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Latest Group runs in review

Latest Group runs in review

The first quarter of this year has brought many great Rockhopper run experiences. Experiences that will undoubtedly lead to fun end of year awards. USATF points for the Rockhoppers are accumulating also .

We have a competitive spirit but we all agree our group training runs where we share our friendly banter are the most fun.

Here then is a recap of this weekends group runs at Leon Creek, Hill Country State Natural Area, Mc Allister Park, and Boerne Stage road, hosted by various Rockhoppers.


Lisa Came out! As did Alex2,Mariana,Daniel,Orlando and Elda. The trail Gods showed us they still rule as Mariana took a tumble in the first quarter mile. This after joking in the parking lot about Trailrunners falling on smooth surfaces. I looked. No rock, stump, or branch. Sorry Marianna :-(. Besides a little bleeding and swelling, Marianna says she’ll survive.

We were moving at a pretty swift clip early on. Sandy’s ponytail was whipping joyfully as she was up front in the pack. That ponytail will lull you to sleep if she gets ahead of you at HH Chris.
We didn’t see any snakes. I assured the group they slept in but would come out on the second portion of our run, They didn’t but a whole bunch of bunny rabbits did. I took two wrong turns after taking the lead when Orlando called it a day. Sandy compared me to Wrong Way Tom.
We had fun! A great run on a cool crisp morning, and I was able to lead the group back to the parking lot.
Good to see quite a few of the Park Police on the trail and in the parking lots.
Sounds like a great group Tony! Glad to hear Sandy is running well. I am very happy for her.

We had a good group also. We had Rachel (so good to see her), Liza, Liza’s MdS pack, Splèens, Sheila, MJ, Robert, Caroline ( a gal visiting from Canada), Aash and Aash’s dog.

It was a gorgeous morning and the sun was a ball of fire when it rose. The pace was very relaxed. Liza (and her pack), Rachel and Caroline peeled off after a hour to run the hills. Not sure how many they did. On trail 7 Tanya blew past me and sending a not so subtle message on what to expect at HH 25k. Lisa and Robert headed back to the cars after 8 miles and the Spleens headed back at 12 miles. Sheila, MJ, Aash (and dog) and I finished out the 15 miles. Incidentally Aash’s name is pronounced Ash (as in the Evil Dead character…which is cool).

Great time on the trails and beautiful weather with a fun group of folks.

-Chris R.


McA Mafia/Rockhoppers met at 7:30am. A couple had come at 7am and got a head start on the group.

– We pretty much held to the plan. First loop turned into 12 miles (Jean put the hammer down starting at about 8 miles), then a relaxing 6 mile loop.
– tomorrow morning (Palm Sunday) 7:30am from Al Benkin pavilion an easy 6 miles on the Blue trail. All welcomed.
The Boston Prep run was awesome today. Like the other comments below, the weather was spectacular. It was Anabel, Stefan, Edward, Myself and a runner named Ellen. We were running from west of Boerne at 5:20am and made our way through 4 water stops with paces ranging from low to mid 7’s to 8:20 miles for the full 23.  We finished about 9am and pressed it pretty hard up and down the hills. 
-Joe T

The Cactus Kid reaches a milestone. 500 miles at Cactus Rose.

The Cactus Kid reaches a milestone. 500 miles at Cactus Rose.

Our “Sweet Chris” reaches his 500 mile goal at the Cactus Rose 100 on October 26.  A quest that began in 2008.

Congratulations Chris!

” I have often said over the years that while a 100 can be very empowering, paradoxically, it is very humbling because of how physically and mentally exhausted one can be. I would never have been able to accomplish it without all my friends that have trained with me, supported me, paced me, filled up my camelback or get me supplies. This race would have been a disaster without the ice bandana Rich and Don gave me or the poles that Brian loaned me. The Rockhoppers had a 71 percent finish rate for the 100. Everyone else was 40 % (when you back the Rockhoppers out of final standings). It isn’t because we are tougher than the others (heck I have a couple of Cactus DNFs to my name) but I think the support we give each other on the trail and during the race really contributes to a high percentage finishing. I know it did for me.” –Chris Russell

Congratulations to ALL the Rockhoppers who completed the 100 and 50 mile races at Cactus Rose this year.

