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Category: Weekend Runs

Bandera Training run

Bandera Training run

Our latest trip to Hill Country State Natural Area brought out some new Rockhoppers. Ivonne, Travis, Christine and Tim were also out on these rugged trails for the first time and they are registered to run The Bandera Races out here January 7!

The weather was drizzly and foggy so we had no majestic views of the hills but we had a great time getting to know each other and catching up with the “Oldies” too.

Good luck to everyone running 100K 50K and 25K in two weeks.bandera1 bandera2

ROAD TRIP!!

ROAD TRIP!!

The Rockhopper summer trip was to Austin’s Barton Creek this year. We had a great time with Tejas Trails and our gracious host, race director Joe Prusaitus. 13 Rockhoppers made the trip and Joe brought along his wife Joyce and several others. The trails were technical on the first loop of 5 miles. Chris commented on the low hanging branches. The second loop took us on the main trails which were open and more exposed. After a few more miles we jumped in the creek to cool off on a very humid day. Some looked as though they had been sprayed with a water hose before the jump in the creek. A dog joined us in the water too! Later the gang all headed out to Zilker park for a dip in the Barton Creek spring fed pool. The water was ice cold! This was followed by Sausage and beer at a local eat-’em-up joint. It was a fun outing with fun people.

Rockhopper Weekend in Bandera

Rockhopper Weekend in Bandera

We had another awesome weekend at Hill Country State Natural Area, where many of us were getting in some long runs in preparation for Bandera 100k. We had reserved the Lodge from Friday through Sunday morning, and had a blast running and sharing stories all weekend.

Pictured, from left to right, are Larry, Chris, Tim, Rachel, Matt, Brian, Chris, Liza, Elizabeth, Tanya, Jason and Travis. Rich is holding the camera.

To quote Chris’, AKA, training run organizer/confuser, Mr. CACTUS, the “Big Man” summary concerning this weekends runs,

To quote Chris’, AKA, training run organizer/confuser, Mr. CACTUS, the “Big Man” summary concerning this weekends runs,

I’m sure by now everyone is confused about the weekend run options so here they are:

Bandera – Lead by Chris. Meet at 4am at Gold’s gym parking lot. 22 mile run (Refuel after 12). Medium pace.

Leon Creek – Lead by Tom. Meet at 6am at Mainland Trailhead. 17-18 mile run. Easy pace until Lalo, Tony and Connie start trying to drop each other so it will be a full on sprint by the end.

GC – Lead by Stefan. Meet at 715a. 2.5hr backcountry run. stefan is tapering and showing a trail runner virgin around so I imagine it will be comfortable pace.

Bandera running – Saturday May 12

Bandera running – Saturday May 12

We’re running at Hill Country state natural area in Bandera this weekend. Everyone welcomed! We’re meeting at the Tigermart at Bandera and 1604. 5:30 AM on Saturday. Routes of 10, 17, and 22 miles. Be prepared to get muddy!

Troy’s Bandera training run report for Sunday Oct 02

Troy’s Bandera training run report for Sunday Oct 02

Nice weather out at Bandera this morning – temps in the 50’s.  In
spite of last nights confusion, lots of runners were out on the
trails.  Vidal and I started at 2am.  We started off on 2a and hit
Lucky’s, Cairn’s, Boyles and Sky Island.  Since we did’nt skip any of
the climbs we rewarded ourselves by admiring the views from “all” the
scenic overlooks.  Right before we started coming down off Cairn’s
(around 3:30) we saw a single light starting the descent off Boyles.
However we never ran into anyone.  Thought maybe it was Brian doing
hill repeats on Boyles but then later we saw his email that he was not
going to make it.  No idea who the mystery runner was.

We made our way back to Crossroads where Connie, Jean, Jessica,
Travis, Stefan, Rich & Larry joined us at 5. Vidal had had enough so
he left to head home. Took 6 and 1 to Wilderness Camp to go up Mt FUJI
and tackle the three sisters.  Angered the camping gods by talking too
loud in Wilderness Camp and were told “we are trying to sleep” at
5:45.  Not quite the controversy that Tom & Kelli created at the Grand
Canyon but oh well.

