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Travis Redden Trail of Fears 2013 Winner

Travis Redden Wins Trail of Fears (2013 Results)

Travis Redden returned to Jackson, Tennessee on December 21, 2013 with a heart full of desire to win the Trail of Fears. Last year, he had finished second to the ‘Last Man Standing’ Jonathan Harrison.

On Saturday, Redden did just that as he was the ‘Last Man Standing’ after Jackson native Karl Studtmann turned in half-way through the 12th loop and called it a day.

Shortly thereafter tornado sirens sounded and the heavens opened up to one of the nastiest rain and wind storms this side of Noah’s ark.  Runners had waited and anticipated the nasty weather all day but instead were greeted with high temperatures laced with humidity.  The bad weather could not hold off any longer on that 12th loop around 7 pm.

A mad scramble ensued to get all of the race gear off of the hill before it and we were all blown away. We also waited for Redden to finish that 12th loop (which was unnecessary since he had won the 11th loop). Sirens continued to blare, trees buckled and swayed, and everything in sight was soaked as Redden and his good friend Jim Donahue, who had backtracked a bit to find Redden, came off the hill.

Redden was soaked but thrilled to claim the ‘Last Man Standing’ buckle.

2013 Trail of Fears Results

  1. Travis Redden – 51.6 miles (12 loops)
  2. Karl Studtmann – 47.2 miles (11 loops)
  3. Joshua Holmes – 38.7 miles (9 loops)
  4. Rob Philip – 34.4 miles (8 loops)
  5. Nathan Judd – 34.4 miles (8 loops)
  6. Nathan Bass – 30.1 miles (7 loops)
  7. Billy Cannon – 25.8 miles (6 loops)
  8. Marc Gilbert – 25.8 miles (6 loops)
  9. Courtney Munson – 25.8 miles (6 loops) – Last Female
  10. James Donahue – 25.8 miles (6 loops)
  11. Mark Ogletree – 21.5 miles (5 loops)
  12. Brett Beckham – 17.2 miles (4 loops)
  13. Todd Shadburn – 17.2 miles (4 loops)
  14. Beth Hosick – 17.2 miles (4 loops)
  15. Arthur Priddy – 17.2 miles (4 loops)
  16. Bob Beasley – 17.2 miles (4 loops)
  17. Julie Montgomery – 17.2 miles (4 loops)
  18. Clark Bilbrey – 8.6 miles (2 loops)

Congrats to all of these runners, many of which set a new personal long.

Trail of Fears Tidbits:

  • 34:00 – Fastest lap put down by Arthur Priddy
  • 0:06 – Smallest amount of time left on successful lap by Jim Donahue
  • 2 – Laps won by Priddy
  • 7 – Laps won by Karl Studtmann
  • 2 – Laps won by Travis Redden
  • 1 – Laps won by Joshua Holmes
  • Top 3 Laps: Studtmann (11), Holmes (8), Redden (8), Priddy (2), Rob Philip (1), Brett Beckham (1)

Thanks to Shannon Miller and Anthony Ohrey for their help in race directing and taking care of all of the runners.

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Jonathan Harrison Last Man Standing on the Trail of Fears Elimination Board

Last Man Standing: Trail of Fears Race Report (2012)


Last Man Standing

This story actually begins a few weeks before the race.  When the race details for the Trail of Fears were announced on the Run It Fast Facebook page I got really excited…buuut then I saw the date.  NOOO!!!  My wife, Leah Harrison (RIF #64), and I planned to be in the Smoky Mountains to celebrate our 10 year anniversary that weekend, sooo I tried to not pay attention to the details and conversations about the race as they unfolded.  I really did try.  A week later I was texting with RD Joshua Holmes (RIF #1) about why I couldn’t make the race and I jokingly said, “I wonder if Leah would stay with me another 10 years if I cut our trip short?”  We had a good laugh about it and Josh later said, “If you had been able to run this one you would’ve been 1 of only 3 or 4 people to run all the RIF races this year (Jackass 50k, Jackal Trail Marathon, Black Diamond 40 Miler, Trail of Fears).  Talk about a dagger to the heart.

The next morning while getting ready for work I was recounting the conversation to Leah (not trying to change her mind about anything btw) and when I mentioned the part about being 1 of only 3 or 4 people to run all of the RIF races her face changed and said, “Maybe you can call the hotel and move the reservations up.  You have to run this race!”  BEST.  WIFE.  EVER.  It’s great being married to an ultrarunner who understands.

Obviously everything worked out, so fast forward to the race.  Having trained and run races on the Trail of Fears course was a definite advantage going in.  My strategy from the beginning was to complete each loop with 5-10 min. left before the start of the next loop.  I think the fastest I ever ran the loop was 39 min. in a training run, but I wanted to conserve my energy and not leave too much time between loops to get stiff.  I knew this would be important in the later stages of the race.  Another important component of this race was my crew chief/training partner, Nathan Judd (RIF #166).  Nathan drove me to the race, crewed for me every stop and was there to celebrate with me at the end.  We had discussed my fueling plan, strategy, etc.  He helped me stay the course and definitely played a big role in this victory.  Thanks bro!

The first loop was about finding a rhythm for my strategy.  It helped that on that first loop I fell in step with Kevin Leathers (RIF #12), an experienced, knowledgeable ultrarunner, who I had ran several loops with on the course back in February in the Jackass 50k.  Kevin and I had similar strategies and since we enjoy one other’s company we stuck together and went to work.  We found a good rhythm early on and after a few loops we started making mental time checkpoints along the trail.  It was like clockwork.  Leah showed up with our 2 boys after the 3rd loop with definitely lifted my spirits.

I felt a very minor pain on the outside of my left knee for the first 4 loops.  I wasn’t worried about it but I didn’t want it to come back and bite me in the later stages of the race so I changed out of my Brooks Cascadia 7s into my Saucony Peregrines (the original) thinking that landing differently would make it stop.  After Nathan gave my knee a quick massage (we’re very comfortable in our masculinity) while I ate some warm homemade chicken noodle soup (refer to above comment about BEST. WIFE. EVER.) I took off again and immediately the pain started to disappear.  I wore my Peregrines for 2 loops and then switched back into my Cascadias for the extra cushioning.  It had worked.

After 10 strong, consistent loops my running partner for the day, Kevin, came over to say he was done.  He had met his goal.  He could’ve kept going but for him this race was a fun training day.  Stud.  He told me to stay steady and keep doing what I was doing.  I gave him a quick hug and then got ready for the next loop.  I later heard that he told someone I was the one to watch out for.  Thanks man!

Even though the time to complete each loop had been reduced to 55 min. or less by this point I didn’t change my strategy.  My plan was to keep coming in after 52 or 53 min. like I had been all day because I didn’t see the reasoning in speeding up until I had to.  It was making Nathan nervous though.  He told me I should probably speed up a little bit to be safe, but I told him I was feeling good and was confident I could keep coming in at the same time.  Seven of us started the 11th loop and I just kept following my plan.  On this loop I had the pleasure of catching up with an old friend from Freed-Hardeman University, CrossFit phenom Brett Beckham (RIF #85).  We ran together for about 10 min. and had a good conversation.  What a performance outta that guy.  47.3 miles when he hadn’t run more than a half marathon in over 2 years.  Incredible!

When I completed the 12th loop I had met my second to biggest goal of the day, passing the 50 mile mark.  My personal long before this race was 40.5 miles (Black Diamond 40 Miler) back on November 23rd just one month earlier, so it felt great to reach the 50 milestone.

Now to be completely honest I really hadn’t thought much about winning during the race.  I wasn’t even really paying attention to who was left.  However, the beginning of loop 13 was different.  Immediately after the 13th loop started, Jeff Fugate (RIF #17), who had passed his goal of 50 miles, took a few steps and said, “Good luck man.  I’m done.”  Now it was down to 3.  “Wow!” I thought to myself.  “I might actually win this thing.”  I still felt pretty strong.  I took note of who was left, Travis Redden and Rob Philip (RIF #212).  Both guys had run strong all day and were experienced ultrarunners.  If I’m not mistaken, I believe both had finished ahead of me every single previous loop at that point.  Nathan told me they had consistently come in near the front of the pack all day, finishing between 44 and 48 min., so I knew I had to stay focused.  Rob admitted to me that he was tired so I thought it was probably his last loop, but he still finished the loop a little ahead of me.  What a warrior!  Travis, on the other hand, was out of view ½ mile into the loop and continued pulling away the entire loop.  Nevertheless, I pushed that out of my mind and kept doing what I had been doing the all day.

The 3 of us started the 14th loop, with 52 minutes on the clock so it was finally time to speed up.  I was a little tired and a little sore (obviously) but I didn’t doubt for a second that I could make it.  I passed Rob a little over a mile and a half in and keep moving.  I think I finished with a minute something left, but Rob didn’t make it back in time.  The Trail of Fears had claimed another victim, but not without a fight.  Travis had finished several minutes ahead of me, which surprised me a little since we were that deep into the race.  So now it was down to me and Travis, Method vs. Madness, as it had been coined.  51 minutes on the clock.  Before taking off Nathan and Leah asked me what my plan was so they would know what to expect and not get too nervous.  I told them, “I’m gonna be honest.  I’m only going to speed up just a little.  Expect me to come in with 30 to 60 seconds left on the clock.”  Nathan nervously said, “Ok man.  You know what you’re doing.”  Travis took off and left me again but I tried not to think about it.  Anytime the trail folded back on itself I noticed his headlamp swiveling towards me to see where I was.  I just kept running.  Once again I hit my checkpoints like clockwork.  I completed loop 15 with 40 seconds left…just like I had planned.  Nathan was just laughing.  Travis had finished with 3:46 left I believe.  BEAST!

Loop 16: Josh rolled the clock back to 50 min., I was back at the starting line, still confident, and then I heard Travis tell Josh he was finished.  He had some old injuries starting to flare up and he was afraid if he ran another loop he would tear something.  Per the rules, since Travis finished loop 15 ahead of me I had to complete this loop alone for the win.  I had a rush of adrenaline that started the second I heard Travis say he was done.  “This is it!” I thought, “Either way this is the last time I have to run this loop.” So when Josh said “Go!” I took off faster than any previously loop.  I heard Nathan and Leah yelling, cheering me on as I left.  I honestly at that point wasn’t sure which loop it was and I didn’t know how many miles I was at.  I knew I was at 60-something but I forced that out of my mind and kept moving.  I ran moderate inclines and hills that I had walked all day.  I had been praying on and off for the past 6 or 7 loops, but I prayed almost constantly the entire last loop.  I was asking God to guide my steps and to keep me safe and strong.  I wasn’t pushing as hard as I could, but I was pushing enough to finish with some cushion this time.  Near the end I started calculating the loops and miles and realized that I was about to finish my 16th loop, 68.8 miles!  I finally saw Nathan standing on the path that was about 2 min. from the finish and I knew I had it.  I crossed the finish line with 1:05 making it my fastest loop of the day!  I couldn’t believe it!  It was finally over.  Nearly 11:00 p.m., 16 hours after the race started, I was the last man standing on the Trail of Fears.

With God’s help and an amazing crew I was able to accomplish my ultimate goal: Winning the Trail of Fears.  And to think I had only run my first marathon just over a year ago.  What made it even more special was that it was a race filled with so many great running friends I had made this year, fellow RIFers, just having fun in the coolest RIF race of the year.  The cherry on top was that Leah and Nathan were there to celebrate with me.

Jonathan Harrison RIF #65 (December 22, 2012)

Jonathan Harrison Wins Inaugural Trail of Fears Elimination Race (Results)

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Trail Of Fears Winner Jonathan Harrison with the Elimination Board

Jonathan Harrison Wins Inaugural Trail of Fears Elimination Race (Results)

Jonathan Harrison won the inaugural Trail of Fears: The Day After the End of the World Elimination Race late Saturday night after outdueling Illinois native Travis Redden in one of the most exciting race finishes of 2012.

Runners started with 60 minutes to finish the 4.3 mile trail loop. If runners didn’t make it back to the start/finish in that time then they were eliminated. The race restarted every hour. If runners tapped out or didn’t make it back to the start for the restart then they were eliminated as well.

After four hours, a minute was subtracted from the clock per hour until stabilizing at 55 min/loop. It remained at 55 min until lap 14 when it was reduced to 53 minutes then 51 minutes for lap 15 and 50 minutes for lap 16.

Third place went to Mississippi native Rob Philip after he was eliminated after 13 loops as he barely missed making it back to complete his 14th loop.

That left just Harrison and Redden for loop 15. Redden smoked the loop as he had done the last handful of loops coming in with 3:43 remaining on the 51-minute clock.  Harrison, perhaps the most cerebral runner of the day came in with just 40 seconds remaining.

It was then announced for lap 16 that the clock would be reduced by 1-minute down to just 50 minutes. As both runners headed back to the start line, Redden stated that he thought he was done and was going to call it after 15 amazing loops.  Since Travis had beat Jonathan on the prior lap then this meant that Jonathan had to complete the 16th loop in less than 50 minutes for the win while Travis waited at race headquarters along with everyone else.  If Jonathan failed to do it in less than 50 minutes then Travis would be the winner of the race and the coveted Mayan Calendar belt buckle.

So the clock started and Jonathan took off into the dark wilderness to try to win his first race of any distance ever. His personal long coming into the Trail of Fears was 40.5 miles a month before. If he finished loop 16 then he’d have run 68.8 miles for the day.

So everyone waited and made guesses on the outcome of the race as Jonathan ran with more adrenaline than he could probably harness. He controlled his own fate and the outcome of a very exciting day.

As you already know from the headline and intro, Jonathan Harrison dug deep and came across the finish line for the 16th time on the day with about 65 seconds remaning and the win.

His wife Leah and friend Nathan Judd were there to hug and congratulate him on his amazing day, personal long, and win.

Last Woman Standing went to Julie Montgomery with 8 loops (34.3 miles) which was a new personal long for her as well. Second place female was Jennifer Whitley (6 loops) and third place went to Alicia Eno (4 loops).


Place Name Hometown Loops Miles
1 Jonathan Harrison Henderson, TN 16 loops 68.8 miles
2 Travis Redden Troy, IL 15 loops 64.5 miles
3 Rob Philip Saltillo, MS 13 loops* 55.9 miles
4 Jeff Fugate Jackson, TN 12 loops 51.6 miles
5 Stewart Crouch Angleton, TX 11 loops* 47.3 miles
6 Brett Beckham Jackson, TN 11 loops 47.3 miles
7 James Donahue Bethalto, IL 11 loops 47.3 miles
8 Joshua Holmes Jackson, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
9 Kevin Leathers Cordova, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
10 Clark Bilbrey Dickson, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
11 Mark Watson Medina, TN 10 loops 43.0 miles
12 Nathan Bass Madison, MS 8 loops 34.4 miles
13 Kenneth Mescall Jackson, TN 8 loops 34.4 miles
14 Julie Montgomery Jackson, TN 8 loops 34.4 miles
15 Anthony Ohrey Henderson, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
16 Rusty Butcher Jackson, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
17 Billy Cannon Milan, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
18 Danny Staggs Livingston, TN 7 loops 30.1 miles
19 David Mickelsen Nashville, TN 6 loops 25.8 miles
20 Robin Robbins Milan, TN 6 loops 25.8 miles
21 Jennifer Whitley Murfreesboro, TN 6 loops 25.8 miles
22 Bob Beasley Jackson, TN 5 loops 21.5 miles
23 Kevin Brandon Dickson, TN 5 loops 21.5 miles
24 Jonathan Stewart Jackson, TN 4 loops 17.2 miles
25 Alicia Eno Marion, AR 4 loops 17.2 miles
26 Victor Mickelsen Nashville, TN 4 loops 17.2 miles
27 Michelle Trujillo Cookeville, TN 3 loops* 12.9 miles
28 Karl Studtmann Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
29 John Carraher Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
30 Bradford Box Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
31 Jonathan Bobbitt Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
32 David Greenway Jackson, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
33 Amanda Staggs Hermitage, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
34 Sandy Staggs Livingston, TN 3 loops 12.9 miles
35 Marjorie Miitchell Henderson, TN 2 loops* 8.6 miles
DNS Todd Shadburn Jackson, TN
DNS Trent McDowell Franklin, TN
DNS Heather Shoemaker Alpharetta, GA
DNS Martha Floyd Jackson, TN

*= runners that completed 1 additional loop (4.3 miles) but not before the clock ran out, eliminating them from the race.

More info, photos, updates from the race can be found on the Trail Of Fears: The Day After the End of the World Facebook Page

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