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Bandera 100K/50K/25K
Bandera, TX
Jan 7, 2006

RDís Report by Joe Prusaitis

The Bandera races where manipulated this year such that all three events started at three different parts of the course, just to avoid over crowding. With record numbers of runners in all events, this was essential on the primarily single track course. Also, the weather was milder than usual, very cool early on, warming into the seventies during the day. Even the all nighters had a wonderfully cool night. All in all, everything went well for the majority.

In the 100km, Paul Frost had a large lead by 50km and was never challenged, holding on to win in 10:26. Peter Vrolijk, Pete Mehok, Bill Patience, and Doug Gimenez rounded out the top five overall men. Shan Rooney also would lead by 50km, and was followed closely by Bridget DeLaRosa-Herrejon, Janis Jenkins, Marla Buechner, and Marcy Beard. While Shan held on for the win in 13:35, the rest of the women's field sorted themselves out for 2nd through 5th. 62 finishers managed to handle two identical 50km loops, scattered with rough and rugged terrain, a few good climbs, and a variety of easier smooth running trails.

In the 50km, Ken Gordon blasted the course for a new 50km course record in 4:09. Sergio Martinez, Gerhard van Niekerk, Steve Mahieu, and Kurt Coonrod took the next 4 places. Amanda MacIntosh, fresh from her 100km win in Argentina, seemed not the least bothered by the quick turnaround, as she won the women's race in 5:05 and set the new 50km women's course record. Melissa Heggen, Jennifer Berry Keller, Barbara Hitzfeld, and Josephie Dean took the next 4 places. 111 finishers jumped onto the big 50km loop where the nastiest part begins, collecting 12 miles of murderous hills and rugged rocks. The final 19 miles did have a few challenges, but not nearly what they started out on.

In the 25km, we also had a very competitive field. The top 4 men went under the old course record. James Bales, the new owner of the 25km course record with a time of 1:40. Paul Terranova, Patrick Darragh, and
Jon Clough also slipped under the old record, finishing in 2nd through 4th, followed closely by Jamie Cleveland. Cindy Henges came back to win for the 2nd year in a row in 2:17, followed by Joni Moore, Clea Czysz, Meredith Terranova, and Andrea Fisher. 138 finishers took a route that started pretty tame and then turned viscous, with the final 7 miles being very rugged and down right nasty.

Putting together an event of this magnitude takes quite a bit of help and the help does come. Some of the most wonderful people to grace our fair state show up to display what good southern hospitality is all about. A collection of good old, salt of the earth, nice down to their souls, people. I struggle each year with the reasons that I bother to do this yet again, but then I get so busy with the management that I forget to ask myself why. Finally, at about 3 or 4am, while I wait for the last runners to come in, I have time to think. By then, of course, my thinking is as dysfunctional as the last few runners. Sleep deprivation and exhaustion bring on the most heightened awareness at times and also some of the greatest enlightenment. And then we forget it in the next instant. Anyway, what was I talking about? I think it went well. It was fun at times. I did learn that I cannot please everybody, but I can't imagine why I thought I could. I am happy to say that more people than usual cussed me while they thanked me. And now, I hope to forget again... why I do this!

/joe prusaitis


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