29th Run the Rockies races set for Saturday | SummitDaily.com
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29th Run the Rockies races set for Saturday

Devon O'Neil
Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkThe annual Run the Rockies race returns to Summit on Saturday with a pair of slightly downhill courses, the Ten Mile Creek 10K and a half-marathon. The event is in its 29th year.
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FRISCO – An oldie but goodie in the state’s running ranks returns to Summit this Saturday.The 29th annual Run the Rockies, one of the longest-running races in Colorado, takes runners from Copper Mountain to Frisco over two distances, the Ten Mile Creek 10K and a half-marathon. The event is expected to attract more than 400 participants this year, event promoter Mike Heaston said Tuesday.It dropped in numbers last year compared to years before, but Heaston said his early estimates show it should be back to usual numbers on Saturday.As always, one of the event’s primary draws will be a little bit of gravity-induced elevation change. Because the start at Copper is higher than the finish on Frisco’s Main Street, the event is billed as a downhill race. To put it lightly, this helps attract the throngs, especially when considering it is a low-key race to begin with.

Silverthorne runner Paul Brett won the half-marathon last year, marking his first victory in the Run the Rockies’ premier event. He had run it four times before triumphing.When asked why he likes this race, Brett said, “You get to see some people from the Front Range. They really play it up down there. It’s not the same old local crowd.”At that, Brett paused for a moment before continuing. “But bottom line,” he said, “it’s downhill.”

Yes, even the fast ones like that aspect. Last year the fastest also included Gunnison’s Tauna Vargas, who won the women’s half-marathon in 1 hour, 36 minutes and 39 seconds. (Brett won the men’s race in 1:21:18.)Littleton’s Derek Griffiths, a regular at Summit races during the summer, won the men’s 10K in 35:10; and Kara Lee Ford of Thornton took the women’s 10K crown in 39:17.Heaston, the promoter, said this event is somewhat of an oddity among the array of races he puts on, because more than 55 percent of its runners are female.”I don’t really know the reason why,” he said. “We’ve just noticed that in the last few years.”

Brett, for one, said he has all intentions of coming back to represent the men and defend his title. “I don’t want to let that go,” he said.Preregistration is still available, either online at http://www.emgcolorado.com, or in person at Pioneer Sports in Frisco. Cost is $20 for the 10K and $30 for the half-marathon. The Pioneer Sports option ends at 3 p.m. on Friday.Day-of registration goes up in price by $5 for each race. Shuttles will depart from the Frisco Recreation Building at the corner of Third and Main streets to transport runners to the start. The last shuttle leaves at 8:05 a.m. for the 8:30 start.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.


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