Southwest Colorado was well represented at this year’s Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon, the 35th year of the event, as several medals were brought back from the race held Saturday in Grants, New Mexico.
Hesperus 3, a team made up of Mark Ott of Mancos and Dave and Jodie Peterson, both of Hesperus, won the mixed teams category for the 50-59-year-old age group, Caroline Eastburn won the solo female 50-59 category, and Sean Meissner placed third in the solo male 40-49 category.
Hesperus 3 also was third overall in the mixed teams standings, regardless of age group, and finished the 43-mile course that had 4,900 feet of elevation gain in a time of 5 hours, 7 minutes, 59 seconds.
“I’ve been doing these for three years now,” Ott said, “and Dave and Jodie used to do them a while ago, back in the ’90s, so I kind of talked them into it.”
The race served more as a triathlon instead of a quadrathlon this year because of poor snow conditions, which turned the skiing portion into a run with competitors using traction devices to steady their feet.
Jodie Peterson started the race for Hesperus 3 in Grants, at an elevation of a little more than 6,400 feet, and covered 13 miles of paved road on a bike before Dave Peterson took over. He ran five miles on a muddy road before Ott began the final seven-mile loop of running and snowshoeing to reach the summit of Mount Taylor at 11,301 feet.
After Ott’s loop, Dave Peterson ran five miles back down the mountain to Jodie Peterson, who finished the race with the final 13 miles on a bike.
Seventeen teams competed in the team category.
Caroline Eastburn of Durango won the women’s 50-59 category in 6:58:03, which was 24:29 ahead of second-place Therese Thomas of Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Eastburn was 19th overall in the 29-woman field.
Durango’s Meissner placed third in the men’s 40-49 category with a time of 4:43:43. Mike Engelhardt of Los Alamos, New Mexico, won the category in 4:35:34.
Meissner was eighth out of 63 racers overall.
Gunnison’s Brian Smith won the overall title in men’s solo with a time of 3:45:19, and Michelle Hummel of Albuquerque won the overall title in women’s solo in 3:58:34.