Burros to Marathoners: Early Race Results
Asses Up High Mountain Passes
On June 12 Colorado’s official state summer heritage sport had another exciting run of its season as the 5th Annual Creede Donkey Dash took place. And it was a photo finish with two Leadville burro racers putting a little fire under their asses as the crowds roared with excitement! But by the hoof of an ass, Yukon and Bob Sweeny (1:22:47.42) of Leadville squeezed out a victory over Buttercup and Marvin Sandoval (1:22:47.83), a formidable competitor in any race. Yes, the Creede Champions were determined by tenths of a second!
When it comes to early season racing, Leadville residents are taking their place on the podium and not just on local courses, but across the state.
“We had a good race,” Smokey Burgess concerning him and burro Pablo’s performance at the Creede race where they placed 7th (1:38:93.35) out of the 52 teams that crossed the finish line. While the racing pair had a strong start, Smokey said they ran into some steep, unstable terrain and decided to ease the pace and fall in with the next pack of racers.
“Pablo had a good race, he only spooked a couple of times with the crowds, cause he’s not so used to that,” stated one of Leadville’s favorite burro racing Champions and owner of Community Threads a retail sports shop located in downtown Leadville. “It was a good race.”
Smokey and Pablo weren’t the only Leadvillites representing in Creede. Along with the two top podium spots mentioned above, America’s highest city also saw Paul Anderson, the CFO for the Lake County School District and his burro Al Dean out in the middle of the pack ranking 28th with a time of 2:06:00.54.
The Burro Racing season continues throughout the summer eventually making its way to Leadville on August 8 with the Leadville Boom Days Pack Burro Race. Being the third leg in the triple crown of burro racing, this year’s “non-spectator” event is likely to draw hundreds to historic Harrison Avenue. So until then, get your ass up the pass and follow all the race action on the Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation website. LT will bring you the highlights, especially if it involves podium calls with folks who live in Leadville Today.
Leadville Competitors from The Creede Donkey Dash
Race Series Begins With Marathon
There’s little doubt that being able to train on home trails for a race is an advantage. Now add elevation to the mix of daily regimen and it’s little surprise that a Leadville local took top billing at Saturday’s Leadville Trail Marathon on June 19. But that doesn’t mean that Noah Williams didn’t earn it!
The Leadville Trail & Heavy Half Marathon kicks off the Lifetime Leadville Race Series season with a couple of locals taking podium spots in both running competitions. Noah Williams’s finish time (3:35:01) is impressive for the comeback year of the Lifetime series of races which got things underway with the Leadville Trail & Heavy Half Marathon. While the day started out cool and cloudy, with the sun breaking through to stage a great race day for the nearly 900 competitors combined. Rounding out the Trail Marathon’s winner’s podium was Scott Spillman, 34 of Denver with a second-place finish time of 3:41:34, and Timmy Parr, 39, formerly from Leadville but who now lives in Gunnison, took third at 3:48:45. Nice time slots after the pandemic “by” year!
Often described as the Marathon with all of the easy parts taken out, the Heavy-Half is a 15.5-mile competition that saw local Alex Willis (2:00:12) take 2nd billing behind Brandon Krage (1:59:09) with a nearly a minute apart in finish times. Rounding out the top three was Nicholas Noone, 26 of Boulder a full 7 minutes behind Willis with a 2:07:30 finish time.
Your women’s Trail Marathon champion was notable national marathoner Brittany Charboneau with a finish time of 4:14:52. On the Heavy-Half side, it was Jessica Roberts, 33 of Leadville with her own 2:29:40 clock time. Well-done!
The Leadville Trail Marathon and 15.5-mile Heavy Half Marathon kick off the Colorado portion of the Leadville Race Series. The Leadville Trail Marathon is a qualifier for the Leadville Trail 100 Run and the courses also offer a perfect introduction for those looking to attempt other ultra-endurance events like the Silver Rush 50 Run. The Leadville Trail Marathon is the first event in the famed Leadman/Leadwoman competition, where athletes participate in five Leadville Race Series events throughout the summer.
2021 Results: Leadville Trail Marathon
- Noah Williams, 26 of Leadville took first with a time of 3:35:01
- Scott Spillman, 34 of Denver second place with a finish time of 3:41:34
- Timmy Parr, 39, who now lives in Gunnison took third at 3:48:45
2021 Results: Leadville Trail Heavy Half
- Brandon Krage, 27 of Brighton took first with a finish time of 1:59:09
- Alex Willis, 33 of Leadville took second 2:00:12
- Nicholas Noone, 26 of Boulder 2:07:30
Firecracker 5K is Next!
Next on the racing schedule, it’s the July 4th Firecracker 5K. This fun community event usually has folks dressed in their most patriotic attire as racers walk or run the 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) course which does a small loop through town, ending where it begins at the Lake County courthouse on historic Harrison Avenue. Cost is $15. Participants can pre-register online, at LINK or on race day registration on the courthouse lawn from 7 – 8 a.m. Race start is 8:30 a.m.
The race proceeds benefit the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2002. Governed by a nine-member board, the organization strives to those who have been outstanding in athletics or have given meritorious service to the athletics and/or recreation within our community. 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.
Wildfire Ignites in Neighboring Eagle County
Situational Awareness. It’s a #mondaymorning wake-up post with news of a wildfire in neighboring Eagle County. Here’s a map, along with the official statement from USFS. Please note that while Lake County does have a subdivision with the same/similar name, this fire is in EAGLE county, where our thoughts are during this challenging situation. Hope things improve today!
“Sylvan Fire burning south of Eagle.
EAGLE, Colo. — Sixty firefighters, four single-engine air tankers, and a light helicopter worked the 180-acre Sylvan Fire 12 miles south of Eagle, Colo. today.
The fire is burning in timber on the White River National Forest about half a mile from Sylvan Lake State Park. Firefighters reported extreme fire behavior as strong winds pushed the fire to the south and southeast.
The fire was reported about 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, June 20, 2021. The cause is currently unknown and under investigation. Campers and others recreating in Sylvan Lake State Park and much of the surrounding lands have been evacuated. Much of the area in the vicinity of the fire has been closed, including Sylvan Lake State Park. Firefighters have taken steps to protect structures at the state park. Other infrastructure at risk includes a major powerline in the burn area.”
The latest information, including a map of the closure when it is available, is being posted HERE.