SHF Kicks Off “Cool” Race Season
It was a case of ready-or-nots for Leadville’s first races of the season last weekend as summer trails stubbornly begin to open up. The Annual Turquoise Lake 20k which was held on Saturday, June 1 saw a slight dip in numbers this year, as late winter/very early spring course conditions presented some challenges. Still, a hearty 78 runners laced up to the startline on what turned out to be the warmest weekend (high 40s!) to date this year.
“For the 20K we were forced to alter the course due to 2-3′ of snow still on sections of the trail,” said Carlos Martinez, one of the event organizers who also serves on the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame (SFH) Board of Directors, the race sponsor and non-profit beneficiary.
“We ended up doing an out-and-back on the first 10K of the course,” explained Martinez, adding that despite the race course being on all asphalt, people still enjoyed the route and the views. It was also only the second time that the 20K course had to be changed. The other time, Martinez recalled was due to a rock slide damaging the county road.
Traditionally the course includes 5-5 miles of single track along the lake. But Turquoise Lake has been particularly challenged with a late-season open, with all of the campgrounds being closed over Memorial Day Weekend due to high snow levels.
“A number of our racers had reservations at the various campgrounds at Turquoise, but they were canceled due to snow and water,” said Martinez. “As a result, numbers for this event were lower than normal.”
Regardless of numbers, many racing fans won’t be too surprised to learn that local running champ Timmy Parr too first in the 20k course with a time of 1:23:19. He was followed by Dustin Moore, 32 of Leadville at 1:27:42 and 19-year-old Aiden Branch of Eagle at 1:30:09. The first woman in was Lauren Warkentin, 29, of Edwards at 1:39:31. See full 2019 Turquoise Lake 20k Race Results HERE.
The second race last weekend which is also sponsored by the SHF was the Fish Hatchery 5k held on Sunday, June 2. Martinez reported that participant numbers held steady at 110 this year and that this course was not impacted by the snow.
But what both races did have in common was Timmy Parr’s first place win as he was the first to cross the finish line on Sunday’s 5k as well with a quick 19:57 sprint through the hatchery. Nineteen-year-old Aiden Branch of Eagle once again shared the winner’s podium with Parr, this race taking second place with a 22:10 time. Dewayne Miner of New Castle rounded things out with at 22:20 sprint for third place. Leadville’s Amy Peters was the first woman in at 24:20. See full 2019 Fish Hatchery 5k Race Results HERE.
Both of these races are fundraisers for the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame, a local non-profit established in 2002, whose primary purpose is to honor and recognize men and women who have been outstanding in athletics and those who have given meritorious service to the athletics of Leadville and/or Lake County. The SHF serves as the official Sports Hall of Fame for the City of Leadville, County of Lake, and the Senior High Schools of Climax, Leadville, and Lake County. The secondary purpose of the SHF is to advocate, encourage, promote and support youth athletics and recreation in the Leadville and Lake County Community.
Next up for the SHF is their Firecracker 5k race which is held before the Fourth of July Parade in downtown Leadville. So dig out your most patriotic running shorts and those glitter sneakers, because this race is all about having a good time with family and friends while celebrating America’s Birthday in America’s Highest City!