Big Bend Conservancy
2019 BigBendChat Calendar on sale now!
Undertaker wrote: Running in Houston, you have to figure the added weight of your weapon and bullets. Dont forget the weight of the body armor.
I ran the 25k on Sunday and finished just as the rain began. I was very concerned about getting back to RGV as I wanted to head home to be back to work on Monday. I think I was in the third van back and the road was very slick. We made it back OK and we quickly showered, ate the post race lunch and headed back out 1 pm. Hopefully the others made it out OK. Anyone aware of any issues with getting people back?
The race itself went very well for me. For one thing I wasn't running in any rain. The weather was very similar to last year, about 48 at the start, cloud cover for most of the run. One thing better was the last 3 mile section leading down to the finish. Last year this stretch consisted of loose gravel and was very tough running. With the recent rains the gravel seemed more compacted and was a lot easier.
Race Report: Big Bend Ultra Race, 50 K, 14 JanuaryJump to Comments 3rd Annual Big Bend Ultra Race 50 KM14 January, 2007, Big Bend National Park.Facts: Run for the 3rd year (2nd as a 50K) by Carroll Voss, FleetFeet San Antonio. Superbly organized in a remote part of the park. Carroll is a conscientious and curious RD who can put together a fine race and knows a lot ab out the natural history of the region where we ran. Well-stocked aid stations. Runners came from AZ, NM, CO, OK, TX and other parts. Race web site:http://www.bigbend50.com/I arrived in the park the night before, met a bunch of the race volunteers and director at the Rio Grande Village group campground, got my packet, vis ited for a while and crashed in the back of my truck. Up the next morning at 5 AM to eat a couple of PB&J’s + some day-old but still warm-out-of-the-thermos coffee. Then geared up and headed to the vans that ferried the runners about 16 miles up the paved road to the start at the entrance to Glenn Springs/Black Gap jeep trail. The race was 31 miles of rocky, dirt, gravel a nd muddy jeep trails through some gorgeous slots, desert plateaus, and hummocky siltstone ‘badlands’-style topography. There was also a 25 K that started about an hour later, followed part of the same course, and ended at the same finish. The 50 K had about 36-40 runners, while the 25 K had about 90= -100 runners.The aid stations were spaced about 4-5 miles apart and had the usual water,Heed, M&M’s, pretzels, bananas, PB&J’s and other ultra fare and the volunteers were very Texas friendly. There were Hamm radio operators keeping track of runners progress and tent-style portapotties at every aid station. It’s a testament to the fine organizational skills of RD Carroll Voss and his army of volunteers to pull off such a well-organized and well-stocked event along a remote and rugged 4?4 road deep in the heart of Big Bend National Park.The race began as soon as there was enough light so that we didn’t need headlamps. I would’ve preferred a start in the dark as it’s always invigorating and inspiring to begin a long run in the dark, under the stars, and watch the first light cross the sky from east to west. The course begins at abou t 3200′ on a pediment on the east side of the Chisos mountains and finishes at about 1900′ - net drop of about 1300′. The view is spectacular with the cliffs of the Chisos reflecting the morning light on the west and the sunrise over the Sierra del Carmen to the east. The horizon was crystalline and sharp. But, this hideous cold front was fast approaching from the west-northwest and soon after the start clouds began to roll in from the west. The majority of the race was under clouds and a bit of rain. Not too windy though, which was a blessing.I started in the back of the front pack and soon found myself solo between the two packs. At the first aid station (mile 4.7 or so) I ran with a fella named Rudy from Fort Worth. A triathalete and marathoner, he was new to ultras and was curious about my (limited) experience with the distances beyond 26.2. He kept a healthy, sub-9 minute pace, and I enjoyed the conversation and so ran with him to the next aid at about 9 miles. While talking I was thinking that this was a little too fast for my race plan, but I was enjoy ing the conversation and company and so I figured I’d just get some rest in the middle of the run by slowing down and doing a little walking for 30 seconds or a minute every couple of miles. At about 11 miles we separated and I was again solo. At this point we entered the ‘Black Gap’ region which is a sort of ‘badlands’ style topography underlain by yellow, brown, and grey siltstone. The jeep trail cuts across and through various igneous landform s