|Follow these links for the Results of Previous Coal Creek Cross Country Challenge Races|
2006 Coal Creek Cross Country Challenge
by Bruce Kirschner
The 8th annual Coal Creek Cross Country Challenge on October 15 enjoyed the usual grand Colorado fall weather, but this year's event featured a brand new venue, the recently unveiled Louisville Community Park. No more raucous roosters and rambling rabbits running rascally at race registration. No more portable potty toilets "borrowed" from local construction sites -- only sparkling public restrooms...and a covered park pavilion for post-race festivities. So goodbye West Virginia and Randy's Ranch!
This year's race began with co-race director Randy Lualiin's traditional firecracker start...although getting it lit right took a bit longer than expected. Meanwhile, Fleet Feet Masters Team runners Ken Pliska, Peter Hegelbach and Rich Dissly had a plan at the start: go out easy, stay together as long as they could, and then run as hard as possible the second half. The plan worked and they split up after the mid-race water stop turnaround. Pliska then picked up the lead and never looked back, finishing first on the 5.72 mile course in 32:48. Hegelbach and Dissly went on to take second and fourth place overall respectively. According to Pliska, "It was a fun course. I ran cross country in high school and college back in New England, mostly on traditional courses: grass, dirt, hills, r ain, snow, etc. But none of the courses I ever ran on crossed a stream or brook or had us jumping barb wire...and definitely no prairie dogs back East. So this race's barbed wire, creek crossing, and prairie dog holes made for a very interesting second half. The most challenging part of the race for me was the small steep hill after crossing the road. It was hard...and running just after going through the creek was tough with wet heavy shoes!"
Top overall women's finisher Monica Ryan was running the race for the first time. "It really reminded me of adventure, it was one of the funnest races I've ever done...and I just laughed all the way through the creek." Ryan finished in 42:18.
Although this race has welcomed visitors from far and wide in the past, no runners have ever come as far away as married couple Joe Doyle and Dianne Monteith -- hailing from Glasgow, Scotland. According to Joe, "I got on the Internet in Scotland before we made the trip over here to Colorado and found the Coal Creek Challenge...so we were definitely going to do it." When asked about how this race compared with cross country racing in his native country, Doyle responded "Well, it was really the second half of the race that was true cross country. But in Scotland they would have run us up that short but steep hill, over the ditch and then DOWN again and then UP AND DOWN another three more times!"
For challenges, this year's race was unable to offer the galloping horses and marauding mules that had chased runners in previous years, but Randy Luallin did his best to dam the crossing of Coal Creek to increase water depth. And despite a remark from one of the early finishers that the "barbed wire fence was too easy", one of the female participants still caught her running shorts on the top strand as she passed over it.
After the race, finishers were treated to the Boulder Brewery's Single Track Copper Ale and a generous prize drawing under the park's Caranci Pavilion. Age group winners were also awarded the event's customary race medals: handcrafted Buffalo Nickel race necklaces (that is, once Randy Luallin succeeded in untangling them!).
A big thank you to all the volunteers who made this event possible! Jerry and Rosalia Murch and Tom Alison did a fine job with the registration. Jim Price performed finish line timing in his usual fine form. Joe Baird, Rob Fisher, Joe Sanchez, and Connie Ahrnsbrak (after she ran the race!) managed the finish line and scoring duties in great form. Connie also transcribed all race results. Other volunteers along the course were Scott Valentine (pace bike), Mark Bailey (ditch marshal), Rollie Erickson (Empire Road crossing), Lori Dill (creek crossing), Pete Wolfe (fence crossing), and Bonnie Valentine (finish line half pint coupon dispenser). Donna Luallin served as traffic and parking coordinator. Sam Kirschner handled opening the livestock gates in superb fashion. Caleb Luallin managed the water stop at the turnaround and wife Keely served as split timer at the first and final mile points. CMRA Quartermaster Joe Sanchez assisted with equipment transportation and logistics as well. Photos of the participants crossing Coal Creek were courtesy of Desiree Hotz and Steve Glass (see note on latter below). Special thanks are in order for Steve Sellars, who set up course measurement calibration points, and Rob Fisher, who accurately measured the course for the first time since the race's inception in 1999.
