New Mom comes up big in Run the Rockies |

New Mom comes up big in Run the Rockies

FRISCO – Sure, today is Father’s Day. But after Saturday’s 27th annual Run the Rockies, it’s a perfect time to pay tribute to a super mom.

Patty Rogers of Denver won her first race since giving birth to 4-month-old Molly, coming in first in Saturday’s half-marathon along the bike path from Copper Mountain to Farmer’s Korner and back to Frisco.

Pregnancy and motherhood causes big changes for any runner. But Rogers’ 13-mile time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, 1 second proves that returning to form can be unexpectedly quick.

“It’s been easier than I thought, really,” Rogers said. “It feels really good.”

An accomplished marathoner, Rogers ran religiously up to about the seven-month mark of her pregnancy. Her first race back was the 10-kilometer Bolder Boulder May 31, and she also did the 5K Cherry Creek Sneak earlier this month. Saturday’s half-marathon was another step toward working her way back into marathon shape, which she hopes to do by October for the Chicago Marathon.

“She’s number one,” Rogers said of Molly. “But I’d like to run faster at the marathon than I’ve ever run before. I’m going to try to improve as much as I can. But definitely, it’s a little more challenging now.”

Most of Saturday’s winners went unchallenged. Rogers beat runner-up Lindsay Arendt of Littleton by nearly a minute and a half.

The men’s half-marathon winner, Jason Saitta of Parker, finished in 1:14:31 – about two and a half minutes ahead of second-place finisher Gregory Krause of Littleton and about six minutes in front of Silverthorne’s Paul Brett, who finished third. Saitta said the pack broke up right out of the start, and by the first mile, he was in front to stay.

“I figured I’d have somebody to run with,” Saitta said. “You can’t push yourself if there’s nobody there to go with you. If you’re already leading, there’s no need to go kill yourself to finish it. You want to save something in case somebody catches you.”

Montezuma’s Kent Lange made a late push but couldn’t reel in 19-year-old Jon Jakupcak in the men’s 10K. Jakupcak, of Colorado Springs, had the fastest 10K time of the day (36:39) while Lange was second in 36:52. Jakupcak is transferring from the University of Colorado to Wyoming this year and hopes to run for the Cowboys’ cross country team.

After a pedestrian high school career, he said he’s just starting to come into his own as a runner.

“This past year I just really got to business running,” he said, “and I’ve improved that way … I just went out and made it hurt. I’m happy. I’ll take the win.”

Sheri Wright of Superior was the winner of the women’s 10K. Unlike last year, when she was challenged and ended up second, Wright was the clear class of Saturday’s field, finishing with a time of 39:43. Hometown athlete Heather Quarantillo was second in 42:03.

“You never know who will show up. It just depends,” Wright said.

The Thrall couple of Cave Creek, Ariz., dominated the field of walkers. Pat Thrall won the men’s race in 1:00:30, and Kathy Thrall won for women in 1:05:35.

More than 450 people participated in the event.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at

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