Friday, February 10, 2006

Rocky Racoon Report from RD Joe Prusaitis

Rocky Raccoon 100mi & 50mi Trail Run2006 USA 100 Mile Trail ChampionshipsHuntsville TX4 Feb 2006

On a day when everything seemed to be working in our favor. I wondered if the runners might be going out too fast. In all my years in this park, I had never seen the trails so perfect. With a few days of hard rain following a long dry spell, the trails had drained well and left a soft but dry bed of pine needles that is a runner's dream. I found myself checking the runner's shoes as they came in after each loop to assess the damage and was quite surprised to see shoes dry and clean. Andy Jones-Wilkins had a new pair of shoes on that looked like they were fresh out of the box after 60 miles. It was cool when we started at 6am, followed by fog that hung so much humidity in the air that we could not duct tape our timing sheets down to the tables. It took a long time for the sun to cook off the fog, such that the cool air stayed with us longer than expected. By noon, it had warmed a bit, but still not too terribly bad.Jorge Pacheco finished the 1st 20mile loop 1st in 2:31 on a 7:36 pace. Only 7mins back was David Bursler and Paul Frost. Another 2mins to Guillermo Medina and then Andy Jones-Wilkins. Connie Gardner came next in 2:50, followed 8mins later by Sue Johnston and Julie Fingar. They had all gone out fast. Jorge's 2nd lap was just a tad bit slower at 2:36 for another sub 8min pace loop.

This time, Guillermo came in just 12mins back, followed quickly by David & Paul together and then Andy. Connie was another 15mins followed in 12mins by Sue and Julie together. Jorge's 3rd loop was his slowest at 2:43 for a 8:11 pace. It looked like it was starting to slip away. He had a pacer now, so we would see if he could hold onto it with some help. Guillermo was still 2nd but now 30mins back, with Andy moving into 3rd followed by Dave. Connie came in 30mins later, followed 20mins later by Sue, and another 5mins by Julie. 60miles had spread the field out significantly, but not all that much for the lead competitors. One extended break would lose a place or more and they all knew it.

With the long out and backs, all of these runners would be seeing each other quite a bit and gauging the splits. Jorge's 4th loop pulled him back in with a 2:40 split and a pace of 8:02. None of us could believe that he was still on it. The 4th loop is critical, the toughest loop we call it. The final loop is the good-bye loop and easy to get the buzz going again, knowing you're done, no more out and backs, no more of everything that you had already seen many times. Guillermo was now an hour behind Jorge, with Andy closing and Dave still 30mins further. Connie in another 40mins, followed by Sue on the same 15min gap, and another 30mins to Julie.Jorge's final loop was one of dreams. I could feel the entire course spin up.

Everybody was talking. Each aid station was tracking times and with support staff passing from station to station, everybody knew. A high energy wave washed through the entire course from station to station. I could hear yells from across the lake as he went through each station. Everybody caught the buzz and was fired up. The other competitors were yelling as he went bye, from his closest friends to his rivals, every person sent him their energy and sped him along the way. It was amazing to feel this camaraderie wash across us all for Jorge's quest to snatch the pebble. We were all his for this loop. We watched the clock as it seemed to speed up. The closer he got, the faster it went. He lost the day's light just 6 miles out from the finish. He had 20 mins when he went through the last station 3 miles out. When we got the news, we knew he was losing the battle, but wondered yet if he could find some inner strength to push through the final miles even faster than he had already gone. He had to feel it, he had to know how close he was. We hoped he could find the way. Everything else seemed to disappear. Nothing else captured our attention.

