Aaron Dockter and Liz Gruber captured the titles at the "XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races" 21K race on a very chilly, 40-degree morning in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday, October 7th.
Dockter, only 19, won with a time of 1:49:38. Running right next to him in an all-out sprint was Gerald Romero, 47, who finished just a lean behind Dockter in 1:49:39. Todd Short was third in 1:57:06.
Romero (pictured), an XTERRA Regional Champ last year, won his age group at XTERRA Beaver Creek and XTERRA Golden Gate Canyon. He was second at XTERRA Castle Rock and fifth at last year’s XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races. Despite a knee injury earlier this year, Romero still managed to qualify for the 2019 Boston Marathon. Last month, he finished second in his age group at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah and he will be competing in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on Oahu this December.
Liz Gruber won the women’s race in 2:10:15. Alexandra Mittelman was second in 2:25:02 while Erin Stock was third in 2:31:11.
Gruber, a nurse, has had a stellar triathlon career as well having won three 25-29 division XTERRA World Championships before going pro in 2016.
Craig Vogtsberger won the physically challenged division with a time of 2:59:48. “I started off strong and kept a lighter pace than usual,” said Vogtsberger. “My time was a little long but I felt good after the race.”
XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races also offered a full-length trail marathon. Dana Rikli won this race with a time of 4:09:32. Plinio Guzman was second in 4:53:24 and Doug Anderson was third for the men with a time of 5:58:18. In the women's race, Brenna Scronce won with a time of 5:58:10. Rebekka Bremner was second with a time of 6:00:37, and Linh Shark was third in 6:40:56.
In the 5K, Catherine Frame was the overall and women's champ with a time of 30:05. Brooke Houppert was next over the line with a time of 32:55, and Amanda Schumacher was third in 33:03. In the men's race, Ricky Ruiz won with a time of 33:17. Ken Merenda was second in 33:41, and Brian Etheridge was third for the men in 34:37.