CMRA Aurora Sports Park XC Results

CMRA Mountains


Aurora Sports Park XC
2010 RRCA Colorado State Cross Country Championship

December 11, 2010
By Dan Shaw

Temperatures in the 30's and a mostly sunny Saturday morning greeted racers at Coal Creek Arena this year, unlike the first three Aurora Sports Park races which experienced snow on the ground and sub-freezing temperatures. A cluster of 82 competitors fanned out across the broad traditional cross country starting line at the west end of the arena grounds with their backs to a light December breeze. The mild weather meant the sandy stretches of the course would provide loose footing, more difficult than the frozen, crusty footing provided in past years, and the many creek crossings would be alternately sloppy with mud or ankle-deep in murky ice water.

Although the Aurora Sports Park course is fairly flat, with less than 100 feet in elevation change, competitors with the onions to finish 3 laps of this course more than earn whatever award they garner. Why? Well, this is cross country and that means no pavement, and compared to pavement it's hard to run over grass lawns. The Sports Park includes plenty of those, not to mention single track trails weaving through the woods and tunnel-like trail sections surrounded by tall willow shrubs. The mud and multiple creek crossings add to the drama and level of difficulty, as does a 200 yard stretch through open prairie grass and brush. But the killer feature, as always, is the sand, with four sandy sections totaling over mile. You cannot fight the sand; you must adapt to it and take what it gives you. And it doesn't give much.

Without snow this year, the prairie dog holes were easy to see and avoid across the dusty, denuded arena grounds. Barely 100 yards from the start line, runners funneled through a narrow gate into the arena's picnic area, across the first of eight water crossings and onto the 2.4 mile loop course. As with all the wet sections, faster runners splashed straight through the muddy water without breaking stride while more cautious harriers slowly and gingerly found their balance while negotiating their way over the water on wobbly fallen tree branches. Heading onto the loop, runners encountered terrain for which the only constant was change: a short stretch of sand followed by another wet crossing, sandy single track winding through trees, mud, more single track, a little sand, and finally a few hundred yards of green lawn before heading back into the brush and trees, and some muddy single track leading out to the turnaround point and up from the creek bed and on to the hard part.

The Sand Road. Horseback riding is a popular pastime in this part of Aurora, and this quarter mile stretch of road bordering the woody creek bottom has been beaten soft by the hooves of horses. When the weather is cold, the sand is frozen into choppy clumps that threaten to twist your ankles, completely unfit for running. When the thermometer rises above freezing, the sand is fluffy and even more difficult to run on. If you've ever had a nightmare about running and running and going absolutely nowhere, you know the feeling that racers find on the Sand Road.

It is with great relief that the course finally veers back onto the Sports Park lawns, verdant even in December. After half a mile of lawn, past the delightful, playful multisport sculpture in the middle of the park, the course heads back to the trail and the woods, but not for long. The single track trail quickly passes out of the trees and into the willows. Perhaps the consensus favorite section of the course for runners is the winding section through the red twig willows which rise over eight feet tall and close in around the trail, even overhead in places, with gooey black mud under foot. The trail breaks out of the willows briefly then doubles back into more willows, again wet crossing of the creek, and runners then cut through an open stretch of prairie back to the start/finish area. To finish, runners splash one final time through the creek before heading up to the picnic area of Coal Creek Arena and the finish line.

The 12K championship race featured 3 circuits of the loop. Many runners found satisfaction in just one or two circuits, but the awards were given only for competitors who completed all 3 laps. Rob Mandje, a professional cross country runner based in Boulder who has trained under legendary distance runner Lorraine Moller, took the men's overall title for the 3rd consecutive year, in a time of 47:25. As with last year's race, he pushed to a lead of several seconds over the first lap and extended the lead consistently throughout the race, finishing with a winning margin of more than 2 minutes over Keith Johnson, who took the Masters (over age 40) title in a time of 49:52, and Grand Masters (50+) champion Adam Feerst, in 3rd place overall in 49:58. The oldest male competitor was 73-year old Lee Bengston who finished in 89:00.

