The Donner Party Mountain Runners had a strong showing at last week’s epic edition of the Tahoe Rim Trail Endurance Runs! With 23 founding members toeing the line in all three distances (50K, 50M, and 100M), we had a lot to cheer for all weekend.
The 100 mile runners endured multiple lightning storms, which included hail and flash flooding on the course. Leading the way for us was Chaz Sheya, finishing 11th overall. This was Chaz’s 3rd TRT 100, and with a time of 22:35:31, he nailed it this year, earning that coveted sub-24 buckle. In the under-30-hours club, we had two Truckee runners going for their first 100 mile finishes: Jeff Brown (28:12:09) and board secretary Helen Pelster (29:10:34). I made Jeff’s acquaintance at mile 67 where he was looking strong. Helen was smiles all night when I saw her pass several times through the Tunnel Creek Aid Station, paced by her husband Javier and board member Betsy Nye. Speaking of husband and wife, Kynan and Laura Matz made a great team out there! They’ve been posting solid race times all season, and their hard work paid off this weekend when they crossed the line together in 30:52:48 to earn their first 100 mile buckles. (Laura also earned herself the worst case of 100-mile cankles I’ve ever seen. I hope they’re gone by now, Laura!) And yet another first-time 100 miler was Paul Berquam who made his debut in 32:26:31. I’m so proud of how many first-time 100 mile runners we had out there! And no less awesome were those of you who gave it your best, but it just wasn’t your day. Carrie Hyatt, going for her 3rd TRT 100 finish, had to drop early due to some mysterious but severe quad pain. Cheryl Lloyd gave it her all in a strong attempt at a first 100, but was timed out at mile 80.
In the 50 mile event, board member Jenelle Potvin crossed the line in 9:41:28 finishing 3rd female in a race with strong competition. Rumor has it Jenelle blazed the last 7 miles from Snow Valley Peak in a 7:47 pace! Abe Haen of Truckee finished his first 50 miler, finishing in 10:55:26. Also out of Truckee and new to the 50M distance, Nicholas Martin struggled through some queasy low points to bounce back for a strong finish in 11:21:09. Given his enthusiasm for the race, the volunteers, and the camaraderie among DPMRs, I have a feeling Nicholas will be back to TRT in the future! Joel Tebbut overcame a lack of training due to injury to cross the line in 11:43:12 for his first 50 mile finish. Daniela Porri snuck into the top ten in the women’s race with a time of 11:58:22. It was also Daniela’s first 50 mile finish. Joe Sellner, who downgraded from the 100, crossed the line in 13:02:29. Before the race I invited him to join me up at Tunnel Creek to help out on the night shift, but he declared his firm intent to be intoxicated by about 7:30 PM. Given that he crossed the line at 7:02, I’d say that was an impressive goal. (How’d it go, Joe?) Jennifer Hemmen, coming off a strong finish in her first 100 at Bryce, enjoyed her day, finishing in 13:43:26. And our president, Peter Fain, really went for it but had to call it a day at mile 40 due to severe dehydration.
Crossing the line first overall in the 50K division was new member Donald Montgomery with a time of 5:08:36. Congrats, Donald! Right behind him was Reno’s Ben Tedore, finishing second in 5:12:09. I managed to take first female honors after downgrading from the 50M due to injury and lack of training. I finished happy in 6:31:41. I was also lucky enough to share some trail miles with JP Prince who kept me entertained and finished with a time of 8:00:8. JP and I shared some post-race food and drink with Sharon Fong, who finished in 9:09:35.
After my race, I spent some time on the night shift at Tunnel Creek AS where I witnessed the endurance and heart of all those 100 mile runners. I especially enjoyed spotting all the DPMR gold shirts, and meeting some club members for the first time. TRT is always an excellent event, but seeing so many familiar faces and sharing the trail makes it even sweeter. I’m guessing next year, there will be even more of us hitting the trail together there!