Participants recently completed the latest running of the 25 & 50 mile Collegiate Peaks Trail Run.  Activities started Friday afternoon, May 1, with registration & packet pickups, pre-race dinner, and pre-race meeting.  Race day started out early Saturday May 2, with runners beginning their collective adventure at the 6:30am start.  

Temperatures ranging from thelow-30’s at race start to mid-60s in the afternoon combined with clear skies and mild winds to provide for great overall course conditions.  

Beginning and ending at an elevation of 8,000ft, near the beautiful Arkansas River in Buena Vista, and in the heart of the central Colorado mountains, the 25-mile looped course primarily follows trails and Jeep trails along part of the old, historic, Midland Railroad as well as through other scenic areas north and east of town.   Participants have the option of signing up for the 25-mile course (one loop) or the 50-mile course (two loops – first clockwise, then again counter clockwise).  With a total of 3,500ft ascent and descent delivered in each loop, the high point on the course is 9,450 above sea level!  While covering the challenging course, participants are provided some distractions by stunning views and scenery.  The course itself meanders up and down past wonderful rock formations (including passage below some great stone arches), large Ponderosa Pine groves, and interesting railroad cuts.  Throughout the course, there are spectacular views of towering, snow-covered, mountain peaks that line the western side of this narrow mountain valley – most notably, impressive Princeton, Antero, Yale, and Columbia – each one topping out over 14,000ft!  In fact, Chaffee County is home to 12 of Colorado’s 54 “14er’s”.

While Colorado continues to account for the majority of participants, this year’s event also included registrantsfrom Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, and the United Kingdom!

All participants deserve applause and congratulations – and all finishers deserve special applause and congratulations for your collective accomplishment!  This year again witnessed a record number of first-time participants in this event.  Even more rewarding, was the number of runner’s attempting their respective race distances for the first time – thank you for picking our race as your first! 

It is also important to note this year’s top finishers, mention some special accomplishments, and sum up this year’s results –

25-Mile Results Summary: Top three overall male finishers were Evan McFarlane (age 32, Denver, CO) 3:17:18, Ryan Gold (age 34, Boulder, CO) 3:19:25, and Phil Germakian (age 30, Boulder, CO) 3:20:18.  Top three overall female finishers were Melody Fairchild (age 41, Boulder, CO) 3:20:23(Age Group Record Women 40-49), Kara Henry (age 30, Westminster, CO) 3:20:30, andKathryn Ross (age 24, Durango, CO) 3:35:55.  Randi Young (age 62, South Fork, CO) set a new Women 60-69 record at 4:54:08 – for the second time in two year (having shaved over 16 minutes off the prior Age Group record in 2014).  Bailey Eppard (age 19, Johnston, IA) and Bethani Hartman (age15, Thornton, CO), with respective times of 4:46:34 and 5:58:33, beat the existing Women’s <20 Record of 6:20:31.  Senovio Torres (age 61, Cordova, NM) set a new Men 60-69 record at 3:44:32 – less than two minutes off record he set for Men 50-59 that he set in 2004!

189 registered 25 Miler runners toed the line at the start.  Of those 189 runners, 178 finished – with 11 DNFs.

50-Mile Results Summary: Top three overall male finishers were Jonathan Clinthorne(age 28, Lakewood, CO) 7:15:00 (besting his second place finish in 2014), Jeff Stickland(age 26, Buena Vista, CO) 7:49:39, and Adam Bybliw (age 33, Vail, CO) 8:09:37.  Top three overall female finishers were Diana Finkel (age 43, South Fork, CO) 9:17:29, Shannon Daileader (age 23, Jackson, WY) 9:40:33 – setting a new Women 20-29 record, and Jean Herbert (age 58, Alburqurque, NM) 9:45:58. 

47 50 Milers finishers and 6 DNFs.   

Burke Kaiser
Race Director - CPTR