PLEASANTON—The 39th annual Wild Bill Cowboy Gallop 5K took place Saturday on a warm and windy spring morning at the Pleasanton River Park as part of Cowboy Homecoming and Turn N Burn. Richard Garza finished first overall with a time of 17:32. Nichole Brauchle was the best female finisher, completing the run in 21:57. This race was both runners’ second consecutive first place wins.
Richard Garza, 23, despite admitting that it had been quite some time since his last run, finished a full 3:13 minutes ahead of the second place finisher, Alex Solano, 33. Garza of Pleasanton did however, credit his boxing coach Solano for keeping him in fighting shape. The two former Poteet ISD graduates met up last year and started intense training at Solano’s Sweatbox gym located in Jourdanton.
Besides placing first in female category, Nichole Brauchle, placed seventh overall for the second consecutive year. Brauchle, an avid runner, was cheered on by her husband, John Brauchle who is a Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden in Atascosa County.
Runners for the race ranged in age from 10 to 86. Jake Talamantez, age 10, served as the youngest runner. Jayden Palacios, age 12, finished first in his age bracket, 13 & under, and third overall with a time of 20:24. Winner of the 14-19 male category, Collin Gutierrez, 16, finished one second behind Palacios for a time at 20:25 placing fourth overall. Winner of women’s division, 45-49, Ami Powell, wife of Mayor Clint Powell, enthusiastically encouraged Gutierrez to join Pleasanton High School’s cross country team.
Three runners in their 80’s completing the 5K were Crash Helmer, 87, Cibolo, Jerome Haner, 86, Helotes and Jane Garza, 80, San Antonio.
In the 25-29 division, Robert Sanchez won the men’s race with a time of 21:33 placing 5th overall. Erica Lopez, General Manager, Cafe Chris, finished 9th overall and won that women’s bracket’s with a time of 24:01.
In the 60-64 category, Woody Wilson won first for males with a time of 25:57. Wilson has run an estimated 12 Wild Bill Gallops and averages 26 5K and 10K runs a year. Bernadette Beck, placed first female in this category. She too has racked up dozens of Wild Bill Cowboy Gallop races over the years holding first place records for women’s division for 1985, 1990 and 2006. In the 65-69 division, Juan “Fast” Gusman, 66, earned his nickname by finishing first in his bracket and 6th overall with a time of 21:50.
A family of eight runners ages 25 to 80 included Diana Gonzales Leal, 58, Poteet, Willie Leal, Jr., 56, Poteet, Jennifer N. Leal, 30, Harlingen, Stephanie Leal, 25, San Antonio, Anita Gonzales Pacheco, 38, Jourdanton, Ronnie Romero, 52, San Antonio, Jane R. Garza, 80, San Antonio and Dora Gonzales, 75, Jourdanton who participated in the Fun Walk.
The Pleasanton Express would like to thank this year’s sponsors: Methodist Hospital South, Woman Plus, Ramos Tire & Auto, H&R Block, Germania and Bestees. These sponsors helped to make the Wild Bill Cowboy Gallop a festive, fun-filled memorable run that features a unique finish to the race – free beverages, tamales and homemade breakfast tacos.