Our commercial race sponsors and supporters for prize drawing merchandise warrant special recognition: Tess McFadden and Boulder Brewery for not only delivering a fresh beer keg but donating two cases of beer for the top male and female finishers and a $25 gift certificate; Garrett McCarthy of the Old Louisville Inn (a pub that is not coincidentally CCCCC World Race Headquarters) for 100 half pints coupons; Boulder Running Company for two $50 gift certificates; Fleet Feet of Boulder for four $15 gift certificates; Roger Rettig and Broomfield's Colorado Physical Therapy Institute for ten free AquaMassages; Barry Sparks and the Arvada Great Harvest Bakery for all the baked goods; the Blue Parrot Restaurant for two $15 gift certificates; and Derek Griffiths and Colorado Runner Magazine for four 1-year subscriptions. Also, a warm thanks to Bolder Boulder Logistics Coordinator Matt Jenkins's donation of special event signs and Fineline Graphics of Denver for donating sign lettering services.
Note: Check out Steve Glass's wonderful Coal Creek crossing photos
of runners at:
|COAL CREEK XC CHALLENGE|
|37||Jay D. Trujillo||0:44:17||45|
|48||Could not read name||0:46:34||44|
|50||Spiderman (Scott McFarlane)||0:47:49||55|
|90||The Captain (Don Robinson)||0:59:58||74|
|95||Fearless Fay Dizerega||1:05:05||63|
|Coal Creek X Country Challenge|
|Oct. 15, 2006|
|AGE Group Awards|
|Overall Men||Overall Women|
|Ken Pliksa||32:48||Monica Ryan||42:18|
|1||The Captain (Don Robinson)||0:59:58|
|1||Kent Mitchell||0:48:55||Judy Smythe||1:03:05|
|2||Bill Faulkner||0:50:54||Rosalia Murch||1:14:28|
|1||Fearless Fay Dizerega||1:05:05|
|1||Bob Cooper||0:40:06||Taunya Wilson||0:51:23|
|2||Hampton Islan||0:42:40||Kathy Klesmitt||0:52:35|
|3||Spiderman (Scott McFarlane)||0:47:49||Patricia Tolleson||0:56:30|
|4||Gale Meuret||0:49:33||Terry McFarlane||1:02:18|
|5||Pat Drayton||0:51:38||Christine Vanoni||1:06:31|
|1||Steve Gallegos||0:35:15||Dianne Monteith||0:49:35|
|2||Joe Doyle||0:39:03||Mel Parker||0:49:43|
|3||Rich Hadley||0:39:10||Lynn Young||1:14:22|
|1||Keith Johnson||0:34:37||Kimman Harman||0:46:16|
|2||Steven Sellars||0:36:07||Kathy Johnson||0:48:13|
|3||John Delmez||0:37:26||Michele VanPelt||0:49:30|
|1||Peter Hegelbach||0:33:24||Sheila Hausbeck||0:49:02|
|2||Rich Dissly||0:33:46||Pam Buderus||0:50:27|
|3||Thomas Kehoe||0:36:42||Ulla Westermann||0:55:02|
|1||Dan Meehan||0:38:34||Jill Zancanelli-Sellars||0:44:04|
|2||Bobby Lehman||0:39:48||Heather Seaton||0:46:11|
|3||David Ross||0:40:16||Denise Glenn||0:46:20|
|4||Robb Seal||0:40:30||Holly Dahm||0:51:21|
|5||Joe Franklin||0:41:45||Jennifer Jas||0:59:30|
|34 and Under|
|1||Todd Larson||0:33:44||Erin Ressler||0:51:22|
|2||Mike Selig||0:34:25||Jennifer Lovely||0:51:51|
|3||Jared Berg||0:36:28||Elisa Miller||0:51:52|
|4||Stephen Brabandt||0:42:03||Dorothy Trawick||0:52:18|
|5||Keegan Parker||0:43:07||Megan Vanoni||0:53:52|