Run, Rabbit Run 50 and 100 Mile Run Report

Photo via Rocky Mountain Runners
Photo via Rocky Mountain Runners

Report provided by Fred Abramowitz.

The floods that tragically struck much of Colorado were no match for the good karma of our resident Pooka, Harvey – Friday the 13th or not – as running conditions for the 7th Run, Rabbit, Run 50 Mile Run (and 2nd Run, Rabbit, Run 100 Mile Run) were perfect – cool temperatures during the day, a pleasant evening and night, trails that seemed hardly affected by the rains that had drenched beautiful Steamboat Springs for most of the prior week.  Yeah, race day there was a little of everything – sun, clouds, a bit of rain, a bit of mud, even a light dusting of snow way on high up in the mountains, elk, deer, moose and bear, but for runners, conditions were near perfect.

And wow! – what a perfect run by Montana’s Jason Schlarb, who bunny-hopped through our 100 miler, winning the men’s race and the world’s largest 100 mile purse ($10,000, out of a total purse of $35,000) in a jaw-dropping 17 hours and 15 minutes, while Colorado’s Michele Yates also scurried spectacularly and won the women’s race in a quick 20:16, also winning $10,000.  That’s a lot of simolies, and not a bad day’s work.  Eyes grew moist when Jason raised a small American flag as he crossed the finish line; he carries it with him in every race, in commemoration of his six months’ service in Iraq.   Michele claimed to have seen a “bear” in Emerald Mountain, but we knew better – that was just Harvey in disguise, urging her on.  (Big bunnies sure can look like bears!)  Both Jason and Michele had failed to finish last year’s inaugural 100 mile run and both got their revenge.  How sweet it is.

Second man was last year’s winner, and the winningest 100 miler in ultra running history – the ageless Karl Meltzer of Utah (18:32).  Second woman was Montana’s legendary Nikki Kimball (20:59).   Both Karl and Nikki won $2500 and topped the master’s category as well.  Third man was Jeff Browning of Oregon and third woman was Colorado’s Rhonda Claridge.  Each took home $1500.  Rounding out the top 5 women were Becky Wheeler of Wyoming ($1000) and Pam Smith of Oregon ($750), fresh off her win at Western States (and last year’s RRR 50 mile winner).  Twenty-six year old Joshua Arthur of Colorado was 4th man and 5th was Timmy Olson of Oregon, also coming off a Western States win.

Top 100 mile Tortoise was Brandon Worthington of Colorado, who ran a terrific 22:10  Next year we hope he’ll join the Hares where he belongs.  New Mexico newlywed Margaret Ochs was top women’s Tortoise in 29:44.  Don Solberg (25:21) and Josh Spector (25:32) ran second and third, while Amy O’Connell (30:05) and Tine Ure (30:10) rounded out the top three in the distaff division.  A total of 132 Tortoises and Hares started our 100 miler.  Eighty-four finished.

Our 50 miler also saw some incredible racing as Dane Mitchell of Colorado ran 7:32 to win the men’s division.  That’s hoping along.  Kerrie Bruxvoort ran 8:18 – just a few minutes off the course record – to wire the women’s field.  Morgan Williams (8:03) was second man, and Mary Mahoney (9:18) second woman.  Steve Liechty (8:05, and top master) and Rebecca Hall (9:20) rounded out the top 3.  Julia Lewis ((10:11) was top women’s master.  One-hundred and fifty finished our 50 miler, with many of those in both our 100 and our 50 who were planning on running unable to make it due to washed out, closed roads, and flooded homes.

Thirty-two states and 8 foreign countries were represented in this year’s Run, Rabbit, Run (including, once again, our friends from Copper Canyon in Mexico), and once again all finishers were greeted by our DH (Designated Hugger) as they crossed the finish line.  They were then directed to our great little post-race beer and pizza party.  And once again, thanks to our great sponsors (Montrail, Honey Stinger, ResortQuest, the Steamboat Chamber of Commerce, Smartwool, and many others) and the support of Steamboat Springs – the greatest little town in America.  Finally, as always, all money in excess of expenses will go to our favorite charities doing good work in northern Colorado.

Next year’s races will be on September 12-13, 2014.  Registration will open about January 1, 2014.  See you then!

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