Wrong turn trips up racers in trail series
BRECKENRIDGE – Twenty-five people showed up for the third and final race in the Summit Trail Running Series, which snaked it’s way through the town of Breckenridge Thursday night – perhaps twisting a little too much.
Kent Lange won the men’s 10-kilometer event after a course marshalling error sent pre-race favorite Paul Brett aimlessly up Ski Hill Road.
“Eventually I turned around and just started asking people, “Have you seen any runners?'” Brett said after the race. Despite running over a kilometer off course, Brett still crossed the finish line in fourth, barely a minute off Lange’s time.
Danelle Ballangee, who won the women’s 10k, agreed that some aspects of the course were confusing. “There were so many turns you really had to keep your head up,” she said.
“It’s a really nice course, but I think they needed one or two more marshals,” said John Swartz, who finished second behind Lange.
Though racers agreed that the outcome of the race may have been affected, they also said the course has potential.
“This set of trails is great,” Brett said of the tight singletrack that snakes in and out of neighborhoods along Ski Hill Road and up into the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center.
The five-kilometer races were won by LaDawn Stevenson and Lee Ferguson.
Stevenson ran the 5k as training for a half-triathlon she’s racing in next month.
Ferguson, visiting with his family from Washington, D.C., was the only man to enter the 5k. This was his first athletic endeavor at altitude.
“I didn’t fall off the trail,” Ferguson said, “and I’m still talking, so I guess it was a rousing success.”
“This was my first race of the summer,” said Duke Barlow, who finished third behind Swartz. “I didn’t know most of these trails, so it was good to learn them,” Barlow said.
Kate Champman is more accustomed to mountain bike racing, but decided to enter the race as training for the half-marathon being featured during next week’s Breckenridge Crest marathon.
“Running is definitely a different set of muscles,” Chapman said.
FINISH LINE: Kim Eytel finished second in the women’s 10k while Monica Wilson finished third … According to race director Diane McBride, plans for next season’s series should be finalized within the next three weeks.
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