I had rigged a finish banner from some flagging and stood on the finish line looking for 2 fast moving lights to come out of the dark. All of us just stood there, our eyes flashing back and forth between the trail and the clock. The time we all had memorized by now was 13:16:02. As the clock rolled past 13:00:00 it sped up even faster. All we were watching were the minute digits now. When it rolled past 16 minutes, then we knew for sure that it was not to be. We saw his lights just as the clock flew past 13:16:02 and kept spinning. But he did not know what we already knew. He was flying down the trail and came in full of enormous energy to see that he had only just barley missed the 100 mile trail world record. I don't know if he saw our faces first or the clock, but the air seemed to come out of him as he checked his watch, then the main timing clock. He now knew! He had run the race of a lifetime, but the clock ran faster than he did. To run that grand and that strong and to feel the disappointment he felt, that all of us felt was so odd. he had just run a 13:16:56. His last split was another 2:43 for a 8:11 pace, a 100mi pace of 7:58. It was unbelievable, All of us stood there with him, in shock. I shook his hand and he got warm congrats from all, but it was 54 seconds short of perfect. Jorge has the manners of a humble gentle soul with the heart of a lion. Every one of us wanted so badly for him to have this thing he wanted, but there was nothing more we could do. I heard tell of him giving way to the other runner's all day and offering encouragement. I am not so certain that I have ever met a man that was at once this gentle and this tough at the same time. I wondered if this was how a true champion was supposed to be. I hope so. We could stand to have a few more champions like Jorge Pacheco.

We had an hour and 40mins to reflect on what had just happened before the next runner came in to finish. Andy Jones-Wilkins had pulled ahead to take the 2006 USATF 100 Mile Trail National Championship. At 14:56:55, he had become the Men's National Champion. Another humble and very nice man who also runs quite well. He was pleased with how it had gone and settled in to wait for his teammate Julie to arrive. Guillermo Medina was next in 15:54 followed quickly by Dave Bursler in 15:57. Dave would take 2nd in the Men's National Championship.The women came in as they had pretty much run all day. All of them tough and strong, never relenting or allowing the others to do so either. Connie Gardner came in as she had gone out, in first at 17:04:00. She became the Women's National Champion. Sue Johnston came in as she had run all day as well, just 15 mins back in 17:18. Julie Fingar was 3rd in 18:03. There was plenty more to settle on the trails with only 18 hours gone, but the prime pieces had been picked. When the sun dropped, it took all the heat with it. It turned bitter cold around Raven Lake, which is the loop we ran around, so quite a few runners succumbed to the cold with hyperthemic conditions. During the wee hours, our medical staff was in full swing with all the issues that arose. The winners got away with the fast start during the beautiful day, but many of the others paid for the aggressive start. Some rallied and some did not.Our starting field was the largest in our history with 196 starters in the 100mi. 133 finished under 30 hours. The finish rate was less than usual with only 68% and 59 people under 24 hours.Larry Hall took the men's 50mi win with 7:38:05 and the Women's 50mi race was won by Michele Jensen in 8:10:20.


