Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lake Bixhoma--one of NE Oklahoma's best kept secrets--and I'm spilling the beans.

I needed a decent run--some quality time on my feet moving in some sort of forward motion. Since it rained a half a foot on Friday, running at Turkey Mountain seemed like a squishy idea. So I decided to go to my favorite place to run in spite of wet conditions--Lake Bixhoma. I had put out the word to a few friends and about six of us expressed an interest in coming, but life as it often does had other plans and three of us showed up to play.
Picture by Johnna Ellison
A gravel road runs around 2/3 of the lake. I always park at the point where it's around halfway in either direction and it is truly relatively-to-actually flat. A nice bonus was a freshly delivered porta-potty to replace the recently demolished bathrooms. I have no problems using a tree, but there are times when a clean porta-pot is just the bee's knees. Johnna and Bryan-formerly-known-as-Mitch (BfkaM from henceforth) wee about 15 minutes behind me. I took that time to take a few pictures and run what would turn into some hill repeats. The road leading down to the lake is a steep descent, and it's a great place to do hill training.

[I have a hard and fast rule about hill repeats. If you only go up and own one time--folks--it's not a repeat. It's just a Peat. Do it twice and you've done a repeat. But do not make the mistake of saying you did hill repeats--you have not. Repeats is plural, and you must do a =third one to claim repeats status. Three or more = repeats. Two = a repeat. One is just a peat.]

I also managed to take a few pictures of waterfalls before my buddies got here. Bixhoma had received a ton of rain--more than Tulsa I bet. These falls were awesome, but I knew the falls below the lake would be amazing. You could hear them a quarter mile away.

On the west side of the lake--years ago, some boy scouts had begun cutting the Ichabod Crane Trail. It went from the gravel road up a steep ascent and just dead-ended. It remained that way for years, but today there was a new sign at the trailhead. We were up for some semi-muddy climbing and were surprised to find a lollipop loop trail about a half mile in distance with 113 feet of ascent.

With the west out and back done, we went for the east side. This side takes you across the dam and to a locked gate which we ran around. at the end of what remains of a gravel-turned-double track trail, the beginnings of some single track was started a few years ago. Last winter (13-14 months ago) Johnna and I plowed our way through some newly flagged trails and made it maybe as much as a half mile before we lost sight of any further ribbons. Today, it did not look like anyone had dome any more work on it. The tall grass (weeds and briars) kept us from venturing out. As cold and wet as it was, Johnna had collected a tick already. I am usually a tick magnet and had not sprayed or anything. we'd just get our miles in some other way.

On the way back, we took a road that went u a nice hill through the woods to a Fred-Flinstone sort of campground. Someone had made a couple of chairs out of huge rocks. Since we were here last, it looked like a second chair was forthcoming as there was a huge pile of newly acquired large flat rocks. A, so a massive firepit was constructed, and had well-contained a few campfires recently. I have always thought the rock chair looked like an altar. I always look to see if I ee any remains of spilled blood on it. To play out my fantasy, BfkaM holds a dagger (which looks very much like a water bottle) high in the air before plunging it into the sacrificial redhead. Oh--it was just acting folks!

From there, we hit the falls. It was a muddy descent to the edge of the stream at the base f the falls--steep enough that I wondered if we were making a good decision going all the way down to the water's edge. But we did make it and it was worth the trip. There was much picture taking, and I could hardly hear our conversation over the roar of the falls.

A  nice cloud of fog rose from the white water cascading over the 30n foot drop. We talked about tubing down this, kayaking, hamster balling. Of course, these falls are non-existent unless the lake is full from a heavy rain.

Mitch had to get home so Johnna and I headed back up the big hill and continued on north down a long gentle descent about two miles from where we parked. From three, we tackled what looked like an interesting hill to the east. A narrow paved road appeared to just go straight up into the clouds. There was a locked gate but an obvious trail where foot traffic and ATV traffic skirted around the gate--and there weren't any NO TRESPASSING or POSTED signs. That's like saying "Yall come on in, ya hear?" This climb was 173' in a quarter mile.and was possibly the steepest paved road I've ever been on. I don't see how a car could even climb the route when the road was wet. The trip back down was not a run at all. It would have been easy to have your feet slip out from under you resulting it a face or butt plant.

I'm not the biggest fan of running on the road, but these roads weren' all that bad. We did flip sides several times to cars coming u behind us and such. Then there's the paparazzi that pulls up and starts taking our pictures. Turns out it was friendly fire--none other that Clint Green who evidently saw my Facebook posts of the waterfalls and decided to come see for himself. We chatted with him for a few minutes both times whe passed us.

