13-year-old wins King of the Mountain in Mount Royal Hill Climb
1. Tyler Scholl, 31:54
2. Andy Ames, 32:24
3. Joe Howdyshell, 32:44
4. Teague Holmes, 36:58
1. Kim Dobson, 38:20
2. Kristen Downs, 42:16
3. Jennifer Sommer, 42:52
4. Cindy Bargell, 47:15
How do you make a 5K harder? Simple. Here in the High Country you throw in 1,500 feet of elevation gain on steep, narrow, technical singletrack.
Then throw in a bunch of loose gravel and an ankle-turning traverse across a rocky ridgeline to a mountaintop finish. That’s the annual Mount Royal Hill Climb.
Forty brazen runners took to the streets of Frisco Saturday morning to take part in the kickoff event for the town’s Fall Fest.
After a brisk 8 a.m. start, it took just 31 minutes, 54 seconds for 13-year-old Tyler Scholl of Kremmling to run from town to the finish line at the top of Mount Royal, in the process beating a field of runners who were well beyond two times his age.
Local Joe Howdyshell, 31, thought he had the race wrapped up — leading for much of the climb — but hit a wall in the final stretch, eventually finishing third. With gas still left in the tank, Scholl charged passed him.
For the eighth-grader, finishing first was a goal a year in the making.
Last year he finished second to former Olympic rower and local competitive runner Greg Ruckman of Breckenridge. Ruckman was not present to defend his two-time King of the Mountain crown on Saturday.
“I’m a competitive person,” Scholl said at the finish line, barely winded. “I don’t like to get beat.”
As for his motivation and desire to participate in such a challenging run, well, it’s just fun. That was the going theme among runners crossing the finish line Saturday.
“You feel like you’ve accomplished something,” he said.
Andy Ames, 51, finished second overall not far behind Scholl in 32:24. Howdyshell finished shortly after in 32:44.
Kim Dobson of Grand Junction finished first among women in 38:20. It was her first race since having a child in July and her first Mount Royal Hill Climb.
For her, the climb was the draw.
“We’ve hiked this a few times,” she said. “I love uphill races.”
Kristen Downs finished second in 42:16, followed by Jennifer Sommer at 42:52.
Scholl and Dobson were later awarded King and Queen of the Mountain honors, respectively, at the post-race party on the lawn at the Frisco Historic Park and Museum on Main Street.
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