The women's title went to retiring Rocky Mountain Road Runners president Deb Cunningham. Deb raced hard through the first lap but suffered on the difficult course. Due to the crush of runners at the start and the wooded nature of much of the course which impeded the view of the competition, she wasn't aware of her leading position and eased off through the remainder of the race. Even so, she held off the competition to collect the overall title with a winning time of 62:47. Theresa Jockers was overall 2nd woman and grabbed the Masters title in a time of 65:01. The grand masters championship was claimed by Diane Ridgeway in 68:41. The overall oldest competitor to conquer the brutal 12K course was 75 year old Vici DeHaan, in 96:59, who pronounced after the race that this was the most difficult 7 miles she had ever run. Now there's tough!

Co-director Rob Fisher and I would like to extend a big thank you to all the volunteers who pitched in to help, including: prize maven Vici DeHaan; bagels and cream cheese wiz Amy Lease; presenters of awards and prizes Amy, Connie Ahrnsbrak and Tom Chambers; registration coordinators Connie and Rosalia Murch [Happy 70th Birthday, Rosalia!]; timing master Joe Baird; finish line and scoring control by Joe, Amy, Connie, Ken Simons, Bill Faulner, Ian Monk and Mike Vanoni; equipment transporter extraordinaire Joe Baird; RRCA posters, assistance and guidance from Mike, Chris and Megan Vanoni; coffee, soda and water stop provided by my lovely wife Lu and wonderful kids Joe and Sam and the tall guy with facial hair whose name I didn't catch; and course marshals Larry Ashton and Ed Ewing. Special thanks go to our sponsors who provided prizes to give away: Great Harvest Bread (bread) and Running Wild (gift certificates), and to the City of Aurora's Department of Parks and Open Space without whose gracious cooperation we could not begin to put on this event.




December 11, 2010 12K Race Results

PLACE NAME TIME AGE
1 Robert Mandje 47:28 28
2 Keith Johnson 49:52 49
3 Trailman (Adam) Feerst 49:58 50
4 Andrew Fields 51:34 31
5 David Rothenburger 52:04 42
6 Steve McCrohan 52:08 37
7 Jay Survil 52:58 51
8 Jeff Bleven 54:19 42
9 Simon Martin 54:35 57
10 Paul Santi 54:57 46
11 David Ceniceros 55:17 23
12 Scott Chamberlin 55:18 54
13 Rick Denning 55:58 49
14 John Trull 58:58 58
15 Michael Brenner 59:57 52
16 Phillip Snyder 1:01:01 41
17 John Shea 1:02:04 53
18 Chris Sullivan 1:02:27 40
19 Deb Cunningham 1:02:47 49
20 David Kelble 1:03:15 53
21 Rob Fisher 1:03:21 60
22 Greg Frauenhoff 1:03:39 53
23 Bruce Kirschner 1:03:54 57
24 Theresa Jockers 1:05:01 49
25 Joe Black 1:06:45 12
26 Jane Harbert 1:07:00 49
27 John Ramos 1:07:07 34
28 Robb Sarchet 1:07:11 36
29 John Perez 1:07:45 60
30 Jill Howard 1:07:57 39
31 Diane Ridgway 1:08:41 61
32 Robert Kanieski 1:08:47 33
33 The B-Man (Jim) Romero 1:09:08 70
34 Rich Martinez 1:10:20 63
35 Glenn Bakken 1:11:40 60
36 Scott McFarlane 1:12:00 59
37 Brent Jockers 1:12:28 60
38 David Hill 1:14:37 59
39 Tall Red (Ed) Youngberg 1:16:04 67
40 Christine Lotz 1:16:17 37
41 David Wise 1:17:33 68
42 Adam Atherly 1:17:43 44
43 Janet Ralston 1:19:37 48
44 Douglas Tollin 1:20:32 66
45 Sir Fred Trentaz 1:23:15 68
46 Patricia Tolleson 1:26:03 61
47 Lee Bengston 1:29:00 73
48 Tina Akin 1:30:57 49
49 Christine Vanoni 1:33:17 59
50 Dave Black 1:37:48 59
51 Lindsay Deihler 1:40:19 29
52 Nate Deihler 1:40:20 31
53 Ashley Jackson 2:23:53 21
54 Leslie Thompson 2:30:21 54
55 Vici DeHaan 2:36:59 75

