Dave Mackey Pre-Bandera 100k 2012

We caught up with Dave Mackey defending champion the day before the 2012 Bandera 100k. In the interview, Mackey talks about the Bandera course, the draw of USATF championships, who’ll be his biggest competition at the race, and who his competition might be for the 2011 Ultrarunner of the year.

Dave Mackey, 2012 Bandera 100k Pre-Race Interview Transcript

iRunFar:  You’re the Bandera defending champion and the USATF Trail 100k Champion.

Dave Mackey:  So it seems. Yes, if that means something, so I am.

iRF:  It must mean something to you. You seem to run a bunch of these USATF races. What does being 100k Trail Champion mean to you?

Mackey:  It usually means a few more of the faster guys will show up which is the primary reason to go to one of the races. There’s a little bit of prize money, which is nice, and usually it’s in a cool location. USATF has their standard with their races, so you know you’re usually going to get a good event and good competition. Some races you don’t get as good of competition. Last year was pretty good. This year it’s really stacked. It will be a good challenge.

iRF:  What is this course like? A two-lap 100k course?

Mackey:  Yes, two 50k laps. The first third is pretty technical, the middle third is pretty fast, and the last third is pretty technical, too. Overall, you can get some good leg turnover. But when you’re not, you’re kind of in rocky, rutted canyons and baby head rocks, limestone sharp rocks. It’s pretty technical overall when you’re not doing this sort of flat, fast burns through the middle section, you’re definitely going up and down pretty often. There are some pretty good climbs and it adds up. I don’t know what the total vert is but you get 500-foot climbs all the time. It’s pretty good, pretty technical singletrack.

iRF:  So even though there’s no high elevation and no big mountains around us these hills add up.

Mackey:  Yes, there’s one 600 foot hill right there and that’s as big as it gets.

iRF:  What do you think about having course knowledge either just the feel for it or the technicality of it? I ran a few miles of it today and the course is very well marked but if you’re looking around it’s not obvious… the line… there might be two or three paths in one section.

Mackey:  Yeah, I was telling my friend Charles when we were driving it, you’ve got to pick some lines. You might lose one second if you go one way or one second if you go the other way but you always end up in the same place. It’s just like a little blurb around a hump of rocks or grass or something. It doesn’t make a big difference. So you go around the first loop, and then you’ve seen the course. So the next time you might take little variations, but course knowledge won’t help out much at all.

Overall, it will help out with pacing. I know what I did last year, and I know this year I want to run it slightly differently. In that experience course knowledge helps a lot. Knowing where that middle fast section is and knowing where the technical sections are might help a little bit, but anyone can onsight this course and do really well.

iRF:  Who do you think is going to be out there pushing you the most tomorrow?

Mackey:  Just go to iRunFar.com and they’ll highlight it for you. Nick [Clark] is solid, he won it two years ago. I think it was pretty cold two years ago, but I’m sure he’s going to do faster tomorrow. Tim Olson is obviously super fast. Jason Schlarb. Dave James who was second last year, he goes out aggressively. He’ll be going out really fast I’m sure, he always does. Joe Uhan is here. Todd Braje is coming, is that right? Who am I missing? Oh yeah, Yassine (Diboun). Justin Ricks, oh yeah, he’s a really interesting one. He’s set some really fast times in Colorado a few years ago and then he kind of fell off. But it’s good to see him back in it.

iRF:  Do you think you can run faster than last year?

Mackey:  I’m probably 10 minutes slower right now but hopefully I’m 15 minutes smarter. I don’t know, we’ll see if I can run a little bit faster. It could be by the nature of the competition I might be able to go a little bit faster if I get sucked along in it. I might be faster, but I doubt it. I don’t have the training base that I did last year.

iRF:  Busy with school?

Mackey:  School and life, I guess.

iRF:  It is the beginning of 2012 and it’s the time people are looking back at 2011. Rumor has it that today was the day that Ultrarunning magazine Ultrarunner of the Year ballots were due. Your name was obviously in the mix. Who besides yourself would you have picked for men’s Ultrarunner of the Year?

Mackey:  If I had a choice it would be the people who have been listed numerous times:  Nick [Clark], Mike Wolfe, Mike Wardian and for the girls you’ve got Ellie Greenwood who’s hard to top and Kami [Semick]. Probably those four guys. I’d go with them. You never know who could pop in there. David Riddle ran an awesome JFK 50 mile and dominated the 50k scene and that didn’t mean much as far as Ultrarunner of the Year which is fine, it’s a different distance. So yeah, those four guys probably.

iRF:  No one standing above the rest?

Mackey:  I don’t know who I’d pick. Of course I’d vote for me, but, I don’t know. That’s a tough call. Everyone’s got their different specialties. Mike Wardian dominates the roads. Nick’s the 100-mile guy. I’m somewhere in between on the dirt. So yeah, hard to say.

iRF:  It’s going to be a beautiful day here tomorrow so enjoy the trails!

There are 106 comments

  1. Jared Friesen

    Good interview as always Bryon, it was nice to see Dave in "person". Odd question though, Dave what are you studying? And what is the deal with students and ultra running? Has college as a 20 something gotten too easy? Okay just kidding, seriously, good job out there Dave and maybe one day we will toe the line together, although I will be in the back, either way what a pleasure that would be!

