Blue skies, bright colors greet Lead King runners |

Blue skies, bright colors greet Lead King runners

A lead pack of runners makes its way up past Beaver Lake Sunday in the Lead King Loop 25K.
John Stroud / Post Independent | Post Independent

Lead King Loop 25K

Top 5 male

Joseph DeMoor, 26

Patrick Cole, 36

Casey Weaver, 26

Jesse Rickert, 44

Matt Nolen, 33

Top 5 female

Jamie Pfahl, 23

Jessica Finnigan, 34

Anne Moseley, 31

Britta Seppi, 42

Lucy Graham, 50

Quarry Trail Climb 12.5K

Top 5 male

Wesley Toews, 29

Ryan Wilch, 34

Steve Ramirez, 32

Russel Bollig, 52

John Stroud, 52

Top 5 female

Rachel Horvath, 31

Geri Howard, 48

Jessie Johnson, 40

Janelle Lind, 34

Amanda Read, 37

Crystal blue skies and an emerging blanket of fall colors greeted runners making their way up the Crystal River Valley above Marble Sunday for the annual Lead King Loop 25K and Quarry Climb 12.5K charity races to benefit the Marble Charter School.

“I just wanted to come and check out the scenery,” Joseph DeMoor of Carbondale, winner of the 25K race by a large margin, said as he chilled at the finish line, which came complete with best post-race barbecue of any foot race in the valley.

Official times were not immediately available, and the course was slightly altered this year, featuring an extra couple of street blocks and a new finish line at the corner of East Main and East Second Street.

Results of the 25K race are now posted online.

DeMoor, who took on the Lead King Loop for the first time, is making a name for himself on the local distance running circuit. He was also the winner of the Mt. Sopris Runoff 14-miler at Carbondale Mountain Fair in late July.

“I felt great, but the downhill was kind of rough,” DeMoor said of the Sunday descent through Lead King Basin to the mountain town of Crystal. “It took my legs a while to recover from that, and then it was really rocky. But I felt pretty strong on the uphill, it was fun.

The top female finisher in the 25K was another first-timer, Jamie Pfahl of Boulder.

“This one has been on my bucket list for about three years,” Pfahl said. “I took a big tumble at 11 and a half miles, but I felt pretty good otherwise. It was really brutal, but really beautiful.”

Taking overall honors in the Quarry Trail Climb 12.5K was Wesley Toews of New Castle, who has made the return trip on several occasions since running his first race ever at the 2008 Quarry Climb.

“It was really beautiful up there, the colors are just amazing this time of year,” Toews said, adding he may have to give the 25K loop through Lead King a try some year.

“I was kind of wavering this year, but I decided at the last minute to go with the shorter one,” he said.

Top female in the Quarry Climb was Rachel Horvath.

The Lead King and Quarry Climb races benefit the Marble Charter School, a public charter school of the Gunnison Watershed School District serving approximately 40 students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. The school was formed in 1995 to give families living in the small burg an alternative to traveling the 55-mile round trip to Carbondale schools.

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