Reichley rolls to half-marathon title |

Reichley rolls to half-marathon title

Jim Noelker photo.Thad Reichley runs through the haze caused by smoke and dust on his way to a first-place overall finish during the Basalt Half-Marathon Saturday. Reichley finished with a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes, 58 seconds.

BASALT – It hasn’t taken Thad Reichley long to acclimate to the altitude.

Reichley, who moved to the area recently from San Francisco, set a blistering pace at Saturday’s Basalt Half-Marathon, completing the 13.1-mile course from below Ruedi Dam to the Basalt Middle School in 1 hour, 12 minutes, 58 seconds for the overall title.

The Basalt Half-Marathon was Reichley’s second event since moving to the area. He raced in the Aspen Uphill last weekend, but had better results Saturday on the primarily downhill course.

“I got punished a little by some of the locals in the Uphill,” he said. “Hopefully, I can get my lungs back now.”

On the women’s side, Lisa Gonzales-Gile, who won the Mount Sopris Runoff last month, finished fifth overall and took top honors for women in 1:25:28.

“This is actually my favorite (local run) of the season,” she said. “It’s so beautiful, and it’s downhill.”

While the course was mostly downhill, it winds through Basalt’s residential area prior to the finish. The residential area does feature a little climbing, but it feels like a big climb after 12 miles of descent.

“Those little hills at the end surprise you,” Gonzales-Gile said.

“The last mile kicked my butt,” added women’s second-place finisher Heidi Vosbeck of New Castle.

Eric Packard of Mesa placed second overall, posting a time of 1:18:58. He ran with Reichley for the first few miles before Reichley turned on the jets.

“I felt from the beginning the pace was too hard,” Packard said.

Reichley’s average pace was about 5 minutes, 36 seconds per mile through the course.

Aspen’s Rick Carrol placed third with a time of 1:19:54 and had the strongest finish of the day with an all-out sprint in the last 80 yards.

“I wanted to get under 1:20:00,” Carrol said. “I wasn’t feeling as good as that stride looked.”

Vosbeck clocked in at 1:32:13, a time well under her personal goal of 1:41:30, for 11th overall.

“The first half was the easiest,” she said. “It was so pretty, I just kept looking at the scenery trying not to think about the miles.”

Susie Wells took third-place honors for women in 1:37:44 and finished 20th overall.

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