making interesting dark wind gaps and slot canyons - hence the name, Black Gap. This part of the trail was most spectacular for me in terms of the interesting and diverse topography. I was also running solo though some times leap-frogging with a fellow who would walk-run, and so I enjoyed the time alone feeling strong and taking in the scenery.After this topographically exciting stretch with both up and down hills there is a long stretch of flat on a pediment. This got a little boring but I was feeling strong and I could see the next aid station a few miles away. This gave me a goal to run to and my legs were strong so I upped the pace. Got to the 16.8 or so station, then the 2.4 mile out-and-back put me at 19.3 miles and a handful of Gummy-Bears - my new favorite race delight! At this point the weather headed south and I got some rain. The trail turned north along a gentle climb around Mariscal Mountain (a north-trending, breached anticline) and so the rain came straight at my face. Pulled the brim of my visor down and watched the silt turn to mud on the trail. Came around Mariscal narrows - or whatever it’s called - and saw the historical ruins of the mercury/cinnabar mine and then realized that there was one more aid station at about 25 miles. During the last 10 miles I passed three runners which gave me a boost and also something in my sites to shoot for. Between mile 25 and the finish the trail follows a meandering track through siltstone badlands and the therefore was full of mud! This made for a mixture of running and sliding and, most challenging of all, added significant weight to my feet in the form of mud caked on my shoes and gators. I thought of my friend, Jay Freeman and his creed which I now claim to be mine as well, ‘relentle ss forward progress’, and perceived the added weight of the mud as a challenge to further strengthen my legs during the last few miles of the race.This was a significant part of the race as it is where I began wondering what is the point of doing this? I had been hoping to break a certain time - 6 hours (I know, not very fast to many of you) - and, although I had plenty of cushion, I began to wonder what was the point in finishing sub-6 versus 5:30 versus whatever… I kept running cuz my legs felt strong, but I really had a mental pause where I questioned the point of doing this.During this interval I passed a young fella and then soon after I turned a corner and over a knoll could see the finish banner in the distance on a plateau. This deflated the negative thoughts and I got psyched for the finish. The last 1.2 miles, or so follow a gentle drainage heading down toward the Rio Grande River. Then, with about a quarter mile left, the road turns north and heads up a hill to the finish. The hill provided a fine and triumphant last challenge to a beautiful, serene, and pensive race for me. I finished in 5:27:20; a 10:54/mile pace - faster than I was hoping, but slower th an I’d like (story of my life). The race was won by a fella who finished in 4:17. My time of 5:27 would’ve put me in the top 10 in last years race, but this year I do not know the final stats yet, but my guess is that I’m closer to the top 15 or 20 of 36+ runners. Not bad, but I have to accept my plodding pace (at least for now).ReflectionsThis was my second ‘official’ ultra race, the first being the Palo Duro Trail 50 miler, and once again I shot for a strong finish. This one went very well. In fact, I don’t think I pushed hard enough during the beginning and middle of the race; so I had too much energy at the end, though my mind was tired, my legs felt strong. Between the Palo Duro race on 21 October and 1=4 January, I probably logged about 50 miles TOTAL spread over running on a tread mill, three out door runs on grass, stairmaster sessions, and one sta irs session at the Texas Tech football stadium. I had to limit my running d ue to left ITB frictional syndrome and minor PF in both feet. So, I did not really train for this event in any serious way with the following exception. I did begin a lower body weight training regimen in November involving s quats, curls, extensions, etc. and I attribute this work out plan to the improved leg strength I had during the race. I did not have any significant l ingering pains such as the ITB which negatively affected me during the last12 miles of the PD50 race. I attribute this to the weight training.Next time, with better aerobic and running training I hope to break the 5 hour time on this course. My only disappointment was the negative mental cloud that circled over me at about 27 miles. I had not experienced this durin g the 50 miler. I wonder what it will be like when I do 100 miles…by Aaron YoshinobuNext up, Grasslands 50 Mile on 24 March.
