In Breckenridge mountain trail marathon, ultra-runners take first
Runners took on the Tenmile Range early Sunday as a part of the 18th running of the Breck Crest marathon, half-marathon and 10K. The 23-mile marathon course attracted renowned male and female ultra runners Dakota Jones and Stevie Kremer. Jones, a 22-year-old Boulder resident, finished first among men in 3 hours 15 minutes 35.6 seconds. Kremer, 29, of Crested Butte, finished first among women in 3:34:15.2.
“It was a beautiful day for running,” said race organizer Jeff Westcott. “Everybody was shocked how fast everyone finished the course. It was a fast day.”
Run by Maverick Sports Promotions, the three courses started at Breckenridge’s Riverwalk Center and headed up toward the Tenmile Range along Wheeler Trail. The 23-mile course included a punishing 4,700 feet of total elevation gain, with much of the course above treeline. Runners traveled along Wheeler and Miners Creek trails before heading back to Breckenridge on the Peaks Trail.
“It was a lot more technical than I was expecting,” said Kremer, who competes in races around the world.
Going into races, she typically doesn’t really look at course descriptions. “I was not expecting that second uphill,” she said.
Earlier this year she also finished first among women in the Pikes Peak Marathon.
Jones finished the course with the fastest time on record for the event, but Westcott was quick to point out that courses in years past were slightly longer and included an additional climb.
“Out of respect to previous racers, it’s not fair to say he has the record,” he said.
While for many, that kind of race might feel more like punishment, for Kremer it’s an “enjoyable” experience.
“I like the challenge,” she said. “Mountain running is never boring. I always end these races with a smile on my face.”
She described the race more like a scenic hike than a race.
“It was a beautiful race,” she said of running above the treeline along the ridges of the Tenmile Range. “It’s just being outside in the mountains. It’s always exciting and something new.”
When asked about the challenge, she was quick to clarify, “I’m not trying to make this thing sound easy. It definitely wasn’t. I was definitely sore afterwards.”
She did, however, say she climbed to the summit of 14,265 foot Quandary Peak the following day.
As for the challenges of dealing with elevation she said, “I live at close to 9,000 feet, I don’t think it affects me that much.”
Kerrie Bruxvoort of Broomfield finished second among women with 3:52:31.1. Elizabeth Gold of Englewood was third with a 4:17:24.6 finishing time.
On the men’s side, Marshall Thomson of Crested Butte took second with a 3:19:52.6 second time. Breckenridge resident and former Olympic rower Greg Ruckman took third overall in 3:39:36.4.
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