Johnna and I both wanted 15 miles for the day so we had to tack on another couple out-and-backs at the lake.

I seized the opportunity to Storm the Dam (running down the steep embankment only to trudge back up) but not before taking a couple pictures to document the deed.

I ended up with 15.66 miles with multiple stops for bathroom breaks, Clint Green breaks, petting dog breaks, picture taking breaks, refilling water bottles, shedding clothes, putting clothes back on, etc. We conquered 2,156 feet of vertical--which looks good on an elevation profile. ;-)

The City of Bixby has recently been putting a bit of money into updating the facilities here. It seems like a new bathroom might be on the agenda. They have already added a few picnic tables and a huge gazebo on the SW corner of the lake perched on a raised knoll with a spectacular view of the lake and the evening sunset. The three of us talked about having an organized group outing here sometime and cooking some breakfast stuff for after the run. Let's do it before it gets too hot!!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

McGee Creek Misadventure

Sunday morning after I ran all day and night at the Spring Fling 24 hour event in Coalgate I decided to make a third try at finding the trailz at McGee Creek. I tried once before and gave up when I found it was quite a bit further from HWY 69 than I thought; then the next time I made it to the lake, but could not find more than a 2-mile loop. It turns out that the hiking trailz are on the far east side of the serpentine snake-tongue-shaped lake. This time, I zoomed in on my google map app and dropped a pin where the trail head was, and it took me right to the place. The park office should have been closed, but a park ranger guy was there doing some maintenance on the building. He answered a few question that I had and gave me a paper brochure/map.

He suggested a few different route options leaning toward the shorter distances I think because I was moving quite slow getting out of my truck and was wearing blue jeans and clown shoes (Hokas--I'm sure he expected any legitimate hiker would have hiking boots.)

The trailhead was right behind the park office. It was a safe place to park, which I liked. I still had my Salomon pack bladder filled, and my trekking poles handy. I was accidentally prepared. Entering the trail, right away, I knew I had found a trail running paradise. These forest service roads (more like jeep road) were cushioned by pine needles from tall pines and on this foggy day, the treetops seemed to disappear into the low cloud cover.

About a half mile down a gradual downhill, it started raining-- but again, I was accidentally prepared. At LandRun a few weeks ago I had packed a contractor trash bag and had cut arm holes and a tight neckline opening as well. My homemade poncho hanging down halfway between my knees and feet was sufficient but would have been perfect with a sash. The rain was steady and actually heavy at times yet I was dry and toasty. 

At one point I came upon a rock among many on the trail that was shaped like a face. Someone had placed two small forks on it where the eyes would have been--sort of a cairn--sorta creepy, kinda cool. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but it was raining too hard.

My plan was to run the South Rim Trail to where it intersected the Little Bugaboo Creek Trail and take that back to the main trail that led back to the park office--a 4-mile round I figured. 
Reaching the bottom of a long descent (about 1.5 miles) I had my first water crossing that was easily traversed thanks to well-placed rocks. Then I had a steeper climb that topped out 3/4 of a mile later by a section line fence. I followed the fence line to the left for 100 feet and then the trail veered left from the fence line and back down another hill. Finally, I popped out in a clearing that was actually an equestrian camping area. No horses, but I had noticed a little horse poop here and there.

Checking my map, I saw that I could stay on the South Rim Trail for about a half-mile up a pretty good climb to the Bugaboo Creek Canyon overlook. I was game for that--I'd have 5-mile trip instead of a 4-miler. But after a half mile, I was still climbing and seeing nothing that looked like an overlook--and the rain was really coming down.

Finally, after 3/4 of a mile, I saw a faint trail leading over to a rock outcropping and what must have been the overlook. It was good for a few pictures. These huge boulders towered 50-60' above the valley floor below. It seemed like such a good place to explore, but I did not have an unlimited budget of time, and it was getting sloppy wet.

On this dreary day, I couldn't capture the majesty of this place. Whereas I'd normally spend time looking for creative camera angles that caught the essence of the towering rocks, today my phone was getting wet.

Leaning over the edge, I found out that these rocks were pretty slick, so rock scrambling for me today.

From there, I had a 3/4 mile run back down to the horse camp clearing, and on to the Little Bugaboo Creek trail.

