by Tom Crull
Northshore Trail, Grapevine Lake (TX)
We were concerned that this year’s Rumble wouldn’t be run due to the severe flooding experienced in the DFW area this past year. Grapevine Lake was 20 feet over normal and water spilled over the spillway for the first time in years. It didn’t look good. The course and surrounding area was so far under water that people were kayaking on the course! Finally the rains stopped and the Army Corps of Engineers was finally able to start releasing water at the rate of 4″ a day. By September parts of the course were becoming runnable. By October the entire course was drying out and the North Texas trail Runners (NTTR) along with the Dallas Off Road Bicycling Association (DORBA) was able to rehab and greatly improve the trails.
This year’s course was the best ever with a few more climbs and all but eliminating all hard surfaces except for the start to the trail head. This year the runners ran on the rock ledges themselves and about two feet from the waters edge near the start/finish area. Weather was cool and became warm in the afternoon but a cool breeze with cloud cover made conditions great.
The Rumble is a race that honors America’s veterans and is designed to be challenging yet fun for the participants, both before, during and after the run. We purposely include a 15K and 30K run to introduce road runners to trail running. Since new single track trail was added this year, this year’s times are all new course records.
The Rumble sold out again this year at it’s self imposed max of 300 runners, with 260 runners in the three races finishing. Ten states were represented between all races. We were indeed fortunate to have three runners run the 15K from Afghanistan, LtCol. Chris Russell USAF, Ensign Ashwin Corattiyi USN and Master Chief David Robinson USN, all attached to the Combined Joint Task Force 182nd Airborne. They ran at their base the day before and we posted their finishing times and pictures at the start of the Rumble. The message from LtCol. Robinson was read before the start and reminded us all that we owe a debt of gratitude to all Veterans.
During the race our trail sweeps, led by Mark Dick, were out on the course with video cams filming the race on their unicycles. After the pre race ceremony and the traditional “raise your right hand and repeat after me” pledge to the Race Director we got under way. Joey Guarjardo won the men’s race in 4:16:30 and led throughout. Andrea Smith in her first ultra won the women’s race in 5:49:30. The venerable Allen Boyce from Oregon, age 57, was second in the men’s race with a blistering 4:24:22 and won the Masters. Laura Hamil in only her second Ultra (in the space of three weeks) won the women’s masters in 5:50:05.
The 50K runners all received, in addition to the beautiful race shirts, the specially brewed Rockledge Rumble bottle of Red ale. This year’s label was appropriately named “Flood and Guts” by our brew master Kevin Wessels. Runners are treated to Starbucks coffee and bagels at the start and freshly cooked red beans and rice, lasagna, desserts and our “19th hole” at the finish along with realignment by an ART specialists. Our sponsors and volunteers again out did themselves, without them there would be no Rumble and we are most grateful for their continued support.
We hope to see everyone back again next year for the “Rockledge Rumble Experience”.
Tom Crull, R.D.