• November 19, 2019

GOOD NEWS: Ultramarathon has Sul Ross ties - Odessa American: Good News

e-Edition Subscribe

GOOD NEWS: Ultramarathon has Sul Ross ties

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2019 8:08 am

ALPINE One Sul Ross professor’s passion project has led to a fifth year of remote racing in the Chihuahuan Desert with Trans-Pecos Ultra, a multi-stage race and tour through Big Bend, held Nov. 2.

Chair of Physical Education and Assistant Professor Chris Herrera, PhD, MBA, fell in love with long distance racing when he was on a one-year sabbatical in 2013.

He had signed up to run the Sahara Race, one of four international races. An ankle injury put Herrera on volunteer duty instead, but the experience was life changing. The mix of adventure and camaraderie made a lasting impression.

The format of a multi-stage ultramarathon was intense. Participants covered a lot of ground, often hundreds of miles, in remote areas, but the run is broken up over many days, making it more manageable.

On that same sabbatical, Herrera visited the Big Bend region for the first time. He was instantly drawn to the rugged beauty and access to the outdoors through Big Bend National and Big Bend Ranch State parks, so he applied for a position with the Sul Ross Kinesiology Department and moved to Alpine.

It was easy for Herrera to envision an ultramarathon in the Big Bend. He went to work creating the Trans-Pecos Ultra in Big Bend Ranch State Park, choosing the course and networking with locals and park officials. The result is a spectacular tour of the region and a race that covers 165 of the 175 miles of hiking trails in the Ranch Park.

Contestants had the option to enter two tracts. The four-stage, 85-mile race starts with a short prologue on the first day, then progresses in mileage over three days. The six-stage, 165-mile race ends with an extra 56 miles that contestants had 30 hours to finish. Both result in qualifying points toward the mecca of ultramarathons, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, in the French Alps.

Herrera is building the Sul Ross outdoor recreation curriculum with input from professional outdoorsman in the Big Bend and offering students as many chances to experience the outdoors as possible.

For more information, visit trans-pecosultra.com.

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Clear
41°
Humidity: 69%
Winds: W at 1mph
Feels Like: 41°

Your Extended Forecast

Tomorrow

weather
High 77°/Low 56°
Partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid 50s.

wednesday

weather
High 74°/Low 53°
Showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the low 50s.

thursday

weather
High 73°/Low 44°
Partly cloudy. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 40s.
Online Features

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.