First time, first place: Pair of debut Run The Rockies entrants win half-marathon titles in ‘perfect’ conditions | SummitDaily.com

First time, first place: Pair of debut Run The Rockies entrants win half-marathon titles in ‘perfect’ conditions

The men and women's Run The Rockies overall half-marathon champions both described the conditions as "perfect" on a pristine Saturday morning in the mountains.

Bobby Craig, 33, of Frisco and Amity Elliot, 41, of Louisville took first-place times of 01:25:59 and 1:34:03 respectively, as both finished more than a minute ahead of their nearest competitors.

Craig overtook first place on the 12.76-mile race after he noticed the competitor ahead of him, 19-year-old Franklin Reilly, seemed to disappear after a turn at around the 10-mile mark.

Craig said Reilly was ahead of him by about 30 seconds right before the course turnaround near Summit High School.

"And when we made the turn, he was gone," Craig said. "And there was a turnaround sign so I turned around. … I let (the volunteer) know: 'There was somebody in front of me. I don't know where he went.' And apparently, I guess, he just kept going. He missed the turnaround, unfortunately. There was a biker in front of me, and he said, 'You're No. 1.' And when I was coming down (the homestretch) the announcer called it out, that I was the first-place finisher."

Once Craig realized he was in first-place, he continued to grind out the final few miles back to Main Street, near his home by the post office, where friends were there to encourage him.

"It was just great to see all of the people running, everybody was cheering me on coming back, it was good motivation," Craig said. "And it was nice being able to finish in my town down on Main Street. And I'm looking forward to a pizza."

The course mishap resulted in Reilly finishing in fifth-place among male competitors and fifth-place overall, with a time of 01:31:40.

The remainder of the overall and men's top 5 for the half-marathon included second-place finisher Mason Mitchell, 26, of Fairplay (01:27:11), Mike Shambarger, 43, of Dillon (01:27:22) and 19-year-old Tomas Nergaard (01:30:42).

Mitchell edged Shambarger for second-place overall with a last-second surge at the finish line on Main Street near the Frisco Historic Park. Afterward, the friendly competitors embraced and each spoke glowingly of Saturday's community support and weather conditions.

"That was a guy I was running with for the first 10K," Shambarger said of Mitchell. "It was perfect temperatures, the downhills were awesome, cruising along in the shade. You can't ask for a better day than this."

Craig said the half-marathon race shook out after a group of four leaders broke away from the rest of the pack departing the Copper Mountain Conoco. Then around mile marker eight, Craig said Reilly burst ahead of the rest of the pack before his navigation mishap.

Despite the race hiccup, Craig, Shambarger, Mitchell and Elliot all described the Saturday morning race as ideal.

The hometown champion, Craig, entered Saturday's race with the purpose of a warmup for ensuing triathlon races, which will eventually conclude with the Ironman Triathlon in Cozumel, Mexico.

As for Elliot, the Louisville resident elected to partake in the race via a last-minute recommendation from a friend after she competed in last weekend's Bolder Boulder 10K.

"The course was gorgeous, the weather was chilly in the beginning and warmed up as it went along," Elliot said. "Thank goodness I didn't wear the sweater I was going to start with. And the support was amazing, everybody on the course was really polite. Basically it was a beautiful, beautiful course, and challenging at the end after the halfway point."

The half-marathon race required 158 total half-marathon competitors to begin at Copper Mountain south of Frisco, before running northward along Interstate-70 toward Frisco, with 75 percent of the race consisting of downhill runs. Sixty of the 158 runners finished the 12.76-mile course in two hours or less.

In the 10K, 21-year-old Luke Bruns flew through the course in 35:38, nearly a half-minute faster than the second-place finisher, 48-year-old Sean Andrish (36:13).

The top-five overall 10K finishers also included 16-year-olds Colin Szuch and Jeremiah Vaile as well as an impressive performance from overall female champion Mandee Middleton. The 21-year-old Middleton finished the 10K course in 39:34, nearly two minutes faster than her next closest female competitor, ninth-place overall finisher and 39-year-old Jaime Falcon (41:19). In all, 296 runners and walkers took part in the 10K.

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2018 Run the rockies Half-marathon overall results

Position Bib Name Time Age Gender

1 536 Bobby Craig 01:25:59 33 M

2 1044 Mason Mitchell 01:27:11 26 M

3 1015 Michael Shambarger01:27:22 43 M

4 779 Tomas Nergaard 01:30:42 19 M

5 794 Franklin Reilly 01:31:40 19 M

6 1006 Michael Sager 01:32:25 33 M

7 549 Amity Elliot 01:34:03 41 F

8 1043 sam benecke 01:34:07 24 M

9 512 Joshua Blanchard 01:36:16 38 M

10 1026 Jodie Taylor 01:36:18 46 F

11 795 Dominyk Remeikis 01:36:45 13 M

12 507 Natalia Barrionuevo01:37:04 43 F

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2018 Run the rockies 10K overall results

Position Bib Name Time Age Gender

1 274 Luke Bruns 00:35:38 21 M

2 71 Sean Andrish 00:36:13 48 M

3 1273 colin szuch 00:37:01 16 M

4 1305 Jeremiah Vaille 00:37:16 16 M

5 1194 Mandee Middleton 00:39:34 21 F

6 1101 Aaron Galbraith 00:39:39 32 M

7 1126 Olof Hedberg 00:40:01 40 M

8 110 Emmett Bailey 00:40:04 24 M

9 490 Jaime Falcon 00:41:19 39 F

10 1249 Vlad Shambarger 00:42:27 13 M

11 1265 Linda Spooner 00:42:46 43 F

12 1274 caroline szuch 00:43:27 45 F