Rocky Raccoon & USA 100 Mile Pre-Race Story

Story by Jason Bryant

The USA 100 Mile Trail Championships will take place this Saturday Jan. 31 at the Rocky Raccoon 100 put on by Tejas Trails. The race runs the trails at Huntsville State Park in Texas. The course is five loops with each loop being 20 miles. There is a minimal amount of elevation gain with each loop, but the trails do roll a little to keep racers engaged. The footing is mostly non-technical on soft footing. Add in the forecasted weather conditions of low 60s and cloudy to make this great conditions for fast times. The course records are 12:44:33 for the men set by Ian Sharman in 2011 and 14:57:18 for the women set by Jenn Shelton in 2007.  You can watch LIVE coverage of the event on

So speaking of fast times, here’s the who’s who list of the ones to watch at the front. Paul Terranova will be going the distance again after finishing 2nd at Bandera 100K, the USA 100km Trail Championship just 3 weeks ago. Paul is a local Texan from Austin so he should have plenty of friends along the course to antagonize him to challenge for the win. Nathan Leehman of North Carolina, Joshua Finger of Pennsylvania, and Peter Hogg of Indiana are traveling down to Texas to see the sights at the front of the Championship as well.

In addition, Ian Sharman will be racing once again, but he is not eligible for the USA Championship since he is not a US citizen. The women’s race may look a little like the challenge of Texas. Liza Howard of San Antonio has several top 100 mile times, 2 previous wins at Rocky, and a win at Leadville 100. Nicole Studer of Dallas is also coming off a 2nd place finish at Bandera 100K, the USA 100km Trail Championship just 3 weeks ago. Shaheen Satter of Dallas has several top ultra finishes and was 3rd at this championship a year ago. Jennifer Pfeifer of California travels in to challenge these Texas women. In addition to the overall categories at the USA 100 Mile Trail Championships, age group championships will be contested in 5 year age groups beginning with 40-44 and going through 75-79. Peter Fish of Gold Hill, Oregon will be looking to become the oldest finisher of a 100 mile trail race at the age of 78. There will plenty of other age groupers challenging for their categories.

You can get more information at and get the post-race recap there. You can follow the race in progress on the twitter account there as we plan to do updates during the race. You can find other information here about Team USA Ultrarunning. A full list of all USA Championship races along with the Mountain Ultra Trail Championships are posted at—Calendar/National-Championships.aspx.