Friday, August 29, 2014

Another story on GKFF and Turkey Mountain

Here is the news report on the announcement that Kaiser has gone public with their purchases of most of the west side of Turkey Mountain. Jeff Strava, spokesman for GKFF This is nothing but good news. I am hoping and betting that Simon Properties never builds their concrete atrocities on the HWY 75 frontage.

Click on the bonus comments from Jeff Strava. - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

And more good news.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Great news!!!

The past week has been full of angst and dismay due to the Simon Properties Outlet Mall muscling it's way into our playground. Just add a slab of concrete over the area within the red rectangle. (sigh) I have been a Google-freak, reading any and every news clip I could find about this upcoming travesty, and today I was reading in a forum on the Tulsa Now Website . There were 7 pages in the thread and it degraded to a pissing match between two different intellectuals. But on the last page on the last post, I read the BEST NEWS IN SEVERAL DAYS!!!!

If you are sick about the proposed development on Turkey Mountain--this is a blast of encouragement. Due to the controversy on what land was "River Parks" and what was not, a edited map was published that just torques me every time I look at it.
Oh come on--is this real??? To the casual non-runner/non-biker/non-trail-user who would just love a big ol' outlet mall, it would seem that there was a HUGE buffer between the mall and the actual park area. Plus, it would seem that all the gray area, being privately owned land, might be open for future development. (I knew that this was highly unlikely.) The intent of GKFF was made apparent by today's press release.Click on the link and read it--but here's the first couple of lines:
"The George Kaiser Family Foundation has no plans to develop the 139 acres of land it owns on Turkey Mountain, a foundation official said Wednesday.
In fact, maintaining the mountain's natural beauty was why the foundation purchased the land in the first place."
So, the City of Tulsa/River Parks gets to re-redo their map. It'll look something like this. 
Thank you, George Kaiser Family Foundation. honored, humbled, and thankful. Now, if we can just win one more battle.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

City of Tulsa does some backpeddling

A further development in the Turkey Mountain development story. The City of Tulsa is doing some major back-peddling stating that all of the trails on the west side of Powerline are private land and NOT a part of RiverParks or the City of Tulsa Parks System. These are some of the oldest trails on Turkey Mountain and are used in several mountain bike and trail races. Even today, there is an off-road duathlon there starting and finishing at the Westside YMCA. I am certain that a permit had to be bought from RiverParks to have this event. In the latest press release, this map was posted. The green area is RiverParks/City of Tulsa owned land. Did the City of Tulsa or RiverParks get their hand slapped for publishing a trail map that included trails on private land? Another more revealing map is also circulating.
It is interesting that if one wants to run the Yellow trail they will have to trespass on private land to complete the circuit. This is ridiculous. I have it on good authority that MOST of the land west of Powerline has been owned for years by a local philanthropist who has not put up no trespassing signs. My thinking is that this "privately owned land" will NEVER be commercially developed. The property next to HWY 75 where the proposed outlet mall is going--I dunno. That will be a big battle.

On a lighter note, a group of friends did a little trespassing this morning.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Latest press release on the outlet mall

This is a Tulsa World article. [The words in red italics are MY commentary.]

New upscale outlet mall planned for west Tulsa

The Turkey Mountain trails that could potentially be affected by a proposed outlet mall at 61st Street and U.S. 75 are not part of River Parks, the River Parks Authority executive director said Friday. [But they are widely used and accepted.]

"Trail-users at Turkey Mountain go wherever," said Matt Meyer. "It is kind of a self-made trail that spills over on to private land." [These are trails that were there before a lot of the other trails even existed.]

Simon Property Group, which owns Woodland Hills Mall, announced Tuesday that it is planning to a build a new upscale outlet mall in the Turkey Mountain area.

Meyer said River Parks was never consulted about the mall project because it is being built on private property. [But they should have been. The developers knew they would see opposition and wisely (on their part) kept the project on the down low.]

"If it was on our property, we would have an opinion on it," Meyer said. [Surely you have an opinion, Matt.]

The city released a statement Friday on the planned development.

"The Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, which includes many public trails that Tulsans enjoy, is not the tract of land identified for any type of retail development," city spokeswoman Michelle Allen said in the statement. [But it IS so close that it has a huge affect on the land adjoining it.]

"Turkey Mountain is a point of pride for Tulsa, and the city will continue to focus on ensuring compatible development that can protect and improve quality of life for residents while positioning the city for economic growth," Allen said.

