Van Horn, Phillips take 32nd annual Buddy Race titles
1. Sean Van Horn, 29:35
2. Michael Barlow, 29:44
3. TJ David, 31:01
4. John Tucker, 32:01
5. Everett Olson, 33:42
6. Nicholas Galambos, 33:44
7. Mike Connolly, 34:14
8. Bryan Gieszl, 34:23
9. Lawrence Gray, 35:16
10. Nick Chimerakis, 35:22
1. Kate Phillips, 34:10
2. Ashley Connolly, 34:47
3. Allison Albert, 36:18
4. Shannon Grady, 37:11
5. Jenn Likover, 37:57
6. Kristin Layne, 37:59
7. Kristin Smith, 38:04
8. Torie Crown, 38:13
9. Sierra Bower, 38:19
10. Heidi Smith, 38:26
There is something deceptively brutal about the Boogie’s Buddy Race, which was held for the 32nd time Wednesday at Rio Grande Park in Aspen. While it’s a relatively simple five miles in length, the annual Fourth of July foot race is not for wimps.
“It’s a really hard race. You forget how much uphill there is in the back half,” Carbondale’s Sean Van Horn said. “I definitely forgot about the second uphill that’s really steep.”
That second uphill, which takes runners up Power Plant Road, was added as part of the course’s redesign for the 2016 race. Previously, the Buddy Race — which raises money for the Buddy Program — started and finished in Aspen’s downtown core. Van Horn took second in 2016, losing to Grand Junction teenager Jared Leblow, whose time of 28 minutes, 41 seconds that year still stands as the now three-year course record.
Van Horn, who works for and runs for Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale, wasn’t bested by any teens on Wednesday when he won the 2018 race in 29:35, which was actually a second slower than his time in 2016. He didn’t race in 2017.
Taking second Wednesday was Michael Barlow in 29:44 and third TJ David in 31:01.
“Michael and I battled it out the whole way,” Van Horn said. “He was ahead until mile 3 or so and then I took the lead and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to hold it.”
Van Horn, 31, needed to finish in nearly a dead sprint to hold off the 32-year-old Barlow, who lives in Aspen.
“I had a little gap and then he closed really hard and I was a little worried that he was going to get me,” Van Horn said. “But it was fun. It was nice to battle it out.”
Fellow Carbondale resident Kate Phillips was the first woman across the finish line Wednesday. She came in with a time of 34:10, which was good for seventh overall. She has had a few top-three finishes in the Buddy Race, but this was her first win.
Ashley Connolly, last year’s race winner, finished second behind Phillips in 34:47, good for 10th overall. Allison Albert, 17, was third among women in 36:18.
Phillips, a new mother, shared Van Horn’s sentiment of it being a tough course, comparing it to the challenges of a 10K, if not a half marathon.
“You hit that uphill and it’s, ‘Hang on, be strong,’” the 29-year-old Phillips said. “If you are going to make the effort to come up here, you want to run as hard as you can and you want to put in your best effort. But I really just wanted to run well and strong, and I think I did that.”
Both Van Horn and Phillips plan to up the intensity of their races in the coming weeks. Van Horn, who is the reigning champion for both the Grand Traverse trail run and skimo race, plans to compete in Utah’s Speedgoat 50K on July 20. Phillips is eyeing the July 14 Aspen Valley Half Marathon.
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