Robin Maslowski, left, and Brie Van Dam race Sunday in the Continental Divide Trail Run. The Steamboat Springs Running Series event sent riders on a 16-mile course through the mountains above Steamboat.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Robin Maslowski, left, and Brie Van Dam race Sunday in the Continental Divide Trail Run. The Steamboat Springs Running Series event sent riders on a 16-mile course through the mountains above Steamboat.

Sunseri shines in crowded Running Series race in Steamboat

16-mile Divide trail run brings out top performances

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2011 Running Series schedule

— Nicholas Sunseri said that he doesn’t particularly like running uphill and that it makes him feel slow. As the Steamboat Springs athlete has trained this summer, working harder at his sport than he ever has, he frequently avoids steep runs, opting to log miles on the Yampa River Core Trail or Spring Creek.

The takeaway should be that Sunseri doesn’t like running uphill not that he can’t. He proved yet again that he’s tops in town this summer, blasting the 16-mile Continental Divide Trail Run to the tune of a course record and another first-place finish.

“I just try to avoid climbing. It hurts,” Sunseri said. “But I felt pretty good out there.”

Sunseri ran only one race in Steamboat last year and, until this summer, had never raced more than 10 kilometers. This summer’s a different story. He entered the race unsure how serious things would get but said the miles felt good as they began to pile up.

He’s now running more than he ever has, logging 120 miles a week, burning through a pair of shoes a month and, in his spare time, torching the Steamboat Springs Running Series.

He’d won four previous series events and was at it again Sunday in one of summer’s most daunting races, which led racers up the precipitous Fish Creek Falls Trail, to Long Lake, over the back of Steamboat Ski Area and down to a finish at the top of the gondola.

He held a small lead against Front Range runners Jonathan Huie for the first half of the race, and led only by a minute at the top of the ski area. He screamed down the final stretch, however, pushing his lead to five minutes to finish with a time that would make many a good half-marathoners smile, even on a flat course: 1 hour, 47 minutes and 50 seconds.

He was easily best in the jam-packed 125-racer field.

“This summer is the most I’ve ever run,” he said. “I had it in the back of my mind I’d like to get up to the 100-mile barrier in running this summer. I’ve always been too afraid to push myself that far, afraid I’d burn out or get injured. I didn’t do much running in the last year, took it off and reflected to see if I really wanted to keep running and training.

“I do. I’m trying to take it to the next level now.”

Huie was second at 1:52:30, and Steamboat’s Josh Smullin was third in 2:05:30.

Boulder runner Susan Nuzum, in town on vacation with her family, won the women’s race, finishing in 2:28:50. Amy Ackerman was second at 2:37:04, and Sarah Sweeney was third in 2:38:53.

“The hardest part was the start. It was steep and technical at the beginning and crowded, but you knew you had to save your energy,” Nuzum said. “It was beautiful, a wonderful course. I like longer trail races like this, and they’re hard to find. They’re all either really, really long or too short. This was perfect.”

Two point-awarding events remain in this season’s Running Series. The 10K at 10,000 feet will be Sept. 4 and the 7-mile Emerald Mountain Trail Run is Sept. 10. If Sunseri follows up on plans to compete in those two races, he’ll be a near lock to claim the season-long men’s championship. Deb Freeman, meanwhile, also completed Sunday’s race and put herself in line to win the women’s title.

Results

Men

Nick Sunseri 1:47:50

Jonathan Huie 1:52:30

Josh Smullin 2:05:30

Harald Niedl 2:07:10

Bill Goldsmith 2:08:13

Campbell Ilfrey 2:10:25

Julio Hernandez 2:14:15

Glen Light 2:15:34

Antonio Cuevas 2:16:45

Matthew Hood 2:17:18

Grant Grohmann 2:22:40

Nate Anderson 2:22:44

David Niedermeier 2:22:45

Gregg Joyce 2:25:36

Josh Barber 2:26:58

Jordy Bernard 2:28:13

Jeremy Rietmann 2:28:16

Randall Purintun 2:30:44

Justin Barker 2:31:25

Brian Cusick 2:31:44

Matthew Eggen 2:33:18

Erik Frank 2:35:27

Walter Magill 2:38:05

Jeff Williams 2:41:58

Ryan Spaustat 2:43:02

Ken Rogers 2:44:04

Brad Bingham 2:45:17

Thomas Reuter 2:46:22

Michael Blackburn 2:48:19

Erik Graab 2:49:18

Tim Richards 2:49:18

Avrom Feinberg 2:49:40

Zach Barber 2:50:58

Matt Kales 2:51:20

Nolan Faldet 2:52:50

Sean Doran 2:57:04

Joel Moser 2:58:14

Steve Teynor 3:00:29

Julian Smith 3:00:56

Ben Pick 3:01:58

Jay Adams 3:07:18

Andy Horning 3:08:02

Ben Anderson 3:09:25

David Ponak 3:10:44

Arlo Lott 3:11:05

Richard Williams 3:19:48

Robert Orr 3:20:28

Andy Glinski 3:22:24

William Bedell 3:24:58

Paul Wenig 3:29:58

Mike Kritz 3:31:29

Kyle Armstrong 3:34:30

David Wallace 3:36:34

Henry Evans 3:36:37

Grant Besser 3:37:35

Max Boykoff 3:37:35

Eric Easton 3:49:55

Lou Marchi 4:03:36

Christopher Luke 4:07:32

Women

Susan Nuzum 2:28:50

Amy Ackerman 2:37:04

Sarah Sweeney 2:38:53

Hannah Williams 2:41:10

Sarah Hamilton 2:42:47

Helen Shine 2:47:42

Nancy Price 2:50:29

Betsy Frick 2:53:02

Amanda Grimes 2:53:25

Robin Maslowski 2:59:20

Brie Van Dam 2:59:20

Merril Tydings 3:00:12

Julie Lind 3:00:47

Michelle Anderson 3:02:50

Angie Mangiardi 3:03:31

Roxanne Gerstell 3:05:14

Reall Colbenson 3:09:16

Molly Cuffe 3:09:44

Marianne Osteen 3:10:30

Donna Maxwell 3:10:50

Megan Bryant 3:13:14

Lisa Wilkinson 3:16:37

Tammy Salyer 3:19:23

Roberta Flanigan 3:20:28

Deb Freeman 3:22:20

Carly Rietmann 3:28:23

Cheryl Rondeau 3:33:04

Stacey Wooley 3:33:13

Jenn Moore 3:33:44

Lisa Hoffman 3:33:56

Joan Allsberry 3:35:30

Anna Leavitt 3:45:49

Bronwyn Rittner 3:48:50

Valerie Kirtley 3:57:59

Barbara Platts 3:57:59

Melissa Uchitelle-Rogers 4:05:12

Patricia Heniff 4:06:12

Celeste Luke 4:07:32

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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