Boulder trio clock best times at Shortcut
A trio of running mates from the Boulder area dominated the men’s field at Sunday’s 25th annual Strawberry Shortcut run.
Longmont’s Teddy Mitchell and Boulder’s Mike Dudley tied to take honors in the men’s 10-kilometer top flight class, while last year’s overall 10K champion, Phil Castillo of Longmont, extended his 10K title streak to six consecutive years by winning the citizens race.
Mitchell – who completed a sweep later in the morning by defending his title in the 5K race – and Dudley set out to break the 32-minute mark on the 10K course, but that quickly proved unlikely.
“We were probably going to break 32, then two miles in, the wind got bad,” said Mitchell, who last year finished second behind Castillo in the 10K and set the 5K course record.
With the 32-minute mark out of reach, the pair decided to run together, something to which they are accustomed. Mitchell is a member of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete program and Dudley is a former member of the same program. The two train together a couple times a week on the Front Range.
While they agreed to split the first- and second-place prize money, ($325 each) it didn’t stop the pair from doing a mock lean at the finish tape, clocking in at 33 minutes, 42 seconds.
Dudley definitely got the better end of the split, however, since his girlfriend, Kristin Schwartz, won the $400 purse in the women’s top flight.
“Mike gets to double-dip,” Mitchell said jokingly.
Silt resident Bernie Boettcher finished 2:28 back for third place in the top flight class, admitting he was overmatched by the Dudley and Mitchell.
“(The Shortcut) is never easy,” Boettcher said. “It’s hard to compete with the Army elite. They ran great, I ran good.”
Castillo kept his string of Shortcut titles alive thanks to the race’s schedule change due to the Coal Seam Fire. Castillo, also a member of the Army’s World Class Athletes program, competed in the citizens’ race because he hasn’t trained for over a month while stationed at Army Sergeant School at Fort Hood in Caliene, Texas.
If the race hadn’t been moved back two weeks, he would have missed the Shortcut for the first time in six years.
Castillo seemed to have plenty of fuel in his tank, however, even with the layoff. He finished first in the citizens’ race and fourth overall with a time of 36:48.
“(Running) is kind of like riding a bike,” Castillo said. “I’m a little heavy right now, but I tried to keep a good pace. My time wasn’t as fast, but it was nice being able to compete and win.”
Jacob Hadar of Carbondale finished second, followed by Mesa’s Erik Packard in 36:48 and 38:31, respectively. Basalt’s Ron Lund took the masters title, while Colin Stewart was first in the under 19 class.
After a quick start out of the gate by 15-year-old Glenn Randall of Collbran, Mitchell overtook the Palisade High School runner to successfully defended his 5K title with a time of 16-minutes.
Mitchell was well short of his record pace of 15:34 set last year, but still 14 seconds ahead of second-place Castillo. With no top flight category in the 5K, Castillo officially won the citizens’ race. With the two citizen race victories, Castillo now holds nine titles, the most in Shortcut history.
Chris Salmen, who graduated from Glenwood Springs High School in the spring and will attend Duke University this fall, placed third with a time of 16:40.
“Phil got me, but I think I had a good race,” said Salmen, 18, who has been running in the Shortcut since he was about 5 years old.
Steve Vigil was the top over-40 finisher with a time of 17:58.
The proceeds from entry fees and other revenues were donated to the Colorado Special Olympics and a relief fund for the Coal Seam Fire.
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The 40th annual Demon Invitational track and field meet takes place Saturday, May 15 at Stubler Memorial Field.