Passing the torch at Tejas Trails

Written by Chris McWatters

You may have read the recent article from Joe Prusaitis about how he and his wife, Joyce, passed their “baby” (Tejas Trails) on to a new guy. I’m that “new guy.” I want you to know about some plans of mine to honor these two people, their Austin, TX-based trail running company, their friends and family who sacrificed with them, and this sport of trail running that we all love so much. But first, a brief story of what led me, and my wife Krissy, to it.

I once heard someone say something very simple, yet very profound after they made it through an experience they almost died from out in the wild. They called that moment a “near life experience”. I have hung onto that. I love that! I want as many people as possible to have “near life” experiences.

When Joe and Joyce asked us to look into taking over their company as they looked toward a well-deserved retirement, we were really honored, and really humbled. I have been a camp director, race director, and off road race course designer for pretty much my entire adulthood. But, as much as Krissy and I “get” race directing, we are really all about putting people in situations where they might have real life change. That’s why I am thankful I get to be a full-time trail running race director now. That’s why we made Tejas Trails’ new tagline “more than just trail running…”

One of my first tasks we needed to do was to think of a way to say “thank you” to Joe and Joyce for allowing us this privilege. We struggled to come up with something. But, I think we have it now. Even though they aren’t going anywhere for a long time, we want to give them an experience, with family and friends who have become like family. We are renaming one of our 9 races to honor Joe and Joyce. There was no better choice for this event than the race I started all those years ago at Camp Eagle, then gave to Joe, and then bought back from him a few months ago (yes, this alone proves Joe is smarter than I am). The initial exchange of this race is the whole reason I got to know Joe and Joyce, their family, and their friends in the first place. The event was called “Nueces Trail Run”. Now it’s officially called “The J&J Race and Trail Running Reunion”.

I’d like to invite you to come to Camp Eagle in Rocksprings, TX next September 2016 to play with us on some of the most beautiful landscape and trails this region has to offer; and to say “thanks” to Joe and Joyce and all their volunteers, family, and friends who have made Tejas Trails what it is.

In the meantime, keep enjoying those miles. There’s a lot of life to get out of each of them. And there are probably a lot of people out there who would appreciate you helping them to their first near-life experience!

– Chris & Krissy McWatters
Grab some details, register, and reserve lodging at

Tejas Trails are a member of the American Trail Running Association. Photo by Chris McWatters.