Back to Crossroads via trail 1 to pick up Rachel and John.  Connie was
not feeling well so she decided to head back to SA – hope your ok
Connie.  Since apparently there was another batch of runners getting
to the park at 7:00, we took 2a to hit Lucky’s (my 2nd time of the
morning Chris) and made our way back to Crossroads via the road from
the Lodge.  John left us at trail 4 (Last Chance) to get his miles in
on Cairns and Boyles.  Lots of horses, cattle, and cowboys at the
lodge.

Jessica and I may have angered the Bandera Gods by “liking” running
the road back to Crossroads – Jessica more than I.  Larry on the other
hand built up a lifetime of good karma with the gods by showing his
utter disdain for the road.

At that point I was done with my running.  I am not going to mention
names but most of the group took the road back to the Lodge to run
Cairns, Boyles and Sky Island.  But once again Larry rose to the
occasion and built up some additional karma for himself as well as
some for Annabel by refusing to run the road back to the lodge.  He
almost negated all this karma by considiring me driving him to the
Lodge but common sense prevailed and he decided that he would run the
Sky Island saddle and meet up with the rest somewhere between there
and the Lodge.

I dont know how the rest of the run went.  Hopefully Chris will be
back next weekend to restore order and calm – and take care any light
sleepers at Wilderness Camp.

Troy

Chris’ Bandera night Run Report

Chris’ Bandera night Run Report

Well it didn’t quite work out as planned from a mileage standpoint (more on that later) but the night run was a great time on a beautiful night! We had a rather large group. At one time or another our group consisted of Jean, Connie, Jessica, Mary Vincent, Robert, Rich, Eric, Paul, Vidal, Travis, Larry, Tim and myself. Rich’s wife, Jeannie (hope I spelled it right) was there for amazing support. After caching water and gearing up we probably got started somewhere close to 530p. We ran 10 miles from Equestrian to Nachos to Equestrian. Beginning of the run was pretty warm but by the time 7p rolled around we were treated to a beautiful sunset and rapidly cooling temperatures. After arriving at Equestrian  we treated ourselves to a lot of the goodies the Mihalik’s had set out. We said goodbye to Vidal who was recovering from an illness and was really having a hard time breathing even on downhills. Rich then joined us for the 10-11 mile section from Equestrian to Boyles to Equestrian. Robert left us (alonng with some jokes about how he got turned around at Boyles last week) as we went Sky Island. We stopped at the Lodge and enjoyed some of the water Rich had cached by using his former military skills to evade the scrutinizing watch of the HCSNA rangers. At the lodge Rich, Tim (nausea issues) and Jessica headed back to Equestrian via the road. After leaving the lodge we had planned on doing the same 10-11 miles in reverse direction in Cactus Rose style. Larry loaded up on about 3 of Rich’s red bulls took off and all we ever saw was his back. On the top of Boyles my bruised left foot really started to hurt and was falling way behind. When we got to the Sky Island saddle I told everyone I planned to head back the half mile to Equestrian because I didn’t want to hurt my foot further. I then tried to describe the rest of the route so those who wanted to do the Cactus Rose route could do so. After a couple of attempts I got blank looks and finally Eric said, “Chris wherever you are going we are going”. Guess they didn’t want to get lost among the coyotes. So we head back to Equestrian. From Equestrian Connie, Travis and Mary ran 6 more miles (trail 1 to Nachos and road back to Equestrian) while the rest of us either left or hung out with the Mihaliks and made sure Connie, Travis and Mary made it back ok. Which they did. On to some of the highlights:


– The Mihaliks were the MVPs. It was a lot of fun just relaxing at Equestrian enjoying the goodies and shooting the breeze on a wonderful starry night.
– In all most of us did 27 miles except for Connie, Travis and Mary who did 33 miles. It was Travis and Connie’s longest run ever!!!!
– I forgot how much the temperature can swing from the ridges to the low points. Felt like a 10-20 degree difference sometimes. On the ridges we would really go through the water
– Tim and Larry were wearing the bandannas. I will admit Tim can wear it much better than me but no one can rock it like Larry. Larry has a flair that no one else can simply match!
– Speaking of Larry he was running amazingly well so soon after Wasatch. He should do great at Cactus.
– One of the most interesting happenings was we descended down Mt Fuji into the wilderness camp that was being occupied by a bunch of Boy Scouts. I think the last thing they expected was to see about 13 headlamps coming down into the wilderness camp that time of night. They were cool about it.
– Vidal was sporting his new Hoka black light hiking shoes. They looked like a pair of military jump boots but Vidal said they were very light.
– A lot of us got really hungry on the stretch from Equestrian to Lodge. It was a good reminder that the body needs solid food at times.
– Not a lot going on on wildlife front. Saw some dillos and heard coyotes but no sightings.
– Mary won best fall hands down. On the top of Boyles she stepped on large flat rock. If she was at GC she would have been fine but as well all know Bandera rocks move. Well this rock moved and so did Mary. She did a good job of shaking it off.
– One forgets how challenging that section from Equestrian to Boyles to the Lodge and back can be in the dark. The night and the hills and rocks really make it hard to get into a rhythm. Good training for what we will deal with at Cactus.
– A couple of people relearned the valuable lesson of using Bodyglide to prevent chaffing.

