by Joe Prusaitis
2 February 2008
We had an epic weekend in the piney woods of Texas this past weekend.
A record field of 252 Century runners and another 159 Half-Centurions showed up to try their luck. For the volunteers, it was as pretty a day as could be had, but for the runners, it was not near so kind.
The high was 72°F & the low 43°F, so it never really cooled off. For many, this was a welcome respite from their snow country origin, but for most, it was a bit warm. Our lowest finish rate in many years at 66% allowing only 168 finishers in the 100mi with 89% or 142 finishers in the 50mi.
Jorge Pacheco started very strong, holding a 7:42 pace for 40 miles, hitting the first two 20mi laps at the same 2:33 split. But as the day warmed up and his competitors fell further back, his 3rd 20mi lap time fell off by 14mins and then another 10mins on the 4th loop. He pretty much had the race won by the start of the last loop. Its hard to imagine that somebody could back off, yet still run 14:12:20. In four go-rounds at Rocky, Jorge has won 3 times in 14:14, 13:16, and 14:12. As humble and easy going as ever, Jorge wowed us yet again with his speed and hisgentleness. 2nd and 3rd were taken by Aaron Schwartzbard 15:20:53 and Steven Richard 16:15:28. The Women’s 100mi race was won by Jen Davis in 20:01:59, followed by Kira Matukaitis in 21:28:09, and Jennifer Forman 21:49:46.
Ted Archer, Francisco Garza, & Robert Cowan battled each other in the 50mi, with Ted Archer taking the lead after one loop and holding on to win in 6:38:01. Francisco Garza took 2nd in 6:50:13, and Robert Cowan 3rd in 7:10:50 Meredith Terranova won the women’s race in 8:21:49, with Karalee Morris 2nd in 8:29:36, and Jacqueline O’Brien- Nolen 3rd in 8:49:18.
While the support staff of our aid stations gets better and better each year, it is becoming increasingly more difficult for us to support our own aid stations. We have also outgrown the facilities for dining and briefing at the park’s Lodge, so I will be looking for ways to improve all of this. These are all good problems. Distance runner’s seem to like what we provide at Rocky. The care and feeding that we work so hard to as best we can is recognized for just that…
we really do care. It is our intention to provide for every runner what we would want for ourselves where we running. Yes, Texas Hospitality is alive and well at Rocky. Just ask any of the people who ran with us this year.
The trash problem continues to grow. It started pretty good, but became pretty bad after dark. Who do these runner’s think is going to pick up this trash… but the same people who have been caring for them all day and all night. It really is very rude. I have yet to catch somebody tossing trash, but if we do… our hospitality will fade quickly!
On a final note: I want to thank all the staff and volunteers who worked Rocky this year. Yall did an awesome job. Thank you so very much.