Crespin, Freedman first to conquer Hayden cog |

Crespin, Freedman first to conquer Hayden cog

Gabriel Small, front, leads Lucas Crespin and Avery Collins on the upward climb of Saturday's Hayden Cog Run. Crespin went on to win the 8.4-mile race, with Small taking second and Collins third.
Austin Colbert

2016 Hayden Cog Run results

8.4-mile men

  1. Lucas Crespin, 52:47
  2. Gabriel Small, 53:35
  3. Avery Collins, 55:30

8.4-mile women

  1. Penelope Freedman, 1:03:15
  2. Candy Granger, 1:07:41
  3. Johannah Hall, 1:09:22

5K men

  1. Josh Smullin, 18:56
  2. Tyler Terranova, 18:57
  3. Wyatt Gebhardt, 19:02

5K women

  1. Waverly Gebhardt, 23:25
  2. Anna Terranova, 25:03
  3. Cortney Richards, 26:18

— Lucas Crespin hopes to one day get another chance at running the Boston Marathon. He qualified for last month’s race after finishing fourth in the 2015 Steamboat Marathon, but was unable to make the trip this spring.

Instead, he’s decided to turn his attention toward more local races this summer, such as Saturday’s Hayden Cog Run, the first event of the 2016 Steamboat Springs Running Series.

“It’s still a fun race to come out and do, especially to kick off the series,” Crespin said. “On the way back down, we were pretty much together the whole way down. It just came down the line, and I barely squeaked it out.”

Crespin, who moved to Steamboat a few months ago after a nearly two-year hiatus from the Yampa Valley, won Saturday’s main race — an 8.4-mile round-trip slog up the Hayden cog — with a time of 52 minutes, 47 seconds.

Hot on his tail was fellow Steamboat runner Gabriel Small, another recent Routt County implant. The Boulder-native is a familiar face in the Steamboat running community, however, and is a former Steamboat Marathon winner.

Small finished Saturday’s race in 53:35, while Avery Collins, one of Steamboat’s well-known ultra runners, was third in 55:30.

“I knew the hill was going to be my biggest downfall. So I tried pushing it from the start to make up a little bit of that difference on the flats,” Crespin said. “Gabe and I were, for the last mile or so, pushing as hard as we could. Then, I just found something today. He got me last year in the marathon by several minutes.”

Crespin plans to be a frequent Running Series participant this season. He is holding out hope of competing in the Steamboat Half Marathon, but a family reunion could get in the way. However, he still plans to compete in the Leadville Marathon, as well as the Run Rabbit Run 100-mile ultra.

“The 100 will be something to look forward to at the end of the year,” said Crespin, who has competed in the Run Rabbit Run 50-miler. “The trails are definitely my favorite, but I like to do as much of the fast road stuff as I can. I just like any sort of race, in general.”

Saturday’s 8.4-mile winner on the women’s side was Penelope Freedman, picking up right where she left off after winning the overall 2015 Steamboat Springs Running Series crown. She finished 10th, overall, in 1:03:15, a touch slower than last year, when she was also the top female in the 8.4-mile race.

Taking second among women Saturday was Candy Granger in 1:07:41. Third place went to Johannah Hall in 1:09:22.

“I had a little bit of a (hip) injury, but I’m starting to get back into it,” Freedman said. “I’m just excited to be running again, racing again. I felt really strong and good. Again, I still have a lot of work to do this summer.”

Like Crespin, Freedman hopes to make as many Running Series races as possible. However, last year’s success — which was her first full year as a dedicated runner in her adult life — has turned her attention toward greater goals than defending her series championship.

She has been invited to help coach a Nike camp this summer, will compete in a qualifier for the U.S. Mountain Running Team and plans to return to Hawaii to compete in the XTERRA Trail Running World Championships, in which she took third.

“I’m really trying to push myself to a more professional level in running,” Freedman said. “But, this is a great race to come out to and be part of the community and see some familiar faces again.”

Freedman does have a few local races in her forecast, including the June 5 Steamboat Marathon and possibly the Run Rabbit Run 50-miler.

Saturday’s Hayden Cog Run also included a 5-kilometer race, won by Steamboat’s Josh Smullin in 18:56. The 5K women’s winner was Steamboat’s Waverly Gebhardt in 23:25, good for ninth, overall.

The next Steamboat Springs Running Series race is the May 21 Spirit Challenge, which includes a 10K, 5K and fun run.

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

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