The Hoka One One Rocky Raccoon 50 Endurance Trail Run is regarded as one of the most perfect trail running experiences in Texas. The course, set inside Huntsville State Park, is ideal for both elite and rookie endurance runners alike. Runners come to experience scenic trails with just enough change in elevation, lots of exposed tree roots, beautiful pine trees, cool bridges, a gorgeous east Texas lake, wildlife, plus world-renowned (no joke) aid stations and awesome volunteers.
After months of training and preparation, the enduraLAB Run Club laced up their shoes and headed southeast for this amazing adventure. We were lucky enough to capture and share their stories.
5 Runners: Debra Hale, Michael Norris, Elizabeth Anderson, Lisa Williams and Lee Hargrave
3 Race Distances: 50 miles, 50km and 13.1 miles
3 Course Maps: 2 x 25 mile laps, 6.1 miles out and back + 25 mile second loop, and 6.55 miles out and back
50 Mile Course eL Athletes: Lee Hargrave, Michael Norris, Lisa Williams and Elizabeth Anderson
13.1 Mile Course eL Athletes: Debra Hale
4 PRs: Lee Hargrave, Michael Norris, Lisa Williams and Debra Hale
how the enduralab run club won the day
Lisa Williams: I can’t say enough about how enduraLAB, Coach Lee, and the Run Club transformed me from a solitary jogger, to social runner with strength in each step. For me, the race itself is the icing on the cake, because I love the months of training, calorie calculating, planning, and amazing friendships forged during the process. Coach Lee’s fantastic training plans, and constant encouragement and insight make training such a great experience!! I loved every minute of training for Rocky 50, and the race itself did not disappoint! As the miles were adding up and aches and pains were setting in, I realized how blessed I am to have such a supportive group like the enduraLAB Run Club to cheer me on, no matter the outcome!!
Lee Hargrave: I had a great time preparing for Rocky 50. Ten years ago I trained for this race, but because of inclement weather and family obligations, I was unable to complete the journey. This year is my year for endurance. I trained hard, completed some major endurance events leading up to Rocky, and had the best accountability team imaginable. I’m a big believer in running with a group, and the dedicated athletes in the enduraLAB Run Club leave nothing on the table when it comes to race day. Rocky did not disappoint. We had great weather, great aid stations and a great time. I’m proud of all the runners who took the challenges and crewed the start lines. I look forward to running the next race with the enduraLAB Run Club.
Michael Norris: Training for this ultra was fun. I thought I would never say that about running, but here I am. It was fun. I enjoyed the early morning runs with a great group of friends, plus a straight forward run program with people that held me accountable. Race day came and the Rocky 50 was great! Admittedly I did not have my nutrition or sleep dialed in on race week, but because of my training I was able to put my head down and rely on my mental drive and training to get me to the finish line. The enduraLAB community definitely helped me get through race day; it was a huge boost when I would round a corner and see someone from the LAB cheering me forward!
Elizabeth Anderson: These races are a challenge for the mind and body. I went in feeling mentally and physically prepared after months of training which gave me the endurance base to get it done. We trained on trails, roads, flats, hills, fast, slow, at tempo, walking, rucking and of course strength. I am better runner today with more confidence than I have before to go the distance. In the end, although my race ended at the 31 mile mark, I could not have even have done that just a year ago! Sometimes the stars don’t align on race day, but it’s just one race! There are plenty of wins to take away.
Debra Hale: This was my second trail run and I am hooked. I enjoyed the challenge of the elements, God’s great scenery, and discovering the trail running community. Getting to Rocky was no easy task, since I was unable to run the whole month of November due to health issues. THANK YOU Coach Lee for the December run challenge! This was key to keeping me on my feet and motivated. It also got me ready to tackle the enduraLAB 28-Day Challenge in January, which helped me shed a few pounds, and contributed to my awesome experience at Rocky. On race day, I went into the 13.1 mile race with a goal of finishing under three hours. In fact, I had so much fun during the race that I wasn’t even thinking about my time until I got to mile 11, and realized I could make it. Then to find out I finished 2nd in my age group! I’m riding that high for as long as it lasts!
Ultra Running is a Team Sport
Another Rocky 50 race day win was the incredible start line crew: Isis Hargrave and Zach Allen.
Isis: I can’t explain the pride I felt for our endurance runners at Rocky, covered in dirt, smiling and fighting through the pain. As a member of the enduraLAB crew team, I appreciated the race layout and trail accessibility which allowed us to easily cheer for our runners. The sweetest moment for me was watching Isla hold up her daddy's medal as he came through the finish line 12 hours after starting the race. So much happiness. In fact, I was so inspired by the day that I signed up for a 25k trail run in April. If you have a chance to crew or cheer on any race, I highly recommend it.
Zach: When I heard the enduraLAB Run Club was going to have a group of runners at Rocky, I knew I had to be part of the crew team and support all of my friends. These races are typically physically and mentally demanding and generally uncomfortable. One of the single best ways to help each of us endure and reach the finish line is by simply having a positive attitude and putting on a smile. If I could help a runner by being a positive influence during their race, encourage them, and make them smile, then I was going to do that just as so many have done that for me. I was fortunate enough to watch all of our group win the day. Though the race didn't go perfectly for everyone, I'd like to think each racer will look back on the race knowing they learned something about themselves and what they are capable of. I think that's the spirit of why we continue to sign up for these types of endurance events. I can't wait to see what everyone does next.
What’s Next for the enduraLAB Run Club
The enduraLAB Run Club is wrapping up training for the Fort Worth 2020 Cowtown Half and Full Marathon.
Our Thursday Social Run Series will open up in April 2020. That same month, we have runners going to the Coyote Run in Cleburne, TX.
We are also training endurance runners for the Colorado Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half in June 2020.
Reaching for your running goals
The enduraLAB Run Club would love to be part of your running journey! Whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive membership or an online individualized running and strength training program, we’ve got a membership option that fits your needs. The enduraLAB Run Club prides itself on equipping all runners, regardless of pace, with the tools they need to reach their goals.
Learn more about our Run Club. Feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback.
Whether during a local enduraLAB social run, training run, or at a race – we hope to see you all soon!