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Runners tackle trails at Grasslands

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Nearing the finish

NEARING THE FINISH – Nancy Nelson approaches the finish line of the half-marathon Saturday at the Grasslands Trail Run. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Nearing the finish line Saturday, Nancy Nelson carried the Thin Blue Line flag proudly.

For 13 miles over the rugged trail at the Grasslands, Nelson paid tribute to members of the law enforcement community as part of Team Blue Line Racing. The Kingsland resident and others carry the flag at different events to show their support of officers and also raise money for families of fallen officers.

“When I lived in Louisiana, I was friends with many members of the law enforcement community,” Nelson said. “The 2015 attack in Dallas was a catalyst for me to get more involved. I wanted to show my support.”

Nelson was one of approximately 400 runners from as far as Alaska that tackled the 13-, 26.2- and 50-mile distances at the LBJ Grasslands during the 21st annual Grasslands Trail Run. Runners were greeted by near-perfect weather, morning temperatures in the 30s and light wind, to go along with good trail conditions.

“It’s been a fantastic day,” said Anne Barnwell of Southwest Endurance Running. “The trails are in great shape.”

Barnwell’s husband, Chris, is the race director of the annual event.

Angela Spears of Dallas captured the woman’s marathon title in 4:06.17.

“After winning the master’s last year, it’s great to be the first overall female,” Spears said. “It was an awesome day. The trails were in great shape.”

Franz Konczak of San Antonio won the marathon in 3:14.47. Brad Taylor of Texarkana took second in his first marathon in 3:48.39.

“I love trail running. I found this one and heard good things about it,” Taylor said. “The course was in great shape, and they put on a great show.”

Twenty-six runners finished the 50-mile race with Ryan Buetzer of McKinney leading the pack. Buetzer finished in 7:24.21. Robin Phelps was the top woman in the 50-miler in 9:35.24.

John Finn of Plano won the half-marathon in 1:27.45. Lacy Brewer of Aledo was the top female in 1:49.39.

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