December 8, 2012
2012 RRCA Regional Cross Country Championship
By Dan Shaw
In past years, this race has served as the RRCA Colorado State
Championship. For 2012 we were honored to take a step up and serve as
the RRCA's US Western Regional Championship Event.
Temperatures in the 30's on a sunny Saturday morning greeted racers
at Stapleton Central Park this year, unlike some prior championships
which were run through snow on the ground and sub-freezing temperatures.
81 competitors fanned out across the starting line at the east end of
the park in the still, cool morning air. About half the loop course ran
through Stapleton Central Park, including stretches of grass lawn, single
track and dirt/gravel paths, and just a smidge of concrete. The remainder
ran through open space along Westerly Sand and Sand Creeks, over a mix of
gravel paths, single track, dirt roads and a prairie dog town. The mild,
dry weather of the preceding weeks allowed for solid footing throughout,
without the crust of snow we had last year. Although it seems rather flat
at first glance, the race features a surprising and challenging vertical
component, with a combined total of 528 feet of elevation gain and drop.
The course layout varied somewhat from last year, making for a faster
race and alleviating some confusion in spots.
The 12K championship race featured 2 laps of the 6K (3.73 miles) loop.
Walkers and three runners who shall remain anonymous found satisfaction
completing just one circuit. Of the men who endeavored to complete both
laps, first across the line in this year's championship was Rob Kosick
in a time of 41:56, an amazing average per mile pace of 5:38, almost 10
minutes faster than last year's overall champion, which is in part at
least due to better weather, better traction, and the friendlier course.
This is not to diminish Rob's effort however, as he bested the second
place finisher by more than three minutes. Mark Waxman garnered the
Masters title (40 and over) in 47:36, Keith Johnson took the Grand Masters
title ( 50 and over) in a time of 45:50, and the Senior Grand Masters
(50+) award went to Bob Cooper with a time of 58:20.
For the second year in a row, the women's title went to Molly Smith in a
time of 51:02, more than 8 minutes faster than her winning time last year.
Christine Adamowski claimed the Masters title, in 51:59. Theresa Jockers
was Grand Masters Champion, with a time of 57:32. Stephanie Wiecks
took the Senior Grand Master award, in 62:39. Congratulations to all
our 2012 RRCA Western Regional Cross Country Champions!
Co-director Rob Fisher and I would like to extend a big thank you
to all the volunteers who pitched in to help, including: new member
Todd Nikkel, who spent 4 hours at the park, from setting up banners,
signs and the finish line, to helping at the finish line, to picking
up after the racing was done; registration coordinators Rosalia and
Bob Dexter with able assistance from Jane Harbert and Ian Monk; timing
excellence from Mike Vanoni; finish line and scoring help from Mike,
Ken Simons and a host of others; equipment help from the extraordinary
Joe Baird; and invaluable assistance with set up, the water stop, and
course marshalling provided by my lovely wife Lu and wonderful son Sam.
Special thanks go to our sponsors who provided prizes to give away,
including Boulder Running Company and Runners Roost, and to the City of
Denver's Parks Department without whose gracious cooperation we could
not begin to put on this event.