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The Duel Trail Race

Traveling? Find Local Trails!

We are honored and excited to welcome our newest contributor for the EB tribe, Susan Farago of Texas. Susan has a wide range of endurance sports experience along with a deep passion in introducing women into our sport.

Enjoy as Susan shares her first article on trails and traveling.


travelingSF2Trail runners are a naturally curious and adventurous bunch of folks, so when travel plans come up, take advantage of exploring a new neck of the woods! I took the opportunity to discover some new trails as well as revisiting some of my favorites while spending three weeks in Minnesota visiting family. Photos and related stories are at the end of this article.

To get started, there are many ways to find new trails:

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Ferdinand de Souza – Exploring the Unknown, Flip Flops, Peace, and the Hardrock 100

ferdinand-hr14

Credit: hardrock100.com

Ferdinand de Souza of New Mexico entered the running and trail running scene in Utah during the late 1970s. Ferdinand progressed through the distances and was intrigued by the challenge of the 100 mile distance, a journey into the unknown.

“Can I do this?”

After finishing his first 100 at Wasatch Front 100 back in 1986, Ferdinand also strung together his own slam of 100 mile races.

Gradually he drifted away from the sport before he and his wife, Diane, returned back to the sport in 2006.

Then the question returned.

“Can I do this?”

A finish at The Bear 100 in 2011 provided the answer – Yes!

At the age of 60, Ferdinand hit the ultra running jackpot with his name being pulled from the Hardrock 100 hat.

Enjoy as we chat about the early running days, reflections on our sport from past to present, and the 47+ hour journey to kiss the Hardrock.

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2014 Hardrock 100: Results and Reflections from our Tribe

100 miles by foot through the unforgiving and majestic beauty of the San Juan mountains of Colorado with the goal to kiss a large stone as your award. To kiss the Hardrock. 140 athletes from around the world attempted just that.

Clear Lake at 12,300 feet along the Hardrock 100 course. (Credit: John Fowler / https://flic.kr/p/f8UNtp)

Clear Lake at 12,300 feet along the Hardrock 100 course. (Credit: John Fowler / https://flic.kr/p/f8UNtp)

The Hardrock 100 is a trail running experience like no other in the United States.

Big climbs.

Big views.

And a community with a big heart.

At the beginning of each July, an intimate group begins their yearly pilgrimage to Silverton, Colorado. They arrive to acclimate to the altitude, help with course/event set-up, and simply hang-out with the Hardrock family surrounded by natural beauty until race day.

This year the TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) tribe laced up 14 sets of tread from three states. New Mexico was our largest group with nine runners. Followed by Texas with three and Arkansas with two.

All Tough-As-Nails!

David Coblentz (age 51) of New Mexico, led our tribe to kiss the Hardrock in 34:00:59.

Our final and wisest finisher was Ferdinand de Souza (age 60) of New Mexico, who stayed focused to the finish line in 47:04:30.

Our youngest finisher was lowlander John Sharp (age 36) of Texas who put together his fastest Hardrock finish so far, a 37:04:56.

Of special note, Ken Gordon of New Mexico also completed his fifth Hardrock this year.

Complete TALON Results

  • David Coblentz (NM) – 34:00:59
  • John Sharp (TX) – 37:04:56
  • Tyler Curiel (TX) – 37:47:26
  • Sean Cunniff (NM) – 38:50:19
  • Neil Blake (NM) – 38:52:02
  • Paul Tidmore (TX) – 40:08:36
  • Randy Isler (TX) – 41:35:03
  • Ken Gordon (NM) – 41:40:21
  • Kristen Kern (NM) –  41:52:48
  • Blake Wood (NM) – 42:22:12
  • Stan Ferguson (AR) – 42:41:59
  • Podog Vogler (AR) – 42:41:59
  • Susan Gardner (NM) – 46:46:24
  • Ferdinand de Souza (NM) – 47:04:30

Complete Hardrock 100 results


Hardrock Reflections

Enjoy as our Hardrock athletes graciously share some moments from their adventure.

