The first race of the 2018 XTERRA Colorado Series, the XTERRA Golden Gate Trail Run took place on a chilly day in Golden Gate Canyon State Park in Golden, Colorado. It's a good thing the race was on a Sunday, because on Saturday, the rain was so heavy that course designer, Peter Maksimow was unable to mark the trails.
"Peter started marking the course at 5 AM for the 8k and marked the 22k course from the end to the start to finish by nine AM," said race director, Arnold Soliman. "It was an amazing effort by Peter."
Peter Maksimow, also known as “The Prez,” is the designer and course manager of several races in the XTERRA Colorado Trail Series.
On his course at Golden Gate Canyon State Park on Sunday, Joe Gray took the win in stride, running even splits on the 22k, two-lap course. He followed up a 50:34 first lap with 50:41 on the second for a final time of 1:41:17.
"The run was super fun, and even had some mud which is unusual," said Gray after the race. He recently returned from his second trip to Europe this summer. He traveled with the US National Mountain Running Team for the World Championship race in July. On his most recent trip, he captured his record-setting fifth victory at the Pfaender Mountain Run in Austria.
Runner up Gavin Coombs finished in 1:44:07, and Gerald Romero was third in 1:51:26.
"Prior to moving to Colorado this summer, Gavin has several ultra and trail wins," said Soliman. "He recently set the record at the Table Rock 50k in North Carolina last year."
On the women's side, Corinne Shalvoy was fifth overall on the challenging course with a time of 2:07:03, easily taking the win. Runner up Niki Pardoe finished in 2:20:59 and Gina Nance was third in 2:22:27.
"Corinne has had a great 2017 racing season," said Soliman. "This year she was the second female at the Elk Meadow Trail Race and placed fourth in her age group at the BolderBoulder. She also won the XTERRA Castle Rock 5k."
Corinne grew up running in Ouray, Colorado and ran cross country for the University of Denver. Her husband Graham was fourth overall in Sunday's race, finishing in 1:59:55.
2014 Mr. XTERRA, Craig Vogtsberger was the first physically challenged athlete and was 49th overall with a time of 3:21:37. Vogtsberger has been inspiring athletes on the XTERRA circuit for years. Just last year he became the first physically challenged (PC) division winner of the XTERRA off-road triathlon Pan America Tour. He’s also the most decorated challenged athlete in XTERRA America Tour history, having won an unprecedented nine regional off-road triathlon titles and four USA Championship crowns since 2008.
"The race was awesome," said Vogtsberger. "I loved the course, very challenging. I was sore and worn out from Ogden, but ran well. I took a fall in the last few kilometers and got scraped up, but it's healing."
Vogtsberger said that he's still thinking about his goals for next year, but he will be at as many of the XTERRA Colorado Trail Runs as he can. "I would like to try a 50K next year and see how my body does."
"Despite the rain and cold weather, the course was still stunning with single track running through alpine meadows, pine forests, and golden aspens at their peak, plus stunning views of the continental divide," said Soliman.
View complete results for the XTERRA Golden Gate Trail Run at www.onlineraceresults.com.