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Grasslands Trail Run – 2012 Results

All seven members of the Baron family, ages 6 through 41, finish the Grasslands marathon!

Nearly 400 enjoyed the gently rolling terrain along double wide horse trails within the LBJ National Grasslands for the Grasslands Trail Run near Decatur, Texas. Beautiful early morning temps and a picturesque sunrise welcomed all to a memory-makin’ day. The significant rain the weekend before packed many of the sandy sections and also added a good number of wet piggy puddles.

The rising temps that reached around 80F in the mid afternoon hours added to the challenge causing pesky cramping and reduced pace, but that didn’t deter the determination of all to do the best they could on the day.

The trail system is a big old clover leaf of interconnected trails. The race distances included 50 mile, marathon, and half marathon distances. The farther you ran, the more of the trail system you saw.


50 mile

Fast and tough tread lead at the front of the male race with Ryan Loehding (sub-3 marathoner), Brian Hopton-Jones (HURT 100 finisher), Glenn Mackie (Hardrock 100 finisher) all cruising through the initial 4.8 mile out-and-back at sub-8 minute pace.

By mile 18.3, Brian had taken the pole position, creating a small one minute gap on Ryan and six minutes on Glenn. Ryan looked to be losing a lot of water/electrolytes as he was soaked from head to toe.

At 4:32 race clock time, Brian passed the 31.1 mile aid station looking like his legs and mind were still in the game. Ryan arrived six minutes later working through a low spot. Glenn added a handful of bonus miles on the loop and decided to drop.

Brian held onto the lead through the remaining miles to cross the finish in 8:10:25 and win the male race. Ryan held onto second.

Brian just after crossing the finish.

Top 5 male

  1. Brian Hopton-Jones (TX) – 8:10:25
  2. Ryan Loehding (TX) – 8:44:27
  3. Michael Rose (TX) – 10:20:50
  4. Jonathan Fogle (TX) – 10:29:55
  5. Mike Dilley (TX) – 10:52:09

After winning the Cross Timbers 50 mile mud-fest a little over one month ago, Francesca Bissman was back showcasing her fast tread. Francesca passed through 4.8 miles in 43 minutes, hanging out in the top five overall, with Tina Jeon (Cross Timbers 50 mile 2nd place female) and 50 mile newbie, Amy Ewing (4:16 – Cowtown Ultra 50k), four and six minutes back respectively.

At mile 18.3, Francesca created a nine minute gap with Tina in chase.

Fracesca early in the race.

Francesca moved her way to third overall at mile 31.1. Amy had now moved into second place, 31 minutes back and moving well. Tina got twisted up on the trails, added some bonus miles, and gradually faded from the front of the race.

With nine miles to the finish, Francesca passed the second place male, Ryan Loehding, and went on to win the female race in 8:23:40.

Francesca’s time is one of the fastest female finishes (since 2003) at this event and may the fastest with the additional out-and-back segment (4.8 miles) to start the race.

Amy Ewing held strong and earned second female and forth overall.

Amy heading out for another loop.

Top 5 female

  1. Francesca Bissman (TX) – 8:23:40 (*2nd overall*)
  2. Amy Ewing (TX) – 9:22:53 (*4th overall*)
  3. Jessica Turner (TX) – 10:33:50 (*7th overall*)
  4. Katherine Fogelberg (TX) – 11:14:31
  5. Hannah MacBeth (KS) – 11:43:34


After the first 12.8 miles, Shaheen Sattar (2011 El Scorcho 50k female winner – 4:15) was running 5th overall and leading the female scamper with Carrie Tracy in chase 20 minutes back.

Shaheen slowed some in the final miles but had enough go-jo to sneak under the four hour mark and win the female race in 3:59:16…and earn fourth overall.

Shaheen heading out for the second loop.

Carrie held onto second place.

Top 5 female

  1. Shaheen Sattar (TX) – 3:59:16 (*4th overall*)
  2. Carrie Tracy (TX) – 4:38:05
  3. Stacy Shaver (AR) – 4:50:54
  4. Lindsay Hagerman (TX) – 4:58:15
  5. Bethany Hale (TX) – 5:05:24

Matt Crownover and Peter Beauvais had an inspiring little scamper in the male race. Matt has strung together some extremely consistent efforts that included going sub-20 at Rocky Raccoon 100 this past February (19:26). Both men are three hour marathoners. This should be good!

At mile 12.8, Peter and Matt were nearly locked at the hips with Peter leading by a couple strides. Over the next 13.5 miles, Matt moved to the front and ran with inspired focus. Peter was in chase and not about to let this be an easy one.

