Davy Crockett’s Running Frontier

I like to Run Insanely Long & Crazy Distances                                                                                                             Pony Express Trail 100

Browsing Posts published in February, 2011

Rocky Raccoon 100 is where it all began for me back in 2005. This was the scene of the crime where I finished my first 100-mile race in 26:53.  I returned for the 4th time, this time seeking my 38th 100-mile finish.  Last year I had a nearly perfect race, finishing in 21:07.

The Rocky Raccoon 100 runs in Huntsville Stake Park, north of Houston, Texas. The 20-mile course runs all over the park, making its way all the way around Lake Raven. We would have to run the course five times to reach 100 miles. The course had been changed in recent years to eliminate two out-and-backs, replacing them with more forest single-track. Most of the course runs through forest on a nice soft surface. See the course map.

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I’m a new race director in the sport of ultrarunning.   I never envisioned that I would be a race director and never really sought after doing it, but as I wanted to share the experience of ultrarunning with others, I eventually took the plunge and started to direct a race.  However, I did not just jump into it, I did it after serving several years in an “internship” helping and watching a race director who I think is one of the best in our sport.  Still, I feel like a rookie race director and I’m still learning.  

The sport of ultrarunning is unique in that it has no governing body looking over it.  Some may believe the USA Track and Field organization (USATF) does, but in reality this body doesn’t even understand the sport and in recent years seems to get in the way more than help.  They try to anoint national championships that are largely just ignored by the mainstream competitors of the sport.

So without a true governing body, race directors can have an enormous impact on the sport.  In recent years, there has been an explosive growth in the number of ultramarathons and thus an explosion of the number of race directors who are impacting the sport.  Thankfully, the vast majority of these race directors are ultrarunners or have experienced ultrarunners on their committees and are being careful to provide what is expected and maintain a level of uniformity.

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