Morton Opens 2013 Season with Rocky Raccoon Win

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Huntsville, Texas, February 3. Mike Morton, the 2012 Ultra Runner of the Year, opened his 2013 season with an easy win at the 21st annual Rocky Raccoon 100. Morton ran steady throughout, slowing only slightly in the latter stages to win by more than 90 minutes over Nathan Leehman. Leehman ran a strong closing lap to overtake Steve Speirs for second.

Nicole Studer of Dallas, running her first 100 miler, won the women’s race handily. Studer ran a stellar race for more than 80 miles before slowing at the end.

The race featured two of the top men’s seniors and Bob Ayers, Jr, won the hotly-contested competition, pulling away from fellow Vermonter Jack Pilla in the later stages of the race. Runners endured unseasonably warm temperatures during the day, with highs in the mid-70s and a taste of East Texas humidity. Of the 339 starters, 229 finished within the 30-hour time limit.

Men
1. Mike Morton, 41, Lithia, FL, 14:28:09
2. Nathan Leehman, 39, Charlotte, NC, 16:02:27
3. Steve Speirs, 46, Virginia Beach, VA, 16:16:55
4. Seth Kelly, 28, University City, MO, 16:48:32
5. Bob Ayers, Jr, 52, Colchester, VT, 16:54:32

Women
1. Nicole Studer, 30, Dallas, TX, 16:55:02
2. Shaheen Sattar, 28, Dallas, TX, 18:23:05
3. Starshine Blackford, 37, Columbus, OH, 20:07:15
4. Francesca Bissman, 25, Dallas, TX, 20:10:11
5. Serena Wilcox, 33, Cambridge, VT, 20:37:11

Above: Mike Morton at the 2012 Long Haul 100 (photo by Tim Szydlowski).
Above: Nicole Studer, winning the Palo Duro 50 last fall (photo by Michael Friedhoff).