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Want to Run an Ultramarathon? San Antonio’s Got You Covered

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Tony Maples Photography


By day, they’re mild-mannered citizens. Accountants, teachers, grocery store managers, firefighters, moms, dads. But come the weekend, they put on their superhero suits and turn into ultramarathoners.

What is an ultramarathoner? Someone who runs ultramarathons. What is an ultramarathon? Any footrace longer than a traditional marathon of 26.2 miles.

The starting line at first light


In San Antonio, the San Antonio Road Runner Running Club or SARR, is responsible turning would-be couch potatoes into rugged champions of endurance. The SARR coordinates an annual ultramarathon, The Prickly Pear 50k (31.5 miles and change), and a 10 miler; neither of which are for the faint of heart.

This year’s event was held at the Land Heritage Institute, a preserve and educational center located on the banks of the Medina River. The Institute features over 20 miles of hike and bike trails, and hosts many public and private events. The Institute itself also provides educational opportunities and keynote speakers through its Southside Second Saturday Speaker Series.

Mile 15 is where the magic happens


The 2016 Prickly Pear trail run presented an extra challenge at the Land Heritage Institute this year. Heavy rains the night before left the course wet and muddy. As is the rule with most ultrarunning events, there are no rainouts. Runners rose to the occasion and pounded it out through the muddy course, braving the wet conditions, a cold front and 20-mile per hour winds.

Looking for a fitness challenge in San Antonio? Start training for next year’s Prickly Pear 50k, date and time TBA.