Still an uphill climb to Runoff record |

Still an uphill climb to Runoff record

Jon Mitchell
The male winner of the Sopris Runoff 14-mile race, Michael Barlow, toughs it out to the top of the climb.
Colleen O’Neil / Post Independent |

Mount sopris runoff

Saturday in Carbondale

14-mile race (Top 20)

1. Michael Barlow, 1:28.12; 2. Jeason Murphy, 1:32.28; 3. (tie) Jeremy Duncan and Josh Hejtmanek, 1:35.08; 5. Greg Rhodes, 1:37.14; 6. Brian Cooke, 1:40.01; 7. Brian Johnson, 1:41.37; 8. Ryan Strand, 1:42.46; 9. Josh Anderson, 1:47.13; 10. Audra Schmidt, 1:48.58.

11. Lucius Juma, 1:49.07; 12. Giles Cote, 1:51.53; 13. Austin Weiss, 1:54.24; 14. Mary Kate Farrell, 1:56.01; 15. John Maxwell, 1:56.58; 16. Laurie Guevra-Stone, 1:58.12; 17. Chris Steil, 2:05.14; 18. Peter Wiley, 2:06.17; 19. Paul Hanrahan, 2:06.38; 20. Laura Armstrong, 2:06.56.

Fast 4-mile Fair Run (Top 15)

1. Cody Sedbrook, 19:46; 2. Gavin Harden, 24:22; 3. Ben Carlsen, 25:35; 4. Brad Palmer, 25:57; 5. John Stroud, 26:05; 6. Chris Spence, 26:18; 7. Phil Samora, 27:24; 8. Katie Stokesberry, 27:29; 9. Olivia Folkrud, 28:28; 10. Madi Spence, 28:44; 11. Josie Spence, 29:24; 12. Dan Berg, 29:29; 13. Heather Hall, 30:18; 14. Matt Huber, 30:19; 15. Aaron Reed, 30:21.

CARBONDALE — Michael Barlow had his eyes on the all-time course record for the 14-mile Mount Sopris Run-off on Saturday. And along the way, he realized something.

“I just can’t hang with him,” the 29-year-old Barlow said of course-record holder Casey Weaver following his convincing victory in the 37th running of the event. “He’s just a phenomenal runner.”

Granted, Barlow, who hails from Aspen, didn’t post too bad of a winning time. He crossed the finish line in 1 hour, 28 minutes, 12 seconds, which was more than four minutes faster than the second-place time of Jeason Murphy of Carbondale.

Then again, Weaver, a Roaring Fork High School graduate, posted a record time of 1:25.23 just last year. Still, he joined some elite company: Barlow, Weaver and Bernie Boettcher (1:28:47) are the only runners who have dipped under the 1:30 mark since the course was shortened from its original distance of 16 miles.

Barlow was ready for this course, though. The Knoxville, Tennessee native who moved to Aspen in 2009 is more accustomed to running much longer distances like the Aspen Backcountry Marathon and other races that span distances of 25 and even 50 miles.

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So this race, which begins at the Emma Schoolhouse in Basalt and climbs 1,800 vertical feet before it’s steady descent to Carbondale, couldn’t have been that difficult for Barlow, right?

“Well, that hill was pretty tough,” said Barlow, speaking with a smile about the dirt-road hill that ascends up Prince Creek Road from Basalt. “I really had to power up there, and I was really surprised that I had the wheels I did on the decent.”

Murphy was a distant second in 1:32.28, with Jeremy Duncan and Josh Hejtmanek coming across the finish line at precisely the same time (they held hands running across the finish line) to tie for third place in 1:35.08. The fastest female of the race was Audra Schmidt of Carbondale, who also finished 10th overall with a time of 1:48.58.

One person who didn’t miss his chance to break a record was Cody Sedbrook, who has spent a lot of time atop local results boards this summer. His latest win came in the Fast 4-mile Fair Run, where he set a new course record with a winning time of 19:46.

“I was thinking about that a lot, actually,” said Sedbrook, a 19-year-old cross country runner at Division II Minnesota-Duluth who earlier this month won the Firecracker 4K in Glenwood Springs and the Hogback Hustle 5K in New Castle. “I knew it would be close.”

It wasn’t as close as he expected it to be, though. Sedbrook broke the previous record of Dustin Ross, a former rifle High runner who set the mark in 2012 with a time of 20:52.

Finishing second was Gavin Harden, who was nearly five minutes behind in 24:22. Katie Stokesberry was the fastest female, winning the women’s race in 27:29.

The 4-mile run, however, will be the only part of the annual event that will stick around during the week of Mountain Fair. Betsy After if Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale, which annually puts the race on, said the saturated itinerary of summer running events has helped prompt race organizers to move the next running of the 14-mile race to October of 2016. Declining numbers — 42 signed up for the 14-miler and 47 for the 4-mile run — also contributed to the date chance.

“The race calendar is so busy at this time of year,” After said. “October is a great time for us to do that race — the temperatures will be in the 50s instead of the 90s. It was pretty good this year, but it’s been bad in the past.

“Besides, next year will be the 38th year,” she continued. “We’ve got to keep it going.”

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