12K Age group results

Place Name Time Name Time
  Men Women
Overall
1 Robert Mandje 47:28 Deb Cunningham 1:02:47
75-79
1     Vici DeHaan 2:36:59
70-74
1 The B-Man (Jim) Romero 1:09:08    
2 Lee Bengston 1:29:00    
65-69
1 Tall Red (Ed) Youngberg 1:16:04    
2 David Wise 1:17:33    
3 Douglas Tollin 1:20:32    
4 Sir Fred Trentaz 1:23:15    
60-64
1 Rob Fisher 1:03:21 Diane Ridgway 1:08:41
2 John Perez 1:07:45 Patricia Tolleson 1:26:03
3 Rich Martinez 1:10:20    
4 Glenn Bakken 1:11:40    
5 Brent Jockers 1:12:28    
55-59
1 Simon Martin 54:35 Christine Vanoni 1:33:17
2 John Trull 58:58    
3 Bruce Kirschner 1:03:54    
4 Scott McFarlane 1:12:00    
5 David Hill 1:14:37    
50-54
1 Trailman (Adam) Feerst 49:58 Leslie Thompson 2:30:21
2 Jay Survil 52:58    
3 Scott Chamberlin 55:18    
4 Michael Brenner 59:57    
5 John Shea 1:02:04    
45-49
1 Keith Johnson 49:52 Theresa Jockers 1:05:01
2 Paul Santi 54:57 Jane Harbert 1:07:00
3 Rick Denning 55:58 Janet Ralston 1:19:37
4     Tina Akin 1:30:57
40-44
1 David Rothenburger 52:04    
2 Jeff Bleven 54:19    
3 Phillip Snyder 1:01:01    
4 Chris Sullivan 1:02:27    
5 Adam Atherly 1:17:43    
35-39
1 Steve McCrohan 52:08 Jill Howard 1:07:57
2 Robb Sarchet 1:07:11 Christine Lotz 1:16:17
19 - 34
1 Andrew Fields 51:34 Lindsay Deihler 1:40:19
2 David Ceniceros 55:17 Ashley Jackson 2:23:53
3 John Ramos 1:07:07    
4 Robert Kanieski 1:08:47    
5 Nate Deihler 1:40:20    
13 and Under
1 Joe Black 1:06:45    


8K Race Results

PLACE NAME TIME AGE
1 Carl M. 39:18 33
2 Bruce Dahm 41:09 42
3 Dave Cunningham   50
4 Bill Stahl 41:41 52
5 Jonathan Cawley 43:57 53
6 J.J. Sorensen   16
7 Mike Sorensen 51:45 44
8 Michele Hart 55:17 32
9 Megan Vanoni 57:30 30
10 Roger Rybicka 1:02:21 62
RaceWalkers (8K)
1 Rosalia Murch 1:25:02 70


4K Race Results

PLACE NAME TIME AGE
1 Taylor Survil 22:15 16
2 Lauren Mills 22:24 17
3 Robert Whittemore 22:27 42
4 Fernando Trull 25:17 22
5 Lisa Trull 25:25 27
6 Richard Romero 26:28 74
7 Strider (Tom) Chambers 28:45 67
8 Tina Lambert 29:55 48
9 Gina Kelble 30:27 10
10 Cheryl Ames 32:50 63
11 Tom Alison 37:37 73
12 Charlie Schumacker 38:10 61
13 Olga Hnizdil 40:17 66
14 Katie Kelble 41:10 6
15 Michele Kelble 41:11 43
RaceWalkers (4K)
1 Ian Monk 32:44 54