Appearing in his first ultra championship, Sage Canaday, 27, Boulder, CO won his first ultra championships and a share of the $5,000 purse.
Last year, Canaday won his first national title at the USATF Mountain Running Championships. This surely suited his skills and talent on the course in Hill Country State Natural Area near Bandera, TX, site of the 11thannual Bandera Trail Races.
From the start, Canaday took the lead and widened it as the day wore on. While most were hampered by the damp day, with mud-slick trails, he seemed to thrive on it, using his mountain running talent and breaking the course record, set in 2011, by Dave Mackey in 8:16:48.
Sage’s 8:13:49 CR, put him nearly 40 minutes ahead of runner-up Mackey, 43, of Novato, CA, who won the Masters for the second consecutive year. Mackey, a medical student, raised his total of USATF Masters victories to 7, in the process, with his 8:53:27.
Paul Terranova, 39, of Austin, TX, completed the Grand Slam and an Ironman in Hawaii last year, but his focus this year was to win a slot for the Western States 100 Endurance Run, which was offered to top runners at Bandera. He reached his goal with his 8:55:41.
Liza Howard, 40, of San Antonio, came into the race as the defending champion and course record holder, with an ankle sprained only 5 days earlier, knowing it would be a tough day.
Michele Yates, formerly Suszek, 30, of Estes Park, CO, recently married, did not plan to be the bridesmaid at Bandera. She took the lead and widened it nearly all day long, winning in a time of 10:08:48.
The personal trainer won her first national title at last year’s 50-mile trail championships at the Nueces Trail Run, also in Texas. She plans on returning to Nueces to defend her title, this March. The former track and field athlete at UNLV also enjoys road racing.
Runner-up, San Antonio’s Melanie Fryar, 32, a self-employed single mother of two boys and a girl, moved through the field and into second place before the halfway mark closing on Yates and at one point was just 3 minutes back. She ran a strong race finishing in 10:17:30.
Sabrina Little, a 26-year-old from Texas, best known for her stellar 24-hour performance at the North Coast 24-hour in 2012, managed to catch and pass the slightly hampered Liza Howard in a time of 11:00:03.
Showing the toughness that has brought her many ultra victories, Howard won the Masters division, with a smile on her face, knowing the odds were against her, doing what she does best, running hard, no matter what, finishing fourth overall in 11:07:56.
4. Erik Stanley, 27, TX, 9:21:50
5. Gary Gellin, 44, CA, 9:27:41
6. Jeff Browning, 41, OR, 9:37:52
7. Steven Moore, 45, TX, 10:39:28
8. Loren Woheltz, 27, NM, 10:41:08
9. Von Jones, 44, TX, 11:06:36
10. Jack Pilla, 54, VT, 11:07:02
5. Sydney Pitt, 26, TX, 12:19:42
6. Erica Baron, 41, NM, 12:21:11
7. Meghan Arbogast, 51, OR, 12:23:27
8. Shannon Meridith, 42, CO, 12:33:45
9. Anabel Pearson, 42, TX, 13:21:4
10. Lee Conner, 39, OH, 14:36:39