Meyer acknowledged that the Turkey Mountain trails map had included trails on private property. That map was taken down Friday afternoon and will be revised, he said. [A mistake. Did someone get their hand slapped?]

The announcement of the proposed outlet mall has sparked concern among trail-users.

Sammy Davidson, 44, has done mountain bike training on Turkey Mountain for 16 years.

“Turkey Mountain has the most diverse trail system in the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “It is by far the best.”

Davidson said his concern with the proposed mall extends beyond the approximately 56 acres of private property it would occupy to the precedent it might set.

“I am afraid that once concrete is poured, it is just going to continue,” he said. “It is such a great place in our backyard to get away."

He said he fears another developer coming in and developing the other side of 61st Street and continuing east to the river. [A valid fear. Money talks and greed rules.]

Davidson's hope is that local philanthropists would step up to purchase the land and keep it in its natural state. [I wish this had happened with the 53-56 acres.]

“I just don’t want the land bulldozed and a concrete pad put on it and steel buildings put up,” he said.

Development of the mall will require zoning changes that must be approved by the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission and the City Council, according to Planning Commission staff. [And this has to be voted on? All voices need to be heard on this issue.]

City Planning Director Dawn Warrick said the city does not recruit development projects for privately owned property.

"We often field questions related to local plans and regulations or provide demographic data (such as Buxton reports) for people interested in developing on private property," she said in an email. "In this instance, the city was approached by the developer/applicant with consent from the private property owner to pursue a development on this site." [I agree that a private owner has a "right" to sell his land. But this is a wrong plan. It is not a vision--it is very poor foresight.]

As of noon Friday, the developer had yet to submit plans for the mall to the Planning Commission staff.

The Planning Commission and the council take public comments before casting votes on zoning changes. [And where can we be a part of this?]

The outlet mall will be located near U.S. 75 and 61st Street, just north of the Tulsa Hills shopping center, said Robert Alexander, senior vice president of leasing for the mall portfolio of Simon, on Tuesday. The site has already been leased, although construction has yet to begin. Two things: it is not just neat 61st and HWY 75. It is on part of the urban wilderness regardless of who owns what. It is not "just north" of Tulsa Hills. It is one mile north.

The design and size of the outlet mall hasn’t yet been finalized, Alexander said, although he expects it to be similar to Allen Premium Outlets in Allen Texas, near Dallas, only somewhat smaller.

​Kevin Canfield 918-581-8313

[I have said before that I am not opposed to Tulsa having an outlet mall. There are a lot of other plots of land in the general area that would work well for the mall and not take away from our urban wilderness. the SE corner of 61st and HWY 75, the land south of the Creek turnpike west of the river, The SW corner of 71st and Elwood, and several other areas west of HWY 75.

Anther real problem with the mall being put at 61st/HWY 75 is the traffic. Right now, at rush hour, traffic is backed up for 2 miles from I-44 to 71st Street. Traffic has tripled on 61st and Elwood since Tulsa Hills was developed. I KNOW. I live at 68th and Elwood. People further west who use the 71st Street river bridge take 61st to avoid the un-synchronized stoplights at Tulsa Hills. The new, intersection stupidly did not add a left turn bay and the morning and evening traffic at the light is ridiculous. Put this mall in and all the traffic will quadruple or more. Surely they will have to redo the intersection again, as well as widening 61st Street and also Elwood. How can this possibly be done without the wilderness area losing MORE TRAILS? And will that be crammed down our throats too?]

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Big business property developer buys part of Turkey Mountain to build an outlet mall!

(This is the press release that brought joy to shoppers, and heartbreak, disbelief, and rage to hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers in Tulsa.)

New upscale outlet mall planned for west Tulsa

OKLAHOMA CITY — Woodland Hills Mall owner Simon Property Group is planning to a build a new upscale outlet mall in west Tulsa, a company official said Tuesday.

Simon Properties’ mall portfolio announced the project during the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Oklahoma Idea Exchange at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

The outlet mall will be located north of the Tulsa Hills area near U.S. 75 and 61st street, said Robert Alexander, senior vice president of leasing for the mall portfolio of Simon. The site has already been leased, though construction has yet to begin.

“We think the outlet mall will be great for the city of Tulsa,” he said. “The local government and chamber of commerce have been great to work with.”

Alexander said the design and size of the outlet mall hasn’t yet been finalized, though he expects it to be similar to Allen Premium Outlets in Allen Texas, near Dallas, only somewhat smaller.

