Western Trail Running Team Competes in 43rd Annual Imogene Pass Run

Western Mountain Sports Trail Running showed strength and grit during their first appearance at the Imogene Pass Run this last weekend. As a brief background, the first running of Imogene pass was by mine worker Rick Trujillo back in 1974; he was training for the Pikes Peak Marathon. Since Trujillos inaugural run, his route has been made into a race which takes place every year on the Saturday following Labor Day. The course is a 17.1 mile mountain run that makes its way through the San Juan mountains of Colorado from Ouray to Telluride. The course winds up the mountain side for 10 miles for a total of 5304 ft. of gain before reaching the pass at 13,114 ft. The course then plummets back down to 8750 ft. for a quad burning 7 miles towards the finish. The steepest climbs forced even the most elite runners to hike in a hands-on-knees position.

Mountain Sports athlete Bryan Schlinkman shared his thoughts on the event:

“Great job to all the Western State Colorado University Mountain Sports Trail Team athletes that competed at the Imogene Pass 17 mile Run this morning! I used it as [a] training run for the Bear 100 here in a few weeks and felt great with no issues. All in all, a great event!”

From another perspective, athlete Levi Stone spoke to the difficulty of the race:

“ We gained over 5000ft in elevation in the first 10 miles and, topped out at 13,100 ft., which was one of the hardest experiences of my life.”

Levi was not the only competitor to mention the difficulty in altitude.

For many, Imogene pushed the limits of their endurance. Personal records were set for both distance and time. One outstanding performance in particular was by Christian Kerr, locking in 16th out of 1200 participants in a time of 2:47:16. Levi Stone, Kevin Geisen, Marcel Such, and Clark Thompson followed closely placing 50th, 54th, 58th, and 63rd respectively. Also running on the men’s side with tremendous finishes were Nate Maddox, Zach Goering, Ande Lloyd, Julian Cullumber, Brian Schlickman, and Rich Stromberg.

On the women’s side, Katie Lyons posted a fantastic result, winning her age group in 3:24:09. Amanda Campbell (3:46:56), Lindsey Herman (3:52:41), and Kendall Cox (3:59:25) all were also able to conquer the course in just under 4 hours. Bob Maddox rounded out the girls bringing home the prize for gnarliest blister, as she ran across the line with a silver dollar sized blister on the pad of each foot. The blisters on Bob’s feet not only symbolize the pain that she forwent, but also the grit, determination, and endurance of every runner that completed the journey over Imogene Pass.

Full Results here