we don’t need no stinkin’ medals
If you only run races for the swag you can quit reading now, it’s not for you, however if you truly love to run and enjoy a nice challenge, read on!
Lacey and I discovered this race after we had to cancel plans to run a 50K in Kansas, she sent me a couple ideas and this one was both drivable (southern Oklahoma) and inexpensive (free). Wow were we in for a treat!
Dan is an attorney and runner that lives about as far south in Oklahoma as you can get without speaking Texan. He has a 9,000 acre ranch, and loves runners! He started the event about six years ago to introduce runners to trail running. He decided he was tired of all the hoopla and wanted a simple event so he charges no fee, gave out no shirts, and no awards, but he put on a heck of an event. We showed up about 7 at the ranch house, a beautiful place he and his family use to relax. We were handed a simple bib and pointed towards the kitchen where a monster pancake feed was underway. The room was full of runners, some ready to walk their first trail 10K and a couple that looked like they rolled in from Leadville.
There were four distance options, 10K, half marathon, marathon, and fifty mile. All ran the first 6.1 mile loop together, which was by far the hardest part of the course. This loop had most of the technical section and the biggest hills. The first loop finished back at the ranch house to tables of food and drinks under the deck, half marathoners and up then continued out to the 7 mile second loop. This loop returned to the ranch house and the marathoners would run a second series of loops. Fifty milers had an additional 4 mile loop that started about a mile out from the finish. The fifty milers would run all three loops, three times each. There were up to three lakes depending on which race you were running and lots of animal tracks although I only saw one turkey.
After the race came the feed… Turkey legs, brisket, chicken, ribs, baked beans, potato salad, pies, pies, pies. They even kept some back to make sure the fifty milers were fed. Afterwards, runners sat and enjoyed the day and swapped stories. Camping is allowed right at the ranch house and there’s a fire pit. He also allowed runners to shower in his home.
The course only had about 2,400 feet of elevation change over the 50 miles and the course was about 80% fire or dirt road, so not crazy difficult. After we finished there were no medals or awards and no one cared, what a great time. We cannot wait to go back.