Mud and snow greet 10K championship runners in Vail
VAIL ” Red, white and brown were the unofficial colors of the Teva Mountain Games trail running races Saturday. The course for the 10-kilometer national trail running championship race was modified at the last minute, as race organizers said the top sections of trail were covered by about 8 inches of snow.
Matt Carpenter, from Colorado Springs, won the race in a time of 46 minutes, 41 seconds, to become the national men’s trail running champion and qualifying for the U.S. Teva Mountain Running team, which will compete in the trophy event Sept. 25 in Wellington, New Zealand.
The conditions didn’t seem to faze Carpenter, who was soaked from head to toe in the unofficial colors following the race, including a vibrant red gash from sliding into a tree on one of the steep downhill sections of the course.
Timothy Parr, from Gunnison, was second in 47:31, and Clint Wells was third in 47:50. Vail’s Josiah Middaugh was fourth in 48:23 and Celedonio Rodriguez from Mexico was fifth in 48:31. Silt’s Bernie Boettcher took 14th overall with a time of 51:07 and was second in the 40-44 division. Glenwood’s Charlie Wertheim was 19th overall and third in 40-44.
Women’s winner Anna Pichrtova (52:19) from Slovakia was less than enthused about the conditions, but managed to beat second-place World Mountain Running champion Melissa Moon (52:39) of New Zealand, and Laura Haefeli (55:01) of Del Norte, who was the first American woman to finish and thus the new national champion. Glenwood’s Heidi Vosbeck took 16th overall and finished third in the 40-44 division.
“I like sunshine. I like hot weather,” Pichrtova said. “I really don’t like snow and mud, but you can’t do anything about it. You have to stay open and positive and try to do your best.”
The cold was a blessing for runners like local Lisa Isom, who was perhaps the only racer who didn’t fall a single time and took fifth in 57:34 after fourth-place Chris Lundy (56:34).
“It was fun. It was awesome. It was the best course I’ve been on in a while,” Isom said. “It was so messy and fun. I would much rather run in this than heat any day. Maybe because I live around here and I’m used to the cold. We did a race in 95 degrees a couple weeks ago, so this is perfect.”
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.