Bandera 100k


The last 20 miles were probably the toughest running of my life. I felt nauseated, every millimeter of my body ached, but I could not give up. I’m too stubborn for that. The will to finish and not give up, no matter what, was too strong. I knew they were hot on my tail, I could feel their breath on my neck. I willed that finish line closer and closer and after many soul-strengthening moments, there it was, I did it. I can now rest.

1st Place Finish with my friend Darrell who was part of my cru and the culinary artist of the weekend. Picture by: Marla Hendricks

Like most ultra runners, I continually ask my self “what in the hell am I doing.” The answer is easy, I have no fricken clue, but isn’t life funny? Humans are a funny breed. We do many things for fun, that others would call torture. Like golf, going to the mall, eating rocky mountain oysters. I don’t do those things, but I do run in circles for hours upon hours with a funny smile that resembles pure bliss. I probably need some type of psychiatric help, but running out in the mountains and forest seems to do the trick.

  Picture by: Marla Hendricks

Even with moments of pain, I sure had a blast at the Bandera 100k National Championship. Texas was fun, the trails were interesting and the people were great! Thank you Joe Prusaitis for putting on such a great race.

The 100k distance is made of two 50k loops. It starts with some gnarly climbing over dump-truck loads of loose rock outlined with serrated prickly sotol cactus bush for good measure. Followed by way to flat, maze of a middle section that brings you back to a mess of more scrambled rock. It ends with a few more climbs and a bunch more of black toenailing rocks letting you know your alive. After you’ve had one go around, a bunch of us decided it would me fun to swing around twice. I personally liked all the rocks and prickles, it made you have to be entirely focused the whole race or loose your front teeth (your choice).

 Dave in hot pursuit @ Cross Roads (mile 22). Picture by: Marla Hendricks

The first loop Dave James and I traded back n forth the roll of leader as a group of hungry Western State qualifying hopefuls nipped at our heals. I made it though the first loop around 3:52 and was hoping to finish around 8hrs. With the heat (70F), exhaustion and an extra mile I didn’t have much chance for the CR, but am quite happy to pull off a victory with a time of 8:28 and walk the days that followed. The CR holder Dave Macky was in striking distance the 2nd 50k and I was giving everything I am to not see him until the finish. Dave, Joe Uhan and Dylan Bowman were all within a minute of each other and came through about 10 minutes behind me. It was quite a race and I believe everyone dug really deep to finish the race as strong as they could. Amazing field of runners showed up for this race and looks as if that will tend to be the norm at the races I have lined up for 2012.

Somewhere out on the course, too busy looking at the ground 🙂

Picture by: Marla Hendricks

One take away from this run compared to other races I’ve done was the rocky terrain. The magnificent mountains and vistas are normally the fire that engage my passion for most races, but Bandera was a little different. I spend a lot of time looking up at races and getting energy from the beautiful landscapes, missing the very earth that breaths life into my feet and catapults me on my way. The terrain at Bandera was a lot different then the freshly groomed trails I run in Oregon. This gave me a good amount of time to focus on the true source of which I vibe with all day, the earth. I have a tattoo on my leg of a tree with the roots swerving around my ankle and my foot connecting me to this source. It keeps me grounded even when I’m trying to move as fast as I can in life. It reminds me to be present, focus on every step and to not worry what trivial trials lie ahead. I will remember to thank the earth for its love n care with running and every other step I take.

Still feeling good and Chapas Aid Station (mile 42). Picture by: Bryon Powell @irunfar

I want to give a huge shout out to my sponsors who supply me with the tools to put in such an effort. Pearl iZUMi for helping with the gear and amazing Peak kicks to help me fly over the rough terrain. I ran in a prototype for the up and coming Peack 3.0, so excited for this shoe, I couldn’t ask for a better trail shoe. First Endurance for my fuel and Ultragen recovery drink to keep the legs ticking. I also take First Endurance OptygenHP, which has helped keep my cortisol levels down and gives me the ability to adapt to high volume training.  And to the amino acid supplement Vespa Power, I could not have run the race I did with out this product. It helps tremendously with recovery and my mental focus through out the race. Also allowing me to use fat as my fuel, so I’m not destroying my stomach with excess sugary concoctions. I actually only had about 2 goo’s an hour and couldn’t take in any calories the last 2-3 hrs, as the heat of the day would not allow.

Also a huge Thank You to my Vespa Power Cru of Darrel, Marla, Bruce  and Joe who where at all the aid stations they could get to with fresh supplies and cheering me on. Darrel is also a professional chef who was grilling up a decadent storm of perfection each night that kept my tummy and legs quite happy. It was a fun trip and I’m very grateful I have had the chance to experience Texas to the fullest.

Top Five: Olson, Mackey, Uhan, Bowman and Clark. Pearl izumi 1,4 & 5.                      Picture by: Bryon Powell @irunfar

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35 Responses to Bandera 100k

  1. Bob Shannon says:

    Congrats Tim. What a great performance!

  2. Chris R. says:

    Hey Tim. Congrats on a great race! I was the really tall guy chatting with you Fri afternoon. You had a lot of positive energy and I knew you were going to run well. Your mental outlook was great. Bandera may not have the elevation gain of a lot of races but it is a great overall test of trail running skill. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Hope to see you in Texas in the future!

  3. Great report. Love how different trails let us/make us see the world in different ways.

    And congrats on the hard-earned victory. It was fun following the race in irunfar.

  4. Lynette says:

    Again Awesome job!

    Your performance was amazing. Keep up the momentum!

