Summit Trail Running Series: Running ‘because we’re still alive’

Janice Kurbjunsummit daily news
Nearly 200 runners take off en masse during the French Gulch trail run in 2013. The event returns to Breckenridge today at 6 p.m. as the opener of the Summit Trail Running Series.
Special to the Daily |

The first course in the Summit Trail Running Series wasn’t easy, several of Wednesday’s nearly 200 runners said upon finish.Starting on French Gulch Road and winding around to the steep Prospect Trail before dropping back down to the road for the 5k, Bonnie McCoy took about 40 minutes of her 43 minutes and 58 seconds time to get to the highest point of the trail.Those running the 10k looped through the 5k finish line, continuing onto the steady incline of the B&B and Minnie Mine trails.All the courses in the North Face-sponsored series have a similar level of difficulty, said Maverick Sports’ Jeff Westcott, who runs the timing for the event.”It’s trail running. It’s going to have challenging ups and downs and variable surfaces. That’s what it’s all about,” he said.The French Gulch race was the start of the summer series, which runs every other Wednesday through the Breckenridge Recreation Department. The next is slated for June 27 on the Flumes and Tom’s Baby trails. In the absence of recreation coordinator Linsey Kach, who moved on to the Frisco Recreation Department, the Breck department staff teamed up to put on the race.This year, they’re handing out North Face tech shirt prizes for the top finishers in a select age group. This race, it was ages 50-59.In the women’s short-run category, Leslie Ramsay finished at 30:22 and was the only finisher in both the short and long divisions.Michael Shell finished first of four men in the age 50-59 short division at 33:55, with Kenn Lee following at 39:04 and Drew Meirow coming in third at 49:47. In the 10k division, David Wilcox finished first of six men at 44:44, Craig Robertson came in second at 48:06 and Elliot Henry crossed the finish line at 51:40.Two hundred is an average turnout, Breckenridge marketing coordinator and ultra-runner Helen Cospolich said.”People got out early to train. People were excited to get out and run,” she said.McCoy and her husband, Mac, remember entering the race six and five years ago, respectively.They do it “because we’re still alive,” she said.Mac McCoy does it because he’s training for Nordic cross country skiing in winter.And for Norm Stein, who has been running the series for slightly longer than the McCoys and falls in the 60-69 age range, “If you stop, it’s too hard to start again.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.