Wednesday, September 23, 2020

2020 is a go!

 I am in contact with the Forest Service in Kisatchie National Forest, home of Red Dirt Ultra, and although the forest did take on some damage from Hurricane Laura, they are confident that the trail will be cleared and ready to run by race day!  

Good luck with your training and we will see you all in February.

Happy Running! 


Friday, March 6, 2020

Leap Day Edition Was A Success

The 4th running of the Red Dirt Ultra was a huge success thanks to the amazing people who drove out to the middle of the national forest to spend the weekend with like minded fools.  The trail cam was in place at Spa 21 to catch images like this:

And this:

The weather was beautiful, although it got a little warm in the afternoon.  The runners pushed through though,  with 100% of the 50k'ers who started finishing, 93% of my 100k'ers finishing, and 81% of my 100 milers making it to the finish line, with 46% of the 100 mile finishers coming in under 24 hours!

A new 50k course record was run by Josh Chauvin with a blistering 3:31 for 31 miles AND  a new 100k record was set by Brandon Pierot at 9:10.  Ryan Brown was the first to finish the 100 miler with a time of 18:51.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place 50k'ers.

On the women's side, our first 50k'er was Jessie Winnett from San Antonio with a time of 5:13.  Bridget Schwenne was the female winner of the 100k at 11:27 and Denise Calcagnino was first female in the 100 with a time of 23:20.

Our oldest 50k finisher was Terri Hayes from Florida who will be turning 77 this year.  Happy early birthday, Terri!

The trail is cleared and all we have left now are fantastic memories of a fun weekend in the woods.  Thank you to everyone who came out, and we look forward to seeing you next year at Red Dirt!  Mark your calendars for February 27, 2021!  Registration is open on Ultrasignup!

Happy Running!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Thank you!!!

Because of our amazing Red Dirt runners, we are so very happy to announce that we are making a donation to Band of Runners, an organization whose mission is  "to empower veterans and their surviving family members by sharing the community of trail running and the physical and psychological benefits running in nature provides". We all know of the close bonds that all trail runners have - even ones who just met - so this charity makes so much sense to me.  I am honored to be a small part of this and I thank YOU for giving us the opportunity.    

Happy Running!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Red Dirt Trilogy

Well, that our government has decided to attempt to work together and we are up and running, I have a fun announcement to make!  It looks like we will have our first Red Dirt Trilogy member, after the race this year.  The Red Dirt Trilogy is something we thought of last year to create a club of sorts for those who have done all three distances at the race.  Once earned, you will receive a custom award for your efforts, and you will be recognized as a member of the club on the website. No real reason, just for fun.  

If all goes well, Brent Aymond will be the first Trilogy member this weekend.  Brent started off with the 100k, then ran the 100 miler last year and is doing the 50k on Saturday - should be a walk in the park, right?  

Great job Brent!  Looking forward to seeing you cross the finish line!

Weather is holding up great so far. I will give a detailed trail update before each of the race starts.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Less than 2 months!!

With Loup Garou in the rear view mirror, it is time to shift my focus onto another beautiful trail right here in Louisiana - the Sandstone Trail in Kisatchie National Forest for our third installment of the Red Dirt Ultra.  In 2017 and 2018, we had polar opposite weather conditions - in 2017, the weather was clear and cold and the trail was in excellent shape.  In 2018, the trail was sticky and slippery and it poured rain for most of the second half of the race.  Here is hoping that 2019 is back to clear and cold.  

I love this trail and this national park.  When we drive up there to run it from south Louisiana, we feel like we are in a completely different state with the piney woods, ridge lines, and expansive views.  The soft trail and lack of any real roots is always a nice change, too.  There are a couple of spots with some loose sand (Sandstone Trail), but those spots are few and short, and are more than made up for with the clear, soft packed spots that are so much fun to run! 

This year we are adding a rope to Spa 21 (a water crossing just past the mile 21 marker), just in case we encounter flooding like we had last year.  Normally, you can make it across this spot without getting your feet wet, but we have learned with excessive rain, it can get a bit higher.  :-)   It just adds an element of adventure into your run.  

Measuring a water crossing can be hard work.

As with Loup Garou, there are no earlier cutoffs for the 50k and 100k.  You have the same time cutoff as the 100 milers, so there is plenty of time if you want to hike the loop, or if you are interested in doing your first ultra, but you are worried about your time.  If we are going to be out there all night, I don't see any reason to kick you guys off of the trail early.

Once again, we are also bringing Red Dirt Ultra labelled beer along to give out at packet pickup, as well as plenty to have on ice for the finish line, and our friends with Terra Rouge Cafe will be back with all of the hot food you want after the race.

Good luck with your training, and I am looking forward to spending the weekend with all of you in this beautiful National Forest (don't call it a park - they don't like that).  :-)  

Happy Running! 


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Red Dirt 2018 - WOW!

Well, 2018's Red Dirt Ultra has come and gone, but the stories from the race will last a lifetime.  From hip deep water and climbing up slippery hills on hands and feet, our runners experienced a little bit of everything last weekend.  Despite the tough conditions, a high percentage of our runners persevered and our volunteers shined!   It was a wonderful experience all around, and I can't wait to do it again (once I scrub the mud off of everything).  I will be posting a link to the pictures from the event as soon as I compile all of them, but in the meantime, here are some stats you might be interested in:

100 miler:

  • 23 starters, 16 finishers (69% finisher rate in TOUGH conditions.  That is pretty amazing!)
  • 12 men & 4 women earned their buckle (6 men and 2 women going sub 24)
  • 1st place male - Warren Kimball (Louisiana) 19:28
  • 1st place female - Steph Whitmore (Iowa) 20:25
  • States represented among the 100 mile finishers"  Louisiana, Kansas, Wyoming, Missouri, Washington, Oklahoma, Texas
  • 29 starters, 24 finishers (83% finish rate)
  • 16 men & 8 women finished the 100k
  • 1st place male:  Mark Martinsen (Minnesota)  9:47
  • 1st place female:  Rhea Loney (Louisiana) 10:12
  • States finishing 100k:  Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas
  • 57 starters, 55 finished (96% finish rate)
  • 34 men & 21 women finished the 50k
  • 1st place male:  David Theriot (Oklahoma) 4:00
  • 1st place female:  Jennifer Hooper (Louisiana) 4:56
  • States finishing 50k:  Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, California, Florida
Official results can be found here:

Monday, January 29, 2018

Taper week from an RD's perspective

Heading into the 2nd annual Red Dirt Ultra, and pre-race jitters are affecting more than just the runners.  Click the picture for the article.