Half Marathon Re-routes Due to Run-off Conditions
The 2014 Turquoise Lake Half Marathon was a true mountain adventure yesterday as high Spring run-off conditions re-arranged the course, and added a water feature in the process.
And while blue skies and sunshine prevailed at the 9 a.m. start on Saturday, May 31, race organizer Frank Mencin described a re-configured race course that sounded more like something from the popular TV series “Wipe Out,” than this popular half-marathon race around one of Leadville’s most scenic lakes: Turquoise.
Regardless, about 100 racers laced up and took off on an unfamiliar course.
“It was tough out there,” said winner Sean Van Horn, 28, Crested Butte, whose first place time came in at 1:46:32. Second place went to local favorite Marco Peinado (1:51;32) and rounding out the podium was Ian Cox, 19, Littleton (2:00:30). For the ladies, it was homegirl Christy Lindh, 31, Leadville bringing home the victory with a winning time of 2:11:27.
Race organizers had to piece together the course since a large portion of it was off-limits to traffic, by foot or by wheel. Deteriorating road conditions caused from Spring run-off had its way, re-routing the popular race away from County Road 4, more commonly known as the south side of the Turquoise Lake Road. This year racers took the north, County Road 9 out and the lake path back, which added some length to the course as well as a water feature.
In fact, race organizer Frank Mencin announced in the pre-race speech that “due to all the snow and heavy run-off, one of the creeks is running pretty heavy, so we’ve added three ropes and some logs to assist racers across.”
It all made for an exciting, early-season mountain race, one that definitely separated the “have” (guts) from the “have-nots!”
The Turquoise Lake Half Marathon is put on annually as a fundraiser for the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame (LLCSHF). It’s one of two fundraiser races. The other one is today (June 1, 2014), the Fish Hatchery 5K.
Talking with LLCSHF Board Member and race organizer Gary Hanks, the concern out at the hatchery is Rock Creek. It’s nice to know that those fish-themed race costumes will finally come in handy! Good luck and stay safe!
You can check out full race results from the Turquoise Lake Half Marathon and Fish Hatchery 5K at the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame website: LINK.
Late Snowfall, Big Run-off and Mud Slides, Oh My!
Turns out it could be that kind of race season in the highest incorporated city in North America.
In just two weeks, the Leadville Race Series will host the Leadville Trail Marathon & Heavy Half which travel up Leadville’s East Side and Mosquito Pass at 13,185 feet.
Yesterday, May 31, local officials had the County Road 3, also known as the “road to Mosquito” (including 3A) closed to all traffic as spring run-off conditions had the some roads impassable and others unstable due to mud and rock slides.
Earlier the Leadville Trail Marathon was challenged with a possible re-location of the race start. The series of blue buildings on the northwest corner of 6th and Poplar streets had been condemned and deemed a public hazard. The entire intersection has closed off for several weeks until the property owners were able to satisfy safety concerns and the area has been fenced off allowing the streets re-opened – hurdle cleared!
Now while that problem has been solved, Mother Nature is having her own say. While most social media chatter in early May expressed concerns about snow conditions on the race course, which runs through Leadville’s historic mining district, and tops out at 13,185 feet Mosquito Pass, in two weeks the issue will most likely be mud and rock slides. But most racers just consider it one more obstacle when racing in Leadville. And like yesterday’s half marathon, the show will go on, albeit on a slightly different race course.