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TALON 100s and Slammin’ in the Region

Over the weekend, the Leadville 100 was the third stop of this year’s Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, the Slam.  The Slam consists of finishing four 100s all within the same year – Western States 100, Vermont 100, Leadville 100, and the Wasatch Front 100.

To add to the challenge, this string of 100s takes place from June and wraps up in early September. Take out your handy desk calendar and you will notice, less than three months to finish four 100s. Don’t try and wrap your mind around that.

This year, there were 30 souls that started the Slam journey. We are down to 15 heading into the final adventure,  Wasatch Front 100. Oh, the adventure, the journey.

So this got me thinking of some slammin’ right here in our TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) region.

Did you know, we have eight trail 100s in our region of the country?!?

Yes – 8!

And every state is represented! Kind of groovy, don’t you think?

Let’s take a look at our TALON hundies.

Texas 100s

Rocky Raccoon 100

Credit: David Hanenburg

Credit: David Hanenburg

  • Date: January 31, 2015
  • Location: Huntsville, Texas (a short drive north of Houston)
  • 23rd annual event
  • website (Tejas Trails)

The Rocky Raccoon 100 is a flat to rollin’ scamper within the beautiful pineywoods of southeast Texas with 30 hours to cross the finish. A great running surface along with a few roots to keep it interesting. The course is 5 x 20 mile loops.

Fast, fast times have occurred on this course. The current course records are 12:44:33 by Ian Sharman for the boys in 2011, and a 14:57:18 by Jenn Shelton for the girls which has held strong since 2007.

This race is also one of the biggest 100s in the country with 486 starters last year. In 2015, Rocky will once again be the USATF 100 mile championship which will be sure to draw many fast tread from throughout the country.

Cactus Rose 100

Credit: David Hanenburg

Credit: David Hanenburg

  • Date: October 25, 2014
  • Location: Bandera, Texas (northwest of San Antonio)
  • 8th annual
  • website (Tejas Trails)

The Cactus Rose 100 lets you experience all the ruggedness of Texas Hill Country with a couple unique features – no food or volunteers at the aid stations. Yes, to water and ice. You have yourself a very laid back mostly self-supported scamper. An additional unique feature of the course is you run the 25 mile loops, alternating direction for each loop which can be a nice way to share support between all the runners and add a bit of extra jalapeno to the course flow.

36 hours to get it done!

Steven Moore holds the boys course record of 17:34:08, earned in 2012. Liza Howard has held onto the girls record since 2009, with a 21:02:00 finish.

Last year (2013), there were 112 starters.

Big Cedar 100

Credit: Libby Jones

Credit: Libby Jones

  • Date: November 21, 2014
  • Location: Dallas, Texas
  • Inaugural
  • website (The Active Joe)

The Big Cedar 100 takes place on the varied and mostly non-technical singletrack within the locally highly popular Big Cedar Wilderness Area. You will experience both beautifully wooded and open sections of running. The course is 25 mile loops and will contain some two-way traffic sections.

32 hour time limit.

Course records are waiting to be set!

Brazos Bend 100

Credit: Rob Goyen

Credit: Rob Goyen

  • Date: December 13, 2014
  • Location: Needville, Texas (Houston area)
  • Inaugural
  • website (Brazos Bend Trail Races)

Flat and Fast are two of the main words to describe the Brazos Bend 100 which directs runners throughout Brazos Bend State Park. A 25 mile loop where you may even see the American alligator.

If you have extra jalapeno in your tread, $1500 goes to the male to go sub 12:44, and female to go sub 14:57.

Another event with course records waiting to be set!

Arkansas

Arkansas Traveller 100 

Credit: Chrissy Ferguson

Credit: Chrissy Ferguson

  • Date: October 4, 2014
  • Location: Perryville, Arkansas (West of Little Rock)
  • 24th Annual
  • website (Run Arkansas)

The Arkansas Traveller 100 supports a playful weekend running through the Oauchita Mountains. 12,000 feet of total climbing as you traverse along singletrack, recreational trail, and dirt forest/jeep roads. Start with a 17 mile figure-eight loop before the 83 mile out-and-back scamper.

30 hour time limit.

Course records are help by James Kerby for the boys, in a time of 15:37:26 back in 2002, and a 17:13:10 by Ann Trason for the girls.

Louisiana

Cajun Coyote 100

Courtesy:

Courtesy: Jeffrey Beck

  • Date: December 6, 2014
  • Location: Ville Platte, Louisiana (south-central Louisiana)
  • at least the 4th annual
  • website (Forge Racing)

The Cajun Coyote 100 maintains a loose vibe as you run along varied, yet relaxed singletrack including a few boardwalks as you travel around Lake Chicot. The main loop is 20 miles. Knock it out five times.

30 hour time limit.

