Family bragging rights fuels athletes at Gold Run Rush mountain bike race
Sometimes there is nothing more coveted than family bragging rights, and at the second race in the the Summit Mountain Challenge race series — The Gold Run Rush, on Wednesday, June 22 — many competitors raced for this honor.
Besides hosting family members seeking some friendly competition, the Gold Run Rush was also attended by aspiring junior-level riders and longtime locals.
In the junior girls 10-years-old-and-younger age division Erin Walsh was the first to cross the finish line after navigating the 4.7-mile, one-loop course.
Walsh, who races for Peak to Peak Truck Repair and is based out of Dillon, finished the course in a time of 37 minutes, 38 seconds. Nellie Greenwood from Breckenridge followed Walsh in second place, finishing in a time of 38:45.
Taylor Sorensen of Team Summit placed third in a time of 39:23, and Olive Mudge of Leadville placed fourth in a time of 40:23.
In the boys 10-years-old-and-younger age division it was Walker Sorensen from Team Summit who broke the tape first. Walker Sorensen set a hot pace from the start to open up a minute-plus gap between himself and Team Summit teammate Miles Drumwright.
Walker Sorensen finished in a time of 28:28, while Miles Drumwright finished in 29:36 for second.
Elliot Drumwright redeemed himself in the rivalry with his brother during the junior boys 11- to 12-year-old age division as he placed first in a time of 23:41.
Elliot Drumwright, who races for Team Summit, was followed by two of his fellow teammates in Louie Devito and Nico Florio. Devito took home silver in a time of 23:54, while Nico Florio won bronze in a time of 24:06.
Earning another podium finish for the Florio family, Fiona Florio placed first in the junior girls 13- to 15-year-old age division finishing the 9.4-mile course in a time of 55:36.
Dillon resident Aila Harmala placed second in the division in a time of 55:52 while racing for The Cycle Effect.
Breckenridge residents swept the podium in the sport women’s 16-plus-years-old division. Chelsea Roth placed first in a time of 1:07:13, Becky Walter placed second and Stephanie Ernst placed third.
Following the top three were Summit High School athletes Lili Zygulski and Abby Anderson, who placed seventh and eighth respectively.
The Ernst family stood atop the awards podium two more times before the conclusion of the Gold Run Rush.
Weston Ernst placed first in the men’s 35- to 49-year-old age division in a time of 56:53, while Joshua Ernst placed third in the expert men’s 16- to 39-year-old age division.
Joshua Ernst was preceded by Will Bentley in first place, who won last week’s French Gulch trail race, and Zachary Hyland in second place.
In the expert men’s 50-plus-years-old division it was Frisco Nordic Center and Trails Manager Pete Swenson who crossed the finish line first, finishing in a time of 1:16.35. Scott Campbell of Dillon placed second, while Daniel Lewis of Breckenridge took third.
Summit High School head cross-country coach Michael Hagen won the open men’s 60-plus-year-old age division, finishing in a time of 1:01:00 to beat out Dawes Wilson from Vail by over seven minutes.
The pro/open races featured another interfamily-based rivalry with Summit locals Lasse and Nico Konecny battling against one another in the men’s race.
The race was closely contested, but it was Lasse Konecny, 18, who beat out his younger brother Nico Konecny, 16, for the race title. Lasse Konecny finished in a time of 1:03:35 while Nico Konecny finished in 1:04:36.
“These are one of the very few times that I am able to race my brother,” Nico Konecny said. “It was basically me and my brother the whole time, neck and neck, right next to each other. He pulled away, and I wasn’t able to stick with him. He’s very strong. I felt really good that day, so it was good.”
The Konecny brothers regularly race throughout the summer and will start gearing up for the 2022 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in Winter Park on July 18.
“Nationals are pretty much four, five weeks ahead, so we will be training hard and staying on top of everything in order to get ready for that,” Nico Konecny said.
In the women’s pro/open race, Ann Stanek of Leadville placed first in 1:24:05, Clare Hanson placed second and Nicole Valentine of Breckenrdige placed third in 1:30:36.
The next race in the Summit Mountain Challenge race series will be the Swan Mountain Rampage, which will take place on Wednesday, July 13. Registration is currently open. To sign up or find out more information, visit BreckenridgeRecreation.com.
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