Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Lake McMurtry post race ponderings

Sitting around sorting out pictures and thinking about what to put together for a race report for this past week still has me smiling. Sometimes RD-ing is as fun and rewarding as running and finishing a race. This years Lake McMurtry Trail Run was one such run.This was the 16th running of this trail race held annually about 8 miles NW of Stillwater, OK. It might be Oklahoma's oldest trail race, and even if it isn't, I'll still say it is. I have been at the helm for the past six years, taking over when my friend and mentor Earl Blewett turned it over to TATUR.

Lake McMurtry has such sweet single track trailz, and views of the lake that are postcardseque. Another friend Laurie Biby, owner of Beyond Ordinary Life Photography, took thousands of pictures and posted the best of the best which can be viewed HERE.

LMTR has a 50K, a 25K, and a 12K with a staggered start. An early start is available, giving these early risers 10 hours to make the trip. I also allows a finish that beats an hour of heat--for hot years. The high was 87 this year, which is definitely a hot year.

I made the announcements before each race--pink ribbons, yellow cation tape, signs signs everywhere there's signs, cones, LEAP O' Doom, no littering, eat, drink, have fun. I missed getting a picture of the 50K regular start, but took several of the 25K pre-race.

And away they go. The 25K and 50K had 80+ each, with 35 tackling the 50K. 

McMurtry had trailz through natural tall grass, through scrub oaks and cedars, and a little bit of gravel road.

But the most dangerous feature of Lake McMurtry is the Leap O' Doom. We have a healthy respect of the canyon--putting up ample caution tape, warning signs, and advice tor jumping strategies including PRAY and SCREAM. Laura Bloxum stretched it out, flapped her wings, and just flew right over it.

50Kers run through a native tall grass field, heading to the Peninsula Aid Station.

Front runners Brandon Purdeu and Justin Franklin flew through the first 7.6 miles in 58 minutes. 
Pic by Roman Broyles

We always try to have aid stations with EVERYTHING a trail runner might need. Table number one had H20, Gatorade, Coke, Mt Dew, Sprite, and Ginger Ale. 
Pic by Roman Broyles

Table number two had any junk food a runner could ever want, and then some. 
Pic by Roman Broyles

A group of early starters gave volunteers Roman Broyles, Susan Melon Westmoreland, and Cindy Metcalf a double thumbs up. Our other aid stops were manned by Earl Blewett and Chuch Streit--two guys who have worked this race every year for the past 16. The north aid stop was manned by John Nobles, and Jordan Christy. And Dana, who has been fighting a sometimes losing battle with a nasty head cold and near pneumonia, handled the start/finish, and organized all the aid station food. She had Enlow helpers (Avery, Ethan, and Noah) at the start/finish until their speedy mom finished the 25K.

Arena tackles the steepest incline on the course--a scramble down and then up a ravine. There is a flat bypass that skirts around this huge gorge, but where's the fun in flat trailz?
Pic by Laura Bloxum

Two girls I have had in a trail running training group Barbara West and Laura Bloxum both were doing their first 50K. This was early in the race and they're all smiles so far.

Meanwhile, back at the start/finish, William Barnes aka Dirty Sanchez, cooked up 80 lbs of brisket and pulled pork. William cooks all night and most of the day. This is award winning BBQ, and he has cooked for the past four years. Yummy stuff. There was a little leftover and I got it!! Munching on a sandwich right now.

Melon did the stenciling on the trophies--awarded to the top 3 dudes and chicks in each distance. 
In the men's 50K
1. Brandon Purdeu
2. Justin Franklin
3. Aaron Ochoa

In the women's 50K
1. Jana Graham
2. Jill Bates
3. Polly Choate

In the men's 25K
1. Richard West
2. Mike Kelly
3. Brandon Blakely

In the women's 25K
1. Lori Enlow
2. Jenn Bailey
3. Dan'yel Swafford

In the men's 12K
1.Jason Cook
2. Jack Morrow
3. Ben Lake

In the women's 12K
1. Lindsay Temes
2. Robin Schmidt
3. Julie Ladehoff

Full results can be found here.
Brian Hoover aka Tatur Racing did the timing, and unless there's something I'm missing, did a perfect job. 

I get to hang out with WINNERS!!
Pic by Laura Bloxum

Can you name these feet?

These men have the distinction of representing three generations of Lake McMurtry competitors. On the left Adrian Wolford, with his grandson Hayden Wolford, and son Theron Wolford. In case you were wondering, youth won out.

Three days later, all the race stuff is sorted and put away (thanks mostly to Dana) the results are up, the bills are paid, and I can relax. I had a great weekend, with almost flawless results. Now, I'm ready to run one myself.


  1. Awesome race and awesome report.

  2. Nobody does a better job RD'ing and reporting a race than you do TZ!