybe the prettiest part I’ve seen in any race.  The sun was coming up, and you had the river, hills, and a huge rock wall on the right.” by ultra tortoise @ A Trail Runner’s Running Blog
  • Pics by Enduro Photo

Talk some Dirt

  • Such a beautiful looking course. What was your favorite section?
  • How did your race play out?

Special thanks to Gerard @ The Boy Who Loves to Run for the photos you see 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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