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Sylamore Trail Run 2013 Results – Matt Pruitt and Angie Zinkus Lead the Out-and-Back Scamper Along the Scenic Terrain of Northern Arkansas

Frosty conditions and maybe even a couple snowflakes were seen in north central Arkansas at the start of the Sylamore Trail Run. Over 370 runners played on the out-and-back course that included a 50 km or 25 km adventure.

Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker

A course known for its exhilarating water crossing in the early miles…and of course, near the finish. Include a number of increased oxygen requesting climbs peaking out at around 500 feet of uphill goodness with nice views within the wooded terrain and you have yourself a dirt lovin’ party.


Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker

50 km

Men’s Race

After winning the 25 km last year, Matt Pruitt of Tennessee was ready to test himself at the 50 km this year with hopes of dialing in the details required for ultra distance racing.

“I felt like my legs were ready for this race so I had some confidence. My biggest concern was nutrition. I had some big nutrition problems in Stumpjump 50km last fall and the St. Jude Memphis Marathon in December. I figured that if I could do better on getting more calories in, I should have a good run.”

Chris Block led the guided trail tour into the first aid station. Matt and his training partner, Bryan Roberson, then moved to the front with the fast-footed Tom Brennan of Oklahoma within a stone’s throw behind. Matt and Bryan, while at the front, really tried to be smart during the first half of the race and used each other as feedback.

“It was good to be running with Bryan because we could keep each other in check and make sure we weren’t going out too fast.”

Up to the turnaround Matt gradually created a small one minute gap on Bryan, and Tom drifted a bit further back after having joined the running wounded thanks to a nasty digger.

Runners enjoying an aid station snack. (Photo:Courtesy Deb Baker)

Now the question. Could Matt get in calories on the return trip to keep his energy levels up?

While keeping the effort spicy, nausea presented itself once again.

But this time Matt had a plan.

“So when the nausea came, I just started walking until it went away and I could get some gel down. That seemed to do the trick.”

Matt was able to manage the nausea and went on to run a near even split (45 seconds off), crossing the finish in 4:09:13 for the win!

Bryan held onto second place with Tom a couple more minutes back.

What keeps Matt coming back to Sylamore?

“Three things make that race awesome for me – The Saturday night bonfire where you get to hear about how everyone’s run went, the beauty of the trail itself, and the fact that so many of my local Memphis running friends go each year.”

A great community. A great trail. The simple yet magical ingredients of many great trail events.

Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker

Top 5 male

  1. Matt Pruitt (Breakaway Running) – 4:09:13
  2. Bryan Roberson – 4:23:17
  3. Tom Brennan – 4:25:41
  4. Joshua Snyder – 4:36:31
  5. Chris Block – 4:40:53

Women’s Race

Angie Zinkus knocked down her 2011 time by over seven minutes to win the female race in 5:12:07!

Mary-Ellen Kelly earned runner-up honors.

Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker

Top 5 female

  1. Angie Zinkus – 5:12:06
  2. Mary-Ellen Kelly – 5:31:59
  3. Angela Quadrani – 5:35:27
  4. Leslie Brahm – 6:08:06
  5. Stacey Shaver – 6:13:20
Complete 50 km results

Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker

25 km

Women’s Race

Barbara Mariani took off over 10 minutes from her 2012 time to win the female scamper in 2:34:41!

Kelly Newberg earned a second place finish.

Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker

Top 5 female

  1. Barbara Mariani – 2:34:41
  2. Kelly Newberg – 2:56:13
  3. Jennifer Dorris – 3:03:26
  4. Heather Churan – 3:09:01
  5. Mary Wells – 3:11:18

Men’s Race

In typical Sylamore fashion, the race stays pretty relaxed until after the river crossing and then the fun begins.

Andrew Karandjeff, Tony Kocanda, and Mark Temme led the tribe across river and then Tony dialed up the effort to see what would happen.

“I jumped ahead and played a bit of cat and mouse with Andrew. I pushed up a few of the short climbs, and kept trying to string out the pack a bit.”

This acceleration gradually built a gap for Tony at the turn around.

The gap held on the return trip and Tony went on to win the male race in 2:05:19!

What did this Minnesota resident and first time Sylamore runner think of the event?

“The race is really well run, and the course is gorgeous. All of us said it reminded us of the Superior Hiking Trail – technical with some great views. The post race beer consumption with the team turned into an ultra event in itself.”

Andrew finished just over two minutes later for second.

Top 5 male

  1. Tony Kocanda (TC Running) – 2:05:19
  2. Andrew Karandjeff – 2:07:36
  3. Mark Temme – 2:12:33
  4. Gary Taylor – 2:14:04
  5. Mclean Wilson – 2:22:32

Complete 25 km results

Runner focused on the terrain ahead. (Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker)

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:

  • Mary Mcdonald stuck with it to finish the 50 km scamper in 9:05:21!

Photo: Courtesy Deb Baker

Race Reports and Pics

  • “We had hit a flat area and a feeling cross my mind that a Panda Bear was going to jump out of the bamboo and eat me for breakfast! But then we hit the rocky, second big climb with stair steps.” by Joshua Snyder @ Ouchita Trail Runner
  • “I felt like I was really settling into a groove at mile 13 when I was cruising down a hill and clipped a small rock and down I went on to a much larger rock.  I have fallen many times in trail running but always manage to kind of roll right back up.  Not this time because I hit this giant rock hard especially because I was going downhill and was going at a pretty good clip.” by Tom @ The Trail Less Traveled
  • “There are a lot of rocks and my feet were not happy about it.  The first mile or so out of Blanchard is fairly smooth so I was able to cruise along without much pain.  The food was kicking in and I was feeling pretty good.  I would soon hit the rocky terrain and the pain reared its ugly head again.  Each step hurt and slowed me down.  I was almost there so I fought through it the best I could.” by Kevin and Scott @ Average Joe Runners

Special thanks to Matt Pruitt, Tony Kocanda, and Deb Baker 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 –


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.

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