Kappius and Anderson take wins in the Marathon, while Alders and Reeves clean up in the Half Marathon.
Race Report by Shawn Lortie
Race #1 of the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series kicked off this past weekend at Lake Pueblo State Park. Under mostly cloudy skies and a stout breeze, hundreds of racers competed in both the marathon, a 70 mile endeavor, and the half marathon, for those less inclined to the full size suffer fest. Either way, racers were treated to plenty of excellent single track that worked its way around the canyons and grassland surrounding Lake Pueblo.
Warriors Cycling puts on the RME Series, which also includes Battle of the Bear, Front Range 60, and the Breckenridge 100 races. Due to a last minute falling thru of a permit with the Forest Service, one of the loops was eliminated from the course, leaving two loops for the race. The full Marathon was three laps around the course of almost all singletrack that included smooth serpentine trail on the mesa above the lake, and tighter technical trail that dropped down to lake level through rocky canyons.
Dug Johnson (Bandwagon Racing) rode at the front for much of the first lap, along with Daniel Matheny (Honey Stinger), Josh Bezecny (Trek Store Boulder), Joe Saperstein (Trek Store Boulder), Brady Kappius (Clif Bar) and a host of others. As time wore on and riders began to spread out, Kappius applied the power and pulled away from the lead group, taking Matheny with him. Eventually Zach Vestal (Velo News) worked his way past Matheny, into second place behind Kappius, with Kip Biese (Big Wheel Racing) taking third.
Some very impressive rides were put in by a few of the older riders as well. Dennis Farrell, racing in the 40-49 class, put in one of only four sub 5 hour times to finish 4th overall for the day. Being closer to 50 than he is to 40 years old, it just goes to show that old does not mean slow. Russell Kappius, Brady’s dad, also put in an impressive time of 5:09:43 in the 50 -59 class, just over 20 minutes behind Brady’s overall winning time of 4:47:28.
In the Women’s Marathon Sari Anderson (Honey Stinger/Trek) took the win with a commanding lead of over 47 minutes on second place with a time of 5:14:09 (placing her around 13th place overall). Sonya Bugbee (Epic Endurance Racing) finished second at 6:01:19 with Laura Anderson (Alpine Orthopaedics) in third at 6:05:34, followed by Janet Ross at 6:09:24 (first Singlespeed), Holly Wade at 6:12:21 and Rachel Friedman (Amicas-Absolute Bike) rounding out the top 6 at 6:12:21.
In the Half Marathon, it was Brian Alders (Epic Endurance) with the win, followed by Mark Legg-Compton (Giant Robobank) in Second, 17 seconds down, Jay Henry (Tokyo Joe’s) in third and Peter Odonnell (GT Bicycles) in forth for the Men.
"Brian attacked a mile out after he got around a lapped rider while I was forced off the bike," said Compton. "Brian was faster at the end, the lapped rider was only a formality for Brian getting away."
Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe’s) took the top step on the podium in the women’s Half Marathon, with Caitlyn Vestal (Honey Stinger/Trek) in second and Jourdan Baldwin (Colorado State University) in third.