Colorado has always been a hotbed for athletes – runners, climbers, triathletes, cyclists, and others – and each year the state is home to several world champions, Olympic medalists, and record holders. As 2014 comes to a close, this year proves to be no exception with athletes across the disciplines turning in several outstanding performances. Within the field of ultrarunning, Colorado athletes once again shined on the national and international stage.
In thinking back on the year, several Colorado ultrarunners achieved some outstanding results, which I’ve briefly highlighted below in no particular order.
Sage Canaday of Boulder – 1st at The North Face Endurance Challenge – 50 mile race (6:07:52) outside of San Francisco considered to have one of the most stacked fields this year. Sage also had an amazing year overall with wins at Tarawera Ultra Marathon in New Zealand (5:33:38), Speedgoat 50K in Utah (5:12:30), and the Pikes Peak Ascent (2:10:03).
Greg Salvesen, Nick Pedatella, and Ryan Smith of Boulder – Completed the first (and perhaps last) running of the Boulder Badass 100, a 105.4 mile route around Boulder done in 31:30. What makes this run even more impressive is that out of the 18,000’ of climbing, 8,000’ of it came in the last 15 miles!
Brendan Trimboli of Durango – 1st place at the Cedro Peak 45 miler in New Mexico (6:59:37), and a second place at the competitive Miwok 100K in California (9:40:41).
Darcy Piceu of Boulder – 1st at the Hardrock 100 (29:49:59); Darcy is now a 3 time Hardrock 100 champion.
Joe Grant of Gold Hill – 1st at the White Mountains 100 outside of Fairbanks, Alaska in a blistering time of 17:05.
Alex Nichols of Colorado Springs – 1st place at the always fast and competitive Red Hot 55K in Moab, Utah (3:57:11).
Bob Africa of Boulder – 1st overall in the grueling Leadman series in Leadville, Colorado with a total time of 38:16:18. Bob ran the Marathon (4:10:19), 50 mile bike (4:42:35), 100 mile bike (8:13:23), 10K run (44:52), and the 100 mile run (20:25:09).
Brandon Stapanowich of Colorado Springs – 22 ascents of the Incline in 24 hours, for a new record of 44,000’ of vertical gain in one day. He also completed Nolan’s 14 this summer with Gavin Mckenzie.
Cassie Scallon of Boulder – 1st at the Sean O’Brien 50 miler in California (7:38:16) with a solid field of competitors.
Kerrie Bruxvoort of Boulder – An overall outstanding season, with wins at Zane Grey 50K (shortened course – 6:15:11) in Arizona, Quad Rock 25 miler in Fort Collins, Colorado (4:11:07), and the San Juan Solstice 50 miler in Lake City, Colorado (10:58:33). She also placed second at the Run Rabbit Run 100 mile race in Steamboat Springs (22:49:02) and second at the UD Dirty 30 50K race in Golden Gate State Park, Colorado (5:52:07).
Andrew Hamilton of Denver – Completed the first ever self-supported Nolan’s 14 run in 60:19, which involves traversing 14 14,000’ peaks in Colorado’s Sawatch Range.
Adam St. Pierre and Henry Schliff of Boulder – 24 hours of Mt. Sanitas – 70 miles and 28,000’ of vertical gain.
Stevie Kremer of Crested Butte – Won the Skyrunner Sky Series overall, including wins at international events Zegama-Aizkorri in Spain (4:46:43), Sierre-Zinal in Italy (3:03:12), and Matterhorn Ultraks in Switzerland (5:18:43).
Anton Krupicka – 1st at The North Face Lavaredo Ultra Trail – 119K (12:42:31) race in Italy with a large, international field. Anton also had a good early season with wins at the Jemez Mountain 50 miler in Los Alamos (8:07:07), New Mexico and at the UD Dirty 30 50K (4:47:12).
Mike Aish of Arvada – Second place overall at the Leadville 100 (16:38:37) in a fairly competitive field.
Zach Miller of Colorado Springs – 1st place at the highly competitive Lake Sonoma 50 miler in California (6:11:10).
Paul Hamilton of Durango – 1st place at the San Juan Solstice 50 miler in Lake City, Colorado (8:06:21), often called the mini-Hardrock.
2015 looks to be another outstanding year for Colorado ultrarunners, with several already accepted into some of the bigger races (Western States, Hardrock, etc.). Whether next year proves to be as good as this year for Colorado ultrarunners is hard to say, but with more and more athletes moving to the state every day, no doubt will it prove to be exciting.
Did I miss any runners or events that should be noted? If so, let us know in the comments.