Locals compete in Mount Sopris Runoff
Back in the early days of the Mount Sopris Runoff, race director Bruce Gabow billed his hilly run from Basalt to Carbondale as being “16 long miles,” referencing the fact that the actual distance was a bit more than the even 16 miles most runners thought it to be. The modern version of the Runoff, now under the guidance of Independence Run and Hike owner Brion After, has been moved from a start at the Basalt 7-Eleven to the old Emma School House, just a couple miles down the road and closer to the finish line in Carbondale. The race has now morphed into an on-the-dot 14-miler.
Or has it?
“Every time we have driven the course in the car, we get a different measurement,” Brion After stated, with a smile and a shake of his head. “It’s been anywhere from 14.1 miles to 14.3, so it’s a bit off, but that kind of goes hand in hand with the theme of the Mountain Fair.”
Regardless of the starting point, runners still must tackle the steady climb up West Sopris Creek Road, an elevation gain of 1,500 feet, before a quad-pounding 1,700 foot descent grinds the legs in the race’s last 4 miles on the way to finishing in the heart of the Mountain Fair at Sopris Park.
This year’s Runoff winner was Joseph DeMoor, a Buena Vista native who set a new course record with a time of 1 hour, 25 minutes, 51 seconds. DeMoor, who got married in June and just moved to Redstone with his wife, was the 2008 state 3A cross country champion at Buena Vista High School.
“It was a beautiful course out there today,” said DeMoor, who looked fresh as a daisy crossing the finish line well ahead of runner up Casey Weaver. “This race has an old school feel to it. No timing chips, not a lot of fancy stuff, just start the race and run to the finish line.”
Weaver’s second place time was 1:27:39, with Carbondale’s Jeason Murphy rounding out the top three with a 1:28:15 clocking.
Glenwood’s Melissa Goodman last ran the Sopris Runoff in 2010. She placed third among women that year, and was just hoping to run close to her 2010 time in this year’s race.
“I was hoping to match my time of 6 years ago,” said Goodman, who bested the women’s field with a time of 1:44:39. “I started out a bit too slow today because of the hills at the beginning, but I still had about the same time as my past race.”
Carly Porter came in behind Goodman for second at 1:55:24, and Basalt’s Amy Rollins was third for the ladies at 1:58:11.
There were 71 total runners in the 14-mile (or somewhere close to that) race.
The Mount Sopris Runoff is actually a two-race event, as the shorter 4-mile Fair Run covers the ending, and the fast downhill portion of the day’s longer version.
A young man who has made a habit of dominating local road races this summer, Cody Sedbrook, who runs for the University of Minnesota/Duluth, ran a course record of 19 minutes, 10 seconds to capture another Valley victory. Glenwood High sophomore Gavin Harden came in second at 22:45. Harden was followed by Eric Westerman at 24:43.
Katie Stookesberry of Basalt claimed the women’s crown in the 4-miler. Stookesberry’s time was 27:27. Hannah Stripeika of Moab, Utah was next at 28:45. Third place was Olivia Foulkrod with a time of 28:52.
There were a total of 54 participants in the 4-mile Fair Run.
Top Twenty-Five Overall 14-Mile Mount Sopris Runoff (*Female): 1. Joseph DeMoor, 1 hour, 25 minutes, 51 seconds; 2. Casey Weaver, 1:27:39; 3. Jeason Murphy, 1:28:15; 4. Wesley Toews, 1:31:42; 5. Logan Kemphey, 1:34:06; 6. Ryan Lewis, 1:37:53; 7. Sam Anderson, 1:38:00; 8. Henry Barth, 1:44:18; 9. Jeff Wanner, 1:44:34; 10. Melissa Goodman*, 1:44:39; 11. Morgan Neely, 1:46:48; 12. Jeff Stephens, 1:47:56; 13. Gilles Cote, 1:49:15; 14. Russel Bollig, 1:50:26; 15. Wano Urbands, 1:55:16; 16. Carly Porter*, 1:55:24; 17. Amy Rollins*, 1:58:11; 18. Evan Ellison, 1:58:24; 19. John Stroud, 1:59:17; 20. Thomas Simmons, 1:59:58; 21. Meredith Zaccherio*, 2:00:22; 22. Mary Cote*, 2:01:23; 23. Tom Miller, 2:02:09; 24. Ashley Connolly*, 2:02:32; 25. Kallie Carpenter*, 2:05:13.
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As a new transplant to the area, each week I will feature a trail within the Garfield County limits. For this inaugural week, I’m highlighting Glenwood Springs’ own Atkinson Canal Trail.