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Paleface Trail Run 2013 Results – Paul Terranova and Kelli Newlon With Consistent Tortoise Efforts Pass Hares for Win

Greta and Isabel Daniel were two of the 5 km finishers at the new Tejas Trails scamper along the shaded singletrack at Pace Bend State Park called the Paleface Trail Run. Greta and Isabel are 12 years old!

paleface13_txmap

What do these two dig about running?

[Greta] “It keeps me fit and healthy and opens doors for lots of trips.”

[Isabel] “EVERYTHING! I mostly like that it’s good exercise and super fun.”

Sounds like many of us, doesn’t it?!?

Warm and humid conditions allowed 120+ runners starting the 30km, 15km, or 5km run to break a sweat before the word “Go”. Texas in October, you just never know.

What was the course like?

[Greta] “It was rocky and super narrow. There where a couple of hills but not too many.”

[Isabel] “I would say it was fun but there where lots of spots where I almost fell.”

Sounds like lots of runnable with a dash of Joe Prusaitis technicality and toe grabbing fun.


The 30 km two loop men’s scamper was an exciting Texas showdown between 22 year old, 16 minute 5ker (and 1:21 at Grasslands half marathon 2013), Joshua Pauley of Dallas, and Austin speedster, Paul Terranova who put together a 8th overall finish at the highly competitive Western States 100 earlier in the year.

Well, this is no 100 mile race or 5 km road race!

In the early miles Joshua took off like a rocket, bottle-less, in these warm and humid conditions. Paul dialed up the effort to maintain contact and assess the situation.

“We both got clear of the field very quickly as the sun came up and we stashed our lights away. At first I thought he [Joshua] must be running the 15km event but as we got to talking it was clear that he was in for two loops. Here we go!”

Looks like we may have ourselves an interesting little race for the win.

Flying at point into the mid-loop aid station (~mile 5), Joshua doesn’t break stride and ignores taking on any fluids whereas Paul performs a quick pit-stop.

“Warm, thick, humid morning, drenched with sweat already at mile five. I topped off my single bottle, almost catching aid-station volunteer Sammy Voltaggio off guard, after sucking down my first (of 4 gels for the day).”

Paul shortly made contact with Joshua again before re-focusing on putting together the best start-to-finish race he could.

“Josh’s pace just wasn’t sustainable for me, and I know (from experience), that just about anything can happen in the second half of a race so keep pressing forward and see how it plays out.”

At the end of loop 1, Paul see Joshua just leaving the aid station as he arrives. The sustainable chase is on!

“Quick bottle swap out with a fresh one in my cooler and I was back out in hot pursuit, careful not to blow myself up in the process.”

Joshua was again out of sight until around mile 3-4 of the final loop before Paul catches a glimpse of the race leader!

“I didn’t surge to try and catch up immediately but rather took a steady controlled approach to reel him in.  Think I took a gel (my 3rd) and let that settle in for a couple of minutes before resuming the pressure.”

And then the catch and pass.

“Eventually, the course opens up to a decent straightaway and Josh stopped very briefly to stretch out and that’s where I got by him.”

At the front Paul, stays on top of the little things by stopping at the mid-loop aid station to re-fill his bottle. Quickly out and back down the trail with one mantra to bring him to the finish.

“Keep pushing, keep pushing, make the gap stick.”

Paul crossed the finish for the win while putting together a solid even split effort of 2:17:02 (not quite but dang close)!

Even-splits are tough to come by for most of us. What did Paul feel supported this steady effort?

“Honestly, my close to even splits surprised me David, even though the perceived effort between the first and back halves were comparable.  A two or three minute positive split would not have disappointed me knowing that I went a little too hard on the first loop to keep up with Josh yet kept the legs moving to catch back up to him on the second loop. Maybe starting in the dark for a couple of minutes slowed things down a bit, and then pushing the pace at the end to not get caught made the last half go quicker? Can’t emphasize enough how important hydration/fueling/electrolytes were for me.  Just because it’s mid-October in Texas doesn’t mean that we should put the S!Caps away for the winter! 🙂 Plus, I’m not the kind of runner that can get away with skimping in either of those three areas, so better for me to plan ahead on what I think I’ll actually take and then factor in a contingency if things get squirrelly on me.  As one of my Army squad leaders used to say, “Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.”  It’s also very easy late in a race to let your mind wander and miss a course marker or catch a toe on a root or something, so thinking about that helps keep my mind focused and prevents running any “bonus” mileage, no thanks!”

