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2014 Rocky Raccoon 100 Results Part I: Matthew Laye Bull Runs His Way to the Win: 500th Mile Jackets: Men’s Tough As Nails

Nearly 500 crossed the timing mat at the start of the 22nd annual Rocky Raccoon 100 under overcast skies and mild temps (61F) for a  100 mile or Bust 30 hour adventure on the groomed pine needle covered trails in Huntsville State Park, a short drive north of Houston, Texas. The largest group of starters in race history, saw a little over half of them (58%) receive the finish buckle, matching the lowest in race history. Elite athlete, Ian Sharman, sheds a bit of light on why (from our Rocky Preview Feature).

“The hardest aspect of the race is that most people consider it an “easy” 100, when there’s really no such thing, just slower or faster courses.”

100 miles is 100 miles with Rocky being five 20 mile loops.

After midnight and into the morning hours, light rain fell and temps gradually dropped which required a few more layers in the morning hours.

For 64 year old Bobby Keogh of New Mexico, the rain was “added motivation to get to the finish.” He did just that in just under 29 hours.

Additional draw for some fast tread to make the trip to Texas included the USATF 100 Mile Trail Championship and Montrail Ultra Cup points with Western States 100 entries.

Credit: Rick Kent

Credit: Larry Field ©

I had lots of fun Tweeting the action of the spicy tread that included a number of short videos. I will include a few of them below.

Great to see so many familiar and new faces as well. Witnessed the first and final finisher out of Damnation aid station. Good times!

Let’s check out how the men’s race played out.


Credit: Larry Field ©


Men’s Race

By mile six, Dave James (AZ) was in a position he likes best, the lead. One minute behind him was Peter Hogg (MI) and Ian Sharman (CA). Matthew Laye (CA) rolled through four minutes back rounding out the top 10.

By mile 12…little change. Dave continued the push at the front.

Before mile 26.2, Dave would drop and Peter moved to the front with Ian shadowing close behind. Both would knock out a marathon of trail running in 3:12…with 73.8 miles yet to go!

(EB video with Peter and Ian.)

Matthew Laye gradually moved himself up through the field and was now running in 7th, 11 minutes back of the lead.

Before the four hour mark, Peter Hogg scampers into mile 32.2 looking relaxed and steady. Ian a short distance back, grabs a bunch of food and fluids at the aid station before continuing the chase.

Matthew Laye moves up yet again…now 5th position, 12 minutes back.

Approaching the midway point in the race, Peter’s gap to Ian grows to four minutes. Peter is all alone at the front looking good.

And now in third, Matthew, looking like a bull steadily charging.

Methodical. Focused. Yet the gap grows. Now 13 minutes.

(EB video with Matthew)

Our top TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) tread at this time was 17 year old, Ford Smith of Texas, hanging out in 8th position and all smiles. Not a bad place to be after recently finishing 5th at the Bandera 100km a few weeks earlier.

(EB video with Ford)

Approaching seven hours of racing and less than 48 miles to go, Peter continued to hold point, but Ian was closing with the gap back down to one minute.

Within the next 10 miles, race leader, Peter Hogg would drop. Hitting mile 66.2, it was Ian and Matthew stride for stride. Matthew was quick in and out of the aid station while Ian was a bit more methodical and grabbed more food as he munched leaving the aid station.

Matthew moved to the lead.

(EB video with Ian and Matthew)

Someone else putting together a well executed 100 miler is 18 year old Jared Hazen (CO) who ran himself into third after starting the race towards the bottom of the top 10. Salt and Ginger-ale and he was back on the prowl, 18 minutes behind Matthew.

(EB video with Jared)

Over the next 6 miles, Matthew’s lead would grow to three minutes. He looked nearly as steady as the early miles. Ian was holding strong in second.

Jared continued to hold 3rd position, looking quite comfortable 72 miles in.

Time for the final 20 mile loop!

Matthew arrives at mile 86.2 after 11 hours and 22 minutes of racing, looking like it was the first loop, flying through the aid station.

(EB video with Matthew)

Ian still looked steady but didn’t have that sense of urgency as he moved through the aid station. The gap to Matthew had grown to seven minutes.