Course records appear to be held by Tetsuro Ogata for the boys, set in 2011 with a time of 18:38:00. The female record is held by Traci Falbo who knocked out a 20:38:00 in the same year.

Oklahoma

Pumpkin Holler 100

pumpkinholler100

Credit: David Hanenburg

  • Date: October 18, 2014
  • Location: Tahlequah, Oklahoma (east of Tulsa)
  • 4th annual
  • website (TATUR Racing)

The Pumkin Holler 100 leads you through the J.T. Nickel Preserve, which is one of the largest protected areas in the Ozarks. A non-technical scamper mostly on rolling gravel country roads with perty views of nature all around. Begin with a 6.7 mile out-and-back before putting together three 50km loops.

30 hour time limit.

The current course records were set in 2011 by Michael Adams in 16:47:17 and Rebecca Reynolds in 22:00:43.

New Mexico

Angel Fire 100

Credit: David Hanenburg

Credit: David Hanenburg

  • Date: June 21, 2014 (no date for 2015 yet)
  • Location: Angel Fire, New Mexico (northeast New Mexico)
  • 4th annual upcoming (2015)
  • website (Friends of Multisport)

The Angel Fire 100 takes place on Angel Fire resort property and includes a lush wooded singletrack loop followed by an out-and-back segment that includes a healthy grunt to the top of the ski mountain and down the backside along mountain dirt roads. Put together four loops for a 100 mile finish.

32 hour time limit.

Course records are help by Peter Livingstone in 27:24:53, and Megan Dell in 31:37:29 (the only female finisher to date).

Slammin’ TALON Style

So I had a little fun with this.

I would guess a slam in the 100 mile sense was originally intended as four races but then I noticed other slams that had six in them. So I decided to go with the spirit of the word as this crazy adventure and challenge of 100 mile trail races. So, the TALON slam ideas below contain anywhere from 3-5 hundies.

And if the ultra running gods begin to frown, we can always create our own meaning for slam or S.L.A.M. Feel free to share what this acronym should represent in the comments. This could be good.

What about these slam or S.L.A.M. ideas?

TALON Cinco Slam – Finish one 100 mile trail race from each state (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) within a calendar year. Yep, five of them.

This would look like:

  • Rocky Raccoon (Jan/Feb) OR Cactus Rose (Oct) OR Big Cedar (Nov) OR Brazos Bend (Dec)
  • Angel Fire (June)
  • Arkansas Traveller (Oct)
  • Pumpkin Holler (Oct)
  • Cajun Coyote (Dec)

TALON Lowlander Slam – Finish one trail 100 in each state (TX, AR, LA, OK) within a calendar year.

This would look like:

  • Rocky Raccoon (Jan/Feb) OR Cactus Rose (Oct) OR Big Cedar (Nov) OR Brazos Bend (Dec)
  • Arkansas Traveller (Oct)
  • Pumpkin Holler (Oct)
  • Cajun Coyote (Dec)

TALON Harvest Slam – Finish the three TALON 100 miles trail races in October within a calendar year.

This would look like:

  • Arkansas Traveller
  • Pumpkin Holler
  • Cactus Rose

TALON Mountaintop Slam – Finish the four toughest (most climbing) 100 mile trail races in the TALON region within a calendar year.

This would look like:

  • Angel Fire (June)
  • Arkansas Traveller (Oct)
  • Cactus Rose (Oct)
  • Big Cedar (Nov)

TALON Pronghorn Slam – Finish the four fastest (least climbing) 100 mile trail races in the TALON region within a calendar year.

This would look like:

  • Rocky Raccoon (Jan/Feb)
  • Pumpkin Holler (Oct)
  • Cajun Coyote (Dec)
  • Brazos Bend (Dec)

Lone Star Slam (light) Finish each of the four Texas trail 100 mile trail races within a calendar year.

This would look like:

  • Rocky Raccoon (Jan/Feb)
  • Cactus Rose (Oct)
  • Big Cedar (Nov)
  • Brazos Bend (Dec)

Lone Star Slam (heavy) Finish each of the four Texas trail 100 mile trail races within a 3-ish month window.

This would look like:

  • Cactus Rose (Oct)
  • Big Cedar (Nov)
  • Brazos Bend (Dec)
  • Rocky Raccoon (Jan/Feb, following calendar year)

Do you have any other TALON slam ideas?

We have ourselves quite a unique and varied set of 100s from the pancake flat to climbing above 10,000 feet and everything in-between. Our region is very diverse and adds to the rich collection of trail adventures and experiences within a day’s (or less) drive.

For a bit of fun, we may put together an Endurance Buzz page highlighting and tracking any of those courageous (or unstable enough, in a good way, mostly) to take on one of the slam ideas mentioned going forward.

Feel free to contact us with your TALON slam plans so we can cheer you on along the way.

Happy training, playing, and exploring our wonderful region and sport.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David – EnduranceBuzz.com

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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