Run the Wild Canyon Ultra: Racing through the best Caprock Canyons dirt trails

Runners braved rough trails to enjoy some of the prettiest scenery west Texas has to offer! Photo by Le’Ann Pigg, Caprock Canyons Park Interpreter. 

68 runners took to the trails at Caprock Canyon State Park on Satruday, taking off in the early hours for rocky trails and wildlife sightings. The Run the Wild Canyon Ultra was the first of its kind here at Caprock Canyons, and there are already plans in place to try and make it an annual event

Bryan McKenney and Robin Phelps, both from the Dallas area, won the 100K.

Created by Ultra Expeditions, a company built by runners who create events that are fun and benefit their hosts, this race included a 10K, a 25K, a 50K, and a 100K. The beneficiary for The Wild Canyon Ultra was the Caprock Canyons Restoration Project, which is working to restore the park to its natural state from some 300 years ago. It includes restoration of mixed grass prairies, rolling plains and native animals, including the prairie dogs and bison.

 

There is no more perfect description of the race held at Caprock Canyons than the one given to the runners when they signed up. From the Ultra Expeditions website: “There’s no other race in Texas like this (and not many in the US for that matter).  The races take place on a rocky single track trail that loops the course. You’ll experience redrock canyons and buffalo herds that roam wild. You’ll run through prairie dog towns on a course that’s beautiful yet tough and rugged; down to the canyons bottom and up to cliff tops with a 100 mile view.”

There were 15 runners in the 10K (6.21 miles), and the winners for the male and female 10K were Geoff Richards and Rosa Elizondo. Turkey resident Crystal Fuston placed 3rd! The 25K (15.53 miles) was the best attended, with 27 runners. The 25K winners were Trent Early and Angi Velasquez, who is Crystal’s cousin. In the 50K (31.07 miles), there were 22 runners. The winners of this one were Caleb Denton and Peggy LeGrand. There were four brave souls who entered (and finished) the 100K, running 62.137 miles of rough terrain. The winners were Bryan McKenney and Robin Phelps, both from the Dallas area, and both members of the Dallas Dirt Runners Club.

This was the first inaugural race of the Ultra Expeditions at Caprock Canyons State Park, and went off without a hitch. There were lots of volunteers, some even travelling all the way from San Antonio just to help out! The directors of Ultra, Jeanne Schaef and Jason Gates, along with the other staff members, runners, and volunteers, would like to give a huge thanks to the Caprock Canyons staff for being such welcoming and helpful hosts. They all look forward to the next one!

 

 

 

Snack and drinks were set up at stations along the trails, so that runners could keep hydrated and fuel up!

 

Winners of the 100K, Robin and Bryan, pictured after their LONG race with race directors Jeanne Schaef and Jason Gates.

 

With 15 runners in the 10K, Crystal Fuston of Turkey placed 3rd in women’s and 9th overall, with a time of 1:37:56! Pictured here with Park Superintendent Donald Beard.

 

Some volunteers came from a long way off just to help out. Pictured is Jeffrey Joseph, from San Antonio.

 

 

Marisa Rogers drove all the way from San Antonio to volunteer!!

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