At 9:00 pm on June 22, over 90 runners prepared for a fun loopy nocturnal run at Redbud Park in Abilene, Texas, for the fifth annual Summer Solstice 3 and 6 Hour Run. Mid 90 degree temps provided cozy hugs as runners began their journey…and this was about 10 degrees cooler than last year!
Course can’t get much simpler – one mile hardtop loop, no road crossings. Go! Go! Go!
Three hour road marathoner, and sub-19 hour Rocky Raccoon 100 runner, Bill Sutherland, averaged the only sub-8 pace (7:57) with very consistent mile splits to win the male race with 45 laps (miles).
Sub 21:30 Arkansas Traveller (2011) finisher, Jacob Evans, averaged an 8:37 pace along with some very consistent splits to earn second.
Top 5 male
- Bill Sutherland – 45 miles
- Jacob Evans – 42 miles
- Stuart White – 39 miles
- Brian Hill – 36 miles
- Rene Villalobos – 35 miles
Laura Euckert added an additional four miles from her 27 mile, second place effort last year, to earn a 31 lap top female finish this year. Laura also took home 10th overall!
What did Laura think about her 31 mile effort?
“Seems most everything went right that day and, looking back, think most of it was just plain eating right the week prior! Tuna, fruits, vegs for lunches, then a bowl of capellini with romas and basil the night before.”
A couple of Laura’s strongest memories from the night highlight the unique environment of this type of race.
“Maniacs support was huge (for me). The “gosh, you’re doing great” or “keep it up” kept me moving. That, and the guy who lapped me like 12 times! Yeah, I counted and announced each time he blew by. Once or twice I tried to keep up his pace. Pretty difficult at two in the morning with miles on these legs.”
Linda Bichler earned runner-up honors.
Top 5 female
- Laura Euckert – 31 miles
- Linda Bichler – 28 miles
- Nicole Hendricks – 27 miles
- Shayleen Daley – 26 miles
- Karen Riddle – 24 miles
The female race was a tight one, with the top three women all within one mile of each other after three hours of running.
JoBeth Willis tacked on three more loops from her 2011 effort to win the female loop-fest with 20 miles and a third overall placing.
Michelle Gilbert finished a loop back for second place honors.
Top 5 female
- JoBeth Willis – 20 miles
- Michelle Gilbert – 19 miles
- Tiajuana Williams – 19 miles
- Sara Tennesson – 18 miles
- Amanda Guthrie – 18 miles
3:08 road marathoner, Albert Herrera, enjoyed the most loops with 23.
Boyd Guthrie dashed off another five loops from his 2011 effort for a second place finish.
Top 5 male
- Albert Herrera – 23 miles
- Boyd Guthrie – 21 miles
- Andy Blessing – 20 miles
- Brian Helm – 17 miles
- Ryan Davila – 16 miles
Race Reports and Pics
- “I think that I’ve finally learned how to suffer. I’ve finally learned how to listen to my body. I’ve finally learned how to be an ultra runner. It took years of stupid mistakes, puking on the gorgeous 5 mile downhill descent towards the Jemez finish line, sitting on a log on the Highline trail, and multiple races where my nutrition just wasn’t there.” by Jacob @ What Finish Line?
Talk some Dirt
- What did you think of the short loop timed format?
Special thanks to Laura Euckert for sharing some thoughts on her adventure with us. Also, thanks to David McCaghren and Abilene Runner’s Club for the photos above.
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Be active – Feel the buzz!
David – EnduranceBuzz.com