Brothers takes home fourth Gold Rush victory |

Brothers takes home fourth Gold Rush victory

Summit Daily/Mark Fox

FRISCO – At Sunday’s 37th annual Frisco Gold Rush, Air Force Academy assistant ski coach Dan Brothers showed his team how to win a race. With six cadets in the wings, he took first in the men’s 20K skate race with a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes and 10 seconds. “I was just trying to hang on to the pack there toward the beginning,” he said. “Then either everyone slowed down or I was warmed up enough to keep up with them.” Brothers celebrated his fourth career Gold Rush victory. Second-place finisher Dan Weiland of Vail (1:12.16) said he caught up with Brothers with 5K to go, but was dropped by him with 2K left in the race. “I worked hard to get back up to him and kind of spent myself there,” Weiland said of his final push to lead the pack. Boulder’s Ben Blaugrund took third (1:12.35) on Sunday after winning the 42K Alley Loop race in Crested Butte yesterday. He was with Brothers and Weiland up to the 15K point on Sunday, but said he “couldn’t quite hang on” after that.

“I felt the pain (of the Alley Loop) today,” Blaugrund said. The downhill section leading to Crown Point was a turning point for the top three finishers. Blaugrund said he dropped from the leaders pack just before the descent, and Weiland caught up with Brothers on the hill before the eventual winner established his lead about 3K later. Breckenridge’s Monique Merrill won the women’s 20K skate race with a time of 1:25.48. The local adventure racer found he rself in a familiar situation – out in front, racing with the men. “I hung with a couple of guys in a pack for most of the race,” Merrill said. The course was a change of pace for Merrill, who said she usually skis at the Breckenridge Nordic Center or Gold Run Nordic Center. “It’s much more technical skiing here,” she said. “It’s just inspiring to get me back here to work on my form.”

Second-place finisher Judi Hulme wasn’t aware of her runner-up status because of the spaced-out nature of the top female finishers. With a time of 1:30.20, she was about 5 minutes away from both Merrill and third-place finisher Leah Larson of Boulder (1:35.42). “It was kind of a lonely thing out there today,” she said. Sunday was Larson’s first skate ski race of her life. “I’m really bad at downhills and turning,” the 21-year-old said. “But it was really fun and I liked the course a lot.” Boulder’s Scott Oberbreckling (31.54) and Chris Grauch (34.07) took first and second, respectively, in the men’s 10K classic race. Silverthorne’s Adam Greson came in third (37.46). On the women’s side, Boulder’s Tina Gini was victorious (37.56) in the 10K classic race, followed by Silverthorne’s Megan Alexander (45.07) and Leadville’s Kelly Murphy (7:44).

In the 10K skate race, Keystone’s Thane Wright was sandwiched in second (30.50) between Boulderites Mason Lacy (first, 30.06) and Clint Kay (30.54). Dillon’s Jessica Johns won the women’s 10K skate race in 35.07, followed by Boulder’s Christina Weber (36.03) and Laramie, Wyo.’s Mae Peterson (36.29). Frisco’s Darren Nakos took second (19.36) in the men’s 5K skate event. In the women’s 5K skate race, Breckenridge’s Marti Colpitts came in second (24.56) and Dillon’s Sarah Johnson rounded out the top-three field (25.01).In the 7K snowshoe race, Breck’s Daniel Teodoru took third in the men’s division (38.49) and Frisco’s Martha Lunsky finished third in the women’s division (42.15). Lindsey Krusen can be reached at (970) 668-4620, or at

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