It might have felt like summer at the finish line in Frisco, but for the nearly 500 runners shuffling around to stay warm early Saturday at Officers Gulch the 38th annual Run the Rockies got off to a brisk 8 a.m. start. With the sun still hidden behind the Tenmile Range, half marathon and 10K runners did all they could to stay warm on the 35-degree morning. Some jogged in place or up and down the street around the starting area, while others stayed bundled in sweats and down jackets until just before the start.
But 18-year-old Ian Cox of Littleton was unfazed.
“I like running in the cold. It stops you from overheating,” he said.
After finishing second last year, Cox finished first overall in the half marathon Saturday, running the course in 1 hour, 21 minutes, 39 seconds and besting last year’s top finisher, 33-year-old Paul Steinweg of Breckenridge.
“I came into this race wanting to train,” Cox said of his original intent, but as he rounded Summit High School his focus shifted.
“Once you have a chance it’s pretty hard to hold back.”
With Steinweg not far behind, Cox was able to hold his lead in the final stretch over the rolling hills outside of Frisco.
“The last uphill was really tough,” Cox said. “I really pushed the last 3 or 4 miles.”
Steinweg crossed the finish line less than a minute behind him at 1:22:19.
“He had more,” Steinweg said, adding that he’d hoped that Cox had started his final push too early.
“I ran just as hard,” Steinweg said of his effort this year compared with last year. “He (Cox) had more.”
He crossed the finish with his 4-year-old daughter, Wynter, at his side for the final stretch.
“That was by far the best part,” he said afterwards.
With the Ten Mile Creek flooding portions of the recpath near Copper Mountain, race organizers had to adjust the normal course of the annual race.
“Luckily we just go with the flow,” race official Linsey Kach said. “You can’t do anything about a foot of water up there.”
Instead of the traditional start at Copper Mountain Resort, racers gathered at Officers Gulch. The half marathon was extended around Summit High School, while the 10K added an out-and-back along a portion of the recpath in Frisco.
Other top finishers
Amparo Cid-Gonzalez of Denver took top honors among women in the half marathon, finishing the course in 1:35:19, followed by Caroline Szuch of Evergreen in 1:36:01 and Jen Hurley of Dillon in 1:37:41.
In the 10K, Mario Macias of Boulder finished with a commanding 5-minute lead over Breckenridge’s Campbell Ilfrey. Macias finished the mostly downhill course in 30:40. Ilfrey took second in 35:51.
Boulder’s Amanda Lee took first among women in the 10K in 38:02, followed by Whitney Kube of Littleton (39:29). But likely the most impressive performance on the day came from 10-year-old Alayna Szuch, who finished third among women in 42:01.
RUN THE ROCKIES TRAIL 10K AND HALF
This year’s Run the Rockies Trail 10K and Half Marathon, ordinarily run the day after the road races, have been moved to Saturday, Aug. 16, on the Frisco peninsula. This will be the first time the town of Frisco has offered a trail half marathon as part of the series.
Complete race results as well as future event registration information is available at www.townoffrisco.com