The WSCU Trail Running Team opened their season over the weekend with a number of commanding performances in the 3rd annual Grand Traverse Mountain Run. The race began before dawn on the wet pavement of historic Elk Avenue in Crested Butte. Armed with headlamps, jackets, and an array of nutritional supplements the runners headed out of town for a 40.7 mile trek to Aspen, Colorado through the Elk Mountains with over 6,000 feet of total elevation gain.

And as if the distance, altitude, and terrain weren’t difficult enough, the runners also had to contend with special surprise from Mother Nature in the form of a series of rain spells throughout the day.

In spite of the tough conditions, the Trail Team competed very well. Christian Kerr, Marcel Such, and Jeshurun Small all finished in the top 10 overall placing 7th, 8th, and 9th respectively. Clark Thompson was 20th with a time of 7hours 55 minutes in his debut ultra-marathon.

On the women’s side Katie Lyons won the 19-29 year old age group category and was the 6th female finisher. Sophomore Kelsey Swanson was the 26th in a time of 10:17:40.4, which was nearly an hour faster than her 2015 result.

Additionally, Head Coach Josh Eberly also completed the race placing 2nd overall with a time of 6:28:53.4.

Up next for the Trail Team will be the Imogene Pass Run, which is a 17 mile race from Ouray to Telluride on Saturday, September 10th.