Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd run marks 8th year
Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd runners begin their respective runs at 8 a.m. on Oct. 20. The start time was for runners in the 100-mile run, the 100K run and 50K run. Participants ran a trail on the J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve near the Eagle Bluff Resort on Highway 10 near Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen and runner Lori Enlow, center, smiles after a few miles in to her 50K run at the Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd on Oct. 20 on the J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve near the Eagle Bluff Resort on Highway 10. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Runners participating the 100-mile, 100K and 50K runs on Oct. 20 make their ways through the J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve near the Eagle Bluff Resort near Tahlequah in the annual Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd run. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
EAGLE BLUFF – On Oct. 20-21, the 2018 Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd marked its eighth year with approximately 250 runners participating in runs around the J.T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve near the Eagle Bluff Resort on Highway 10.
Founded by Ken Childress in 2011, the PHH follows a scenic trail near the Illinois River that racers say is beautiful yet challenging and brings them back each year.
The Nickel Preserve is a 30-mile loop that Childress said was a good spot to start a 100-mile race.
“We thought Oklahoma needed a 100-miler because there’s like 165 100-mile races across the United States. The 100-mile is kind of the new marathon. There was a time when you hardly knew anyone who had run a marathon, and now lots and lots and lots of people have. This is kind of what it’s evolved into,” he said.
Cherokee Nation citizen Lori Enlow said her experience running her first 100-mile race a few years ago was not as challenging as she thought it was going to be and inspired her to do more long-distance runs. “I just kind of went really slow and cautious because I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to go that far. So I kept my pace really slow. I was able to run almost the whole thing. I had to walk to the last 5 miles because I was having knee pain, but I ran 95 miles probably anywhere from a nine-to-11-minute pace per mile. I did really well. That’s the fastest 100-mile race I’ve ever run and I came in first female in about 22 hours and some change, right under 23 hours. It was really cool.”
Enlow said she’s been running the PHH for several years and has the 100-mile, 50K run and three 25K runs under her belt. This year she ran the 50K again.
“It’s a really cool event. One of the reasons I like Pumpkin Holler is it really is for everyone. So it’s not just for people who are racing or trying to be really super fast. It’s like a social event and way to be out in the country for hours and kind of spending time out on the dirt roads and seeing all the fall colors and enjoying the company of other people, having an aid station about every 5 miles or so. You can eat along the way and spend the day out walking, which is a great way to spend the day and run as much as you can,” Enlow said.
Kathy Bratton, who is Osage and Quapaw and owns Runner’s World in Tulsa, ran the 100-mile run, which she said is one of her favorite runs.
“I like 100s, they’re my favorite. I love the location. It’s spectacularly beautiful out there. The course is challenging, but can be fast at the same time. It’s got a lot of hills, but it’s got a lot of down hills to make up for it. The race director does an amazing job of putting on the event, and the volunteers are all knowledgeable. They’ve been volunteering for years, so they know how to take care of the runners,” Bratton said.
Childress said those who run the 100-miler have a cut off time of 30 hours and not all finish but get credit for running it. “The fastest time for anyone running 100 miles is like 12 hours and 20 minutes, which is insane. But I think our course record there is 17 hours and change.”
Aside from the 100-mile run, runners can choose the 100K (62 miles), the 50K (31 miles), the 25K (15.5) miles or the 10-mile run.
CN citizen Lindsay Fritsche, who ran the 25K race, said she runs the PHH because it’s one of her favorite places to run because she trains there. “It’s been a good experience. The people that run it, the aid stations, the volunteers, it’s well organized, and it’s just a good race to do.”
For more information, visit www.ph100.run
or the Pumpkin Holler Hunnerd Facebook page.