2012 marked the 4th year that I have RD'd the Lake McMurtry Trail Runs. With the huge support of TATUR, this race has been a success, growing in numbers each year.
This year, we had close to 300 sign up, and right at 250 finishers. Brian and I, with the help of Tom Robinson set up the aid stations on Friday, and spent many hours, some before the sun came up, and some after the sun went down marking the course--hoping to have NO ONE get lost.
At 3:30 Saturday morning, thunderstorms came rattling through the Stillwater area, giving cause for panic. This is actually a fun course to run muddy, but we did not have the food or water out to the aid stations on the course, and getting stuck driving out there was a real possibility. I felt I could throw up from the stress at any time, but we blindly made our way out, and to our delight, hardly any rain had fallen. We got our last minute tasks done, and started all races on time.An early spring and warm March temperatures brought a lush green to the forested trailz. Very little mud, but nice soft single track was the general fare for the day. Other than a brief sprinkling just after noon, we enjoyed cloud cover and dry weather all day. The early start went off at 7:00 am, and I was not yet back from taking aid station workers out to their posts. Brian sent them out on time, and an hour later, we sent off the regular 50K starters. An exuberant crowd headed out, following ribbons, cones, and caution tape. The 25K starter a half hour later, and the 12K, another half hour later. My friend David Hanenburg from Endurance Buzz ran the 25K (and was 3rd male, and first in his age group, I might add) took pictures on the run, and his lovely wife took a ton of pics as well. Pictures with the Endurance Buzz watermark are his handiwork. Visit his website for great coverage of regional races.
This race has an obstacle like no other--the FAMOUS LEAP O' DOOM This chasm seems to grow a little higher and a little wider each year. It requires a good deal of "air-time" to make the jump, as evidenced by this capture of a flying runner.
Lake McMurtry has a little bit of everything. Many miles of nice soft single track, enough hills, roots, and rocks to keep it interesting, fields across meadows with the lake in the distance, wooded trails through pine trees, rugged trailz along a lakeshore with waves lapping on the rocks, and a short section of gravel road, which allows runners to air it out a little. a 7.5ish north loop, and then a 7.5ish out and back on the south shores of the lake makes the 25K distance, and of course the 50Kers get a double dose of it.
All that running gets you a nice finisher medal, and a chance at a heavy age group award.
There are three aid stations on the course, and one at the start/finish, so runners never have to run more that 3 miles without aid.
We were blessed to have such amazing hard working volunteers at our aid stops. Most are manned with experienced ultra runners. The Peninsula aid stop, which runners hit first, and then again about 2 miles later, was manned by ultra veteran Bill Ford, and Dave Strickland.
The second stop was commanded by the Oklahoma Trail Runners bunch. It was rumored that they had a beer tree growing. I heard it yielded a good harvest, and the fine cigars were ablazin'. Keith and Dave did a great job.
The South aid station was manned by the Snowman, Brynna, and Susan. Loud music, syrup shots, and moonshine were the order of the day.
The final climb up the steps to the finish line meant the end of the race for the 12Kers and 25Kers. It was only the halfway point for the 50Kers. It was a great day for running--the could cover kept the temps in the low 60s, and the course ran fast. Scott Downard smoked the course running a 3:39 50K.
Karen Dee Williams won the ladies 50K.
I took pictures of most of the age group winners, but should have taken special notes to get the names lined up with the pictures. I'm a dingbat. Race Results can be found here.
Special thanks goes to Brian, who worked his hiney off Friday and Saturday. Brian did an excellent job in timing the race, and it was his idea to plaster the course with over 200 cones. No one got lost.
Chuck has been a part of this race since the very beginning. Chick makes a killer jambalaya, and a barley soup. Besides that, he is a wealth of knowledge in trail management and course marking. He is quick to pitch in a hand when help is needed, plus I get all the jambalaya leftovers.
Dana is the one who spends hours buying all the aid station stuff, and then organising everything so the right amounts of food stuff can get to each oasis. She doubles as a gopher, and food organiser as the day wore on. Roman was Dana's right hand man, helping keep the aid stations up to par, and then in loading everything up. Chrissy, on the left, worked a few hours Friday getting the medals organised, and then all day Saturday hanging medals on the necks of weary finishers. She also helped me with the age group trophies. Tom Robinson was a life saver Friday helping us muscle the aid station tents and tables to their proper location. He also lent me his mountain bike so I could check the far end of the course.
Sandy Noble, Dave Strickland, Iris and Don from Ponca City, Mary Kriner, and the two who helped Chrissy take chips and hang medals (my BAD for not remembering their names) worked tirelessly all day. Dan Zerowski, who finished 4th male in the 25K, brought 8 ice chests full of ice before the race. WOW!! Thanks!!! And William Barnes impressed EVERYONE with the best BBQ I have had in ages.
And thanks again to the Hanenburgs, who drove up from Texas to run with us. I appreciate all you do, and letting me snag a pic or two.Can't wait to read their recap of the race!!!