Joshua would slow over those final miles but hold on to runner-up honors.

Men’s 30 km Results

  1. Paul Terranova (HOKA One One) – 2:17:02
  2. Joshua Pauley – 2:26:35
  3. Sam LaBrie – 2:35:38

The women’s 30km scamper was nearly a replay of the men’s race with Venessa Pellon leading and separating from the nearest chaser, Kelli Newlon, who hasn’t race or ran much since Spring of 2012 due to significant back issues which forced her to stop running for over a year. I am sure it had to feel good to be back at the start line.

Vanessa completes the first loop 20 seconds in front of Kelli. Kelli still hadn’t seen Vanessa at this time and had mainly been running solo.

And then at mile 12, Kelli catches Vanessa, and was so excited…and not because she was moving into the lead.

“I didn’t even see her until the moment I caught up with her about mile 12. I was so excited to finally see another runner. The minute I approached her, she stepped to the side and told me to pass. I told her she looked strong (because she did!) and ran by. I was bummed because I was getting lonely out there.”

Kelli maintained positive self-talk to the finish and won the female race in 3:01:32! And another close to even split effort!

Venessa earned runner-up honors.

Women’s 30 km Results

  1. Kelli Newlon – 3:01:32
  2. Venessa Pellon – 3:08:48
  3. Erica De Los Santos – 3:13:36

The women’s 15 km one loop dash, Shannon Presley led the female inspiration train, finishing 6th overall in a winning time of 1:19:07!

Melanie Etherton finished 8th overall for runner-up honors.

Women’s 15 km Results

  1. Shannon Presley – 1:19:07
  2. Melanie Etherton – 1:23:54
  3. Vickie De Leon – 1:29:34

The Men’s 15 km race had frequent competitors, Justin Wendling and Joe Walker, running hard at the front with each taking a pull.

About midway into the race Justin dialed up the pace as Joe shares.

“He [Justin] then dropped me on the uphill at mile five.”

Joe was unable to respond this time.

“I never saw him again.”

Justin went on to win the male scamper in 1:09:33!

Joe held onto second and shares a useful tip (with multiple benefits) for this early morning race start – bring a light!

“The first few miles of the race were a little sketchy without a headlamp. People were hitting the deck like crazy in the rock gardens. A lighting system would have been nice for the race but it is an absolute requirement for navigating the portaloo before the start. That’s not a place you want to feel your way around in the dark.”

Men’s 15 km Results

  1. Justin Wendling – 1:09:33
  2. Joe Walker – 1:13:48
  3. Steve Etherton – 1:14:35

Shari Perez of Houston set the tone at the front of this one, winning the 5 km overall in a time of 29:48!

Eric Schwind finished shortly behind Shari for top male honors in 30:29!

We had six youth age 4-12 run the 5 km as well – love that.

Women’s 5 km Results

  1. Shari Perez – 29:48
  2. Alyson Erikson – 41:40
  3. Monica Hernandez – 47:19

Men’s 5 km Results

  1. Eric Schwind – 30:29
  2. Erik Carlson – 41:41
  3. Okay Onan – 46:29

Greta and Isabel share a few more thoughts from their 5 km finish.

What were their favorite aid station food?

[Greta] “Gatorade”

[Isabel] “Cheeze-its”

What was the funnest part of the race?

[Greta] “The simplicity was great, there weren’t too many people, it felt like regular running, not like a “race” race. I loved that.”

[Isabel] “The parts where the surrounding areas were pretty and where there were long runnable sections.”

Finally, what tip would they share for someone racing Paleface next year?

[Greta] “Manage your time right, it’s easy-ish to place if you work hard.”

[Isabel] “Have fun and don’t fall.”

Complete Results


Special thanks to Paul Terranova, Kelli Newlon, Isabel and Greta Daniel, and Joe Walker  for their support with this article.

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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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