Allen premium outlets has 100 stores, including Neiman Marcus Last Call, Adidas, Ann Taylor, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Coach, Gap Outlet, J. Crew, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, True Religion and others.

Alexander said he didn’t have any further information on the project, which is being undertaken by Simon’s premium outlet division. Public officials who know of the project said it will be at the northeast corner of U.S. 75 and 61st Street.

Simon Properties, owners of enclosed malls and outlet malls throughout the country, also owns and operates Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa and Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City.

Though Alexander said Simon is committed to its enclosed mall, the overwhelming majority of its current $1.7 billion development of new shopping centers internationally is focused on outlet malls.

“Our outlet group is bullish on the market,” he said.

Alexander said that while other malls have declined or remained flat during the recession and its aftermath, Oklahoma’s malls have performed well.

“I can tell you that year after year, the way we make our growth in the company is through Oklahoma,” he said.

Earlier this year, Simon completed the first major mall-wide renovations at Woodland Hills Mall in nearly 20 years. The project included new mall entrances, updated restaurants and a new food court. Alexander said removing a small island of shops and restaurants between the food court and the rest of the mall was difficult, as it involved relocating tenants who had long-term leases.

But he said opening up the space was worth it.

“We’ve had some Simon executives touring the space, and they were impressed,” Alexander said.

Robert Evatt 918-581-8447


My take on all this? I live on Turkey Mountain (actually .2 miles from the trailhead) and I am just sick about all this crap. I did some mapping and math to find just what we are losing.

Map of our wonderful trails.

This is what 53 acres looks like. I know that the property extends from the Highway to the gas pipeline easement. I show that to be .21 miles or 1108 feet. . By taking the square footage of 53 acres, I determined that the property extends .39 miles to the north or 2060 feet. If I am wrong and the width is less than .21 miles, then the property extends even further north.

This shows the trails we lose. The Half and Half Marathon loses almost a mile of the 6.5 miles of beginner-friendly trails it uses. It will require a major r-route to make up the distance. Likewise, the Turkey and TATURs will need wholesale remodeling. I am sure that some of the mountain bike events will be affected as well. Beyond this, one of the most scenic vies is on the very trail that will soon be a parking lot. On the Old Boys trail, this vista makes you feel you are miles from civilization when you are only yards from HWY 75, and a half mile from I-44.

So the 800,000 square foot outlet mall dumped on Turkey Mountain goes in. Now little two lane 61st street will not handle the thousands of bargain shoppers who cut through on Elwood to avoid the traffic at Tulsa Hills. Picture this, folks: 61st street and Elwood are widened to at least 4 lanes. Maybe 6. Think of all the trails we lose when that happens. The trails that meander along 61st Street will be to an added 2 lanes--plus they will probably be so nice to throw in some 8' concrete sidewalks. The traffic even now on 61st Street and Elwood Avenue has tripled since Tulsa Hills was built. Residents from west Tulsa who need to commute over the 71st Street river bridge skip the deluge of un-synchronized stoplights by McDonald's/QuikTrip/Lowe's/and 1000 other stores--and speed over on 61st Street and rocket down Elwood only to wait at the 71/Elwood stoplight at the newly improved intersection that was widened from two lanes to TWO LANES. OOPS?!?!? It is impossible to get through this intersection in the morning drive in less than 10 minutes due to this lack of foresight. Now let's quadruple the traffic flow with shoppers. Believe me--all of the 1.6 miles from 71/Elwood to the outlet mall will be widened in a big way. How do you widen Elwood going up the hill? Goodbye Lipbuster.


Facebook has been on fire with wails of discontent, and brainstorming on ways to stop this travesty. My friend Matt Carver posted this on Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness website. (YOU REALLY SHOULD READ THIS)


Bob Doucette who writes a blog called Proactive Outside echoes my sentiments exactly. It is just plain wrong to scrape the land bare to install buildings to sell stuff.


Finally, a trail running friend John Morelock, who is a gifted and published author, read of our situation and shared one of his writings on Faacebook, which actually soothed my rage somehow. I am still in a crusader sort of mindset but it seemed to help reading of his similar plight. With John's permission, I share.

From somewhere else: Some of the trails are going away:
I knew it was coming. They had put up the "Public Hearing" signs.

