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2012 Reveille Ranch Trail Run 30 km Race Report – So Close!

10:50 pm

Pass a runner walking the final section of singletrack. I wish him well.

Onto the dirt road to the finish.

Downhill grade.

Full stride.

400 meters to the finish.

Then time stops…or more accurately slows way, way, way…down.

Rolling through the air in a Matrix-like moment. Feet and head both parallel to the dirt and apparently rock-covered surface below.

The body incrementally rotates a few inches with each pendulum swing of a grandfather clock.

I see nothing but sense eternity.

It all felt very fluid and choreographed.

Then the Matrix moment ends and feels more like a NASCAR stock car getting his back corner fender tapped when going 200 miles per hour.

It got ugly in a hurry.


I really wanted to get down to at least one of the four Capt’n Karl night races and Reveille Ranch was the one that fit in the schedule and was also the final race of the series. Plus never been to this venue before and was excited to check it out.

I almost didn’t start as Griffin and Wendy both were dealing with a slight funk. Late morning on Saturday, Wendy asked what time I was leaving and told her I wasn’t going since the tribe wasn’t feeling 100%. She said, it wasn’t that bad and to go-for-it if I wanted to. After a few, “Are you sure?”, I was on the road for a 4+ hour drive to Burnett, Texas. Thanks babe!

I was parked by 6:40pm.

30 km race start – 7:15pm.

A bit tight for my liking but better than last summer’s race.

It was sunny. It was warm. A pleasant breeze surrounded us.

First, Reveille Ranch was a very sweet venue. Big ass open pavilion. Lake/big pond. Good vibe.

The 30 km course was two loops. I took a single handheld with water. Race vest with gels and Endurolytes. Decided just to wear my polar watch for clock time and left the Garmin at home.

Let’s go!

Hung out in the middle of the pack at the start as we trotted along a levee/road next to the lake before hopping in the woods for the start of some singletrack fun.

Wooded, rolling terrain, with a fair number of fixed rocks to hop over. Could feel the breeze, felt nice.

As we would climb, the trees would thin out and you would be running on solid rock. A bit of exposure. Lots of fun.

I could tell early on that I felt very comfortable on the technical downhills and actually enjoyed bombin’ them a bit. I think the couple trips out to Colorado in August that includes miles of groovy and at time technical downhill running, toughened up the old twigs.

Towards the later segment of the first loop, finally had to turn on the lights. I was using a headlamp/handheld combination, similar to the Leadville pacing adventure, and absolutely loved this setup. The headlamp provides great general light and the handheld provides this very controllable light source that really helps showcase the size of objects on the trail due to the angle of the light and the shadowing it produces.

I was putting down 200 cals and 4-6 Endurolytes per hour. Feeling good.

Came through the one loop turnaround aid station in 1:43.

The sky was clear. The moon was an amazing sight especially on the exposed rock hills. Big and beautiful. The nice breeze continued.

On the first loop I was able to do a steady run up all the climbs. Loop two included more steady walking on the climbs. Downhills were still a delight. Thought of Joe P. a few times and his joy of crushin’ the downhills.

Midway through the final loop, Brian Hopton-Jones (eventual 60km winner) came by me during one of my steady walking segments. After a few brief comments to one another, he said, “finish strong!”

“Oh shit!”

I had no choice. Need to dig in the tread a bit more.

Out of water and couldn’t wait to get to the last aid station.

Coke. Endurolytes. Water. Go!

This aid station is very close to the finish (guessing 1-1.5 miles) but needed something. Worth the stop.

I decided to put some coke in my water bottle and soooo wished I hadn’t as I wanted to pour some of that ice cold fluid on my head as I had earlier in the race. Couldn’t do it.

I came up one guy walking the final stretch of singletrack. Made the pass a short distance before the dirt road dash to the finish.

On the dirt road and dialed up effort for the final push.

On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being an all-out sprint, I dialed in a 8.5 with a periodic 9 on the nice downhill grade. Felt in control. On a dirt road. Groove it to the finish.

Then I decided to think…a bit too much.

I have this nearly full handheld in my hand. I should empty it out so I can reduce “all that weight” through the final few hundred meters.

I let go of the handheld light in my left hand and let it dangle in the air on the strap around my wrist.

Twist off the handheld cap while looking to my right.

Flick the bottle to quickly empty the remaining water.

Looking at the bottle, I twist the cap back on.

