Results from a competitive Baker’s Tank trail run in Breckenridge, July 8
Special to the Daily
Chapter three of the Summit Trail Running Series is in the books, and, for many runners, it was the best installment yet.
We’re far enough into summer now where most runners are hitting their stride, which was evident in the performances seen July 8 at Baker’s Tank. The shining feature of this trail series was that it featured some of the most parity between different age groups. The more-forgiving Baker’s Tank course was a big reason behind this. The trail system, located at the end of Boreas Pass, may be high in elevation but has a moderate pitch with less severe switchbacks than the previous two courses.
“I liked it way better,” said racer Alicia McClean. “It was rootier instead of rocky. It was the best trail I’ve ever run.”
Eleven-year-old phenom Alayna Szuch took advantage of the wider, more forgiving course to earn the short course overall win. She beat out every man, woman and child in the 2.55-mile event with a blazing fast time of 19:08. Following 6 seconds behind was her 13-year-old brother Collin who was the men’s short course winner.
Older runners shined as well, with top-three finishes from runners older than 30 in three of the four races. Mark Martin-Williams proved that experience sometimes trumps youth, with his 9K long course winning time of 41:20. Martin-Williams’ win was the first top finish for the 40-49 age division in the trail series this summer. Max Bonenberger, a 13-year-old, finished second.
“I liked tonight’s race because it was more flat which was fun,” Max Bonenberger said. “It was also muddier but I still felt secure.”
Bonenberger modestly explained to me how he started running “about a year ago” and started experiencing success shortly after. For how little experience he has, he’s showing some amazing potential, having placed 36th out of 333 runners at the Middle School State Championships last fall. During the summer, he trains with the Vertical Runner team, who were out in full force for Wednesday’s race.
“These races are a big deal for us because they focus on the community,” Vertical Runner coach Molly Mikita. “We love bringing our team out here because the short course is good for kids.”
With three races down, the Summit Trail Series is now halfway done. Next stop will be July 22 at Horseshoe Gulch, where a challenging trail awaits.
Because athletes are starting to reach their peak, course officials thought it time to up the ante at Horseshoe Gulch with a 6K short course and 14K long course. To register, see http://www.townofbreckenridge.com or call 970-547-4321.
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