  2. Brad G.

    Hi Dave,

    Congratulations on a great run at Bandera and a great season. Enjoy your downtime and rest up for a UROY two-peat next year!

  3. Andy Mc Breen


    congratulations on Your deserved award. I have followed your journey for several years and have been inspired by You. I hope to meet You out on the trails someday.

  4. hecklejack

    Great interview Bryon and Dave! I love following this sport and I love how accessible the athletes are. Reading this website and the interviews make me want to go run! I love it!

  5. Robert John

    Bryon, thanks again for a great interview and keeping us up on all the latest news in the ultra world. Dave, congrats on a fantastic year! I look forward to seeing what you do in 2012. I'd love a pair of Hoka's!

  6. Woody Anderson

    It's been fun running Bandera with you the last two years, although the only time I see you is at the start line. Hope you go back next year. I wore my Hokas (old and need replacement ;-) ) this year and felt like those shoes were were made for the Bandera trails. Well done on 2nd!

  7. Kevin Z

    Hoping 2012 is your best year yet Dave. I've been running in Hokas for almost 2 years now, and while my original pairs have held up well, it's time for a new pair :) Keep up the great work!!

  8. Matt Bauer

    After turning 40 last month my goals this year are to stay healthy and run my first 50. Congrats on a great year, Dave and thanks for the interview Bryon.

  9. marco

    Dave I see you at the races here in the Bay Area. I'm a middle of the pack runner and I honestly don't know how you can maintain a pace like that. I saw you last at Dick Collins when I saw you on your way back I still had three miles to go to the turn around point, which means you were already six miles ahead of me and you were still smiling. Wicked Fast! Congrats on your Ultrarunner of the year award.


  10. Joe

    Glad you got the UROY. Class act. Impressive how you can manage to be so competitive with such a busy schedule. Looking forward to seeing how 2012 unfolds…

  11. JoshBart87

    Dave- great interview. Congratulations on being named UROY and on your performance at Bandera…hope to run with you again soon…will you be at Nueces 50 mile nationals?

  12. John

    Nice Job and Yes I'd be glad to try a pair of Hoka's.

    Two guys in a jungle come around a corner and meet a lion head-on

    pawing the ground. One guy ever so carefully reaches into his knapsack and slowly takes out a set of Hoka running shoes, never once breaking eye contact with

    the lion. The second guy hisses: "What are you doing, you can't outrun the lion"

    And the first guy says: "No, but all I have to do is outrun you"!

  13. Jacob in Sacramento

    Shameless attempt at getting a free pair of Hokas. I'm starting an RN program in 2 days and it drained my bank account. You can look at this as writing you first script. Hokas, just what the Dr. (P.A.) ordered. Good luck with school and the 2012 season.

  14. Jon Burbey

    Congratulations Dave. I love following your adventures on your blog and irunfar. I would love the opportunity to try a pair of Hokas. They don't sell them around here as far as I can tell (St. Paul, MN).

  15. Tag 14

    Congrats Dave on the UROY, great to see a 40 something guy take on and beat the young guns! I have a pair of the Mafate's and love them and I'm impressed with their longevity – over 600k and still going strong.

    Terry Gagnon

    Innisfail, AB. Canada

  16. Dean G

    I already posted this on your blog, but it is worth repeating:

    It is amazing you can race this well and have such a full life. Very inspiring.

    I'll be at WS for the first time this Spring, volunteering at the finish line.

    Should I put you down for a sub 15 hour finish? :)

    P.S. — I hope Hoka knows a lot of people (like me) have embraced those shoes because guys like you and Karl speak and race so highly in their regard.

  17. CJ

    11 or 11.5 for me Dave. It's really generous of you to provide free Hokas to everyone who ever comments on this post. But, then again, those are the spoils of UROY, huh?


  18. larry phillips

    I have been reading about the Hoka's on the Ultra list. And would love to try a pair. Would be using them at 3 days at the fair and Vol State.

  19. Drew roehrich

    Congrats on a great year! Yes, I would love to have a free pair of shoes and feel like one of the elites by getting shoes for free! Keep running and writing.



  20. Stack

    Ok… have to admit… i'm just commenting here for a chance to get some sweet sweet MOON BOOTS!

    Although I do love me some irunfar so it all works out nicely.


  21. Blue Camp

    Congrats on Ultra Runner of the Year! You are an inspiration to all of us. This is an exciting time to be an ultra running fan. Race coverage is getting better and better and irunfar is leading the way.

  22. Dan Uhlir

    Dave – Great year of running, but equally impressive was listening to your podcast interview and the humility you possess about ultrarunning and the love you have for your family. Best wishes as you soon complete your educational pursuit.

  23. David Altena

    I turned 50 last year and ran my first 50k yesterday at Rodeo Beach (GG)CTR.

    To get finished and see you were a mere 1:45(hrs)ahead of me was truly enlightening,

    but I think I got the bug. It was a great experience.

    Some good competition there for a small race!

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