“It was better than we even hoped,” said race organizer Eddie Allred. “Contestants liked this route better than the old route.”
Previously, the biking portion of the race went north from Monticello along busy Highway 191 before dropping into Indian Creek canyon. Concern about the high volume of traffic on the highway resulted in switching to a course which takes racers south on Highway 191. Instead of a nearly 30-mile bicycle leg with the old course, the new bicycle leg is 18 miles.
“Closing much of the race course to traffic was great,” said Allred. Traffic was stopped on the Montezuma Canyon road once the racers arrived. Aside from a few cases of road rash, there were no accidents on the bicycle course, which plummets down into the canyon.
The bicycle to running transition point and the finish line were in the same location, with runners racing 2.5 miles down the canyon and then returning.
“The runners liked the round trip,” said Allred. “With the previous course, by the time the running started, racers were so spread out that they didn’t often see other runners. That is not the case anymore.”
While there many new features of the race, there were also many familiar faces. Overall winner, once again, is Rick Callies of Bayfield, CO. He covered the course in 1:40. Second overall is Tom Ober of Durango, CO (1:41), followed by Daniel Murray of Telluride, CO (1:42).
Three friends from Bozeman, MT finished at the top of the female standings, including Amy Chichoilo in two hours, Jenny Vickovich in 2:04 and Julie Vickovich in 2:05.
The top team is headed by Tom Wehe of Durango, CO in 1:47.
A total of 91 racers competed as soloists in the race, including local racers Ruth Skouson of Monticello (2:32), Todd Montella of Blanding (2:46), Marian Rockwood (3:34) and Tamara Desrosiers of Bluff (3:42).
A number of local residents competed as part of a team, including the third place mixed team of Taylor, Brielle and Steven Francom (2:05). The fifth place mixed team featured Andy Butler, Jason Livingston and Laura Butler (2:15).
Other local residents who raced include Tim and Kayla McArthur, Brian Murdock, Scott Burton, Joseph Carr and Jed Carling, Vicki Tracy, Jeri Montella and Rachel Boiselle.
For more photos and complete race results, see the San Juan Record website at sjrnews.com.