Matt with 200 meters to the finish.

At the finish, Matt was able to extend the gap to over three minutes, and win the male race in 3:37:48.

Top 5 male

  1. Matt Crownover (TX) – 3:37:48
  2. Peter Beauvais – 3:40:51
  3. Stuart Cohen (TX) – 3:50:16
  4. Phil Uecker (TX) – 4:01:45
  5. Christopher Barnwell (TX) – 4:14:10

Half Marathon

Sub-4 road 50 km runner (Cowtown Ultra),  Michael Petruso, scampered a 7:14 pace to create a near five minute gap from chaser, Troy Pruett, to win the male race in 1:37:41.


Michael Petruso gliding along the trail

Troy Pruett (green) pushing the pace behind JAWS in the early going.

Top 5 male

  1. Michael Petruso (TX) – 1:37:41
  2. Troy Pruett (TX) – 1:42:24
  3. Mark Olateju (TX) – 1:48:19
  4. Jeff Marsicano (TX) – 1:51:08
  5. Martin Guthrie (TX) – 1:51:31

The female adventure saw three women within three minutes of each other. No let-up allowed in this one.

Melissa Eichenseer was able to find that extra gear to create a 60+ second gap at the finish and win the female race in 1:57:44.

Melissa Eichenseer lookin' relaxed.

Top 5 female

  1. Melissa Eichenseer (TX) – 1:57:44
  2. Merry Wolf (TX) – 1:59:04
  3. Monica Briggs (TX) – 2:00:29
  4. Liz Falk (TX) – 2:06:29
  5. Kristi Wynne (TX) – 2:08:34
Complete Results

Barron Family

The entire Barron family from Flower Mound, Texas, finished the entire marathon scamper!

The Barron Family at the start. (one member not in the pic)

Twelve year old, Boston, left the family pack and went off to cross the finish first in 6:41:47.

The rest of the family (Quincey (16), Briggs (14), Taggart (39), Piper (9), Sarger (6), and Paige (41))  worked together to finish between 9:39 and 11:26.

Congrats to the Barron family and everyone that laced them up!

Check out their video!

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

Inspiration Point

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

  • Linda Wright-Smith (age 65) and Duane Matthes (age 68), Robert Hancook (age 67), Joe Luccioni (age 72), Jay Norman (age 74),  and Teresa Vollbrecht (age 66) celebrated the 13.5 mile finish!
  • R. Don Ruggles (age 67), Many Koosha (age 75), Jim Skibo (age 65), Mirek Malinowski (age 71), and George Kempston (age 68) inspired on the marathon course!

Jay Norman (#280). Be inspired folks!

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:

  • Kyle Threlkeld turned the lights off on this amazing day, finishing in 14:41:14.

Race Reports and Pics

  • “i was pretty freakin ready to be done.  i’ve never felt so bad so early in a fifty and never been able to snap out of it. not having a clue how big my lead was, i set out looking over my shoulder constantly.” by Brian @ Ultra Ramblings
  • Pics – I have a huge group collection of photos on the Endurance Buzz facebook page.
  • Professional pics from Movin’ Pictures

What these events are really all about - the tribe!

Talk some Dirt

  • What was tougher, the heat or the wet piggy crossings?

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.

7 Responses to “Grasslands Trail Run – 2012 Results”

  1. on 27 Mar 2012 at 2:26 pm olga

    That family is freakin’ awesome, broke me to tears. Way to go, all!

  2. on 28 Mar 2012 at 9:11 am David Hanenburg

    Absolutely! Inspiring indeed! A memory this family will never forget.

  3. on 28 Mar 2012 at 3:24 pm Paul Smith


    Thanks for joining us Saturday and providing great coverage. Congrats to all who came out and ran!

    Paul Smith, Race Director
    Grasslands Trail Runs

  4. on 28 Mar 2012 at 8:37 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Paul – Great job with the event! It was a special day out there.

  5. on 29 Mar 2012 at 8:01 am olga

    Found a report:

  6. on 30 Mar 2012 at 6:47 am Britt Berrett

    The Barron Family are AMAZING! Wow, what a family and what an accomplishment. Kudos to everyone for enduring to the end! That will be a lifetime family memory! Our family is inspired by your commitment, dedication and accomplishment!

  7. on 30 Mar 2012 at 8:40 am Dion Barron

    What could make a mom and a grandma more proud of her children? Thanks to my son Taggart and his sweet wife Paige for creating the foundation of an awesome family! Mom Barron