Beautiful running conditions greeted runners for a half marathon, marathon, or 50 km scamper on the tame and twisty single track on the Wee-Chi-Tah trail in Wichita Falls, Texas. The Duel provided two days of running goodness with the dirt party on Saturday and some hardtop running on Sunday.
Pick one day. Pick Both. Go run!
The trail courses consisted of one, two, or two-plus loops (with out-and-back segments) depending on your distance of choice. Some major park renovations/clean-up was going on which forced a cross-country loop and a focus-required dash along and around big ground-clear burn piles. It got a bit interesting…
The fast-footed Nick Seymour of Yukon, Oklahoma knocked out a 17:24 at last year’s Pumpkin Holler 100 along with some 4:2x 50 km finishes, Nick was definitely the guy to watch. Nick was off the front within the opening 1/4 mile after crossing the pedestrian bridge and enjoyed a few miles of banter with fellow runners.
“I was running with a couple of the top marathon runners the first few miles. The eventual marathon winner passed me around mile three and was smoking it! I was mostly solo from that point on.”
In chase was local runner, Alfred Rosales, and San Antonio athlete, Frank Sizemore.
Nick kicked off his 2013 season with a spicy effort and win, crossing the timing mat in 4:24:08!
Although a fast time, the course was slower than he expected.
“There were a lot more short ups / downs and tight twisty sections throughout the course than I anticipated. Running the two mile and three mile cross country sections through the park seemed to slow me down quite a bit as well. Especially the dozer tracks and mulch piles on the three mile loop! Definitely kept it interesting though!”
Alfred went on to finish second, 20+ minutes later.
Top 5 male
- Nick Seymour – 4:24:08
- Alfred Rosales – 4:47:59
- Frank Sizemore – 5:03:44
- Gerardo Ramirez – 5:17:45
- Justin Vawter – 5:23:02
Plano, Texas runner, Natalie Floyd, led all females in the ultra scamper with a time of 5:42:35.
Tammi Starnes was a short distance behind for second.
Sometimes reflections on the day can become quite simple as 50 km finisher, Karen Riddle shares.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the volunteers!!! Great weather! I finished!”
Top 5 female
- Natalie Floyd – 5:42:35
- Tammi Starnes – 5:51:04
- Melinda Krueger – 6:19:56
- Karen Riddle – 9:48:57
- Tara Woodard – 10:39:47
Dianna Sulser of Denison, Texas, was alone at the front of the female race and earned the win in 5:07:46.
Kristie Williamson of Dallas earned runner-up honors.
All 3 females
- Dianna Sulser – 5:07:46
- Kristie Williamson – 6:06:24
- Angela Tortorice – 6:40:47
Sub three hour road marathoner, Bryan Ruiz, was the rabbit everyone was chasing. Jonathan Moody led the hunt but Bryan would not be caught and won the male scamper in 3:31:38.
Top 5 male
- Bryan Ruiz – 3:31:38
- Jonathan Moody – 3:41:42
- Joshua Witte – 3:57:38
- Jerod Honrath – 4:15:31
- Joseph Hoff – 4:32:23
The tightest race of the day was with Robert Fowler (age 50) and Andrew Hammond (age 21) in what became a stride-for-stride adventure. They created a gust of wind as they passed me through the cross-country park section with Robert hanging in Andrew’s shadow.
All the way to the finish they flew, with Robert able to create a two second gap for the win!
Top 5 male
- Robert Fowler – 1:39:22
- Andrew Hammond – 1:39:24
- Matthew Lisenby – 1:41:51
- Brandon Abla – 1:42:03
- Todd Davenport – 1:44:23
The lead pack of women cruised through the winding and twisty single track with Grapevine, Texas athlete, Leana Sloan a short distance behind.
And then Leana no longer saw the front group. Oh Oh!
“Around mile 3.5 I realized that I could not see the front pack anymore. I took the wrong turn…oops! That little error of not focusing cost me a about 10 minutes but I was fine.”
Leana continued a steady push and began to move through the front group before catching the lead female with three miles to go.
To the finish with a focused stride and win in 1:53:41!
Trail running can be a special reminder of the joy of play as Leana shares.
“The memory of the trail that stands out most to me was the feeling of being a child again and running through the woods on the wooden bridges and structures! Priceless!”
Sarah Brautigam of Littleton, Colorado finished second.
Top 5 female
- Leana Sloan – 1:53:41
- Sarah Brautigam – 1:57:24
- Marcia Fairchild – 1:59:47
- Elizabeth Wamble – 2:00:06
- Nicole Gross – 2:03:45
Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.
- Robert Kosec (age 66) went ultra and made it look easy.
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:
- Tara Woodard put together a steady journey throughout the day to cross the finish in 10:39:47!
- Could find any other race reports…besides mine.
- If you have one, feel free to share in the comment link below.
Special thanks to Nick Seymour, Karen Riddle, Leana Sloan, and Sandy Monson for their gracious support with this article.
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 – EnduranceBuzz.com