Less than eight miles to go!

The sun has set and Matthew grabs a few calories at the aid station and slowly dashes off for the final push to the finish.

Ian arrives 10 minutes later, loading up on a few cals for the final kick to try and catch Matthew but it would not happen today.

Matthew would hold strong for the win in 13:17:52!

Matthew Laye enjoying a chance to site at the finish. (Photo Credit: Rick Kent /

Matthew Laye enjoying a chance to sit at the finish. (Credit: Rick Kent ©

Ian held steady for second place honors.

Top TALON male was 17 year old Ford Smith, who finished 8th male.

Men’s Overall Results

  1. Matthew Laye (CA – SF Running Company) – 13:17:42 (*usatf)
  2. Ian Sharman (CA – Scott Running) – 13:38:03
  3. Jared Hazen (CO – 18 years old) – 13:57:17 (*usatf)
  4. Steve Speirs (VA – Hammer Nutrition) – 15:26:25
  5. Neal Gorman (VA) – 15:31:34 (*usatf)
  6. Joshua Finger (PA) – 15:49:46 (*usatf)
  7. Jason Lantz (PA) – 15:54:55 (*usatf)
  8. Ford Smith (TX – T3 triathlon) – 16:09:06
  9. David Ploskonka (MD) – 16:38:36 (*usatf)
  10. TJ Dunham (TN) – 16:39:03 (*usatf)

Complete Results

500 Mile Jackets

Who took home their 500th Rocky Raccoon mile jacket?

Carrie Knapp (TX)


Reflections and Memories

100 miles doesn’t ever get any easier!

I’d ask the aid station volunteers how many calories in the food… They would look at me puzzled (thinking I was worried about eating something that might make me gain weight) until I rephrased it asking “how many do I need to eat to get at least 100 calories?”

Once again I declared that I’d never run 100 miles again but none of my friends believe me.

We shall see!

Others Who Finished Their 500th Mile at Rocky Raccoon 100

  • James Austin (MI)
  • George Blust (TX)
  • Erik Hanley (TX)
  • Phil Wiley (CO)
  • Johnny Adams (MO)
  • Noora Alidina (FL)
  • Larry Hall (IL)
  • Jeff Heasley (CO)
  • Elaine Stypula (MI)

Inspiration Point

How about a shout out to some of our wisest finishers!

  • Roy Pirrung (65 – WI)
  • Fred Thompson (65 – TX – And Tejas 300 finisher!)
  • Dick Canterbury (66 – IN)

Be inspired kids!!

Tough As Nails

Our men’s Tough-As-Nails finisher was Vidal Gonzalez of Texas who was the final men’s and race finisher in 29:58:26!!

Check out all the great race pics by the team at Endurophoto.

Special thanks to Carrie Knapp and Rick Kent of Endurophoto for their support with this article.

Also, thanks to Bryon, Meghan, and Kim of the iRunFar team for working together with us to provide a better race-day coverage experience for our community.

Next up…the female results summary!

Check out the TALON Race Guide

There are 170+ 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.

4 Responses to “2014 Rocky Raccoon 100 Results Part I: Matthew Laye Bull Runs His Way to the Win: 500th Mile Jackets: Men’s Tough As Nails”

  1. on 05 Feb 2014 at 11:41 am olga

    Beth Simpson-Hall got her 1000 miles at Rocky award!
    It was an awesome race to watch.

  2. on 05 Feb 2014 at 11:50 am David Hanenburg

    Good catch Olga. Thanks for sharing that!

    We had it noted in the race preview but it slipped by me when writing this article.

  3. on 06 Feb 2014 at 10:24 am Jonathan F

    Thanks for cheering for Vidal on the course at DamNation. We had 6 hours to run the final loop after he ran a 7:30 fourth loop. It was insane trying to stay ahead of the cutoffs, especially when he wanted to play with cheese puffs at the aid stations. Very rewarding to help him finish the last loop faster than his previous two loops. Ian was awesome waiting for us at the finish line.

  4. on 11 Feb 2014 at 11:33 am David Hanenburg

    Jonathan – What an adventure! Chasing those cut-offs had to be a bit intense but you guys made it happen. Awesome to hear!