Around 1990 Tejas Trails started from Joe & Joyce Prusaitis' love of trail running...plain & simple. After coming to a point where Joe was able to make a career change, the question Joyce asked was, "If you could do anything, what would you do?", & that's how they decided to try putting on trail runs. They started off with one race at Rocky Hill Ranch in 2001. That’s when they started organizing trail runs ‘officially’. They gave it the perfect name - Tejas Trails. Tejas means "friendly". They didn't know all the ways to go about owning their own business, but they knew trail running, ultra running & hard work. And they knew it better than most people around. They were pioneers in the off-road race directing world. Trail running was barely even a thing when they started the company.
They grew it from a single, friendly run into multiple races. They barely advertised the business, but more people kept coming. So they kept adding races & being asked to take over other races. Tejas Trails has grown to 15 total trail running races, several of which are USA National Championship events for multiple distances. Several events are included in national & international trail & mountain running race series. Major sponsors have asked to be involved & rookie & elite runners are showing up from all over the country & world.
In 2015, Joe and Joyce decided they were ready to move toward retirement, so they brought Chris & Krissy McWatters into the business. Chris has been a competitive runner for a long time & has finished some of the longest & toughest endurance competitions on the planet. He even has a course record, & some wins & top places in some of Tejas Trails' past races. He has been in race directing for a long time as well. With much humility & appreciation for what these races offer people, Chris & Krissy gave Tejas Trails a new tagline. "Tejas Trails, more than just trail running..."
Many of our runners are familiar with another well known & much loved race director in Central Texas: Brad Quinn, of Traverse Running. Brad & Nyla Quinn founded Traverse Running in 2006 & hosted the inaugural Capt’n Karl’s Run, which was the first night time trail race in Texas & currently the longest running night trail series in the country! Though Traverse Running operated a separate company from Tejas Trails, Brad & Joe worked together for years on races hosted by both companies. Tejas Trails & Traverse Running events have grown & cultivated a strong trail running community in Texas & beyond, attracting runners from all 50 states & dozens of countries. In June of 2016, Traverse Running & Tejas Trails announced the merger of the two race companies. Tejas Trails & the former Traverse Running events will be directed by the McWatters & Quinns, all under the Tejas Trails banner.
Both Brad & Chris see the merger of their race companies as the natural next step in the Tejas Trails/Traverse Running story. They intend to push harder than ever to help the trail running community around the world, & especially in Texas, continue to push themselves.
This is where you come in. These running events can simply give you a good challenge for the day, or offer some fun for a weekend. But most likely what you'll find is more than just trail running... it's community...it's family...it's serenity...it's a break from chaos...it's testing...it's translatable to the rest of life...it's life changing...
We are humbled that you are racing or volunteering at one or some of our events. You can trust that we are working our hardest to find scenic courses that are as beautiful & unique as possible. You will find looped races with an unbelievable amount of aid station & medical support. We keep courses open a long time for runners trying to make their first attempt at a long race or for those who don't plan on going fast...ever. We also have the fastest of the fast at our races if you are wanting to test yourself at the state, national & international levels.
One of our favorite things in the entire world is watching our story, the Tejas Trails story, become a part of your story...
If you come out to a race, be sure to find us & say hi. We're here for you & your family on race day, before, & after.
- The McWatters, Quinn, & Prusaitis families