Runner gets redemption during Continental Divide Trail Run | SteamboatToday.com

Runner gets redemption during Continental Divide Trail Run

Tammy Jacques approaches the finish line during Saturday's Continental Divide Trail Run.

— Saturday was a day of redemption for the women’s Continental Divide Trail Run winner.

Exactly a year ago, Tammy Jacques was coming down the last hairpin turn on her mountain bike at Beaver Creek when she got a flat.

“I got slammed to the ground and hit my head on a guardrail,” Jacques said.

The former professional cyclist and Steamboat Springs resident, who moved to Avon last summer, was unable to walk.

“I could tell something was jammed,” Jacques said. “I just wanted someone to pull my leg free.”

A surgery later with three pins drilled into her leg, Jacques was on a long road to recovery.

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During Saturday’s race, she could feel the pins in her hip while climbing the 4,800 feet of elevation gain on the course. Despite that, she crossed the finish line at Thunderhead with a 10-minute lead over the second-place woman, Penelope Freedman.

“So, this is my celebration race,” said Jacques, whose time was two hours, 23 minutes. “I really wanted to come back to Steamboat. I miss it so much.”

About 100 people took on the challenging course, which started at the Fish Creek Falls trailhead with 2,000 feet of climbing right away over six miles.

“It’s not a beginner course, for sure,” said Daniel Goding, the first men’s finisher with a time of two hours, seven minutes.

Last weekend, Goding, a Loveland resident, took second at the Steamboat Stinger half-marathon.

“I could barely walk for four days,” Goding said.

With steep ascents and descents, the cuts and bruises on some of the runners were proof that the Continental Divide Trail Run was a technically challenging course.

Goding passed on water at the first aid station at Long Lake and overtook the leader.

“I tried to push the downhills to make up as much time as I could,” Goding said.

Second-place men’s finisher Josh Smullin finished two and a half minutes behind Goding.

Summer may be winding down, but the Steamboat Springs Running Series still has five races this year. The 10K at 10,000 Feet is Sept. 6 on Rabbit Ears Pass. There is also a five-kilometer course.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland