The results are in!
The seventh annual David’s Trail Endurance Run officially concluded late Saturday afternoon. Running fans celebrated crossing the finish line in their 7k, 25k, and 50k runs by rocking out to the Mellow Mountain Band over beer and pizza at the Rocking Chair Resort.
This year’s race saw 187 runners hit the trail across all three respective races.
“It was still frozen this morning,” said Paul Gigliotti on the current state of the trail after the first round of runners left the starting line. “Probably by the time that this next group starts, this would be sunny, and so many people have run over the 7k course, it could be muddy. There were a few slick spots out there yesterday, and it didn’t really get warm enough for it to melt away.”
The endurance run’s 50k kicked off from the starting line promptly at 8 a.m. The run’s 25k followed at 9 a.m., and the 7k race followed at 10 a.m.
The morning air was brisk on the quiet Saturday morning, with runners huddling around the provided fire pits for warmth before hitting the trail. Patches of ice and snow dotted the resort and trail as volunteers worked to ensure the race ran smoothly.
“We stayed at a place on the other side of the bridge,” said Corey Stipp, one of the 40 or so volunteers for the David’s Trail Endurance Run. “And just looking at this steam coming off the lake early in the morning, drinking that cup of coffee. I mean, it’s serene and quiet. The sun coming through this stuff. It’s ridiculous. It’s gorgeous.
First place for the 50k run went to Chris Boyle from Osage Beach, Missouri, who crossed the finish line at 05:19:18.57 with a pace of 10:16. Overall fastest female runner for the 50k went to Jenny Overstreet of Olathe, Kansas, who came in at 05:56:15.39 with a pace of 11:28.
For the 25k race, the overall best time went to Wilton Norris of Mountain Home, who crossed the line at 01:39:09.96 for a pace of 06:23. The title of overall fastest female for the 25k race went to Katherine Ketchum of Fayetteville, Arkansas, who clocked in at 02:26:01.48 with a pace of 09:24.
This year’s 7k race saw some blazingly fast speeds, with Tucker Davidson of Mountain Home crossing the finish line at 00:35:42.17 for a pace of 08:12. Sharla Mathes of Branson, Missouri, locked in the best overall female runner slot with a time of 00:38:31.00 with a pace of 08:51.
“It’s an escape from reality,” said Tucker Davidson. “I’m running anywhere from 30 to 45 miles a week.”
The David’s Trail Endurance Run pulled in visitors from all over the world this year. Shelly Izzard and her husband, Ken Izzard, a water engineer, traveled from Kyrgyzstan to participate in this year’s 7k race. Their daughter, Amanda Izzard, an English teacher in Cambodia, also made the trip to participate in the race with her family.
While usually flat road runners, the mother/daughter combo decided to give trail running a shot this year after Ken Izzard signed up for the race.
“I’m going to be bringing up the tail,” said Shelly Izzard jokingly said. “When I come across, it’s going to be glorious.”
David’s Trail was created in honor of David Floyd and his contributions to the Ozark areas. The trail, which follows the contour of Norfork Lake, is currently being expanded through the Trans Ozark Trail project, which seeks to connect trails from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to St. Louis, Missouri.
Once completed, the connected trails would cover nearly 700 miles worth of land. The project is being overseen by the Ozark Trail Association and Ozark Highlands Trail Association.
This year marks an official reset for the race and its records, as the trail is now different from what it used to be in past years. Gigliotti and Anderson decided not to do their typical payouts for record breakers this year to mark this new change. Instead, the funds will be used to help finish the work that is being done on David’s Trail.
This year’s race winners now hold the course’s records. Record payouts will begin again with next year’s race.