On May 7th, Colorado Runner Events hosted the 18th annual Greenland Trail Races at Greenland Open Space in Larkspur. The race consisted of a trail 4 mile, 8 mile, 25K and 50K ultramarathon.
The trail loop that the runners covered was an eight mile loop that 50K runners ran four times and included 2,200′ of elevation gain and loss. 25K runners ran the loop twice and climbed 1,100′ while 8 mile runners circuited once with a total elevation gain of 531 feet. The four mile runners took a different trail that cut through the middle of 8 mile loop, but still climbed 250 feet on their trek.
The day started with clear skies and temperatures hovering around 50 degrees when the 50K runners took to the trail. But as the day progressed, the temperature increased and the winds picked up. Giff Walters of Denver was able to handle this the best as he led all the runners across the ultramarathon finish line. His winning time of 4:01:50 was one of the slowest in the races history.
After the second lap, the heat started to rise and the wind picked up so much that when you started running south, it felt like you were standing still!Giff Walters – 50K winner
The temperature did in fact pick up, topping out at 80 degrees on the day. Also, by 10:00 AM the wind had picked up to a steady 20 miles per hour out of the southwest with gusts upwards of 40 miles per hour!
For the ladies, Chavet Hills of Denver prevailed in 5:30:16.
The 50K also served as the Road Runners Club of America Colorado State ultramarathon championship with special awards going to the following state champions as well as the overall winners:
- Masters 40+ – Scott Swaney, Highlands Ranch (4:09:23) and Kathleen Romalia, Highlands Ranch (6:19:25)
- Grand Masters 50+ – Orlin Hopper, Denver (5:12:00) and Kendra Mulvey, Highlands Ranch (6:30:16)
- Senior 60+ – Michael Manzanares, Westminster (6:32:11)
The runners in the 25K (which started 30 minutes after the 50K) were also treated to cool temps in the morning. Luckily for most of them, they were finished or at least running north when the wind started to pick up.
Cameron Mathews of Highlands Ranch crossed the finish line first in 1:53:45 while Laura Mooney of Denver finished fourth overall to take the women’s crown in 1:56:57
In the 8 mile (which started 30 minutes after the 25K), Justin Kopacz of Aurora bested the field, covering the course in 56:28 while Betsy Mercer of Parker topped the ladies in 1:03:32.
The 4 mile was won by Drew Randall of Denver in 32:43. Kirsten Jorde of Castle Rock was runner up and the top female in 33:36.
Overall, there were over 700 finishers on the day.
Below are a few photos from the event.