The Interval, 5/2/18

Lucas Manring leading the 10K race at The Tangle. Photo courtesy of Rogue and AzulOx.

We’ve had a beautiful spring for running in central Texas, surprisingly long lasting with some cool mornings still in late April.  Hopefully this continues into early May.  On Sunday, I was one of the lucky trail runners enjoying the spring conditions at The Tangle, the second race in the Rogue Trail Series.  Over 200 people finished either the 10K or the 30K, held on the trails at Flat Creek Ranch, near Pedernales Falls State Park.

Moses Luevano striding for the 30K win. Photo courtesy of Rogue and AzulOx.

I arrived early, in plenty of time to cheer for the 30K runners starting the first of their 3 loops at 7am.  The 10K started at 7:30 and we charged off, close together on the singletrack.  The first 2 miles were mostly downhill but technical, with rocks, roots, and lots of turns.  The field started to thin out after the creek crossing and the tunnel and I passed several people in miles 3 and 4 as we hit some uphill sections.  I was trying to keep up with Allison Brickley, but she was stronger over the last 2 miles.  I was still happy with my mile splits, between 7:20 and 7:55, and that I didn’t get passed.

Allison went on the win the women’s 10K in 44:40.  Second place was Chris Kimbrough in 45:15 with Elaine Chung third in 48:00.  The women’s masters winner was Christine Knight in 1:03:56.  Chris won the first race in the series by a couple seconds over Allison, so it looks like Allison has the advantage going in to the final race next month at The Ranch.

The men’s 10K winner was Lucas Manring, competing in his first trail race.  He ran the fastest 10K loop of the day in 39:09.  Second and third place was close, with Tim Bayliss winning in 42:20 by 4 seconds over Kurt Mohlman.  I was the masters winner in 44:56.

Jennifer Marley and Emily Ballenger running the 10K. Photo courtesy of Rogue and AzulOx.

Chris and I did a short cool down run and then joined the crowd at the finish line, drinking beer, eating pizza, and cheering for the 30K runners.

The women’s 30K was close, with the top 3 all within about 5 minutes.  Kristen Chau won in 2:48:43, about 40 seconds ahead of Leann Scott.  Sarah Van Hoose was third in 2:53:58.  The masters winner was Karen Smith in 3:48:00.  Leann was the winner at The Maze, so this looks like another good competition for the series win at The Ranch.

The top 2 men’s 30K runners were also switched from The Maze, with Moses Luevano winning in 2:00:44, outpacing Mike Kurvach by nearly 5 minutes.  Kyle Norman was third in 2:17:06.  The masters winner was Steven Moore in 2:23:42.

Steven Moore looking forward to that first Lonestar. Photo courtesy of Rogue and AzulOx.

Rogue had all their usual amenities:  well marked course, good organization, pizza and beer at the finish.  The aid station only had water because someone stole all the food supplies and tents during the night.  Volunteers Amy and Brandon helped out as best they could, but some of the 30K runners could have used some more support.

Full results are here.

Like many runners, I stuck around for a few hours after the race, enjoying the beautiful setting, a couple cold beers, and pizza from JJ Tiscareno and Steve Sisson.  Some of the conversations I recall:

Moses Luevano and Mike Kurvach talking about their race and upcoming events.  Moses is going for a PR at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth next month.  Mike will run the Schrader Mile this weekend, following up on his new 5K PR of 14:48 from the Penn Relays last week.  I’ll watch for some more fast running from these guys at The Ranch.

Matt Fletcher and I complimented fellow TrailRoots runner Laura Gilmour on her recovery cowboy boots, a good look with running gear.

Krysten Tucker and Jake Barrett, describing their Boston Marathon experiences.

Michael Langer on his Rogue Expeditions Morocco trip.

Michael Langer running the 30K. Photo courtesy of Rogue and AzulOx.

A bunch of Tangle runners sent me their thoughts on the race:

Art Cook, 10K:  What a great event!  It was really cool having the 10K runners cheering us 30Kers on while they downed some cold Real Ale brews and hot Sisson pizza slices.

Steven Moore, first masters 30K:  Good times at The Tangle! Happy to play some chase with friends in the woods anytime! Ran smart and had some good lap splits, felt good at the end still and even better after a few beers in the sun. I ran all 3 Rogue 30K Trail Series races back in 2008 so I decided to hit all 3 again 10 years later. Two down and one to go!

Michael Langer, 30K:  I love the Rogue Trail Racing Series, because it’s an opportunity to catch up with Austin area runners that I would not normally see in my neck of the woods (i.e. any woods). In the previous two years, I ran the 10K in all three races of the series. This year, I am missing Race #1 The Maze and Race #3 The Ranch, due to scheduling conflicts, so to make it up, I ran three loops (30K) in Race #2 (The Tangle) last Sunday. The first of my three loops was delightfully short. Race Director Steve Sisson believes in effort-based training (and course marking) rather than relying on GPS technology. Unfortunately, he pulled his calf muscle, so the effort required per unit of distance marking the course was bigger, ending up with a shorter course, while keeping the total effort on target. The second of my three loops treated me to a course side seat to the first place battle royale between Moses Luevano and Mike Kurvach, who both lapped me. Mike was tired after his awesome showing at the Penn Relays the previous weekend, so he didn’t appear to be really going after it. Or maybe the gap between them just appeared bigger for me, since I was also making forward progress along the course, however slowly. By the time I was struggling through the third of my three loops, the cows came home. Literally. They left some room to get by and were looking forward to chasing runners for fun, but I was too slow to make it interesting for them. so they just rolled their eyes and continued to fiber-load.