This was pure single track, and for a while ran alongside Little Bugaboo Creek--a beautiful boulder-strewn cascading stream--if only it were not dry. I am betting I was a mere few hours from this being a raging stream as it continued to rain on me and my run.

It did seem like this trail was not really going the direction that the map indicated. Twice, I pulled my map out of my pocket under my poncho, and could only see that if I kept on this trail I would eventually intersect a trail that led back to the park office.

At 5.5 miles, I began to get concerned. It was cloudy and I could not get bearings based on the sun, but still, it sure seemed like the trail bent more to the north than the westward direction. I felt I was getting further and further away from where I needed to be going. Eventually, I intersected an unmarked trail that briefly gave me encouragement. I got my map back out and tried to focus on it, but the rain was coming down hard and my glasses were fogged up. The wet map was starting to disintegrate in my hands. Desperate for direction, I used my zombie instinct and took the left turn. It seemed like that would go more toward the south and toward my truck. 

Then I came to another intersection that said South Rim Trail, and another road that veered west. West definitely seemed wrong, but I rationalized that where I had earlier jumped onto the South Rim Trail was somewhere in the middle of it and I'd surely come to the trail leading up the hill to the main trail head. Then I came to a familiar water crossing--one I had crossed before. WHEW!! Now I  was sure I was going the right way. And just after that, I saw the rock that was shaped like a face with small rocks for eyes.  I felt at ease--happy that a well-planned adventure was concluding. A few minutes later I saw what looked like a roofline just ahead. I just knew I'd see my truck through the trees any second--then the roofline turned out to be a just a fallen tree. :-/ And the climb got a little more intense--I sure did not remember starting my trip with such a steep downhill!!! When I reached the top the steep climb, the trail intersected a fence line---oops!! I had gone in a big albeit a funky shaped circle.

So now, I was at a loss. I decided to improvise. It seemed to me that this fence line could be followed straight west and it should intersect with the fence at the park office. Good plan. The fence line was cleared--sort of. I started west on a gradual descent that just kept getting steeper. When I reached the bottom, there was a bit of water flowing across it--but it was rocky and not at all muddy. Then I had a good long climb--about half a mile up and I'd estimate 75-100 feet of climb. Then the next descent ended in some dense thickets. A dead end!! I could still see the fence through the thick undergrowth and thought I could just hang close to the fence and punch my way through. So into the briers I went. My poncho quickly was shredded from the thighs down, and I descended down a ravine, walked and waded through it for a while, and then clawed my way out of it. And there was no sign of the fence. Did I get turned around in the ravine? And if so, where did I need to go from here? Every possible answer to that question seemed wrong. It was 3:30--far from getting dark, but for the first time, I was cold. I had water to drink and snacks in my pack, but no headlamp. What to do what to do? My best bet was to retrace my steps and try to get back to the fence that I had lost. Down the ravine but not in the same place I was in earlier, I tried to walk what I felt was upstream. Finally, I climbed back out and then descended into another creek bottom where I found a log that I remembered stepping over earlier and saw brier that had a piece of my trash bag toga in its teeth. And then I found the fence line. Good.

Fifty feet into my fence line climb back up the first of two hills, I saw a faint trail that led to the north. I really wasn't interested in this when I saw it earlier, but now felt it was worth looking into. Why was this trail there if it did not go anywhere, and maybe it was what led westward bypassing where the fenceline trail dead ended. And a good trail it turned out to be. There was fresh horse poop on it, and it was seemingly leading somewhere--somewhere like to the fence that disappeared. Now I was back on track!! Up a hill, down a hill, and up another. But at the top of the last climb, the fence made a 90 degree turn to the south!! Now I was screwed. 

At this point, I was sure I was a 1/4 mile of or less from the park office, but I could not afford to make another mistake like bushwhacking through thickets. The faint trail that followed the fence around the turnto the south did not look at all promising, and hey--what if I was just confused? Maybe I was sleep deprived--no wait--I was!! My map was yellow mush. I tried to bring up my google maps on my phone, but my fingers were wet, and water had gotten under the screen protector, so my iPhone was useless. And if even if it were not, I could not read it with my fogged and soaked glasses. So despite my fatigue, I made what I thought was the best decision--trek my way back down and up and down and up, around the brier bypass trail, to the long trail that I was on by mistake, and back to the intersection where I was sure I needed to go left, I should go right. At least I'd know where I was. Sort of.