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Exploring the Edges

olgak_articlesThere’s been a huge boom in organized trail ultramarathons and its participants in the last five years. It may have slowed down ever so slightly in the last year but the popularity keeps on growing. And nowadays, everybody and their grandmother wants to finish a trail ultramarathon – And it’s wonderful. It gets a lot of folks off the couches, out in the open, moving, setting goals, and reaching further than they did before. It allows for an opportunity to meet new people, hang out with the like-minded, share common ideas, trips, chats, and memories. A lot of folks jump into pursuing that wonderful goal of running a trail ultramarathon with both feet and no prior shorter trail race experience or a long trail outing. But believe it or not, these kind of experiences are helpful, fun, and you may want to do more of it once the golden days and hoopla of your own, or country’s trail ultras subside.

Sometime before Dean Karnazes’ book hit the bookshelves in early 2006, trail lovers did two things: they participated in short local trail races and they hiked/backpacked/peak-bagged in the mountains. You knew they loved the trails for real, even if they didn’t really feel the need to share their experiences over the internet or other means with their friends. They just needed to be out there, short or long.

One of my earlier years backpacking back in Russia (circa 1985)

One of my earlier years backpacking back in Russia (circa 1985)

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Jared Fetterolf – Overcoming Body Shutdown at Mile 15 to Finish the Badwater 135

Jared Fatterolf of Texas recently completed his first Badwater 135 in a time of 39:39:27. Jared starting ultra running about five years ago and has since completed twenty 100 mile or greater races including Lean Horse, Arkansas Traveller, Cactus Rose, Rocky Raccoon, The Bear, Burning River, Ozark Trail, Cruel Jewel, Viaduct Trail 150M, and a number of others. And Jared is only 25 years old! jaredf_badwater14b Enjoy our chat about the moment that reintroduced himself running, reflections on his early ultras, and his 135 mile Badwater adventure with his brother and friends crewing. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Badwater 135: Results and Reflections from our Tribe

Six courageous Texans were part of the 97 athletes that earned an entry to participate in this year’s global ultra endurance event called Badwater 135. Shoe bubbling temps above 100F, exposure, natural beauty, miles of pavement pounding exploration, and soul-stirring stars dancing overhead are all part of the lure of this historic foot race. This year’s event included a new course based out of Lone Pine, California due to the national parks system banning all athletic events in Death Valley. Over 17,000 feet of gain and 12,700 feet of descent, made this year a new experience for the veterans as much as the first-timers.

One of the unique aspects of this event is the critical role the required runner’s crew has in this adventure. There are no supported aid stations. Each crew shadows their runner throughout the journey (in a vehicle) for up to 48 hours, providing food, fluids, emotional and physical support. Quite the experience for everyone involved.

Badwater first-timer, Steve Maliszewski, led the Tejas train and crossed the finish line in 35:49:58.

Our final finisher was Badwater veteran, Kim Budzik, who completed the scamper up to Mt. Whitney in 46:50:34.

Our youngest finisher was 25 year old, Jared Fetterolf.

Complete Results from our Texans

  • Steve Maliszewski - 35:49:58
  • Phil Nimmo - 36:23:41
  • Jared Fetterolf - 39:39:27
  • Parvaneh Moayedi - 46:06:10
  • Kimberlie Budzik - 46:50:34
  • David Coats – mile 91

Complete results for the race.


Badwater Reflections

Enjoy as our Badwater athletes graciously share some moments from their adventure.

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Simple Movement Tweak to Reduce Effort and Increase Pace When Power-Hiking a Crazy Grade

Legs and lungs screamin’.

Approaching two hours and over 2,000 feet of mostly continuous climbing up Angel Fire Mountain during the Angel Fire 50km. Getting so close to the nearly 11,000 ft crest.

The course led us runners next to the chairlift taking mountain bikers to the top of the mountain. Oh, the conversation they must have had watching all us runners slowly working our way to the same destination but…by foot.

The foot race veers left and we grunt our way up a loose, gravel type road/trail that has its own gnarly pitch.

Traction becomes an issue.

Move your weight a little too much forward and your foot loses traction and slides out from underneath you.

Move your weight too far back…well, that would hurt.

It was slow going.

A fellow runner slowly and progressively moves by me during the climb. We wish each other well with the small bit of air we were willing to give to such a task.

The grade continues to increase to such a level that my heels were not able to touch the ground. My forefoot was the only contact point which further reduced my traction and control, and also put some crazy tension on my calves. It was like doing constantly loaded calf raisers.

Have you been on such a trail?

You have to laugh. Then swear. Then laugh some more. At least the calves haven’t cramped.

And then this idea bubbled up.

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