    I love ultrarunning for the exact reasons you mentioned…viewing nature in its varying states and environments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Maxeen Olson says:

    Glad you still have your front teeth, always told you to watch where your going, in more ways than one. Happy for the victory and again a great write up. Its hard for me to see you be so torn up, but you got the stubborn part down to a tee!!!! xxooxxoo mom

  6. Mark says:

    My wife has a theory about white people and extreme sports whether it be ultrarunning, bungee jumping, – why do we willingly inflict pain and suffering on ourselves? Basically due to guilt, as a race, white people in general have not undergone any suffering so instead we inflict pain on ourselves to make up fo it. Sure a lot of Africans run long distances, but they compete in events where they are going to get PAID. Thought the theory fit with the first part of the post.

    Great run, congrats on the victory.

  7. ScottD says:

    Fantastic! A superb start to the season.

  8. Bryon Powell says:

    You’re cru was awesome out of the course. Great group of people!

  9. cathy (loomis) gruninger says:

    Tim, Congrats on another amazing race. I love reading your blog and seeing the photos. My favorite photo is the one with the sun rays coming through the foilage. I’m sure the lack of shade really was tough for everyone, but you dug deep and pulled out an awesome win. Enjoy the victory and rest up.

  10. Darrell Thompson says:

    It’s important for cru to have good wine, good food and a good runner. This weekend we were lucky enough to go three for three. Tim has such a joyous spirit and is the perfect runner to support (good job Tim’s mom). And if anyone has photos or a video of Tim’s finish with the champagne shower, I would certainly appreciate a look. Oregon’s finest champagne (Argyle) for Oregon’s finest runner.

  11. OOJ says:

    Great race, Tim! Glad to spend a day “out in the woods” [e.g desert] together. I hope to see you at the “SOFA” in a couple weeks!

    Hey, do you have any contact info for Darrell? I want to thank him for that incredible post-race chow! Send it via FB or my gmail if you get a chance, thanks!

  12. goldentrails says:

    OUTSTANDING! Congratulations!!

  13. Ian Scott says:

    Woo! Nice race Tim, I was rooting for you to take the victory. Too bad Team PI couldn’t round out the top 3.

  14. olgav100 says:

    What a break through in a field of wow! It was a pleasure “watching” you run, and it didn’t even appear you had much struggle in those last 20. Your friend Darrel is a keeper, a sweetheart and an awesome chief! Thanks for the stew, man! And Tim, it was great to meet you more proper. Looking forward your year line up!

    • Thanks Olga! Wonderful to meet you too. Love your enthusiasm for Ultra running it’s contagious 🙂
      I have great friends/cru who love to help me out, I couldnt ask for better people to hang out with.
      Hope to see you around more this year.

  15. Dylan Bowman says:

    Ha! I love that we both brought up the “what the hell am I doing?” thought in our reports. Love your style Tim! Keep doing what you’re doing.

    Peace and restlessness.

  16. dave says:

    great recap Tim! Thanks for holding back on that first loop and running a little with me 🙂 Oh and welcome to the USATF National Champion Club! Glad to have you and I hope you continue to have an amazing 2012! I love your style of racing, your focus, and hope you recover quickly!

    • Thanks Dave,
      It was a pleasure running and chatting with you, you’re a great runner! I kept looking for you after i had a little lead. I know your a fast dude and i was running scared till the end.
      Happy recovery for you as well 🙂

  17. Marla Hendricks DVM says:

    Great Race ! Great Report !
    As part of your Texas “Cru” and chief photographer and bottle washer I really noticed that last 20 mile thing you mentioned . I evaluate the physical condition of animals for a living and well you were running on the ragged edge at 42 miles into the race . Funny thing though was you held on and actually looked better every 5 miles . That photo that shows your left shoulder tattoo
    labeled somewhere on the course looking down was 62 miles into the race !
    You are an inspiration and the new torso of ultrarunning . You were showing lots of core strength in the true sense of the word .
    My favorite photo is the one of you showering after the race with 1/2 gallon of solar “cooled ” water . It was amazing that you could still be awesome company and spend the night after the race sleeping on the ground . We love your hair and we are glad you won !
    It was

    • Thanks Marla!
      I had an amazing time with y’all in Texas. The VESPA Team was firing on all cylinders. Great pictures by the way! Glad we could catch the excitement.
      We need T-shirts with that saying.
      It was such a great time!
      Thanks so much.

  18. Debbie says:

    Thanks for another great report and congratulations on your fantastic race! Wish we could have watched in person but loved hearing about the race through your blog and seeing the amazing photos. Rest up!

  19. Bob Loomis says:

    Timothy: This is the first time Deb & I followed your race via the internet in a foreign country (i.e. the Dominican Republic!). So….you now have a “foreign followers fan club” (FFFC!). It was a blast to follow this race!!! And Yes, I did get a bit too much sun (& Rum)!!!



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  21. Matt Gunderson says:

    Hey Timothy- Awesome race! Very cool to see such a down to earth dude kickin’ some butt and yet still keep a humble joy to the sport. I know there are a bunch of great laid back guys and gals deserving to win- but you live in my neck of the woods and put me in my first Pearl Izumi Peak II. I am a newbie to the trails and loving the peace it brings me. Thanks for inspiring me. I am trying for the second time to get into the Dipsea race (last year I put up the starting line banner as a volunteer) and hope I can run my first 50k @ Mckenzie River. I am recruiting my sister Autumn to come from the bay area to meet me in Tahoe for some great runs and to watch you and other amazing people toe the line at Western States. Can’t wait. In the mean time, I need to put in some volunteering hours to become a trail steward while learning the needs of ultra runners. Looking to find my path, run the trails and be a part of this beautiful sport. The best of luck to you this year, congrats on your winning and thanks for keeping it real.


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  24. Shane Lapan says:

    Try also the products of e21usa. It can help you to run longer. It takes a lot of difference in you body.

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