Thursday, February 1st, 2007...9:06 amIraq vet shatters 25K RECORD AT BIG BEND ULTRA RUNSAN ANTONIO, Texas: Army helicopter pilot and Iraq war veteran Capt. Luke Craven blasted more than ten minutes off the time for Big Bend Ultra Run 25K race in the third annual run through the desert in Big Bend National Park.“This is a time that should stand for awhile,” said race director P. Carroll Voss. Capt. Craven finished the rugged course at 1:42:45. Last year, Mike Dunleavy finished at 1:53:13.“I sincerely mean this,” the 28-year-old Harker Heights resident said. “This is the greatest race I ever had the privilege of being in.”Denver resident Paul Grimm came in first overall. The 38-year-old runner finished the 50K at 4:17:13.“I enjoyed the scenery, the mountains. I kept waiting for the dinosaurs to come out,” said Mr. Grimm. “The volunteers … awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The food was great. I look forward to coming back.”41-year-old Jana Curry finished first in the 50K Women’s Division. The Port Lavaca, Texas, resident finished at 6:07:26. Women’s 25K division winner Sarah Slezk finished with 2:10:03.“I really enjoyed it,” the 24-year-old San Antonio resident said.Temperatures on the January 14th race day stayed in the fifties throughout the race. 25K runners had a great day. 50K runners ran into rain and blustery winds before the end of the day. Fortunately, for the third year in a row, there were no major injuries among the 127 runners.Big Bend Ultra Run competitors take on primitive, four-wheel drive roads in Big Bend National Park. The trails include Glenn Springs Road, Black Gap Road, Juniper Canyon Road and River Road. The course has a net drop of 1,400 feet (426.7 meters).The Big Bend Ultra Run is the only race of its type run in a national park. To minimize the impact on the park, organizers a and runners must follow strict rules, including a zero tolerance anti-litter policy. Race organizers also must set up portable toilets at each aid station along the rugged roads.Race officials estimate that this year the run will donate about $3,000 to the Friends of Big Bend National Park. The group helps fund park improvements and programs, and promotes the national park.2007 Big Bend 50 ResultsLAST NAME FIRST NAME SEX DISTANCE AGE RACE # FINISH TIME OVERALL RANKGrimm Paul M 50K 38 17 4:17:13 1WHITAKER BERT M 50K 46 40 4:25:20 2FINNIE MITCH M 50K 42 15 4:38:17 3COE MIKE M 50K 55 10 4:41:52 4Gora Keith M 50K 32 16 4:42:08 5Ort Matthew M 50K 24 26 4:46:21 6Bumgardner Todd M 50K 35 4 4:53:35 7Herrera Rodolfo M 50K 31 19 5:00:20 8SLAUGHTER SEAN M 50k 34 35 5:05:05 9Barker Scott M 50K 55 2 5:23:07 10Yoshinobu Aaron M 50K 37 41 5:27:20 11Pruitt Greg M 50k 31 28 5:28:42 12Villarreal Osvaldo M 50K 33 39 5:47:16 13Hendricks Chris M 50K 36 18 5:47:34 14MURDOCK IAN M 50K 46 25 5:47:40 15Peters Drew M 50k 41 27 5:55:25 16Thon Jeff M 50k 45 37 5:59:00 17Derrick William M 50k 34 14 6:03:20 18Cronk William M 50K 49 11 6:06:49 19Rampy Bob M 50K 50 29 6:17:22 20Riggins Dennis M 50K 58 31 6:25:55 21Ratliff Douglas M 50K 37 30 6:43:52 22Baker James M 50K 58 1 7:08:41 23Lavender Leo M 50k 67 22 7:08:41 24Cobos Jesus M 50k 47 8 7:18:12 25Riggins Chad M 50K 33 32 7:23:15 26LaRue Bobby M 50K 34 21 7:24:35 27Christian Anthony M 50K 48 7 28CARR RICK M 50K 50 6 29Large Kyle M 50K 50 20 30ROBERTS RICKY M 50K 51 33 31Stake Dan M 50K 51 36 32MCCART MAX M 50k 54 24 33Black David M 50K 55 3 34LAST NAME FIRST NAME SEX DISTANCE AGE RACE # FINISH TIME OVERALL RANKCurry Jana F 50K 41 12 6:07:26 1Canchola Gloria F 50K 46 5 6:47:20 2Dennis Melody F 50K 48 13 6:47:20 2MCCART NINA F 50k 53 23 7:44:40 3COE NANCY F 50K 50 9 7:45:53 4Truhn Pamela F 50K 47 38
All photographs and content posted by members are to be considered copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be used for any purposes, commercial or otherwise, without permission.