Up From the Plains
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Runners from the Great Plains make a splash in the first month of the Trail Runner Trophy Series
David Box picks his way down steep, rocky terrain at last year’s FlatRock 101K in Independence, Kansas. FlatRock is one of many challenging Trophy Series races in the Great Plains region. Photo by Rick Mayo/Mile 90 Photography
A month into the 2015 Trail Runner Trophy Series, the runners to beat are from the sweeping expanses of the Great Plains, with many age-group leaders and contenders for the ultra podium hailing from Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska.
These runners have shown their mettle at the region’s epic early-season Trophy Series races: the Post Oak Challenge in Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Prairie Spirit Trail 100 and 50 in Ottawa, Kansas; and the San Felipe Shootout in San Felipe, Texas.
Recently, Trail Runner caught up with Sooner State standout Allyson Weimer to talk running and racing in Oklahoma. Weimar, 27, of Oklahoma City, currently leads the female 20-29 age group, having finished first at back-to-back events during the Post Oak Challenge early last month. On race weekend, she won the 25K on Saturday, then turned around and won the half-marathon on Sunday.
(See the next page for an updated Trophy Series leaderboard and year-to-date winners from the Trophy Series photo contest. Want to race in the Trail Runner Trophy Series? Find out more here.)
Allyson Weimer at the start/finish area of the Iron Horse Endurance Run. Photo courtesy of Allyson Weimer
1. How long have you been running trails?
I first started running city races, but came to love trail runs a few years ago after doing the Pumpkin Holler in Tahlequah [Oklahoma] and the Iron Horse Endurance Run [in Florahome, Florida]. I find trail runs to be more relaxing and better on my joints, while also quite adventurous with the many types of diverse terrain. They certainly keep your mind occupied!
2. Was this your first time running the Post Oak Challenge?
I ran the 10K last year due to an IT-band injury, but this was my first time participating in two Post Oak events back to back.
3. Was it difficult to run a 15.5-miler and a half-marathon back-to-back?
Yes and no. It’s difficult to get up [the second] morning and do the usual preparation, while also knowing in the back of your mind that you have to run the same challenging trails as the day before. I initially thought my legs would be sore, but they actually felt pretty good on Sunday. That probably wouldn’t have been the case had it been two back-to-back road races.
4. Many of the early-season Trophy Series leaders are from Oklahoma, Kansas and other Plains states. Is there a strong trail-running community in the Oklahoma City area, and the broader region?
I know of a couple Oklahoma trail-running organizations (Oklahoma Trail Runners Association and Tatur [Tulsa Area Trail & Ultra Runners]) located in Tulsa, but I believe Oklahoma City has room for improvement. There are not very many organized trail races in the city, but one can enjoy trails at Lake Thunderbird State Park or Lake Stanley Draper.
5. What are your favorite trails to train on in the Oklahoma City area?
I’m lucky enough to have a personalized trail as part of my family’s acreage that I use a lot for training. It’s a nice one-mile loop around a dirt path.
If you are wandering outside the OKC metro [area], you should check out the Old Frisco Trail located in southeast Oklahoma, near Arkansas.
6. Do you have plans to race more this season?
This year is going to be busy! My family and I have already signed up to run the Big Sur Marathon, Coeur d’Alene Marathon, the Gator Bait XTERRA Trail Run, the Instep Trail Marathon in Wisconsin and [upstate New York’s] Wineglass Marathon. I’m sure we will do more as the year rolls along. We are very fortunate to be able to do what we love.
Check out the next page for an updated leaderboard
Trophy Series Photo Contest Winners (March-April 2015)
Trophy Series Leaders and Standings (as of April 16, 2015)
F 10-19 – Aly Gregory, College Station TX, 19, 3 races, 22.4 miles, 89.6 points
F 20-29 – Allyson Weimer, Oklahoma City OK, 27, 2 races, 28.6 miles, 114.4 points
F 30-39 – Sayard Tanis, Dauphin PA, 33, 2 races, 24.5 miles, 98 points
F 40-49 – Krystal Brown, Dewey OK, 49, 2 races, 28.6 miles, 67.9 points
F 50-59 – Lisa Simonetta, Des Moines IA, 55, 2 races, 22.05 miles, 81.65 points
F 60+ – Jane Sparnon, Arlington VA, 63, 1 race, 15.5 miles, 62 points
M 10-19 – Parker Vanlandingham, Collinsville OK, 15, 1 race, 15.5 miles, 62 points
Austin Newman, Given WV, 17, 1 race 15.5 miles, 62 points
M 20-29 – Matt Lipsey, Kersey PA, 25, 2 races, 26.6 miles, 106.4 points
M 30-39 – Adam Russell, Rome PA, 36, 2 races, 26.6 miles, 93.3 points
M 40-49 – Tim Stessney, Altoona PA, 2 races, 26.6 miles, 65.9 points
M 50-59 – Dennis Yonkin, Lewisburg PA, 36,2 races, 26.6 miles, 93.3 miles
M 60+ – Michael Ranck, Deer Lake, PA, 63, 2 races, 26.6 miles, 106.4 points
T1 – Kenneth Ebener, West Columbia SC, 44, 1 race, 100 miles, 400 points
T1 – Justin Franklin, Collinsville OK, 28, 1 race, 100 miles, 400 points
3 – Nathan Sicher, Joplin MO, 33, 3 races, 107.2 miles, 350.2 points
T1 – Missy Kittrell, Montevallo AL, 44, 1 race, 100 miles, 400 points
T1 – Kodi Panzer, marion KS, 1 race, 100 miles, 400 points
T3 – Rhea Loney, Ponchatoula LA, 32, 1 race, 100 miles, 300 points
T3 – Rebecca Gartrell, San Antonio TX, 42, 1 race, 100 miles, 300 points
5+ women, Tied at 5 races
Bill Ford, Stillwater OK, 52, 4 races
Moraima Bailey, Indianpolis IN, 45, 137.2 miles
Ron Ruhs, Blair NE, 47, 137.55 miles