Darren Brown and Lesley Paterson captured the XTERRA Beaver Creek 20-kilometer trail race in Avon, Colorado this morning with winning times of 1:15:56 and 1:25:49, respectively.
“Wow, that was brutal,” said Paterson, who won the XTERRA Beaver Creek elite triathlon title yesterday. “That course doesn’t get any easier the second time around. But, my hubby was out there doing the 10K so I had to be out here to support him, and figured I might as well come and get a wee workout in, ya know. Plus, it’s gorgeous here, and everyone is so friendly, I love it.”
Katarina Marks from Durango, Colorado took second for the women in 1:29:33.
As for Brown, who is the channel development manager for Oofos recovery footwear, one of the event sponsors, the thin air and steep hills turned out to be his biggest challenge.
“It was beautiful, but brutal,” said Brown, a former collegiate track star at the University of Texas who ran a sub-4 minute mile in 2008 to make him and Dad the first U.S. father / son combo to both run sub-4 miles (Barry Brown ran a 3:58.8 in 1973).
“Climbing a few thousand feet straight up makes you wheeze a bit, especially if you’re coming from sea level (Brown hails from the ocean town of Hingham, Massachusetts). It was incredible, though. I actually came up three days ago and went for a run and after two miles of climbing I said there was absolutely no way I was going to race today. I could barely breathe, I just wanted to pass out and take a nap, but over the past couple of days it has been so beautiful, and watching everybody compete here at XTERRA gets you amped up.”
Brown was the only harrier in the race to run an under 7-minute mile pace (6:54) and crossed the line more than six-minutes ahead of runner-up Dillon Shaffer from Laporte, Colorado.
“On this course, you’re either going up or going down,” explained Brown. “I had to temper my efforts going uphill, to make sure I wasn’t going past the red line, and then really unleash on those downhills. Those downhills are hard, and to be honest, the quicker you’re moving the less impact you’re taking.”
Brown retired from professional running after the 2012 trials to coach his wife, Sarah, and has recently turned his athletic interests to triathlon.
“I got into this multisport world last year, so now I’m actually a triathlete who jumps on the trails every once in a while,” said Brown, who started working for Oofos about a year ago but had been wearing the recovery shoes for five years.
“Feeling is believing with this product. We train really hard, and with my wife being a full-time track athlete she’s putting a lot of torque and stress on her body and her feet and Oofos have really helped us through our training these past five years. So, Oofos is something I believe in and after I started working with them I saw this hole where we weren’t really talking to the people in the XTERRA community and it is a fantastic community and they work so hard and beat themselves up on beautiful mountains like this and they need these. It’s a necessity. I’m a perfect example. I mean, I love my trail running shoes but today when I crossed that line I couldn’t wait to take them off and put my Oofos on.”
In other racing action today Ben Pryhoda (Louisville, CO) and Nicole Goetzl (Denver, CO) took home the 10K titles in 41:52 and 50:58, respectively, while Ryan McMullen (Colorado Springs, CO) and Rylie McMullen (Colorado Springs, CO) won the 5K crowns in 22:25 and 28:28.
Today’s XTERRA Beaver Creek 20K was the third of four races in the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series, and the top runners in every age group for the 20K course of the Beaver Creek Trail Run received points toward the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series standings and each division champion was awarded a complimentary entry into the 2017 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship to be held December at Kualoa Ranch on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.
The XTERRA Colorado Series finale is August 6 in Castle Rock, CO with 5/12 and 24K options.
Current standings, schedule, and information can be viewed at