Kremmling Classic leaves great first impressions |

Kremmling Classic leaves great first impressions

Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi Daily News
ALL | Sky-Hi Daily News

It was a clear and sunny Saturday morning when nearly 90 runners took off from Kremmling Town Square to compete in the Kremmling Classic.

Racers could choose from a 3-, 5- or 10-mile race. The five and 10-mile races are apart of the Center of the Universe Trail Running Series.

Runners competing in the 5-mile course climbed up the Kremmling Cliffs, and ran a 4-mile loop where they had views of the Muddy River and surrounding mountains.

Those participating in the 10-mile course ran an additional northern loop and long climb. The trail then connects to the 5-mile course, and racers could be seen on top of the Kremmling Cliffs before making their way back to Town Square.

Steve Ruddock, 56, of Boulder ran the 3-mile course.

“It was fantastic,” he said. “It was a good course. I’ll definitely be back.”

The race was “more fun than the Boulder-Boulder,” he said. “It was good because the first part’s uphill, and the second part you get to catch your wind.”

“A huge elk” ran right in front of the Michigan native.

“Right at the finish. I think he got first place,” Ruddock joked. “I couldn’t keep up with him.”

Elizabeth Oldham, 37, of Grand Lake, competed in the 3-mile race. It was her first time running the trails in Kremmling. Her favorite part was the downhill.

“The views were great, it was beautiful,” she said. “There were some fast people. I don’t know how they went that fast.”

She trained all winter on a treadmill and recently ran a marathon in Steamboat. Oldham said it was nice to check out the Kremmling trails and would like to compete in the race again.

Brian Winn, 41, of Denver ran five miles. His favorite part was running along the Muddy River. This also was his first time running in Kremmling.

Shawn and Stephanie Scholl helped organized the race.

People used to run the Kremmling Classic on the pavement, but several years ago they arranged for people to race on the trails instead.

“It was awesome,” Stephanie said. “We had great turnout, great weather. We had something for everyone.”

Stephanie was the second woman to cross the finish line in the 10-mile race, and Shawn came in first place overall. In the 3-mile race, their son Tyler, 7, came in second place; and daughter, Tabor, 11, took third place and was the first woman to cross the finish line.

Stephanie Scholl said the race had great turnout for youngsters because it’s a fun trail for them to enjoy and observe all the scenery.

A personal account of the short race, by Katie Looby

As soon as the Kremmling Classic 3-mile race began Saturday I pushed play on my iPod and by coincidence started running to Kanye West’s “Stronger” and passed about 20 people right from the get-go.

The lyrics were perfect for the race: “Now that don’t kill me. Can only make me stronger.”

I started running along the trail and across the Muddy Creek bridge above fast-flowing water, and then continued along the path toward a cliff, thinking I was off to a good start.

About five minutes into the race I knew better. I felt like my lungs were going to collapse. I was really hurting when I started running uphill and decided to move to the side of the trail to let some people pass, thinking maybe I’ll catch them later.

Before the race started someone had dropped an inhaler, and I started wishing it was mine. In effort to catch my breath I decided I might as well just walk up the cliff for a few minutes to restore my energy. Besides, some speed walkers were now traveling at the same pace I was.

Once I made it to the top of the cliff, the hardest part was behind me. The trail was really fun and the scenery was gorgeous. It wasn’t like we were just running in straight lines. The path turned and twisted, and we’d run up, and then we’d jog down. And some parts of the trail were flat (thank God.) I had the most fun on the downhill portion. I caught so much speed that I had to hold my arms out to the side to keep from falling.

After that, a Flint, Mich. native and I got a little confused about which direction to go, but she figured it out and led the way. We passed over the bridge again and started wrapping up the course. In my cross-country days, this is where I’d pick up the speed, but I had little motivation because I was so beat.

I was thinking this had to be the longest 3-mile race of my life. When I realized the finish line was approaching I picked up the pace a little bit. And some cute kids cheered for the Flint lady and I as we trotted across the finish line.

I always love driving to Kremmling because the views are amazing. Being able to get out of the car and run the race was awesome. The runners I met were really cool too.

It was a fun race, and for me it also was challenging.

I moved from Michigan three months ago, and the last race I ran in Bay City, Mich., Freeze Your Fanny Off, was just under 600-feet above see level. I’ve been running three miles everyday on the treadmill for the last couple weeks, so I thought I was in good shape for this race.

However, next time there are a few things I’d do differently. I should probably train outdoors where there are hills. Rest a couple days before the race. This time around, I worked out everyday of the week, and was going to take Friday off, but instead joined some friends on a challenging hike, so intense that I skipped dinner and went straight to bed.

During the race all I was running on was a Mexican Pizza from Taco Bell that I had for lunch the previous day.

But, I guess you’ve got to start somewhere, and I’ll have more races in the future to redeem myself. The altitude really kicked my butt, but along the lines of what West would say: Whatever can’t kill me, can only make me stronger.

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