Crispy early morning temps provided a let’s-get-this-started vibe within the beautiful rolling terrain of Tehlequah, Oklahoma which hosted the second annual Pumpkin Holler hunnerd. Get your 100 mile, 100 km, 50 km, and a 25 km adventure fix.
Over 260 laced them up for a course within the J.T. Nickel Preserve that actually allows you to soak up the beauty as you run…without taking a digger. How so? The entire course is mostly on dirt roads. Now don’t expect this to be flat affair. There are a few steady grunts throughout each loop to keep it interesting…and they seem to get a little bigger with each loop.
Defending champ, Ryan Loehding, took off like the rabbit-in-chase from the start and after the initial 6.7 mile out-and-back segment had nearly a four minute gap from chasers, Nick Seymour and Michael Adams.
Of course, in 100 miles, we have a loooong way to go.
After the first complete 50 km loop, Ryan continued the spicy effort with a 4:37 loop. Nick was now over 10 minutes back with Mike another seven behind Nick.
With plenty of ultra experience, Mike had an in-for-the-long-haul approach to the day.
“My goal was to try to keep the pace as steady and even as possible with an overall goal of close to even splits. I figured if I kept my pace at around 8:30 – 9 minute pace per mile during the first 30 miles or so, then I should still have the legs to keep a decent pace later in the race.”
Mike also tried out a new motivator – the digital Garmin runner dude.
“I also set my virtual partner on my Garmin to 10 minute per mile pace. My overall goal pace was to run 6mph, so I just had to stay ahead of the virtual partner. That was the first time I used that option.”
During the second of three 50km loops, Ryan began to slow significantly. While his first 50km split was 4:37, the second 50km split was 5:58 which now placed him in third place. Both Nick and Mike had made the pass with Nick now leading the race.
One 50km loop to go!
Mike observed Nick and his pacer heading out on the final loop as he was coming in to finish the second main 50km loop.
Mike steadily gained on Nick before catching him at the mile 13.4 aid station of the loop.
“It wasn’t until Savannah Corner aid station that I actually caught him, right around mile 85. We left that aid station at the same time.”
Then Mike received some additional inspiration from none other than Nick himself.
“I remember telling him to keep on going and that I was pulling for him; his reply was to go crush the course record. That seemed to give me a little extra motivation since I wasn’t even thinking about a course record.”
How is that for a sport!
Mike went on to run his final 50km loop faster than the previous and he went on to set a new course record in 16:47:17!
Average pace 9:52. Take that digital runner dude!
Nick kept moving steadily forward to hold onto second place honors.
Top 5 male
- Mike Adams – 16:47:17
- Nick Seymour – 17:24:52
- Nathan Sicher – 18:37:08
- Ryan Loehding – 18:53:31
- Wayne Silvester – 23:19:41
Rebecca Reynolds made the trip from Alabama to get after her first 100 miler. Four week prior, she finished 5th female at the challenging Georgia Jewel 50 mile.
“Going into Georgia Jewel, I felt like 11 hours would give me the confidence I desired to achieve 24 hours at Pumpkin Holler. But miles 17-25 were mentally tough on me and I slowed a lot over that section and it’s technical, hilly terrain. Physically, I was ready to be done but I had mental clarity throughout and even though I ran 12:30ish, my mind was ready for the longer event.”
Within the early miles of Pumpkin Holler, Rebecca was groovin’ within the top of the overall and kept a steady effort all day.
On the final 50km loop, Rebecca picked up a local pacer and some tough information to compute after running for the past 14+ hours.
“A guy named John Nobles from Tulsa volunteered to pace me and without him, I don’t know how well I could have run. He and an aid station volunteer let it slip that I was on pace to break the women’s course record at 2:00 am. I couldn’t even think of that at that time of night but John kept me motivated and focused. We ran almost all of the 30 miles he was with me and he pushed me very hard the last six miles (hoping for 21:59:59). We ran all out those last six miles and the finish line was a blur. But it was all so much fun!”
Rebecca went on to win the female race and set a new female course record in 22:00:43!
” My one slight gift is I think I tend to fall apart less than most people. Everything came together perfectly for a good race day. I was very lucky.”
Sarah Flores of Texas ran a very steady final 100 km to finish second.
Top 5 female
- Rebecca Reynolds – 22:00:43
- Sarah Flores – 23:35:00
- Christy Davis – 26:09:58
- Rachel Regier – 28:27:42
- Kathy Hoover – 28:35:53
3:10-3:15 road marathoner, Allyson Weimer of Oklahoma City, ran a 4:22 first 50km and had the entire race jockeying for second place because Allyson was far down the road and out of sight.
