Megan Lund, March Thompson race to women’s titles
For a tiny school, Alpine Christian Academy left a big impression at this year’s Strawberry Shortcut.
Megan Lund and March Thompson, graduates of the 42-student, Basalt-based private school, won the 10- and 5-kilometer races, respectively, at Sunday’s annual event held on the streets of Glenwood Springs.
Lund, a 2001 Alpine Christian alumna, who has continued her running career at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, took first place in the women’s 10 K with a time of 40 minutes, 22.72 seconds.
Thompson, who graduated a few weeks ago, recorded the best mark in the women’s 5K, finishing the race in 20:30.94.
Thompson said that running in the Strawberry Shortcut is part of her training in preparation for running at Colorado College – just a few miles away from Lund’s college.
At the end of their respective races, the two runners expressed surprise on their victories.
“I’m honored because there’s a lot of fast people who come down for this race,” Lund said. “I was really excited because there’s a lot of good women out here.”
On Sunday, Lund turned out to be the best of the best in the 10K.
Going in, Lund’s goal was to finish among the top three women. But, after getting a second wind in the latter stages of the race, Lund took control.
After taking the early lead, Lund fell back to a dead heat with Aspen’s Lisa Gonzales, the second-place finisher, at the two-mile mark.
“She kind of dropped back,” Lund said. “And I got a second wind. That’s where I pretty much took the lead.”
But while Lund prefers being ahead, it does create some problems.
“If I’m in front, I usually do better,” she said. “But, it is hard when I lose contact with the other runners.
“I always end up in no-man’s land and I have to judge my own pace.”
Lund recorded the 13th best time in the citizen’s race, regardless of division, and was the only female runner to finish the course inside 41 minutes.
Gonzales came in at 41:18.72. Her sister Anne Nerbonne of Aspen came in third place and Heidi Vosbeck from New Castle was fourth.
Thompson, whose focus has been on the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs recently, didn’t know what to expect running on the Shortcut’s course.
“I haven’t run a 5K since the Turkey Trot,” said Thompson. “So, I didn’t know what today was going to bring.”
Thompson, like Lund, attributed her victory to gaining a second wind.
“Sarah Shepard of Glenwood came out with a strong pace, until I got that second wind I was following her,” she said.
Thompson bested Shepard by 11 seconds. The Basalt resident’s 20:30.94 mark was 17th best in the 5K field.
Shepard recorded a 20:41.56 time for second place in the women’s division. Lacey Darien, also of Glenwood was third.
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When Basalt High School seniors celebrate their graduation in May, they may not be the only stars of the show.