Krysten Tucker, 10K:  I was up every hour on the hour. So, at 4 I decided to go run The Tangle. In order to make sure I ran easy, I started at the very back of the pack. Perfect weather and a beautiful course made for an awesome run. Best part of the Tangle? Beer, booty dancing and cowbells at the finish. Then of course, Texas country and back roads all the way home.

Chris Kimbrough, second place 10K:  The Tangle is my favorite of the trail series.  Pedernales is one of my favorite trail runs in the Austin area, both technical and challenging. My favorite part of the morning was watching Mike Kurvach take 2nd in the 30K after running a 5K track PR 3 days prior in 14:48!

Allison Brickley, first place 10K:  The Tangle trail was awesome and kept you on your toes! Technical, hilly, and pretty scenery like the rocks then a cave. It was a fun one to race and as always with great community! Mile 4 uphill was a killer…

Paul Rademacher, 10K:  The Tangle 10K was filled with technical trails but also had some fast stretches.  It was a competitive field with both veteran trail runners and rookies alike.  I think the big separator was 1 or 2 late hills on tired legs.

Laura Gilmour, fourth place 30K:  Rogue Trail Race series couldn’t have ordered more perfect weather for the Tangle than what we got on Sunday. A great trail, lively competition in the women’s 30K field, and that chill post-race atmosphere I love from Rogue & Spectrum trail racing events. Excited for the adventure The Ranch brings next month!

Yetik Serbest is all smiles as he finishes the 10K. Photo courtesy of Rogue and AzulOx.

Julia Howell, 30K:  I actually decided on Saturday morning to run the Tangle, I’m running my first marathon at the Switchback in a few weeks and knowing that the Tangle is in the same place I figured it would be a good confidence boost. And it totally was, I was lucky to have a few friends and running buddies out there to give a quick hug, fist bump or even a quick “doing good” that helped push me through each loop. And mostly, I was grateful for the oven roasted pizza that I got to take with me for the ride home! 🙂

Lucas Manring, first place 10K:  That race was fun for 2 miles and quickly knocked me on my ass for the remaining 4..ish. The hills are no joke. That was my first trail race outside the Spectrum Vagabond and it was a BLAST. Full of great runners, cold beer, and great stories. Can’t wait for the next one!

Jake Barrett, 30K:  Flat Creek is my favorite course of the Rogue Trail Series to run. The trail course is challenging, but has a good flow to it compared to the other two. I can’t wait for Reveille where I think the community experience is the best of the three.

Peter Flemings, 30K:  It was a glorious Hill Country morning….for 2 laps!

Pat Legate, 10K:  Those weren’t real stalactites.  Me: Cups?  Amy:  You’ll need to suckle that like a baby calf.   It was a great trail run!

Yetik Serbest, 10K:  I felt great that morning, running like dancing, and feeling good, until the 30K guys started passing vzzzz by me.  Chatting and drinking and eating after the race make it all worthwhile.

Peter Flemings fighting for the 30K finish. Photo courtesy of Rogue and AzulOx.

Interesting Articles

Some big news for trail runners, the Skyrunner group has announced a 2018 series of races for the US, with Rob Goyen of TROT as the director.  Each of the 5 events will include an ultra, a shorter race, and a vertical kilometer.  The last event is in November in the Franklin Mountains near El Paso.

Magda Boulet won the 2018 Marathon Des Sables, a 250K multiday race in the Sahara Desert.  Be sure to read her excellent race report on iRunFar.

From the NY Times, some analysis on the reasons why fewer women than men drop out of long races.  The drop rate at Boston was ~5% for men but only ~3.8% for women.

I have some more friends running the R2R2R route at the Grand Canyon this week.  Here is a good article from Outside about this run.

Also from Outside, an article on the history and methods of qualifying a Fastest Known Time or FKT, and a funny article on the lengths some people will go to earn and claim a FKT.

I’ve run some trails in Ireland, but not yet on the Wicklow Way.  After reading this article, I need to organize a group and go.  Check out the picture of Lake Guinness.

Upcoming Races

For the anti-running crowd, a 0.5K road race in Boerne.  This event includes an aid station with coffee and donuts plus a post-race party at a local brewery. (H/T to Andy Bitner)

The 11th annual Schrader Mile is this Saturday at Williamson County Park.  Mike Kurvach told me about this race.  Anyone can enter and they will have multiple heats based on your goal time.  The main purpose is to give high school runners who did not qualify for the State championships an end-of-season event.  There is also a heat for elite runners.  The meet record is 4:01.

On Saturday trail runners can pick between Pandora’s Box of Rox (8M, 13M, 26M, 52M) at Reveille Peak Ranch or the Wildflower Trail Run (5K, 10K, 13M, 25K, 26M, 50K) at Bastrop State Park.  I’ll be running the 8M at Pandora.

May 12 is the Texas Switchback Trail Race.  10K, half marathon, and marathon events all at Flat Creek Ranch, near Pedernales Falls State Park.

The Austin Runner’s Club is hosting the Daisy 5K on Saturday, May 19 at Camp Mabry. You can get a 10% discount by using the code MK18.