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Nueces USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship Preview

January through March are high-profile trail running months in the state of Texas.

January – Bandera, the USATF 100 km Championship.

February – Rocky Raccoon 100. A global 100 mile race and one of the largest in the country.

And now March welcomes the USATF 50 mile Trail Championship on the rugged and scenic Hill Country terrain at Camp Eagle in Rocksprings, Texas. For the second year in the row, the Nueces trail run will host this national championship.

Wanna run? (Photo: David Hanenburg)

The 50 mile course consists of three 16.7 mile loops that weave you up, down, and around the surrounding hills of the area.  In typical Hill Country and Tejas Trails fashion, expect some technical rock running and a few fun hills. Joe Prusaitis would have it no other way.

The 50 mile fast footed course records are held by Jason Schlarb in 6:28 (2011) and Michele Yates (formerly Suszek) in 7:25:41 (2012).

Female Championship Tread

Bandera 100 km Take II…almost.

The women’s championship scamper will have both one and two from last year’s course record breaking effort lacing them up on Saturday with Michele Yates of Colorado and Texan, Melanie Fryar. These two speedsters last saw each other in early January at the USATF 100 km Championship down at Bandera where both put together some great runs and top two placings.

(Michele Yates and Melanie Fryar at Bandera 100 km (Photo: David Hanenburg))

Along with Michele and Melanie, expect to see Texans Liza Howard and Sydney Pitt, Pam Smith of Oregon, and Amy Rusiecki of Massachusetts all in the mix at the front.

(Liza Howard and Pam Smith (Photo: David Hanenburg))

Liza won the female scamper in 2011 in 8:09 so she knows how to get it done. Liza earned a tough gut-check fourth place finish at Bandera 100 km in January.

Pam is also quite familiar with this terrain and is a tough competitor. Pam ran 100 miles at the Desert Solstice 100 mile (end of 2012) in 15:01 and ran 8:40 at the Run Rabbit Run 50 mile last year. She also appears to be rested as I don’t see any big races since December.

Sydney just nailed a big effort at Rocky Raccoon 50 mile to win in 7:19 and also finished 5th at Bandera 100 km. How spunky will the legs be four weeks post Rocky?

Amy finished fifth at the 2012 Mountain Masochist 50 mile in 9:31 time. She also dashed off a win at the VASS Vermont 50 mile in 8:18.

Other females in the top 10 mix:

  • Stefanie Bernosky (TX) – 2013 Rocky Raccoon 100 23:30, 2012 Texas Trails 50 mile 9:19
  • Jody Koehler (TX) – 2013 Rocky Raccoon 100 21:06, seems to be stronger the longer the race
  • Anabel Pearson (TX) – 2012 Texas Trails 50 mile 8:53 1st
  • Cara Bass (TX) – 2013 Rocky Raccoon 100 22:53, Bandera 50 km 5:53

Any additional insight on any of our female tread?

Any others I am missing?

Ahhhhhhh! (Photo: David Hanenburg)

Male Championship Tread

Three out of the top 5 from last year’s scamper are back – Jason Bryant (3rd – NC), Paul Terranova (4th – TX), and Dan Vega (5th – CO).

(Jason Bryant and Paul Terranova)

Jason has put in a couple early 2013 efforts with a 2:16 fourth place finish at Moabs Red Hot 33 km and 6:05 40 mile dash at Uwharrie Mountain Run. This dude always comes to play and if you are fast enough for some miles with the guy, expect a few conversation funnies…the guy has some stories, yes he does.

Paul Terranova continues to build on his ultra slam adventure of 2012 with a third place finish at the Bandera 100 km championship and new course PR. Mr. Steady and Consistent.

I know Dan Vega was signed up for Bandera but not sure if he started (didn’t finish if he did). This guy is also loaded with plenty of experience through the 100 mile distance and clocked off a 7:13 at Nueces last year.

A handful of other guys will likely be in the mix and digging in for a top five finish and include Jordan LaFreniere of Michigan, Scott Dunlap of California, Brian Rusiecki of Massachusetts, and David Brown of Texas.

Jordan recently ran a 3:57 50 km at Yankee Springs and dashed off a 6:24 50 miler last year at Des Plains River Trail. The guy is also a low 17 minute 5 ker.

Scott is more of a 50 km crusher so it will be fun to see how he dials in his pacing across the 50 mile distance. Scott recently ran a 4:09 50 km at the Fort Ord Trail. Scott also has a great blog which was one of the first I followed when I got into the dirty side of running.

Brian won the Mountain Masochist 50 miler in 7:29 last year. Tough dude.

David set a new course record at Big Bend 50 km in mid-January in 3:40. In good form.

Other males in the front-end mix:

  • Charles Corfield (CO) – 2013 Cross Timbers 50 mile 8:45 (2nd), 2012 Leadville 100 20:57
  • Brent Bellm (TX) – Mid-4 hour 50 ker, 2012 Nueces 50 mile 8:07
  • Cody Moat (UT) – 2012 Moab Trail Marathon 3:08, involved with the Spartan races over the last couple years. Not sure if any ultra distance experience.
  • Peter Vrolijk (TX) – 2013 Rocky Raccoon 50 8:13 8th, 4:30-4:45 50ker, experienced through a wide range of distances
  • Brandon Ostrander (TX) – 2013 Bandera 100 km 10:31, 2012 Cactus Rose 50 mile 8:27 3rd
  • Lorenzo Sanchez (TX) – 2013 Rocky Raccoon 100 17:18 6th
  • Eric Loffland (GA) – 2012 Nueces 50 mile 8:21 9th
  • Jorge Cardenas (TX) – 2013 Bandera 100 km 11:24, Rocky Raccoon 100 17:23, 2012 North Face SF 50 mile 7:41

Any additional insight on any of our male tread?

Any others I am missing?

The Work is Done – Time to Play

Over 400 will be lacing them up for a 10 km, 25 km, 50 km, or 50 mile adventure.

Currently, conditions look great for an amazing weekend for everyone – 39F for an overnight low and 59F and sunny for Saturday’s high. Seem like fast, fast conditions!

Good luck to all those lacing them up this weekend.

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.

4 Responses to “Nueces USATF 50 Mile Trail Championship Preview”

  1. on 28 Feb 2013 at 4:22 am Fawn Simpson

    Great article! I can’t wait to get there! I’ll be the old lady bringing up the rear.

  2. on 28 Feb 2013 at 8:09 am David Hanenburg

    Fawn – We love all our tribe…from the first, to the final, and our not-today. 🙂 Have a great adventure on Saturday!

  3. on 28 Feb 2013 at 10:19 am Stef Bernosky

    David – Oh boy…guess the pressure is on now 😉

    Looking forward to my favorite venue of the year!

  4. on 28 Feb 2013 at 11:08 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Stef – The only pressure we add here at EB is to have fun! 🙂