|Follow these links for the Results of Previous Coal Creek Cross Country Challenge Races|
2005 Coal Creek Cross Country Challenge
by Bruce Kirschner
Once again there were near perfect racing conditions for the 7th annual Coal Creek Cross Country Challenge in Louisville. Fall foliage was in glorious bloom for the 108 finishers in the CMRA's biggest event of the year. This year also marked the first time that a CMRA race was included in the USA Track & Field's Cross Country Grand Prix Series.
The condition of the classic-style cross country course is always a mystery, even to the race directors. But this year's race featured an unexpected surprise in the form of non-human fleet feeted creatures. Top men's 50-54 age group finisher Pablo Vigil was stunned mid way into the race to be chased by the herd of wild horses, donkeys, and mules that graze in the open space the course traverses. "Heck, they were the real pacesetters. They came out of nowhere and cut right in front of me. First I thought they were going to attack me and then I couldn't get away from them. It definitely added to the mystique of this race!"
But there were other surprises in the form of ordinary two-legged race participants. Lisa Grant astounded those in the vicinity of the creek crossing when she first asked race volunteers if she could get into the creek...literally. First she started to splash herself and then proceeded to lie down and submerge herself in the foot plus deep cold water before picking herself up and finishing the race. Heck...whatever!
Lesia Atkinson, the first woman to finish the course in 38:50 and 9th place overall, was enthusiastic about her first running of the Challenge. "It was so much fun although challenging...I really enjoyed the course. I was looking for the creek earlier in the race and couldn't wait to do the crossing. It was a blast going through there and then running through the farmer's field, which was the toughest part, but still great fun. What was cool about this race was that it was not measured exactly or at all like most races. All I really needed to know was roughly what the distance was and then just went for it."
American national marathon champion and Superior resident Scott Larson was top male finisher in 31:21. Just coming off a layoff due to an injury and not having raced since last summer, he decided to run the Challenge "to shock [my] system" to prepare for more intense training in the months ahead. He started the race just behind Jesus Martinez, but passed him before the first mile. Like Vigil, he was challenged by a horse and burro just before the creek crossing -- having to come to a near stop because they ran right in front of him. The toughest part of race for Larson was waiting for the turnaround and then the steep hill climb after crossing the farmer's field. According to Larson, "I liked the way it was real cross country and not at all like what most [cross country events] are today, always very flat and held on golf courses."
A big thank you to all the volunteers who made this event possible. Connie Ahrnsbrak, Scott McFarlane, Nancy Fisher, and Ray Grunmeyer did a fine job with the registration. Jim Price performed finish line timing in fine form as usual. Joe Baird, Levi Gonzales, Rob Fisher, Don Robinson and Joe Sanchez ran the finish line and scoring duties in great form. Other volunteers along the course were Mark Bailey (ditch marshal), Lori Dill (creek crossing), Rollie Erickson (Empire Road crossing), Nate Pierce (pace bike), Pete Wolfe (fence crossing), and Sue Schmidt, Pat Phillips and Donna Luallin (parking). Sam Kirschner, Nick Thurman, and Adam Call handled opening the livestock gates in superb fashion. Caleb Luallin managed the water stop at the turnaround. CMRA Quartermaster Joe Sanchez assisted with equipment transportation and logistics as well.
Special recognition to our commercial race sponsors and supporters for prize drawing merchandise: Runner's Choice of Boulder, the Arvada Great Harvest Bakery (Barry Sparks), the Old Louisville Inn, Blue Parrot Restaurant, and the Boulder Running Company. Also, a big thanks to the U.S.A. Track & Field Colorado Association's state director Tim Dolen, who arranged for the race's placement in their Grand Prix Series.
The plan is to hold next year's race at the new Louisville Community Park, located directly west of the race start. This was a "dry" year for the Challenge, but we'll hope the beer returns next year!
A final thanks to all the participants who have contributed to the race's success over the years by promoting it by word-of-mouth. We expect to see everyone back here next year in mid-October 2006...and again, bring at least one friend...
|COAL CREEK XC CHALLENGE|
|Coal Creek X Country Challenge|
|Oct. 16, 2005|
|AGE Group Awards|
|Overall Men||Overall Women|
|Scott Larson||31:21||Lisa Atkinson||38:50|
|75 and Over|
|1||Jim Romero||44:33||Connie Ahrnsbrak||48:39|
|2||Rich Romero||49:24||Judy Smythe||60:15|
|1||Bill Smitham||44:14||Linda Neale||87:58|
|1||Bob Cooper||39:32||Pat Emigh||57:58|
|1||Pablo Vigil||35:31||Peggy Muhn||42:49|
|2||Steve Santana||39:43||Nancy Denniston||47:10|
|3||Bob Caillouette||42:05||Polly Zimmerman||47:47|
|4||Walter Kingsberry||42:23||Kathy Klesmit||51:40|
|5||Warren Sill||46:19||Neddi Legg||53:32|
|1||Mark Mathieu||35:39||Catriona Dowling||39:36|
|2||Paul Welschinger||41:47||Susan Scholtz||43:25|
|3||Jay Trujillo||42:32||Kathy Gorlen||60:47|
|1||Keith Johnson||33:37||Melissa Johnson||54:25|
|2||Tony Tochtrap||35:50||Janet Conner||58:02|
|1||Tim Galdean||33:30||Stacie Bell||44:19|
|2||Erik Solof||37:12||Jenny Blackmore||45:48|
|3||Chuck Jernigan||38:17||Jill Zancanelli||46:13|
|4||Steve Leland||40:35||Joanna Baskett||52:14|
|5||Steve Piper||42:44||Sonya Gary||53:47|
|34 and Under|
|1||Greg Krause||33:01||Heather Walker||42:40|
|2||Jesus Martinez||33:20||Trisha McCarthy||42:56|
|3||Jim Robbins||33:33||Cathy Pacocha||46:15|
|4||Hector Martinez||35:35||Meaghan Goedde||46:47|
|5||Nathan Kirkland||35:53||Jeanne Moinceau||46:54|