Last aid station before the finish...getting down some calories...ready to be done.

This was my first trip to Texas for a race. I’d heard good things about this race and wanted to try it out. Since it was National Championship race too, there was money for top 5. Meltzer and I connected a month or two before the race when we saw we both signed up and decided to share a hotel room and rental car for the weekend. It was good to catch up with the Karl and Cheryl and hang out a bit. Karl was coming “off the couch” because of fighting an injury in December. But, the Goat always runs well and this weekend was no exception.

For me, coming into this one fresh off strained cartilage in my sternum and missing 8 days of running  when I was supposed to hit my big run really made 100k feel super tough. With lack of long runs plus the stupid water bottle mistake…more on that later…well, it kinda hurt the 2nd lap. Add to it the fact that it rained the night before and the first half of the race, made for gunky conditions to say the least. Bandera has a lot of solid, rocky sections of limestone (I think). Not a lot of loose rocks, just rocky…plus clay dirt in between. The clay sections when wet become a greasy, sticky mess. Four pound shoes and slime. Add slippery clay covering smooth solid rocks and you couldn’t use the rocks to step or plant on. The 2nd lap was better when it quit raining and we had a good breeze, it got tackier in most of the bad places.

I felt pretty clunky from 26-48 due to the bone-headed mistake that I didn’t pick up my extra water bottle (so I’d have 2) from 17 miles on. I meant to, but blew it off. Bad move. When the rain quit, it got pretty humid and the upper 60s/low 70s felt REALLY hot coming from 20s high temps in Central Oregon the past month. I kept draining my single bottle well before each station, so I slowed through the middle 20 miles of the course. I just kept getting behind a little, catch up when I chugged at an aid station, run out, get behind…repeat. I picked up my other bottle at 48 and felt way better the last 12 miles. Somehow I always seem to do this at the beginning of every season. Have one early race where I don’t drink enough, remember the same exact lesson EVERY season…oh yeah, carry more water than you think you need.

Downing liquid at half way point. Little dehydrated about now.

I rallied the last 12 to hold onto 7th overall in 9 hours 37 minutes. It would be an awesome technical, but runnable course if it was dry (which it is a majority of years). Karl ran about a half hour in front of me for 4th. He paid for his effort though. He passed out at the BBQ joint in Bandera Saturday evening. It was quite the spectacle—Speedgoat flat on his back on the floor in the middle of the restaurant. We had his feet propped up and sipping on Sprite to get his blood sugar back up.

The waitress had the most classic line after Speedgoat hit the deck and we told her he just ran a hard 100k. In her Texas drawl “Honey, I don’t even run down the block, I wait for the bus…and if I miss it, there’s another one a comin’!” Awesome. Felt like I was in Missouri again.

Anyway, it worked Karl over for the evening and Cheryl and I took him back to the Villa and he crashed out. He was back to old Karl the next morning. Even the best of them pay the piper occasionally. It is ultrarunning.

All in all, fun time in Texas. Good to get a long one under my belt so early in the season. Makes a 50k not seem so long. :)  Great aid stations and super well-marked course. Giddyup.

About Bronco Billy:

Find all posts by Bronco Billy

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Bandera 100k Report: Slip slidin’”

  1. Brett says:

    Jeff, thanks for coming down to Texas for the race. It was very unusual to have the muddy conditions on this course, especially since we are in a massive drought. And it was nice to see another Missouri native at the race.


  2. Jeff Browning says:

    Hey Brett. Good course. I’d love to run that thing when it’s dry. Giddyup.


  3. Chris says:

    I live in San Antonio and have put countless miles on those trails. Yes it is a lot of fun when dry as it is the majority of the time. In fact for us slower runners the course really dried out at night. There are also more loose rocks but the mud held them in place. Glad you enjoyed it and hope you come back.

  4. Jeff Browning says:


    I’ll be back, fun course…mud definitely changes things though.

  5. olga says:

    Was great to see you out there! The Texas trails are nasty when wet. The Karl story is hilarious, but as I said to Cheryl, when he puts that bib on, he hauls ass. Come back again!

  6. Jeff Browning says:

    Hey Olga, good to see you out there…thanks a ton for helping me at some of the aid stations!


  7. Francesca says:

    It was nice chatting with you and Karl at the airport! Nice going in those conditions, encouraging, for a slow one like me, to find out you fast guys too suffered out there !

  8. Fawn Simpson says:

    Great job running and baby sitting The Speedgoat. Come back to Texas and run again when we’ve dried the rocks off.

  9. Jeff Browning says:


    Nice job getting it done out there. Good to meet you. Cheers.

  10. Jeff Browning says:

    Yes, drier rocks would be much more fun. :)


GoBroncoBilly Instagram

Bronco Billy Blog Archives