On the way back, a few things had changed. The road had water standing so it was splashing through puddles all the way. My water crossing had the rocks pretty much covered. I waded through without even thinking about it. I never saw my face with the rocks for eyes. That worried me, but maybe the rain and running water washed the eyes off. I took the turn that I was so sure was wrong earlier, and the road gradually ascended and a half mile later I was at the park office!!! My 4-mile trip turned into a 9.8 mile wandering.

So after looking at the map online, I see that the final right turn the fence made might have taken me back to the park office. I'm anxious to go back again on a day when I have more time and it's not raining. There are 25-30 miles of trailz here. You know I'll be back.

What did I learn?
1. Always study the map of where you're going. That's how I managed to find this place after two tries. 
2. Laminated maps might be a good thing to have. A map on recycled paper in the rain is not much use.
3. Horse poop can be a good sign, but more often than not--it's just horse poop.
4. Trail gremlins (or maybe bigfoot) just LOVE making cairns and rock faces and then removing them to jack with you.
5. Impromptu adventures are sometimes the best.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sizzlin' Sasquatch Spring Fling

It's Monday night, and my legs and especially my knee are conferring as to whether or not to have a strike for cruel and unsafe work practices inflicted on them this past weekend. I ran a 24-Hour race, although for me it was apparent it was not going to be a race but instead a shuffle/hike, and maybe some jogging tossed in here and there. The venue? RJ Chiles ranch acreage NW of Coalgate OK. RJ, Summer, and Abby worked hard to put on this 24-Hour event on trailz that they crafted through the woods, and across hill and dale. They also had a 6-Hour and 12-Hour race, but being the glutton for punishment that I am, I had to do the full Monte.

I drove down from Tulsa Friday afternoon and arrived barely before dark. I found a place to back my truck semi-close to the trail where I could use my tailgate for my own personal aid station, and after a little visiting, and getting my nifty Sasquatch shirt, I crawled into the back seat of my truck, put new batteries in the clip-on fan I uses in a race here last year, and stretched out to try to get a little sleep. By 9:30 pm, I was out, and I slept well--only having to get up once to pee. (Old man issues, I know!)

At 7:00 am sharp, after a brief bit of last minute instructions, and a donut, we were sent off for a romp through the woods. I bolted out to an early lead, mainly trying to wake up my sleepy legs and get my heart rate going. I usually warm up slow on morning runs, and I had no coffee--so this seemed like a good plan. I was WINNING for a solid 1/4 miles but was passed by Jeremy Harrison, and then Lance West--the other two men in the 24-Hour race. Then Chrissy Whitten and Christine Fischer passed as well as nearly every runner in the race. No worries there, though. I was just doing this as a proving run. (That's like a training run, but in this case, I was proving to myself that I could run 50K+ comfortably.) The race started out and ran alongside some woods and a slow flowing creek--one where you could go fishing for crawdads I bet.

Then we popped into the woods and ran on slightly wide soft flowing twisty-turny dirt trails with occasional rocks, roots, and tree stubs to watch out for. Some people call these trail sharks 'cuz they just reach up and bite you throwing you to the ground and maiming you for life if they could trip you just right.

Every now and then you'd cross through what I like to think of as a rock gate--sort of a turnstile. You can traverse this with a flying leap--but I was fresh out of those. I'd carefully thread my size 11s between them and carefully step through. No speed records set through these gates for me. They worked better than speed bumps.

Then it was back into a clearing and up a nice grade with a narrow single track. I did my best to stay on the trodden grass since pre-race directions spoke of ticks and particularly seed ticks. I was ready for them, though. I had heavily treated my shoes and socks with Premithin and my legs with Deet and did not get any bites on my legs or feet. A couple of ticks or maybe chiggers found their way under the elastic of my stretchy shorts but were not too itchy.

Here's another of the rock gates I mentioned. I ran the first two laps with my water bottle only. One 22 ounce bottle lasted me two laps of 6.24 miles. After that, I ran with my Salomon pack with 1.5 liters bladder of ice water. While wearing my pack, I used my trekking poles, and these seemed to keep my gimpy knee happy. The poles are now second nature, and I'll probably always use them on any run of length.

The few stretches of trail across fields were runnable, and I could have and should have pushed the pace a bit here, but I focused on staying steady.

This little ravine and wooded bridge slowed me down on every loop. It was steep enough going down that I relied heavily on my poles to keep me from coming down too hard on my knee, and from slipping on loose rocks. Being overcautious--maybe.