This afternoon as I start the walk/jog/shuffle through the field
that leads to the trail
that leads to the hill
that leads to the forest—
A barrier has been put up.
It is part of the erosion control, the "’scuse us while we dig up everything," make-believe erosion-control system.
The long-awaited subdivision is coming.
I have been spoiled by the nearness, both emotionally and physically,
of the trails and the forests.

The subdivision is coming, and some of the trails are going away.
It was a place of steep ups and downs,
boggy spots and muddy springs,
thorns and poison oak,
frogs, rabbits, squirrels,
and one hawk that used to scare me half to death with its "screeeeee"
as the sun cracked the nearby hillside during my morning runs.

It's just a couple of hundred acres that will soon be crosshatched
with pavement and houses.
It will drain better.
The houses will all be code compliant and properly inspected,
the plants and lawns will all be nicely watered and manicured,
they are ugly,
some of the trails are going away.

Paved Paradise

I took Jake for a walk last week, and took a picture of this flyer on a telephone pole at the end of my block. I didn't take time to read it, and forgot about it until today when I downloaded my pictures to my computer. This flyer--actually a copy of a page from the website--calls for a meeting to discuss all of the proposed improvements in and around Tulsa Hills.  
Of course, I went to the website. (It's dot org, not dot com) in the name of improvement, it outlines countless development of the area I call home. Some of it it eerily close to out Turkey Mountain. The map below calls for business lining 71st Street, and lots of commercial buildings on the NW corner of 71st and Elwood. I spent about an hour trying to find out whatever I could. There is a long (100+ page) PDF, and some of the stuff in it may already be outdated or updated. The map below is a little more in focus. And that's not necessarily a good thing.  
All of the proposed improvements (except for the airplane) are huge houses, neighborhoods, and business complexes. Brings to mind the Joni Mitchell song BIG YELLOW TAXI. I won't post the video, although it is a good song, because most you probably wouldn't listen to it. But here are the words--read em. Other than the big yellow taxi taking away her old man, this fits.

                                    "Big Yellow Taxi"

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot SPOT
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
Then they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go,
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer, farmer
Put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But LEAVE me the birds and the bees
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Come and took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I said
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

In all fairness though--reading through a few hundred pages--I did find at least a few encouraging things about their philosophy in their development. This one section set pretty well.

Regional Trails Master Plan 
Tulsa enjoys an interconnected system of bicycle and pedestrian trails maintained by several different entities including the City of Tulsa Parks Department, Tulsa Public Works Department, River Parks Authority, Broken Arrow Parks, Tulsa County Parks, Jenks Parks Department, the Town of Skiatook, and the City of Sand Springs. The city offers many north-south bike routes. The key trail corridors include the River Parks Trails from 11th Street to 101st Street (east bank) and from Southwest Boulevard to Turkey Mountain (west bank area); the Mingo Trail, the Osage Trail and the Creek Turnpike Trail. The current system of trails provides a solid foundation from which to expand and connect to underserved parts of the city and create a larger and more interconnected system to support bicycle and pedestrian travel and recreation throughout the region and the inner city. Tulsa’s comprehensive plan supports land uses and public improvements that will protect and enhance the city’s and region’s trail system. Regional open spaces, such as the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area, Mohawk Park, the Arkansas River, and other areas will be protected from development and enhanced with trails and paths so that the entire community can enjoy them. The Arkansas River will continue to be improved and preserved by storm water management and pollution control efforts, making it a valuable regional attraction for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and other water sports.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lake McMurtry East Side

This is how it all started--this Red Dirt Shuffle idea.
Dana, Jake, and I spent the weekend at Lake McMurtry, but not where the LMTR 50K/25K/12K is. We camped on the EAST side and ran the trailz there--somewhere I have never been, which is odd--since I claim to be a trail guru.

I don't think these trailz are color-coded--other than on this map. While the west side trailz make a perfect 25K (we set the course up to get the whole 15.5 miles), the east side trailz add up to almost a perfect HALF MARATHON. Hmmm....

We are really enjoying our camping trailer. The heater works, and the A/C works as well. The old Ford does a great job pulling the trailer around--we got a whopping 9.3 MPG going out,. and 11 MPG coming back.

We tackled the south course on Saturday, although Jake and I ran 1.5 in the utter darkness with a small handheld LED light Friday night. I couldn't wait. The trailz were super smooth, soft, rockless, but rooty single track.

This dying tree begged for a picture, and I obliged.

Lotsa red dirt. Occasionally, the trail would cross an open area, and later in the day, the sun started to beat down on us a little. Hate to complain, since it was only maybe 73°.

