Race worth every mile for Georgia runner
Rabbit Ears Pass — Come all the way from Athens, Georgia, to Steamboat Springs — 1,600 miles — and you’re going to want to make that trip count.
That’s what Mark Werner told himself, and Sunday, he was making the most of his journey, step by step, winning the 10K at 10,000 10-kilometer race at Rabbit Ears pass above Steamboat Springs.
“It was beautiful, a gorgeous route,” Werner said.
Werner was among more than 100 runners to tackle the race on a crisp September morning.
He did it in 46 minutes, 19 seconds.
Women’s race winner Emily Harrison actually led the entire field for a stretch midway through the 10K, but Werner said he took the lead about halfway in.
Brent Knight, who eventually finished second — only 25 seconds back at 46:44 — gained ground on the more technical downhill segments, but Werner maintained his advantage when the trail flattened along Dumont Lake and approaching the finish line.
“If it was more technical, he would have won,” Werner said.
Daniel Goding ended up third on the men’s side in 47:19.
Steamboat’s Penelope Freedman was second in the women’s race in 50:33.
Sebastian Mastor won the men’s 5K in 23:37. Jimmy Colfer was second on the men’s side in 26:48, and Ben Lingle was third at 27:55.
Steamboat’s Heather Gollnick was second, overall, in the 5K and easily won the women’s division with a time of 24:43. Dasha Kuznetsova was second in 27:49, and Dorothy Lochert was third at 32:56.
For Werner, his quest to make the most of his trip via running races is only half-finished.
He’d originally planned to visit Steamboat in June, with the half-marathon race at the Steamboat Marathon event as a target.
He had to postpone, however, and to ensure he didn’t lose the money he’d already invested in lodging, he had to pick another weekend in the summer or fall.
Labor Day weekend stood out and not only because of the 10K at 10,000.
He’ll race again Monday in the Oak Creek No Fun Run, a 6-kilometer race on road and trails around Oak Creek during the town’s annual Labor Day festivities.
He didn’t come this far to skip a race.
“I came all this way,” he said. “I have to do two races, right?”
Registration for the Oak Creek Race is available from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m., ahead of a 10 a.m. start.
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