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Celebratory Independence 10K pounds competitors

CAITLIN ROW
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” The Fourth of July Independence 10K trail run yesterday was everything it promised ” a steep incline followed by a fast descent, forest views, a sun tan and trail rash.

Somewhere around Moonstone on the run back down, I crashed and burned.

The lungbusting, asthma-inducing, three-mile uphill climb being over, I sprinted downhill, dodging rocks, trying to catch up to my long-legged running partner. And as I rounded a curve, my left toe caught a rock. I fell in a slow-motion, flailing, reaching for anything to catch myself … and I didn’t. Instead, I landed in a heap on the ground, too startled even to grunt. But, not for long. A man thrust his hand into mine, propelled me up and I was running again, blood pouring down my shin.



“Up like a pro,” the woman behind me called encouragingly. Not two minutes later, another runner tumbled in front of me.

Attracting 296 competitors ” a conglomeration of locals, visitors from all over the country and even one American man who currently lives in Bangladesh ” the Independence 10K began at 8:30 a.m., two blocks up from Carter Park on High Street. Runners were clumped together on the initial ascent up Sunbeam’s narrow path, but soon spread out and battled the punishing ascent individually.



19-year-old Kevin Schwab, overall winner of the Independence 10K, stole the finish with a time of 36:58.

A sophomore at Oklahoma University, Schwab is staying in Colorado Springs for the summer doing altitude training with five teammates.

“I started off just wanting to do a training run,” Schwab said, “but then my competitiveness got to me. … I just basically wasted all my energy up and then it was easy on the way down.”

In the men’s category, Andrew Biglow placed second (38:34) and Shawn Dubbs placed third (39:44).

Lindsay Krants won the women’s 10K with a time of 45:17. Kim Eytel placed second (46:30) and Cindy Bargell placed third (47:11).

Runner Greg Friedman returned this month to Colorado, his home state, after taking summer vacation from his teaching position in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

“Bangladesh is about the flattest country in the world and Colorado is about the most mountainous state in the country,” Friedman said. “I like running up here. I ran Mount Royal last week.”

“The second half was certainly better than the first,” Lisa Ondrula of Chicago said, who also took a fall on the trail.

“On the way up, I thought it was brutal,” said Chris, Ondrula’s husband. “On the way down, the rocks were tough. … I’m normally a 5K runner and I’m crazy today.”

Tom Hill, a 64-year-old Blue River local who ran the Independence 10K last year and also competes regularly in the Nike Summit Trail Running Series, appreciated the beautiful morning weather and “the big group of people that are out here supporting the race.”

“It’s nice to see all these healthy people out here in Summit County running at 10,000 feet,” Hill added. “Lots of smiles.”

For race results, visit http://www.townofbreck.com on Monday.

Caitlin Row can be contacted at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.


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