If you read the results of last week’s XTERRA Gator Bait Trail Run in Texas, you might think you are having problems with your eyes. One name keeps repeating itself in both the half marathon and the 5K. Murillo.
If you look closer, you will see that the Murillo brothers Luis, 34, and Gustavo, 31, took first and second place in the half marathon, while their brother Juan Murillo, 41, finished just a bit further back in the 13.1-mile race. Their father, Jose Murillo, 62, finished first in his age group in the 5K in 27:08.
In the half marathon, Luis and Gustavo finished just three minutes apart in 1:31:42 and 1:34:03, respectively. On the roads, this equates to a three-hour marathon pace, which is tough to do. On trails, it’s even tougher.
The Murillo family has four boys and three girls. All of them run except one of the daughters.
“I started running a couple of years after high school,” said Gustavo. “I got introduced to running by a coworker who told me to run a half marathon with him. At the time, I didn’t even know what a half marathon was, but I ran it anyway. Ever since then, I’ve just loved running so I got my brother Luis to run with me and then my other brother Juan joined in. My little sister, and even my dad started running too.”
Their dad, Jose, recently completed his first 100K run.
Gustavo added that he trains with his brothers when he can, but his job has him traveling a lot, so he’s often training on his own.
Luis, who won the XTERRA Gator Bait Half Marathon said that he took up his brother’s invitation to run in their mid-twenties because it felt like a challenge.
“The challenge led to a bunch of 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and then full marathons,” said Luis. “Then we found trail running and just fell in love with the beauty of the trails and the XTERRA community.”
Luis added that he and Gustavo train after work, anywhere from 30 to 80 miles a week, depending on what they are training for.
“I like to race anything from a 5K to a 100 miler,” said Luis. “I enjoy the pain and sense of accomplishment of the longer distances while Gustavo likes the shorter distances from the 5K to the marathon.”
Together, Luis and Gustavo spread the running bug to their older brother Juan and then to their father.
“I started running with my brothers in 2009,” said Juan. “In high school I used to play soccer all the time.”
Juan’s first road race was a 5K, which led to a marathon. His first trail run was the XTERRA Magnolia Hill 21K.
“For XTERRA Magnolia Hill, we didn’t know what to expect,” said Juan. “We just wore our basketball shoes and our everyday tennis shoes. But after that race, we were hooked on trail running. Trail running was a whole different experience and the community is a lot friendlier.”
Like Luis, Juan prefers longer distances and he averages anywhere from 30 to 100 miles a week.
“I like ultra races, anything from 50K to 100 miles,” said Juan.
His longest run was a timed event where he ran 130 miles in 48 hours. To put that in perspective, that is longer than the famous 100-mile Western States Endurance Run and Juan did that faster than many runners do Western States.
“When we show up to races, everyone says, ‘Oh, it’s the Murillo’s,’” said Luis. “For us, running time is family time.”
Photo courtesy of Terra Firma Racing and Kim Topp