All of this in near sprint effort night running.

I look forward.

Time stops.

These thoughts pass through…

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

Handheld went flying at some point.

Solid landing with body spread across the width of the road.

Quick body assessment. A few scrapes and blood on the right side of my body. Could have been worse.

My left big toe…damn it hurts. Whatever it hit…did not move.

Grab the water bottle a few feet from me. Get up. Then dialed up a bit of effort to the finish.

Crossed the line in 3:37:28.

Lesson – Don’t jack with shit while running full speed on dirt.

Thanks to Joe, Brad, and all the volunteers. Really, really a special evening on the trails.

Gimped around for the next five hours hangin’ and chatting with the tribe.

Good times.

Made it home by 8:30am-ish.

Toe still hurts like a mofo. Lots of pretty purple colors as well. Time for a few bike miles. Hopeful to be back running on Thursday.

Cactus Rose 50 coming soon.

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.

12 Responses to “2012 Reveille Ranch Trail Run 30 km Race Report – So Close!”

  1. on 04 Sep 2012 at 8:12 pm Jonathan

    Congrats again on your finish. Sorry about your toe.

    Reveille Ranch is AWESOME!! Loved the pool at the start/finish – came in handy after the 60K. I lost count how many times I almost ate it on the trails. Shocked I didn’t come away with at least a tweaked ankle. You didn’t have the pleasure of running the dome. Gotta tell ya, you missed some windy moments up there. Felt great and ended up running the third loop shirtless. Aid stations were fairly close together so I ran with a handheld as well. It didn’t really feel all that hot but needless to say I stopped sweating in the middle of loop two. Had a few Cokes, some Pringles, saltines, got a cool dump of water on the head and took it easy leaving the aid station. Took an S cap and ate a handful of saltines on the trail and couple miles later I was back to normal. For the first time in a race I never felt bad or felt any soreness. The finish line was another story. After DNFing the last three 60K’s I took care of business and I’m impressed how my body has recovered from my longest race ever. Now it’s time to get back to business and continue to get ready for Bandera. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to to say hey.

    Palo Duro here I come!

  2. on 05 Sep 2012 at 10:35 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Jonathan – Congrats on the finish! When things starting feeling off, you addressed it and got rollin again. Awesome!

    Have a great prep for PD. Great event!

    If not sooner, I should see you at Bandera.

  3. on 05 Sep 2012 at 2:11 pm Jonathan

    @Dave – cool beans. After Palo Duro I’ll be at Wild Hare and then Texas Trails December 1st.

  4. on 05 Sep 2012 at 2:20 pm olga

    It was great to see you!

  5. on 05 Sep 2012 at 7:07 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Olga – Great to see ya and briefly chat as well. Thanks for all your volunteer help and involvement within the sport.

    @Jonathan – Looks like you have a plan dialed in. Enjoy the journey!

  6. on 06 Sep 2012 at 10:22 am Steve

    As someone who trips over roots and rocks constantly, in broad daylight, I enjoyed reading this.

  7. on 06 Sep 2012 at 10:23 am Jonathan

    Olga is awesome! I will need her ‘get your butt outta here’ attitude for Bandera. Olga, will you be there? Say yes.

  8. on 06 Sep 2012 at 9:42 pm Jason

    Ha, David, great report. I’m reading a book called “Failing Forward.” I’ll let you know if I come up with any good advice, but I think you nailed it….and I wouldn’t recommend trying to text and walk either, nearly walked into a pole this week.

  9. on 10 Sep 2012 at 9:06 am olga

    Jonathan, I am considering, but I’ll be at CR50/100 for sure:) For Bandera it depends which AS is not covered, most likley start/finish if open.

  10. on 10 Sep 2012 at 10:16 am David Hanenburg

    @Steve – 🙂 I have been having a bit too much excitement across the last couple events, maybe Cactus… This weekend at RC should be a happy feet day for you!

    @Jason – Nice! 🙂

  11. on 12 Sep 2012 at 2:18 pm Chris R.

    David, don’t how I missed you! Of course it may have been because I had a terrible race and was moving so darn slow. Glad to see you are doing Cactus 50! You ran a good time at RR on that course.

  12. on 19 Sep 2012 at 10:16 am David Hanenburg

    Chris – Always miss not being able to chat with ya. I must have been hobbling back to my car to clean up and get a shower. I hung out at the finish line area till just before 4:00am.

    See you at CR!!