The Interval, 11/22/17

The Eagle Peak Trail in Mt. Diablo State Park.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you are all planning to enjoy the holiday with friends and family, along with a good run.  I’ve been in northern California visiting family for the last week, so I missed out on the fun at Wild Hare.  I did get in a run at Mt. Diablo State Park and it was a blast, big views, long climbs, and a tricky single-track section along a ridge.  I have some reports on Wild Hare below, but first a comment on the men’s 25K.  I ran that race last year and finished in 5th with a time of 2:00.  This year that time would have been good only for 10th place.  The top 4 guys were all under the previous course record.

Andy Bitner ran the 10K at Wild Hare and he sent me a race summary:

The Tejas Trails Wild Hare races were held this past Saturday at Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda, TX.  Part of the fun was finding the ranch in rural Texas in the dark!  If you could find the ranch, you’d have no trouble navigating the course, which was extremely well marked – and it needed to be.  There wasn’t a ton of climbing, but the turns were constant for big stretches of the course which really made it a challenge to get into a rhythm.  The cold front held off for a few hours to make sure that all the racers got to enjoy one last fun humid race before winter hits.

The men’s 50 mile race was won by Joe Schmal and the women’s 50M crown taken by Robin Phelps.  The 50K women were led by Megan Reed, while Matt Smith paced the men.  One of the racing highlights of the day was the 25K where the top 4 men went under the course record with Ford Smith edging out Charles White, David Zuniga and Colin Hagen for the victory.  The other big highlight was 9 year old Stefania Fiorini winning the women’s 10K in 55:41.  

Some knucklehead (pictured below) took the men’s 10K crown, though that effort was dwarfed by his energy expended attempting to get a decent-looking selfie.  Judge for yourselves whether that was worth it or not (the selfie, not the race).  The race was totally worth it—Tejas Trails was up to their usual standard for the course and event.

Andy Bitner with his rabbit after winning the 10K at Wild Hare. Photo courtesy of Andy.

Congratulations and thanks to Andy!

I also emailed with race director Chris McWaters:

The main highlights were the 10K, which was won by a 9 year old, and the four guys who went under the previous 25K course record.  Ford Smith, while visiting from college in Colorado, came in and I jokingly told him I’d let him race if he won.  He held up his end of the bargain for sure.  Killed the old course record.  It was fun seeing that battle.

I really love putting on the Wild Hare Trail Run.  The Bluff Creek Ranch staff makes it so enjoyable and the whole event is super laid back.  This year was an absolute blast with great weather to enjoy the day, and even a few fun wind gusts that tried to send my finish line arch into orbit.  Camp Eagle kept the kids having a ball while their parents raced.  People hung out afterward enjoying the sunshine.  It was a total blast out there!

Below is a list of the winners.  Full results are here.  The next Tejas Trails event is the Mosaic Trail Run in Liberty Hill on December 2.

50 Mile
Robin Phelps: 9:48:53
Joe Schmal: 7:54:49

Shauna Dool: 4:38:35
Matt Smith: 4:05:06

Gina Zapata: 2:07:02
Ford Smith: 1:42:02

Stefania Fiorini: 55:41
Andy Bitner: 44:10

Interesting Articles

Fans of ultra running were on alert last weekend for news about The North Face 50M race near San Francisco.  Last year this event featured on epic duel between Hayden Hawks and Zach Miller, with Miller going all out in a sprint finish for the win.  Both runners were in the field this year, along with a bunch of other fasties.  Hawks and Miller took it out fast, joined by Tim Freriks.  It was Freriks that held on for the win, with an incredibly fast 6:02.  Miller was second  at 6:15 and Hawks third at 6:20.  Full coverage by iRunFar.

I enjoyed this realistic and humorous article from Outside:  How to Survive Your First 100-miler.

I’ve written about Back on My Feet a couple times recently.  Check out this article with great photos from Strava.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and, according to the NY Times, it’s the biggest running day of the year.

Upcoming Races

Austin and Georgetown have the annual Turkey Trot 5 milers tomorrow.  Good luck!