Despite running sort of around the southern end of the lake, we never really got close enough for Jake to swim, but he did find a couple of creeks with enough water for a dip. Muddy puppy.

As on the west side, there are lots of prickly pear cacti.

Reminiscent of Huntsville State Park (Sunmart, Rocky Raccoon) there are a few wooden bridges to cross, but no alligators.

The trailz closet to the lake were fairly flat with just a few gentle ups and downs. On the return trip, we were a bit further up on the hill, and with the usual switchbacks that mountain bikers seem to like, we had a bit more climbing. The advertised mileage of 6.5 miles was a bit short by our Garmins.

The steeper hills and warming temps slowed TaturCakes and Jake down. I had to promise Jake a swim before we were through.

No Jake--that's not where you're swimming. This was some nasty water, and we would have needed a rope to pull him out.

With more walking than running in the final push, we made it out with close to 8 miles to show for it--which included the distance from our camp to the trail head to and from.

We grilled some steaks and baked potatoes and had a lunch for a king. Then, we made a trip into town. Jake has a hard time getting into the truck, and we have to help him (basically lift his heavy butt up.) We really tried everything to coax him up, and may have given him a complex, because when we got back, he would not walk up the steps into the camper. So, we lifted him up for that. I let him out later to pee, and he scampered out, but would not come back in. I got out the leash, and he got all excited like he does when he gets to go for a run, and was jumping around being the silly dog he is, but still would have no part of coming back inside. He wanted to go for a run or a walk, so I walked him. The tail was wagging and he was pulling wanting to run--not at all like a dog too tired to walk up two steps. So, we went for a walk/jog--taking it easy. Still, he would not come up the steps. We continued to operate a lift service for him, and wondered if he would be good to go the next day.

The question of whether he would/could/should run was heartily answered by him the next morning. He was pumped and stoked to go, acting like he was full of piss and vinegar--tail flying, and pulling on the leash.

Today's route was shorter according to the map. Jake got a swim about a mile into the run, and he ran like the energizer bunny from that point on. Dana ran better, and if we had put our Garmins on auto-pause, we probably would have averaged under 15 m/m. But with pee stops and picture stops, is was a good hiking pace at best.

We really liked the north trailz. The map showed a series of loops, and in my thinking, if we made all right turns, we would run all of the trail system. But instead of the two loops connected by out-and-back sections, there were 4-5 loops. I was confused by this, but still felt that all right turns would get us there.

The north trailz had more variety--a few meadows, straight sections, twisty-turny sections, a few rocky spots, and a lot more steep ups and downs.

We also had more wooden bridges.

The mountain bike club that built and maintains these trailz are to be commended. Besides constructing bridges over the drainages, they had areas where they had paved wash-outs with stone, and built berms to help with erosion.

In places, it seemed the trailz specifically sought out these rocky outcroppings, but still, even with the twisty undulating routes, it is an easier course than Turkey Mountain.

It was cooler today--or maybe it was because we set out an hour earlier.

Jake enjoys another swim. I need to video him--he moans and groans when he swims--like "oooohhh--that feels soooo good!"

The return trip was closer to the lake, and I figured Jake could get another swim in. It was a little more jungle-like, which gave the course even more character.

Trail running does not get much better than this.

While it was not as warm as yesterday, the sun was doing it's job. I got just a tad of sunburn, but hey--I'm super-white.

A tailing Jake is a thirsty Jake. We were carrying water for him--so no, our poor puppy never went without.

Along the bottom area near the lake, we ran through a section of reeds. This was co cool. Jake wanted to swim here, but we said no. Finally, we came to a rocky shore, and were gonna let Jake go hit the water, and Dana grabbed his collar just in time!!

He would have stepped right on this beauty. This girl was sunning herself right across the trail leading to the water, and made no effort at all to move. I came within 12 inches of her taking this picture, and she did that slight coil thing, and I quickly retreated. We thought it might have been a water moccasin, but upon seeing the tail, I doubted it. I could not tell if it had round eyes or slitted eyes, but in this picture shows round and it's tail was skinny to a long point. A moccasin has a blunt tail.

So Jake finished off his water, and was denied a third swim for the day.

We got home and were unloading the camper--and Jake was in and out and in and out, up and down the steps many times. He has some explaining to do.

We loved these trailz--I like them better that the west side, although those are fun as well. It's a great half marathon trail run. Hmmm....

