Marathoners tackle hilly course

Marathoners begin the hilly course at 7:30 a.m. (Victor Texcucano/Staff)

Shane Huff doesn’t mind taking the some 100-mile trip from Shreveport, Louisiana to Tyler each October.

Maybe not the traveling, but he certainly must enjoy 26.2 mile route once he gets to the Rose City.

For third straight year, Huff was crowned the winner of The Tyler Rose Marathon on Sunday.

The fifth annual event started and finished at the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden.

Organizers said more than 1,100 participated in the marathon and the half-marathon.

Huff had a clocking of two hours, 55 minutes and 54 seconds on the hilly course.

Taking second was Daniel Bucci (2:59.09), while Javier Vilchis (3:09.36) claimed third.

The marathon finishers received a rose bush and a medal.

For David Hendrix, formerly of Bullard and now of Amarillo, it was a special day.

After being diagnosed with Leukemia, Hendrix did not know what his future held.

He went through chemotherapy and after three months of treatment, he is in remission.

After receiving that news, Hendrix made a change in his life.

He and his wife Tiffany started running.

Hendrix weighed more than 300 pounds then and he ran the race Sunday at 210.

His goal was to finish and he did just that.

With many friends and family members cheering him on, he finished the marathon in 5:49.49.

He was an inspiration to many runners and people along the route.

In the women’s race, Shandra Moore won in a time of 3:11.11.

Placing second was Kacey Phillips (3:26.26), while Leslie Stelpflug was third (3:28.58).

In the female half marathon, 12-year-old Heather Welsch won with a time of 1:30.17. She was followed by Meghan Gebke (1:32.53) and Lori Green (1:38.45).

Nicklas Huff won the male half-marathon. The 22-year-old UT Tyler student had a time of 1:13.54.

Clinton Gebke was second at 1:24.39, while Rick Hanson claimed third at 1:26.28.

Each finisher received a medal.

Joe Buie, news editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, who participated in the half-marathon said, it was “a chilly start to the morning ... perfect weather with clear skies.”

Buie was joined by two other Tyler Paper employees. Veteran marathoner Kenneth Dean took part, while Ted Townsend competed in his first half-marathon.

Buie missed last year’s event with a knee injury and said he was surprised at how good his body felt at the finish.

For 2014 race results and details on the 2015 Tyler Rose Marathon, visit

Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 34 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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