Jenna Mutz is a glutton for punishment.
Mutz, who won the Cowtown 50K race last year, came in from Missouri for this weekend’s race and repeated as the champion with a time of 3 hours, 53 minutes, 36 seconds. She finished more than 20 minutes ahead of second-place finisher Gina Hendrickson (4:15:29).
Mutz, 38, was born in Fort Worth and makes a point of coming back for the race as her parents still live in Mexia.
“This is my fourth-straight year running the ultra and we just like coming here,” she said. “We bring a different crew of runners with us every year. We just love Fort Worth and we love the race.”
Mutz finished in the top 10 in her first Cowtown 50K and was third in 2017.
Mutz was running in second for most of the race but took the lead when Liz Northern opted to only run the marathon at the turnoff for the marathon and 50K runners.
“I wasn’t in the lead until she turned,” Mutz said. “I didn’t know until about 25 miles in. Her bicycle escort was waiting for me.”
Oklahoma City’s Jason Butler won the men’s 50K with a time of 3:09:22, which is the national record for his age group (45-49). The 46-year-old has run two other ultra marathons but Sunday’s was his first-ever 50K.
“I’ve signed up for Cowtown before but never run it,” said Butler, who was injured last year after he signed up. “I’m so happy. I can’t believe I got the record. I knew I had it in me but I didn’t know if today was going to be the day. Man that wind the last 2 ½ miles was rough.”
Former Fort Worth resident Richard Powell came back to run his first-ever Cowtown half marathon and the race agreed with him as he won with a time of 1:10:07.
Powell, who lives in Missouri City, had wanted to run the race when he lived in Fort Worth but that conflicted with a United States Marine Corps race. The 30-year-old veteran who served in Afghanistan was finally able to fit it into his schedule Sunday.
“I’d always wanted to run it,” said Powell, who led the race from the start. “I was running through most of the city I had run in parts for different races. I ran through Panther City, the Stockyards, Seventh Street. It brought back a lot of fun memories I had of Fort Worth. That was until I hit the hill (on Main Street).”
Isaac Roldan finished second in 1:11:39 and Gishu Maco was third at 1:11:54.
Professional runner Allie Kieffer dominated the half marathon among women, winning in a time of 1:14:03. Stephanie Andre was second at 1:17:26 and Saturday’s women’s 10K winner Caitlin Keen was third.
Kieffer, who lives in Austin, didn’t go out with the intent to win Sunday’s race. She didn’t even run all out for the 13.1 miles, instead using it as a training run.
Kieffer, who ran collegiately at Wake Forest and Arizona State, would run four miles then jog a half mile. She did that throughout the race.
“I’m not really focused so much on winning, just having a good workout,” said Kieffer, 31, who is a marathoner who has already met the Olympic qualifying standard. “I’m training for London (marathon) and I run professionally so I’m already at like a 120-mile week. I try to use races to run my workout.”
She finished fifth at the New York City Marathon in 2017 and was seventh there in November.