Canadian pro dominates 30th Run the Rockies |

Canadian pro dominates 30th Run the Rockies

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc

FRISCO – If you wanted to congratulate Saturday’s 10K winner at the 30th annual Run the Rockies, you had to be quick. He didn’t stick around for long.A few minutes after crossing the Frisco Main Street finish line in a time (32 minutes, 55 seconds) that equated to a rarely seen 5:19 mile pace, Jason Loutitt began trotting again. Along with women’s 10K winner Lynda Andros, Loutitt ran back the way he came, 6.2 miles along Tenmile Creek to Copper Mountain, where the race began at 9,600 feet elevation.This was not some inspirational, celebratory act of triumph – they only ran back to get their car – but Loutitt knows plenty about such things.The 32-year-old Banff, Alberta, resident and aboriginal Canadian (equivalent to a Native American in the U.S.) is one of the top professional marathoners in his country. He finished second at the Canadian marathon championships two years ago, and has been on Canada’s national mountain running team for three seasons. He makes a living as a motivational speaker, traveling throughout Canada explaining to children how to overcome obstacles.Loutitt, who is living and training at altitude in Vail this summer to prepare for the Pikes Peak Marathon, beat his closest follower Saturday by nearly five and a half minutes, a remarkable margin considering the length of the race. Later, the 5-foot-6, 127-pound blur said the victory would factor into his future speeches.”The better results I get, the more stories I have to tell the kids,” said Loutitt, whose marathon personal best is 2:27. “They’ll be hearing about this race.”Traditionally over the past few years, the Run the Rockies half-marathon has been the premier race. Were it not for Loutitt’s presence in the 10K on Saturday (he said he’s still recovering from the Canadian marathon championships two weeks ago), that would have held true once again. Erie resident George Zack, 36, held off Silverthorne local and 2004 champ Paul Brett, 33, to win a half-marathon that turned into a two-man race about halfway into it. Zack crossed the line in 1:19:58, 41 seconds ahead of Brett; it matched the 1-2 finish of the 2002 race, when Zack outran Brett in similar fashion.Afterward, their exchange went like this:

Brett: “Couldn’t catch ya.”Zack: “You had me running scared.”Brett: “I had nothing.”Hilary Martin, 36, of Boulder surprised everyone – most notably herself – with a move at the 10-mile mark of Saturday’s women’s half-marathon that led to the win. She passed Aspen’s Lisa Gonzales-Gile, 48, who had led the entire race to that point, then used every ounce of strength to get to the finish.Martin, a public relations professional who is co-authoring a book with a convicted felon about his life in jail, had never won a race before Saturday. She finished in 1:35:23.”It’s awesome. It hurts so much,” she said. “It was the most painful thing ever.”Making the win even more impressive was the fact that Martin held off a late-charging Tania Pacev, the defending champion. Pacev – a petite, Romanian-born distance machine who won the Colfax and Laramie, Wyo., marathons on back to back weekends in May – finished in 1:36:08. Gonzales-Gile took third in 1:36:39.Andros, a 30-year-old Vail resident, won the women’s 10K race in 39:06, bettering last year’s champ, Denver’s Karen Murphy, by a comfortable margin. Breckenridge resident Kelly Ahern took third (42:03).Mark Husted, 19, of Denver finished second to Loutitt in the men’s 10K with a time of 38:22, while Windsor’s Pete Brey took third (39:15).

According to race director Mike Heaston, 471 runners and walkers took part in Saturday’s race, making it one of the largest fields in the event’s 30-year history.”It’s amazing how this draws people from all over the country,” said Silverthorne’s Bill Linfield, a Summit local of three decades who ran in the 10K and estimated he’s done about half of the 30 Run the Rockies events. “I’ve talked to a lot of people who plan their summer vacations around this race. Sometimes we need to be reminded by people from out of town that we live in paradise.”Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at Run the RockiesTop Summit County FinishersMen’s 10K

8. Kyle Ahern – 42:04Women’s 10K3. Kelly Ahern – 42:03Men’s Half-Marathon2. Paul Brett – 1:20:39Women’s Half-Marathon5. Andrea Naftz – 1:44:10

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