2017 CMRA XC Challenge
By Dan Shaw
Two months before the race, co-director Rob Fisher called with the bad news# Wait a minute; is this deja vu from the 2016 race? Well, yes, similarly to last year's XC Challenge, the `challenge' this year was as much about permitting the race as the competition itself. This year, the difficulties with organizing the race in the Bluff Lake/Stapleton/Sand Creek Greenway area used in the past few years proved to be too much. Using what can only be described as magic, Rob managed to communicate and coordinate with Denver Parks & Rec, the Sand Creek Greenway Authority, Bluff Lake Nature Center and McAuliffe Middle School, the sponsor of the middle school event held in conjunction with the CMRA race. Working hard and displaying great diligence and determination, he succeeded in permitting the race at its new location in the Lowry neighborhood.
Well worth the effort involved to change venues, this year's race still consisted of 2 circuits of a 3K loop, which practically laid itself out without much effort. With some resemblance to prior years at other locations, the Lowry course was composed of varied surfaces, including the lovely lawns of Great Lawn Park, beautiful single track along the creek in Kelly Open Space and gravel paths that circled a little marsh behind the Kelly Dam and challenged runners with trails running up and down the dam. We even found a creek crossing and a few puddles to run through which had remained near the creek following last week's heavy rains and hail. Altogether, the new race location provided quite a delightful little course for cross country.
And the show went on. As with last year's race, the weather on race day couldn't have been sweeter, with a bright, fresh spring morning in the 50's with a gentle breeze to help keep runners from overheating. Kids of all ages gathered at the start, chatting and stretching on the lawn prior to the 8 a.m. start of the middle school race. The big kids' race following 20 minutes later, just after the last of the one-lapping younger runners crossed the finish line.
As is frequently the case for races as short as 6K, the racing was intense with much head-to-head competition for age group positions. Rachel Perez defended her victory in last year's race on what was surely a tougher course, with a winning time of 30:43. The men's race unfolded in an intriguing manner, with Scott Kukel hanging back through the first lap with a pack of six runners, including last year's winner, Patrick Richards. On the second lap, Scott took control and brought home the win in a time of 24:24.
Rob and I would like to extend thanks to the many members who volunteered their time to make this race happen, including but not limited to: Patty Jones (registration); Joe Baird (timing, finish line and equipment); Ken Randall (timing and finish line); Todd Shaklee (course sweeping); Tom Chambers (awards); Francie Kinney (raffle); and my lovely wife Lu (finish line, course set up and bread). Thanks also go to our sponsor, Great Harvest Bread in Arvada for providing their wonderful bounty.
|Overall Men||Overall Women|
|1||Scott Kukel||24:24||Rachel Perez||30:43|
|80 and Over|
|1||John Perez||38:57||Claradene Stewart||39:37|
|2||Earl Beam||42:30||Patricia Jones||40:00|
|3||Roger Rygicka||43:16||Carmen Kitts||42:26|
|1||Mike Bennett||26:23||Karen McKean||38:20|
|1||Adam Feerst||30:33||Heidi Somer||33:42|
|2||Ben Nell||32:09||Kim Massey||37:51|
|3||Jay Trujillo||34:26||Ina Olsson||46:10|
|1||Eric Patterson||25:17||Lori Woods||35:01|
|2||Cliff Jurgens||32:31||Nicole Shaklee||37:52|
|3||John Brackney||33:11||Jane Allard||39:44|
|4||Scott Bulfin||42:43||Donna Sakdol||40:16|
|1||George Forbes||24:41||Cindy Obryant||36:15|
|1||Jeremy Johnson||25:43||Michelle Sroda||41:12|
|1||Patrick Richards||24:52||Brea Olson||47:31|
|1||Brandon Rockwood||27:18||Ruth Clymor||41:01|
|2||Matt Olson||30:19||Stephanie Morrison||46:27|