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Warrior Princess Angel Run story

Last Saturday (and yes, I have been a little slow in getting my race report in--sorry) was the 5th running of the Warrior Princess Angel Run. This run is put in for a host of reasons.
1. It is a tribute to Lillian Grace Whitten, who is Michael and Chrissy Whitten's first daughter. Their website sums it up well, so I quote:
The Warrior Princess Foundation was founded by Michael and Chrissy Whitten after their precious daughter, Lilian Grace, earned her wings Thursday, August 5, 2010. She was born with T18, Edward’s Syndrome on Sunday, April 25, 2010, and fought a daily battle for 103 days. Her parents realized the need and desire to help other families going through this similar journey due to the large costs and grueling daily battles this syndrome creates on a daily basis.

2. Proceeds from the race benefit their foundation which helps build an awareness and helps with the needs of parents with children with to T18/T13 Edward's Syndrome.

3. Besides being a memorial to Lillian Grace and fundraiser to this to this cause, it is a great and fun trail run in an amazing park that most runners in the Tulsa area do not know exists.

4. Chrissy and I always look forward to hanging out for a day or two marking the race course and being silly. We've been good friends for years, but hardly get to see each other since we are both so stinking busy all the time.
Picture by Rafael Santiago
Chrissy made a few announcements, and hey--you had better be listening! The race was not a set distance--it was a timed race--how far can you run in 103 minutes. The actual course was an out-and-back that had a couple of loops within. Imagine a figure 8--with a squiggly out-and-back on the top and bottom end. Confusing? Well--you just needed to follow the person in front of you, and hope the leaders did not blow through an intersection without seeing the signs.

Picture by Rafael Santiago
The race started at 8:30, and the finishing gun was scheduled to fire at 10:13. Most of the crowd was more than ready to tear up some trail.

Picture by Rafael Santiago
We put up about 60 signs along the way--marking the course forwards and backwards. Putting wire signs into rock is tricky. I ran the course before race started, and none of the signs or pink ribbons had been disturbed since we placed them the day before. What a blessing!

Some of the route was runnable, but their were definitely some technical areas. My goal was to shuffle it all--and walk when I had to. I ran 7 laps last year, but this year, I had no goals other than to have fun and visit with friends. I ran one lap with Jason Bement for a while, and chatted it up with Bryan Carpenter for a bit before he left me in the dust. My second lap, I ran with Jenni Hawkins, and I think I have her re-hooked on trailz. My third lap, I ran with Terri Broomhall. Silly girl went the whole way in flip flops. 

Picture by Rafael Santiago
A few pics along the way--Sue Ann Bement extends her streak of running EVERY race in the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series.

Chandler Park is a gem. The tall bluffs and tight hallways between them are mystifying to say the least. 

Picture by Rafael Santiago
This is a popular place for rock climbing, rappelling, and boulder hopping. (More on boulder hopping later.)

Terri picks her way thorough the rocks. 
Picture by Rafael Santiago 

Jason Bement cruises on his way back to the start/finish.

Just up this narrow rock stairway and we can see the Start/Finish checkpoint. 

But before we hit the starting table where they recorded your lap, there was one obstacle--a little boulder hopping across the LEAP of FAITH. Much like the LEAP O'DOOM at Lake McMurtry, one had to muster all the courage they had and pray that their jump would be enough to successfully reach the other side.

Actually--this is not quite as wide as the LEAP O'DOOM.

But it IS deeper. To verify this, I tossed a rope over the side, and then measured it. The measure told the tale--this crevice was just over 7 feet deeper than the chasm at Lake McMurtry.

Terri is green with fear with the idea of crossing.

Lap after lap--it was fun til the end. Katie Kramer seemed to just float over the rocks. She lapped me so many times I lost count.

I did 4 laps, and might have had time for a 5th lap if I ran a bit faster, but I called it a day. 

Picture by Rafael Santiago
According to the finishing times--it must have been a battle at the end, with Katie and Cameron Plate finishing right together.

Picture by Rafael Santiago
Cameron had a slight lead and took first place overall. It may get to be a common thing for Cameron and his brother Brandon winning our trail races. They make it look easy. Brandon also ran the 1.03 mile race (which started AFTER the big run), won it, and then started the 103 minute run late--and still finished 9 laps. In my way of thinking, Brandon would have been very near the lead had he not done the 1.03 mile run first.

This is a super cool trail race. My advice--go out to Chandler Park and just explore. And give this race a try next year.