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Meltzer, Hawker Win Inaugural Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile; Clayton, Smith Win 6th Annual Run Rabbit Run 50 Mile

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Photo courtesy of Flickr | Lizzy Hawker runs Le Trail des Cerces ultramarathon in 2009 in France.

The first-ever Run Rabbit Run 100 mile race turned out to be quite a show this weekend, as top ultrarunners converged on Steamboat Springs, CO, enticed by a $40,000 prize purse.  The inaugural race was held in conjunction with the classic 50 mile distance, now in its sixth year.

The 100 mile race was split into two race divisions – the “Hares” and the “Tortoises.”  The Tortoises took off from Steamboat Springs early on Friday morning, while the top running Hares took off a few hours later.  All runners experienced some drastic temperature changes which came into play especially during the night hours, as the warm weather quickly dropped as the sun went down. There were quite a few drops in the Hares division, as runners took on a brutal course, cold night, and individual injuries.

In the Hares’ men’s race, we saw a shuffling leaderboard for quite some time.  In the end, 44-year old Karl Meltzer showed the young runners who was boss, as he finished up in 19:16:02, and took home an $11,000 prize for overall finisher and top masters finisher.  Coming in second was Dylan Bowman of Aspen, CO in 19:56:45, and third place belonged to Ashland, Oregon’s Timothy Olson who finished in 20:28:58.

For the female Hares, Lizzy Hawker from Switzerland led the race from start to finish, overcoming a bad fall that injured her knee around mile 6.  Her finishing time of 22:07:07 was not only good enough for first place female, but also fourth place overall.  Rhonda Claridge of Ophir, CO came in second for the ladies and sixth place overall with a finishing time of 24:05:32.  Rounding out the top three was Leila Degrave of Evergreen who finished up in 24:41:50.

The Tortoise division saw some great times too, with first place men’s finisher Clark Sundahl from Monument crossing the line in 24:20:58.  Coming in second was Evergreen’s Drew Pashley in 27:11:58.  Rounding out the men’s top three was Rick Gregory from Vail in 27:41:55.

The women’s tortoise division saw first place finisher Liz Koop from Colorado Springs garner third place overall as well.  Koop finished up her race in 27:19:31.  Coming in second for the women was Frisco’s Colleen Ihnken who crossed the line in 29:12:25.  Rounding out the top three was Abby McQueeney Penamonte of Denver, who came in at 30:19:00.

In the men’s 50 mile race, reigning 2011 champ Zeke Tiernan failed to pull out another first place finish, as Boulder’s Cameron Clayton took top honors in a time of 7:09:04.  Basalt, CO’s Tiernan took second with a time of 7:48:40.  Coming in third was Aaron Heidt in a time of 8:17:00.

The women’s race saw first place finisher Pam Smith of Salem, OR cross the line in 8:40:50, also good for fifth place overall. Right on Smith’s heels was up-and-coming ultrarunner Kerrie Bruxvoort of Broomfield, who finished up in second in 8:47:53 and sixth place overall. Rounding out the top three was Silke Koester of Boulder, who crossed the line with a time of 9:09:28. 

Complete results can be found here.

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