So even though not all of us got the mileage we wanted the evening was an absolute blast and very relaxing. It’s hard to beat Bandera at night!
Chris
Chris’ recap of our last training run at Bandera

Chris’ recap of our last training run at Bandera

Hey all, we had a great run at Bandera today with some new faces. For those of you unable to join I thought I would give a recap with some highlights. Including a very special highlight at the end.


Around 530am, me Brian, Tom, Liza, Tony, Tim, Rich, Jessica, Jean, Eric and Paul hit the trail. It was the first time Jessica, Eric, and Paul ran with us. Liza, Tony, Eric and Tom were the lead pack with the rest of us some distance behind. We ran over Lucky’s, to the the Lodge (turn around), to Cairns, Boyle’s and Sky Island. At Sky Island, Tony and Liza headed back and the rest of us did the rest of Sky Island to trail 1, hit the back side of the Sisters the Mt Fuji way, back to trail 1 to Trail 6 and the headed back to crossroads. We refueled and said goodbye to Jessica and Paul (who got hurt…more later). Tom, Eric, me, Tim, Brian and JEan went back up Sky Island and then rand down to trail 1. Trail 1 to Ice Cream Hill, back to trail 1, to the Sisters (Tom and Jean continued on trail 1 back to crossroads), after the Sisters we made the long climb up Sky Island and then ran back to the cars. In sum we got around 24 hot hilly rocky miles in. Tom and Jean were in the 22-23 range. Rich did his own route the 2d time and got around 23. Very productive running day. On to highlights

– It was hot but very humid. Our clothes never really got dry and the sweating never stopped. Fortunately, there was some cloud cover at times. We also got some nice breezes. Got a very good breeze at the top of Ice Cream Hill of all places. We stood there awhile and enjoyed it.
– Didn’t see all the stuff Larry and Troy did. Did see one snake but that was it. No frogs, dillos, deer, hogs, Lorenzo etc. The mud puddles also pretty much dried up.
– Eric won the award for running with the most people. Early on we ran with Liza,  Tony and Tom. After Liza and  Tony left he slummed with us mid-packers.
– Liza’s foot passed the Bandera Rock test! She seemed excited. Eric told me it was amazing how effortlessly Liza places he feet when rock running.
– It was Jessica’s first time at Bandera and she did very well! Really did well handling the rocks. She had already signed up for CR50 and made the comment that it was a good thing she signed up before see the course.
. Paul did his best Joe T. impersonation and put his hand hard on a sotol to break his fall when he tripped. Lots of blood on hand and he hurt his shoulder. Sad thing was it happened right at end of 15 mile loop.
– Tim really rocked the Larry bandanna do-rag look. It should improve his time by a minute per mile.
– Now on to THE highlight of the day. I still get chills thinking about it. At the beginning of our 2d batch of miles we climbed up Sky Island from Crossroads, Upon approaching the Sky Island saddle there is a trail that cuts the 90 degree perpendicular angle the main Sky Island trail makes with the saddle saving valuable distance. Naturally we all take the trail that cuts the angle except for Tom. Tom runs past the shortcut trail to the main Sky Island trail junction and then turns left onto the main Sky Island trail adding at least 60 feet to his run. The rest of us stood watching with our mouths dropped open in total awe. The old Tom Bowling would have taken that shortcut but the new Tom Bowling is taking running to a whole other level. Tom was humble, of course, and tried to downplay it but the rest of us knew what we saw. In the upcoming months when Tom is setting course records and eventually winning Ultrarunner of the Year we will reflect on that magical moment on Aug 13, 2011 when Tom Bowling redefined what was humanly possible.

Chris