The course was marked with blue flags and they were always on the right. I never felt lost except once during the night when my headlamp didn't pick up the flag and I walked two steps by it until my pacer stopped me. Here, the blue flag, the orange water jug, the yellow stand--it just needed some red--hence the water bottle. (I ran my 5th lap without my pack and poles. It was heating up, and I took it easy, walked with my camera, and took about 70 pictures.)

The awesome thing about this course is that it is never boring. You're in the woods on single track, then single track across a field, then a short bit of dirt road, then some trailz, beside a pond, across a bridge, through a gate, and then you're back at the start. Eat, drink, then repeat the loop.

This was my favorite section. This winding trail had charm and was soft and a very gradual uphill. For some reason, I always sped up a little here. There were several small tree stumps that said hi as I passed over them kicked the crap out of them.

With only 20-15 people in the race over a 3.64-mile loop, I ran most of the race alone. Many laps I never saw anyone, and I am ok with that. Running alone on trailz is peaceful, and I am comfortable hanging out with myself. Oh, I did get passed a lot. Jeremy was doing almost 2 laps to my one early on, but he did slow down a little after 10 hours or so. Lance finished the day with almost 102 miles in 24 hours. I had 50.96 miles in these same 24 hours. It does not take a mathematician to calculate that he was averaging exactly twice my speed.

There were three places where you had to give a sprinkling of thought as to where to put your feet and keep them dry. One bad step in the first crossing would get your shoe thoroughly muddy but not wet. The second would get your shoe moderately muddy and mildly wet. This crossing would get your foot quite wet but might clean some of the mud off of your shoe. (Actually, this was sort of trick-picture-snapping. I set my camera right on the edge of the water.)

This tree was scary at night. There was just enough moon to illuminate the midnight cloud cover so this menacing black troll of a tree let you know he was waiting for you to pass.

Here's the pond I spoke of. This was about 1/4 mile of gradual downhill. Just around the corner was a sign telling that you were 2.5 miles int  the loop and 1.14 miles from the finish (or for more food.)

Someone made signs for every runner and they were posted throughout the course. I was not killing anything--except maybe any doubt I had in running long distances given enough time.

The last 1/2 mile. Cross a bridge, through a gate, up a hill that grew a little on each loop, down a hill to where the trail veered left, past a speed limit sign, and through anther green gate. Loop done.

Back home--time to eat, drink, rest--I usually did all three. If I were more serious about racing, I would have breezed through and stopped only every other lap. 

My friend Chrissy--who ran 24 miles at the Snake Run two weeks ago, then ran 100 miles at Prairie Spirit the next week, and a week later was here and ran 65 miles in under 24 hours. That's 105K. What's next for her? Well, Lake McMurtry next week of course for another 50K. I'm so proud of her.

Besides the normal aid station stuff, RJ, Summer, Abby, along with volunteers Michelle and Alicia kept nice fresh PBJs made, they brought in pecan pie, cooked hot dogs and hot links, big juicy hamburgers, and after the race cooked pancakes, scrambled eggs, and BACON!! Some good RD-ing and great hosts they are.

I don't remember who took this pic but I swiped it. Chrissy maybe? RJ and Summer catching a few ZZZs.

I felt like I stepped up my pace during the night, but maybe it just seemed that way. I thought going in I might be able to do 22 laps or 80 miles. I realized had the desire but not the ability or agility to do that. So 100K was a secondary goal, and with shorter stops at the aid stops, I might have had a chance. Then just right at dark, I began to doubt that I could even get in 50 miles. So I felt I needed to do my loops with a little more purpose. I also had friends jumping in to pace me. There were several eager volunteers helping three of the last four out on the trail. Jessy, Jenni, Abby, and Misty all went one or more laps with me. The chat along the way was helpful. Abby is an especially fast walker and is quite the chatster, and our loops seemed maybe 10 minutes faster. Thanks to all who helped pace us tired runners.

My last lap--about 1/4 mile from the end, my gripy knee said enough was enough. Every step hurt--lifting the leg and putting the leg down was excruciating. At the time, I was thinking I could get two more laps done but I decided to listen to my body. I ate a bite and took some ibuprofen and went to sleep. Smart, huh? The next morning I was dreading putting my foot on the ground, but when Mike Rives cracked open my truck door and put a piece of bacon in my mouth, I was up and at 'em. Surprisingly, I had no pain. I even jogged over to the breakfast area.

I was proud to accept this finisher award. I had fun earning it and I highly recommend this event. This labor Day, they put on a three-day running festival with various distances Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. You know I'll be there!

