Utah resident breaks record at Continental Divide Trail Run
The Steamboat Springs Running Series hosted its longest pointed race of the year, the Continental Divide Trail Run, Saturday morning.
The race consisted of three distance options, ranging from the shorter five-mile route to a 50-kilometer run.
The 50-kilometer course record was broken Saturday morning by first-time competitor Sam Collins of Park City, Utah. Collins, 28, finished the more than 31-mile race in four hours, three minutes, beating the previous record by nine minutes.
The course took runners from the grassy field by Torian Plum at the base of Steamboat Resort to Long Lake east of town and back. For Collins, it was rewarding to go down in the running series’ history books, particularly because of the high level of competition and the intensity of the run.
“I love when you get a chance to set the bar at whatever course you do,” Collins said. “This is a pretty sweet one, especially starting with that first eight (miles) going up Mount Werner.”
Collins said the most challenging part of any run he does is staying on course. He kept the GPS on his smartwatch to ensure he was following the correct route. He will run a similar path in just a few weeks while competing in the Run Rabbit Run 100-mile race Sept. 15.
Collins used the Continental Divide race as a way to train for Run Rabbit Run, while also re-familiarizing himself with the trails. Collins’ training schedule simply includes a couple weeks of differing intensity runs. Some weeks are more fierce than others.
“I’d say this year has definitely been the most I’ve done, but you have to build up to it,” he said.
With only a couple weeks until Run Rabbit Run, Collins said competitors cannot do too much to improve their readiness for the endurance run, but they can do a lot to hurt it.
On Saturday, he focused primarily on the mental aspects and stayed engaged in the run from start to finish.
He said it was never a race against others for him — it was a race against himself. His goal was to cross the finish line around the four-hour mark, regardless if that meant taking first or 10th place.
“If I race for place, I get all over the place,” Collins said. “I start thinking too much when I should just be thinking about splits. I wanted to get up to Mount Werner in just over an hour, which I was able to do. I was thinking of things like that the whole time. It helps me a lot.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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