Packed single-track from overnight passing showers, mild conditions, and some extra spicy tread led to four course records, at least one bloody nipple, and over 250 smilin’ finishes at the Lake McMurtry Trail Run located a short drive west of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Besides gently rolling and scenic single-track along the shores of Lake McMurtry, this course showcases one additional landmark feature – the Leap of Doom. I am not aware of any casualties to date but it does require a bit of courage.
The course consists of a north loop and a south loop to create the main 25 km route. The south loop contains a fair amount of out-and-back segments as well. All of it showcases Spring in all her glory!
50 km runners get to enjoy the main 25 km loop twice.
25 km – once.
A scamper along the south loop for the 12 km runners.
TATUR Snake Run 6 hour winner, Troy Albright, was back for another off-road scamper and set the pace through the first third of the race. Sub 2:30 road marathoner and Oklahoma local, Scott Downard, hung out in the top five or so in the early going before gradually moving through the field and catching Troy.
Scott recalls, “I never really knew where Troy was until, out of nowhere, I caught up with him at 12-13 miles or something.”
The tight, twisty single-track makes it hard to know where anyone is at so Scott simple listened to his body and pushed a steady effort through the remaining miles.
“I was never sure how much space I had on anybody but I was aware that my energy levels were good and my second half of the race was certainly faster than the first despite mingling with other runners from the various races.”
The back half effort was spicy enough to set a new course record and win the male race in 3:39:57!
Will we see more of this road specialist mixin’ it up on the dirt?
Scott shares, “I would love to do some more trail events and I do think it can mesh with road racing.”
Yeh for the sport! But another spot down in the overall for us men.
Troy held steady in second and finished in 4:04:35, another spicy effort.
Top 5 male
- Scott Downard (OK) – 3:39:57 (*course record*)
- Troy Albright (OK) – 4:04:35
- Nick Seymour (OK) – 4:21:43
- Brandon Bleakley (OK) – 4:27:21
- John Nobles (OK) – 4:47:49
Tulsa local, Karen Dee Williams, ran within the top 10 of the overall to win the female race with a 9:40 pace and 5:00:18 finish time.
Nine minutes later Kansas athlete, Stephanie Cundith, arrived at the finish earning second.
Top 5 female
- Karen Dee Williams (OK) – 5:00:18
- Stephanie Cundith (KS) – 5:09:42
- Janice Hauge (TX) – 5:17:37
- Rachel Regier (ND) – 5:38:00
- Lisa McGinnis (OK) – 5:49:48
Sub 3-hour road marathoner, Jenny Graef, planned to be at the race to support Scott Downard plus she needed to get in a 21-22 mile run for her upcoming marathon. Why not do both!?!
Jenny shares her thoughts on the relaxed vibe of a trail running event, “I love how laid back and peaceful it is! I actually spent the first few miles wondering if I was lost because you lose sight of people pretty quickly in the woods, but then I just relaxed and enjoyed the run, as I wasn’t too concerned with the outcome.”
Jenny moved to the front of the overall and passed through the midway point in just over one hour and then decided to set a goal for herself – sub two hour finish. This wasn’t as simple as finding your groove and running hard as one would on the road.
“It was a little tricky the second loop with the 12k/25k/50k runners all on the same trail going both directions, but you’re able to move around well enough if you just accept that it will be more of a fartlek. That was something I wasn’t used to–I can get into a good rhythm on the roads but that doesn’t happen on the trails I learned quickly!”
And then the finish…
There was a split at the finish. 50 km runners – go right to start your second loop. All other distances go left. Jenny went right and stopped after what she thought were the finish line timing mats. (they weren’t) After a few minutes of grabbing some water and gatorade, Jenny became aware of the oops and crossed the official timing mat in 2:03:26 winning the female race and setting a new course record!
Jenny would have won the overall as well but ended up third.
Jenny took it all in stride, “Oh well! It really was so much fun and I loved the relaxed atmosphere so I definitely think more trail races are in my future. ”
Btw, when Jenny stopped her watch, it read sub-2! Nice.
Kristi Perryman finished sixth overall and earned second female honors.
Top 5 female
- Jenny Graef (OK) – 2:03:26 (*course record*)
- Kristi Perryman (OK) – 2:27:46
- Vicky Arterburn (OK) – 2:34:44
- Ruth Loffi (OK) – 2:39:05
- Ann Thompson (OK) – 2:42:15
Father and son, Billy Ray (father) and Heston Richardson (son), both had aggressive goals for this day and took off in 7:00 minute pace within the early miles leading the race. After four miles, Billy Ray had to slow due to some breathing issues as he explains, “I Felt really good the whole race, I’ve been working on weights for the legs for the past 16 months so my only issue was asthma. It hit me a couple of times and I was able to slow down enough that I was able to get my air back, but the thick air caused me more problems than anything.”
By mile 11, both father and son were running together again and pushed through to the finish with Billy Ray crossing the finish first by a toe-length…at least according to the electronic timing system. Billy Ray felt otherwise.
“In all honesty, Heston beat me…….it’s just that my timing chip was on my left shoe, which undoubtedly was just a toe ahead of Heston!”
Top 5 male
- Billy Ray Richardson (OK) – 2:02:23
- Heston Richardson (OK) – 2:02:23
- David Hanenburg (TX) – 2:19:41
- Ski Zeroski (OK) – 2:24:14
- Keith Holsten (OK) – 2:29:07
A.J. Schmidt rocketed at course record pace (how about 6:24) and won the male race in 47:36.
Ben Lake finished second, just under five minutes after A.J..
Top 5 male
- A.J. Schmidt (OK) – 47:36 (*course record*)
- Ben Lake (OK) – 52:29
- Clint Metcalf (OK) – 55:56
- Michael Tupper (OK) – 56:44
- Anthony Sherrell (OK) – 57:25
Bailey Hawkins joined in the fast-footed fun winning the female scamper in a course record time of 57:11 and fifth overall.
Merry Wolf finished second and set a Masters (40+) course record in 1:00:08.
Top 5 female
- Bailey Hawkins (OK) – 57:11 (*course record*)
- Merry Wolf (TX) – 1:00:08 (*masters record*)
- Natalie Friend (OK) – 1:08:24
- Suzanne Dudding (OK) – 1:10:54
- Carol Hopkins (OK) – 1:13:18
Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- Dennis Crosby (65) finished the 50 km adventure.
- Adrian Wolford (74) and Erika Hull (70) enjoyed the entire 25 km course.
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:
- Laura Rogers finished the 50 km in 9:49:02.
Race Reports and Pics
- ” I felt at times like I was running in Oregon with the misty rain, lush green surrounding me and on the north loop there was even that musty, cave-y smell that reminds me of Arkansas. Nice!” by Julie @ Trailing Along
- “Lake McMurtry has a little bit of everything. Many miles of nice soft single track, enough hills, roots, and rocks to keep it interesting, fields across meadows with the lake in the distance, wooded trails through pine trees, rugged trailz along a lakeshore with waves lapping on the rocks, and a short section of gravel road, which allows runners to air it out a little.” RD report by TZ @ …Miles to go before I sleep…
- “The weather was still great. My nutrition was dialed in. My hydration was dialed in. My cardio was good. No problems with my legs. I was still averaging a sub 13 pace. Wow, could I really finish my 50K in the 6:30 range?” by OKtrailrunner @ Okie Trail Runner
- David’s report
- Nearly 200 photos on the Endurance Buzz Facebook page
Talk some Dirt
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David – EnduranceBuzz.com