Clint Wells wins 10K at 10,000 Feet |

Clint Wells wins 10K at 10,000 Feet

Jamie Hallman

— For Clint Wells, finishing first in the 10K at 10,000 Feet was not his primary goal. He came to run the race with his dad and sister from Craig.

Winning was simply an added bonus. Wells, more used to running track events, said the race’s terrain was challenging.

“Surprisingly there was a lot of uphill and uneven terrain,” he said.

Wells, a 1993 graduate of Moffat County High School graduate, finished just ahead of a former high school classmate, Tenadore Dean.

Dean finished with a time of 43:21, a couple minutes behind Wells, who finished at 41:07.

The course started near Dumont Lake on Rabbit Ears Pass. Runners had to run along the lake and old railroad tracks and up steep hills.

The beauty of the area gave family and friends a fun setting to wait for participants to cross the finish line.

Susan Leonhardt of Denver said this is the first year she has waited for her friends at the finish line instead of running with them in the race.

“It’s a blast,” she said. She said injuries to her arches kept her from entering the race. Leonhardt said the race requires a lot of endurance and is a challenge at such a high elevation.

“I’m amazed at some of the people who come from out-of-state,” she said. Leonhardt said she has competed in the event three out of the last five years and incorporates the race into her yearly Labor Day plans.

Cindy Strowbridge of Denver, the first woman to cross the finish line with a time of 55:03, said she didn’t anticipate being in first place.

“It was totally exciting; I wasn’t expecting it at all,” she said.

Strowbridge said she came with a friend who had run the race in previous years.

There are “so many awesome people out and it’s fun to challenge yourself,” she said.

Strowbridge, 24, said she has spent most of her athletic life playing tennis but started running in college for fun.

There were a couple of climbs that were tough,” Strowbridge said.

Bob Dapper, one of the race organizers, said the race goes over logs and through streams, adding some difficulty and adventure to the course. “It’s a fun race,” Dapper said.

People of all ages ran for their best times and enjoyed the sunshine and beautiful surroundings as they caught up with old acquaintances after the race.

Erlend Halsnes said he made his personal best time on the race.

“You don’t have to play the mental game because it is not a really long race,” he said.

Halsnes, like many local runners in the running series, competed in the Continental Divide Trail run last week. He said he is constantly working to get in better shape and run more competitively in the local running races.

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