Monday, April 3, 2017

2017 TATUR Snake Run

The 2017 Snake Run went off as close to flawless as was possible. Other than running out of peanut M&Ms everything went as planned. This was our tenth year, and we were blessed with good weather, sunny skies, calm breezes, and almost no mud.

110 runners toed the line in the Three-Hour and Six-Hour events. The Six-Hour took off at 9:05 to give the runners time to get spread out on the single track trailz. Then the Three-Hour started 10 minutes later.

Showing up at trail races is like coming to a family reunion--or at least one where you LIKE your relatives. Laura is all smiles before her race and basically was in great spirits all day long.

Look for the smoking gun. I fired the shot then blew the remaining smoke from the barrel.

Daniel Jennings set a torrid pace for the Three-Hour race. He dialed in on a 5K sprint pace and held on to it for the win.

Jason Bement, on the other hand, found a dwarf to wear a bear costume and carry him around all day. The poor dwarf lasted only one 3.75 mile lap and the two of them crashed at the Cracked Hippies aid station.

TATUR and TZ Trail Runs do aid stations right. We had the usual fare of chips, pretzels, candies, cookies, PBJ's, and then grilled quesadillas, and BBQ and Boca-burgers. Oh, and BEER!

Back to the race--Lori Enlow came back home to run. Lori is a native Oklahoman transplanted to Arizona. It's awesome to see her run and run she did en route to a Six-Hour win.

Alicia Bell and Jessy Deanna aka the Cracked Hippies ran the aid station out on the course. This oasis serves as a pass-by watering hole twice, and between fly-bys serves as the turnaround as well. They are super busy getting hit from both sides, and as always some people get confused forgetting that the aid stop is visited three times per lap. Some runners think they are pixies magically transporting themselves from one location to the next when in reality, they are awesome but simply turn around to the table facing the other way.

Brian Williams ran a solid race, yet dd not crack the top three. He won honors for the best mustache on the mountain, though.

And back at the Cracked Hippie stand, Brandon asks where the cookie cake is. Truth be known, the cookie cake was at the start/finish. We always try to have this 20,000 calorie delicacy at the races for Brandon and his brother Cameron. They nearly always find a way to smuggle it to their car. It must be part of what makes them so fast and go so far. Brandon went the next week to Kansas and ran the Prairie Spirit 100 mile, and finished under 24 hours for the second year.

The finisher's medal. All one has to do is do one 3.75 mile lap. All who toed the line did at just that.

Mitch Drummond has timed our race almost all of the past 10 years. It's a tough job to catch every runner as they lap through, and it gets really tough when the runners begin their short laps near the end of the time period. When the runners do not have enough time to do their next 3.75-mile loop, they can start 2-mle loops on another marked section of trails on Turley Mountain. This means counting laps from two different courses. Of course, we have extra help counting these laps, but there are 30 minutes near the end of both the Three and Six-Hour events where it really gets hectic. And for the runners, there is a lot of strategy here. Do they chance doing another long loop and risk not making it back in time, or tackle the 1/2-mile loops and see how many of these they can do. This year, not a single lap was not accounted for.

And our winners: April Reeder in the middle took first in the Three-Hour running 19.75 miles in 2:55. Kristian Pfeiffer on the right took 2nd running 19.75 miles in 3:00. And Sharon James was 3rd running 18.5 miles in 2:55.

As mentioned earlier, Daniel Jennings n the right won the Three Hour running 23 miles in 2:57. Jeremy Harrison on the left was 2nd running 19.25 miles in 2:57. John Stanfield was 3rd also running 19.25 miles and doing it in 2:59.

Six-Hour ladies: Lori Enlow on the right was the winner running 36.25 miles in 5:56. Stephanie Bramlett in the middle was 2nd running 34.75 miles in 5:59. Christine Fischer was 3rd with 30 miles in 5:55.

And the Six-Hour men: DC DiPrince in the middle took 1st running 40.5 miles in 5:56. Leon Foust on the right was 2nd running 39 miles in 5:57. Richard Airey was 3rd with 36.25 miles in 5:51.

I spoke highly of my buddy Mitch Drummond earlier, and right here, I am proud to announce Mitch as the new Race Director of the 2018 Snake Run. I have loved putting on this race for ten years now, and now I'll actually get to run it, or jump in and count laps. Mitch has cut his teeth on race directing the Turkey and TATURs trail race alongside RunnersWorld's Kathy Hoover. I think Mitch will continue to do a great job.