Allyson finished nearly two hours before second overall crossed the line. Dang!
Allyson won the 50km overall and of course, set a new record in 9:38:02!
Tammy Winn moved herself up through the female field to finish second while enjoying the adventure.
“I loved it. I’ve NEVER ran on country roads, only trails or road marathoners. Great event.”
Top 5 female
- Allyson Weimer – 9:38:02
- Tammy Winn – 12:55:17
- Melissa Weigand – 13:35:41
- Rebecca Gartrell – 13:47:24
- Bobbie Ruhs – 14:32:20
Joshua Witte led the chase through 50km to try and catch Allyson. It quickly turned to survival for Joshua as his hip was growling at him and wouldn’t let him dial up the pace.
Kevin Doyle eventually caught Joshua and took home the male win in 11:21:27.
Joshua held it together for second place.
Top 5 male
- Kevin Doyle – 11:21:27
- Joshua Witte – 11:57:03
- Troy Potter – 12:21:33
- Bryan Warren – 12:55:18
- Gary Fuerst – 13:13:00
2:40-ish roadie, Adam Cohen, showcased his top end speed averaging a 6:55 pace across the 50km distance to win the scamper in 3:36:43! Yes, a new course record as well!
Mike Riley of Arkansas finished second 19 minutes later.
Top 5 male
- Adam Cohen – 3:36:43
- Mark Riley – 3:55:15
- Victor Fleitas – 4:37:51
- Derek Dutton – 5:02:17
- James Reeves – 5:21:27
Katie Kramer ran a spicy 7:31 pace to win the female race and nearly grab second overall in a time of 3:55:53.
Haley Jennings earned runner-up honors.
Top 5 female
- Katie Kramer – 3:55:53
- Haley Jennings – 5:00:52
- Christina Payne – 5:03:53
- Dianna Conger – 5:13:26
- Rachel Piotraschk – 5:29:02
The men’s race gradually got strung out at the front with Huntsville, Alabama athlete, Stephen Baker dialing in a win and crossing the finish in 1:49:01.
Jordan Christy finished two minutes later for second.
Top 5 male
- Stephen Baker – 1:49:01
- Jordan Christy – 1:51:07
- Ja Pryse – 1:55:23
- Bill Konefes – 2:05:46
- Herve Lucier – 2:09:15
The girls took home three of the top five positions in the overall! Bam!
3:30 road marathoner, Jamie Cousatte, led all women finishing third overall in 1:53:55.
This wasn’t without a bit of an exciting finish as Jenna Mutz finished seven seconds back.
Top 5 female
- Jamie Cousatte – 1:53:55
- Jenna Mutz – 1:54:02
- Tammy West – 1:54:40
- Lori Enlow – 2:01:06
- Vanessa Young – 2:12:11
Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- Richard Golden (age 66) and Herb Jarrell (age 68) enjoyed the Pumpkin Holler experience.
Life is play. Play is life.
Race Reports and Groovy Pics
- “The next two miles to the Hard Up Ahead aid stop was slow. I filled my water bottles and sat down to eat a cup of soup. While I was sitting there I happened to look up right as Kathy was coming in. Talk about a welcome sight!” by Russell Bennett on Endurance Buzz
- “There were plenty of visual distractions in these early miles: an old wooden clapboard Church and other abandoned structures; views of the river and surrounding bluffs; climbs up into thickly wooded hills. I felt great and kept a steady ten minute pace.” by Brian @ BikeRunBeer
- “It was damn chilly as we removed layers and made final preparations. The sun peeked over the horizon just before the Trail Zombie began the race by smashing a pumpkin on the ground. And with that we were off and down the road.” by runningfarmer @ runningfarmer
- “I was pretty much in the zone at this point and I was not feeling like talking. Brandon was filling me in on football scores for the day and other events, but I wasn’t very responsive at the time. I was in asshole mode just because I was so focused on the race and was beginning to become fatigued.” by Nick @ Seym0ur Endurance
- Groovy Pics by Podium Images
Talk some Dirt
- How was your Pumpkin Holler experience?
Special thanks to Mike Adams, Rebecca Reynolds, Chuck of Podium Images, and Tom Love for all of their support with this article.
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David – EnduranceBuzz.com
Posted on 03 Dec 2012
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