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Continental Divide race tests runners

Steamboat Springs runner Josh Robertson competes in the Continental Divide Trail Race on Saturday. Robertson finished second in the 50-kilometer race.
Matt Stensland

— Grueling, yet beautiful, was how runners described Saturday’s Continental Divide Trail Race.

Both the 50-kilometer and 16-mile races started at the Fish Creek Falls parking area and ended at the top of the Steamboat Ski Area gondola. The 16-mile race had an elevation gain of more than 4,500 feet, while the 50-kilometer course had an elevation gain of 6,000 feet.

“The first three miles are uphill and super-rocky,” said runner Nicole Valentine, who won the 16-mile race for the women in a time of two hours, 40 minutes, 40 seconds.

Valentine, who recently moved to Boulder from Washington D.C. to train for triathlons, said she started the race aggressively, and her body paid the price.

“I just thought everyone was suffering out there,” she said.

In addition, she was stung by a bee and impaled by a stick, leaving her with a small wound on her leg at the finish line.

Despite that, she was all smiles and cheered on other runners as they approached the finish.

“This is my first time in Steamboat, and it’s a blast,” she said.

Loveland’s Daniel Goding claimed first place in the 16-mile men’s division with a time of two hours, 16 minutes, 19 seconds.

Taylor Bodin, of Estes Park, was the first 50-kilometer men’s finisher, with a time of four hours, 50 minutes, 22 seconds.

“It was great,” Bodin said. “It was so beautiful.”

Steamboat Springs runner Josh Robertson finished six minutes behind Bodin.

Courtney Dauwalter was the first women’s finisher, with a time of five hours, three minutes, 29 seconds.

The next Steamboat Springs Running Series race is the 10K at 10,000 feet, slated for Sept. 4. It will feature 5-and 10-kilometer course options.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland


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