This race had 61 starters with 55 finishers.Joe Prusaitis: RD

100mi
1 13.16.56 Jorge Pacheco 38 CA
2 14.56.55 Andy Jones-Wilkins 38 CA USATF Champion
3 15.54.50 Guillermo Medina 31 CA
4 15.57.25 David Bursler 41 DE USATF
5 16.32.50 Ryan Loehding 33 TX
6 17.04.00 Connie Gardner F 42 OH USATF Champion
7 17.18.10 Susan Johnston F 40 VT USATF
8 18.03.20 Julie Fingar F 30 CA USATF
9 19.07.57 Kevin Bligan 46 PA USATF
10 19.50.57 Frank Probst 62 VA USATF
11 19.49.37 Jeff Holdaway 47 VA USATF
12 17.21.26 Ryan Cooper 31 CO
13 18.09.10 Herman Richards 52 NJ USATF
14 19.15.20 Shane Sampson 42 OH USATF
15 20.33.12 James Howton 31 VA
16 17.57.14 Robert King 44 TX
17 20.08.36 Mike Sheehy 33 CA
18 19.38.55 Matt Long 49 WI
19 19.29.25 Kelly Korevec 23 WI
20 19.29.24 Christopher Clausen
21 WI 21 20.38.36 Neal Taylor 43 CO
22 20.40.06 Bobby Keogh 56 NM USATF
23 20.53.06 Roy Heger 51 OH USATF
24 21.04.56 Terri Handy F 41 CO USATF
25 21.06.58 Barbara Hitzfeld F 44 TX USATF
26 21.24.21 Bridget DeLaRosa Herrejon F 32 TX
27 21.28.08 Pat Benner 41 CO
28 21.47.35 Noora Alidina F 49 FL USATF
29 22.04.42 Ben Holmes 48 KS
30 22.10.28 Beth Simpson F 47 WI USATF
31 22.19.45 Dale Perry 48 CO USATF
32 22.25.55 Hans-Dieter Weisshaar 65 Germany
33 22.29.10 Dave Yeakel Jr 41 VA
34 22.29.28 Cathy Tibbetts F 51 NM USATF
35 22.32.02 Michael Campbell 56 VA USATF
36 22.36.41 Michael Hayes 31 TX
37 22.37.36 Ernest Stolen 57 NV USATF
38 22.43.47 Cheryl Ibarra F 53 AL
39 22.47.15 Drew Anderson 37 NY
40 22.56.57 Douglas McGraw 24 PA
41 22.59.10 Scott Olmer 34 CO
42 23.02.25 Lynn Ballard 49 TX
43 23.14.13 Mark Jacob 46 CA
44 23.19.30 Dan Keefe 41 OK
45 23.24.40 Michael Day 44 NC
46 23.26.59 Dan Brenden 54 AZ USATF
47 23.30.19 Pete Mehok 27 TX USATF
48 23.41.18 Stephen Hudgens 50 TX
49 23.44.43 Stephen McNeil 48 TX
50 23.46.05 David Townsend 44 TX
51 23.46.05 John Ritter 50 TX
52 23.47.27 Don Ryan 56 MO USATF
53 23.47.57 Stuart Skeeter 35 TX
54 23.48.53 Linda Mcfadden F 43 CA
55 23.50.20 Brian Franklin 32 OK
56 23.50.38 Jen Foster F 33 AR
57 23.50.38 Greg Eason 35 AR
58 23.52.47 Axel Reissnecker 52 TX
59 23.55.24 John JR Radich 51 CA
60 24.10.35 Garrett Mulrooney 37 MN
61 24.12.08 John Taylor 44 MN
62 24.13.05 Rene Villalobos 47 TX
63 24.16.34 David Berdis 47 TX
64 24.24.32 Rex Friend 51 OK
65 24.31.24 Martin Fritzhand 62 OH USATF
66 24.33.52 Scott Parker 49 CA
67 24.36.20 Jeff Heasley 38 CO
68 24.40.14 Anita Fromm F 34 CO
69 24.51.42 Jan Ryerse 60 MO USATF
70 24.56.18 Robert Calabria 64 NC
71 24.59.38 Dennis Drey 54 NM
72 25.10.54 Daniel Fox 49 OH
73 25.19.01 Jean-Jacques d'Aquin 66 CO
74 25.19.43 Xy Weiss F 44 CA USATF
75 25.22.27 Robert Botto 56 TX USATF
76 25.32.50 Troy Pfeiferling 43 TX
77 25.32.50 Daryl Lazauskas 41 TX
78 25.41.16 James Rapp 48 NV
79 25.45.25 David Corley 44 TX
80 25.52.10 Rolly Portelance 63 Canada
81 25.52.43 Letha Cruthirds F 52 TX USATF
82 25.52.46 Kimberly Pilcher F 42 TX
83 26.06.20 Rick George 48 IL
84 26.06.35 Frank Gousman Jr 51 NJ USATF
85 26.09.49 Marlin Howe 51 MI
86 26.11.00 Dennis Jensen 57 NV
87 26.19.23 Jason Midgarden 33 MN
88 26.24.10 Fred Pollard 66 CA USATF
89 26.24.10 Leigh Corbin F 44 CA
90 26.29.45 Lori Sampson F 41 OH
91 26.29.45 Timothy Joyce 44 LA
92 26.44.26 Phil Wright 61 CA
93 26.49.25 John Hargrove 61 OK
94 26.55.50 Maneeb Mellem 52 TX USATF
95 27.08.13 Michelle Barton F 34 CA USATF
96 27.08.13 Andrew Mathews 44 FL
97 27.19.07 Bob Rayburn 50 CO
98 27.21.55 Phil Rosenstein 35 WI
99 27.21.55 Dann Fisher 42 KS
100 27.23.40 Fran Cox F 44 TX
101 27.29.39 Jim Perry 56 OK
102 27.33.41 Conrad Daniel 57 CA
103 27.35.06 Anne Watts F 50 CO
104 27.38.24 Dmitry Rozinsky 30 TX
105 27.47.44 Mary Vish F 56 NJ
106 27.56.33 Jean Richards F 52 NJ
107 27.58.18 Steve Blake 49 TX
108 28.04.20 Gretchen Lammeman F 33 TX
109 28.07.00 David H Johnson 52 TX
110 28.11.33 Susan Bell F 42 TX
111 28.16.40 Matt Erbele 32 IL
112 28.16.40 Patrick Gorman 47 IL
113 28.22.18 William Abrams 45 NJ
114 28.27.10 Leonard Martin 52 TN
115 28.30.31 Kimberley Sergeant F 47 TX
116 28.36.50 Stan Carrier 47 OK
117 28.36.50 Bill Myers 44 OK
118 28.38.33 Jay Barry 52 PA
119 28.38.33 Joe Barry 59 TX
120 28.41.22 Jeff Dalton 30 TX
121 28.43.43 Robert Lott Jr 44 TX
122 28.46.15 Mark Raymond 43 TX
123 28.52.20 Christopher Rampacek 54 TX
124 28.55.06 Edwin Demoney 72 VA USATF
125 29.17.25 Louise Mason F 52 IL USATF
126 29.23.38 David Hughes 60 IN USATF
127 29.23.57 Eunsup Kim 53 TX
128 29.29.22 Anthony Toh 37 TX
129 29.30.40 Rinaldo Legaspi 33 TX
130 29.34.10 Christopher Luke 43 TX
131 29.34.48 Arthur Smith 33 CA
132 29.37.51 Joseph Galloway 48 IA
133 29.51.30 Brenda Baker F 41 TX
196 starters 68% finish rate
finished after the 30 hr cutoff
Alan Brock 43 TXSteve Hookanson 49 LADuane Lewis 50 la