Rockhopper weekend racing menu!

Rockhopper weekend racing menu!

Races A La Carte
(Something a little different since we have such a variety this weekend)

Appertif – peak season jessica pike seasoned with waddling quads ($26)

Hors D’oeuvres – british columbian squamish crockettpot drizzled with caliente claudette ($50)
Plat de Poisson – red striped waldo spleen infused with baby oregon pine sprouts ($62)
Entree – leadville liza lizard seared with legendary larry legs on a bed of beermatt(i) rice ($100)
Le Dessert – rockhopper tracks sprinkled over central texas limestone nuggets (Gratuit)

Best wishes to all!


Several Rockhoppers in big races this weekend.
Headlining the action are Liza, the Legend and Matt “Beer Mile” Smith running Leadville 100. The Legend will be continuing his quest to become the first one legged man to pogo stick his way through the Grand Slam. Many folks have suggested the Legend would help his chances (and his knee) if he used trekking poles but the Legend says that is cheating and real runners don’t use trekking poles.
The Spleens are off to Oregon for Where’s Waldo 100K. Tanya is running and Jason is crewing. Tanya has an absolute killer Waldo costume. The course is legendary for it’s smooth, rock free single track.
The Crocketts are off to BC, Canada to run the technical and tough Squamish 50.
Jessica is doing Pikes Peak Marathon this weekend as well. Only a week after doing Co Bend 60K. As Rich pointed out, Pikes should be easy….it is only one hill.
Good luck Rockhoppers!
And Thank you Stefan (menu), Chris (details)
Bandera 100K, 50K, 25K

Bandera 100K, 50K, 25K

Many Rockhoppers made it out to Hill Country State Natural Area this past Saturday morning for Bandera 100k, either to volunteer or participate in the race. We had multiple runners in the USATF Championship bracket, and many running in each distance available (100k, 50k, 25k).

Don Hauk’s Photos:
Tony Maldonado’s Photos:

2013 Bandera Rockhoppers:

  • Melanie Fryer (10th overall, 2nd Female Open 100k)
  • Liza Howard (20th overall, 1st Female 40+ 100k)
  • Lorenzo Sanchez (8th Male Open 100k)
  • Brian Ricketts (100k)
  • Rachel Ballard (100k)
  • Jason Espalin (100k)
  • Stephanie Bleich (100k)
  • Fumi Ishimatsu (100k)
  • Chris Russell (100k)
  • Vidal Gonzalez (100k)
  • Elizabeth Gonzalez (100k)
  • Rachel Cloud (100k)
  • Ellie Watson (100k)
  • Tim Smith (100k)
  • Niki Lake (100k)
  • Richard Mihalik (100k)
  • Joe Tammaro (50k)
  • Larry Kocian (50k)
  • Travis Bagwell (50k)
  • Jessica Utsman (50k)
  • David Brown (25k, 4th Overall)
  • Don Hauk (25k)
  • Tanya Espalin (25k + pacing)
  • Asa Howard (1 miler + hill repeats)
Trail Running Camp this weekend!

Trail Running Camp this weekend!

The fruits of our own Liza Howard’s efforts are finally paying off this weekend. The inaugural Mountain Goat Running Retreat is taking place this Friday through Monday at Camp Eagle, near Rocksprings, Texas. Click here for the full details.

Liza has been working tirelessly for months on this and deserves many many thanks. Not just for the aid this will be to our trail community, but for the positive impact it will have on the numerous Veterans this camp is letting in completely free of charge.

There are other running camps out there, but none of them with a focus on outreach and camaraderie like this one. Additionally, this camp doesn’t just allow you to run along side some amazing ultra runners, but allows you the opportunity to take part in unique training sessions on nutrition, form, training, hydration and many more areas from these athletes who have perfected such practices.

I am looking forward to seeing all the attendees this weekend. Many stories and photos to follow!