Cresting the Tenmile Range, Breckenridge style |

Cresting the Tenmile Range, Breckenridge style

Monique Merrill

BRECKENRIDGE – About 35 minutes after Darrin Eisman cruised into the finish area of the Breckenridge Crest Mountain Marathon, the real race began. That was when two dozen or so kids ranging from 2 to 12 years old took off for a 50 yard dash along the Blue River, all vying for kids’ race supremacy.

Garrett Brown won the race after sprinting all out down the course that looped around the Riverwalk Center. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the race was postponed because of rain.

After the race, 2-year-old Carmen Graham of Wyoming obliviously ignored questions as to whether she had fun, looked at her participation prize that sadly lacked any sweets and said to her father, “No candy daddy?”

Then she broke into a temporary spat of toddler tears.

There were no tears shed by Eisman, though, who won the 24.5 mile marathon with a time of 3 hours, 37 minutes and 11 seconds.

Eisman came up from the Boulder area to race the marathon for the first time. Though he has known about it for many years, he hasn’t been able to do it before because of other commitments.

Then there’s Monique Merrill. Seemingly unconscious of her own desire to be mentioned in the newspaper on a weekly basis, Merrill decided on Friday afternoon to run the race. Though Darcy Piceu of Boulder held Merrill within her sights all the way to the finish, Merrill won yet another Summit County endurance event.

“The only race I really wanted to do well in was Montezuma’s (Revenge),” said the relatively surprised Merrill, as she soaked her legs in Blue River after finishing. She won the 24-hour ultra endurance bike race last month. Sunday’s won was simply a bonus.

Bob Mayer of Silverthorne was the highest placed local finisher of the men’s marathon. He entered the race to show support for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, and accomplished his goal of finishing the course in under four hours.

The marathon course traveled up the side of the Tenmile Range and crossed over to the west side of Peak 8. After traversing along Peak 6 and Peak 5, it dropped down to the Peaks Trail and comes back up to Breckenridge.

Angela Mudge, the women’s winner of the 5-mile event, was visiting from Edinburgh, Scotland. She said she was using the event as a tune-up for the World Trail Running Championships in Alaska next month.

Kent Lange of Montezuma extended his recent domination of short-distance trail runs by winning the men’s 5-mile race.

And while Mark Warner of Boulder won the Ten Mile Trail Run (it’s 12-miles-long) by a decisive margin, the women’s winner of the half-marathon, Kim Eytel, was quite surprised by her own performance.

Eytel said she runs only for her own fitness and had no intention of being a contender in the race, much less the winner. Eytel is a therapist with Avalanche Physical Therapy in Breckenridge.

Both of the shorter races featured parts of the marathon course.

Now in it’s ninth year, the Breckenridge Crest is presented by the BOEC. All proceeds from the event go to benefit the BOEC.

Finish Line: The three races drew several hundred participants from as far away as Scotland, England, New York, Chicago and Salt Lake City. … The award for non-sequitur of the day goes to Piceu. “That’s the shortest I’ve run in a race in a while,” she said after running 24.5 miles. Piceu normally finds herself running ultra-marathons of 50 miles or longer. … Eisman came across the finish line with his dog.

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at

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