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Bee Stings and Twisted Ankles, 500 Miles of Cactus Rose, and the Art of Stealth Running – Our Chat with Chris Russell


If you have played at Texas trail races, you have likely seen, heard, and even chatted with Chris Russell.

Standing at six foot big inches tall with a size 15 tread, Chris’s booming voice and welcoming smile has been know to share a story or two across the trail miles.

Chris played competitive hoops through his college years for the United States Air Force Academy as one of the big men of the team.

After school, exercise faded from his life until a humbling encounter while climbing Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, Arizona relit the movement fire. Chris began running 3.5 mile loops around the corn fields surrounding his home in Illinois and started exploring the trails to feed that growing internal hunger for adventure.

Besides the simple enjoyment of running in nature, being involved with its community provides a deep sense of happiness and belonging.

Enjoy our chat from this Spring after running 26 miles at Pandora’s Box of Rox Trail Run in central Texas.



Celebrating 500 miles of Cactus Rose.

Our chat includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • how Chris Russell saved my first Bandera 100k finish
  • the highlight in Chris’s college basketball career that included a future NBA Hall of Fame center
  • the awakening on Piestewa Peak
  • the journey back to running and exploring the trails
  • memories from that first trail race
  • the 50k race filled with over-adventure that surprisingly hooked Chris on the sport
  • why the miles seem to easily pass by on the trails
  • Chris’s 500 miles of the Cactus Rose Trail Run
  • Team RWB Trail Running Camp memories as a camp mentor
  • Chris shares his dreamy trail shoe wish-list
  • his “ideal” weekly training schedule
  • 3 trail running tips to reduce finish times and create smiles
  • some favorite running and adventures reads
  • the 26M adventure at Pandora’s Box of Rox that includes a sprint finish. Oh my!

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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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