50mi

1 07.38.06 Larry Hall 51 IL
2 07.55.50 Falvey Malarcher 41 TX
3 07.57.22 Brad Quinn 32 TX
4 08.00.21 James Buchwalter 48 TX
5 08.09.01 George Hitzfeld 45 TX
6 08.10.20 Michele Jensen F 35 CO
7 08.11.27 Joe Tammaro 42 TX
8 08.42.45 Gerald Batchen 36 ID
9 08.52.16 Fred Thompson 56 TX
10 09.00.36 David Kim 45 TX
11 09.03.15 Nick Castillo 48 TX
12 09.07.58 Jason Thomas 32 AR
13 09.19.19 Steven Oliveira 38 NY
14 09.26.45 Michelle Wolpert F 43 TX
15 09.29.31 Chris Paschke 34 TX
16 09.31.19 Tim Allen 37 TX
17 09.37.56 Jaime Garcia 29 TX
18 09.42.02 Lori Cooper F 30 CO
19 10.10.31 Ed Green 56 CO
20 10.13.02 Andy Ralph 39 TX
21 10.14.08 William Moeller 50 TX
22 10.37.00 Donald Norman 40 TX
23 10.39.12 Dawn Long F 50 WI
24 10.44.16 Johnny Spriggs 51 OK
25 10.44.51 Katy Cotton F 39 WY
26 11.16.28 Kathryn Vidal F 54 TX
27 11.17.38 Todd Eitleman 38 TX
28 11.19.04 Alex Armato 48 TX
29 11.26.09 Christina Pierce F 27 TX
30 11.34.35 Brett Mills 28 TX
31 11.38.33 David Duston 57 TX
32 11.38.35 Carlos Reyes 50 TX
33 11.39.33 Mary Kashurba F 49 PA
34 11.39.33 Mike Whalen 51 CA
35 11.48.24 Andrew Edwards 34 AL
36 12.03.07 Dick Hogan 59 IA
37 12.08.37 Jim Richard 43 TX
38 12.14.58 Lewis Grell 49 TX
39 12.59.38 Tony Moreno 49 TX
40 13.02.41 Doise Miers F 28 TX
41 13.16.27 Donna Squyres F 52 TX
42 13.26.31 Aiko Hanyu F 52 TX
43 13.31.17 Dianna Keogh F 50 NM

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