Monday, November 26, 2012

A Wild Hair?!?!

Race Report from LPTRunner Troy Malinowski...

As this past Friday approached, I was looking at my training schedule of twenty-five miles and wondering where to run. The temperatures were supposes to be mild and I had a wild hair to use an event to get the miles in.

I searched the web and found the Tejas Trails WILD HARE trail runs scheduled and race day registration available. The event host 10K, 25K, 50K and 50M. I have heard that Joe puts on some good events, to include Bandera.

So, Saturday morning, I awoke early and still had the wild hair and drove two hours to the ranch in Warda. I was surprised when registration was inside someone’s kitchen and various runners awaiting the start sitting watching TV in the living room. I registered for the 50K, while contemplating the 50 mile.

Upon pre-race announcements, we learned the course was approximately a 7.8 mile loop. So we would be running four loops. At this time, the temperature was thirty-eight degrees and I was shivering in my shorts and short sleeve tech shirt, while many others looked to be wearing long johns. I believed a PR was possible, so I set up to pace for it.

At 0700, we were off. The first quarter mile was pasture into the woods on flat and sandy single-track to serpentine for the next three miles to the aid station. We were constantly running near someone on another portion of the trail, making it actually hard to know where you were later in the race. After the aid station, we ran through another portion of the pasture for about three quarters of a mile into a small gully winding a bit as we funneled into the corner of a field. The 10K runners continued directly back into the woods. We ran around the edge of the field, passing an operating oil rig and some tree lines before reentering the woods. This is where the most technical portion of the run began. During the next mile, we ran across wooden bridges, one curved along edge of gully into a steep and narrow climb. The climb was called the “Carpet Run”, as for the next two hundred yards, nearly straight up, was lined with carpet for traction and erosion prevention. And periodically small fifty yard patches of carpet spans thereafter. If you ever rode the wooden “Viper” roller coaster at Six Flags – Great America, this is what this portion was like. After leaving the coaster, we ran through camp ground area, field and into the barn prior to reaching the start/finish line to complete the loop.

At this time, I found that I was approximately seven minutes ahead of pace, so I slowed a bit to relax legs, which were feeling tight in the cool temperatures. I found my pace and was enjoying the run.

On Loop two, I ran front serpentine, through field and into gully pretty much alone, only seeing others on other trails, aid station or afar in field. About this time, I ran up on another runner and started talking to her as we climbed a hill. We continued to talk and proceeded into the Roller Coaster. As we came into view of the Barn, I found that I was about fifteen minutes ahead of pace. And then suddenly realized I DIDN’T PASS THE OIL RIG!! I missed the turn into the field.

What do I do now?? Run back and rerun the field? Continue running?

I continued running and tried to figure out. As I started third loop, I had a 50 Miler come up on me and set a good pace. We talked and he commented, “Just run the loop in the field twice as the trails intersect in the corner”, which I did. But mentally that hurt my run, as I was actually behind pace because of the missed loop and the sun was rising and heating up the air.

As I finished the third loop, I was about ten minutes behind pace and tried to push it. But thighs didn’t want to be pushed. I continued at a steady pace and finished strong, posting my second best 50K to date.

Joe and Tejas Trails put on a well organized event. A nice family like race, with many spectators and an enjoyable time.


  1. An awesome race report, keep them coming

  2. Thanks for the race report Troy. Congrats on your great time as well.