Arizona trail runners found a new home at the Durango Double on Saturday.
Gary Krugger of Flagstaff and Katherine Metzger of Prescott ran away with the 50-kilometer trail race titles in the resurrected Durango Double running weekend, which will include a marathon and half-marathon today.
It was a really tough run in terms of the terrain and the altitude, said Metzger, a 32-year-old physician. But the support on the course was great. The volunteers were wonderful.
She credited a course volunteer with keeping her on track up in the Horse Gulch section of Saturdays route which she had not seen before Saturday morning.
I got lost (briefly) a couple of times. Usually, I figure it out about a half-mile later, Metzger said.
But this time, one of the volunteers actually ran after me and tapped me on the shoulder to tell me to run the other way. ... That was really nice, said the internal medicine specialist who finished in 6 hours, 5 minutes, 12 seconds to set the womens course record with the help of the timely volunteer from the Womens Resource Center, the charity beneficiary of the 2012 Durango Double.
Metzger, who won the womens division of a Flagstaff 50-mile trail run two weeks ago, finished sixth overall in the Durango 50K. She said shes planning to run todays 13.1-mile half-marathon.
Hannah Lippe of Carbondale (eighth overall) finished second (6:12:30) among the women in the 50K. Missy Gosney of Durango (ninth overall) finished third (6:21:03), placing three women among the top nine overall finishers.
Krugger, an Arizona transplant from Pennsylvania, won the mens 50K in 5:11:58, ahead of second-place Erich Owen of Ophir (5:20:01). Thomas Scott of Denver crossed the finish line in front of the Animas Surgical Hospital in third place (5:44:24).
Two Durango runners Matt Turgeon and Michael Manganello finished fourth (5:52:38) and fifth (5:57:30), respectively.
I took the lead around the half and tried to hold it, said the soft-spoken Krugger, who primarily is a road racer.
I ... do mostly road racing. Ive done doubles and triples before, said Krugger who moved to Flagstaff from Erie, Pa., a year ago. And this was close, so I figured I would do both.
Krugger, who averaged 10-minute miles in the 50K trail race, will compete in the Durango Marathon on today, starting at 8 a.m. at Fort Lewis College.
The half-marathon will start at the same time.
Both races will finish at Buckley Park at 12th and Main in downtown Durango. The course will use all sections of the Animas River Trail.
Krugger said he had contact from Owen for much of Saturdays race.
He kept pretty close. Id hit the aid station, and as I was leaving, he was coming in. ... He was going pretty good, said Krugger, a 27-year-old who broke the course record in winning the Madison Marathon in Montana last summer.
The Madison Marathon is the highest road marathon in the United States with an average elevation of 9,000 feet.
It was pretty tough around miles 15, 16, 17 ... along that ridge where it is banked really hard, he said of Saturdays course that started and finished at Animas Surgical Hospital off County Road 9.
The course looped into the Sale Barn trail system and then climbed into Horse Gulch, eventually working across Raider Ridge to the Rim Trail and Chapman Hill.
I felt good halfway through, said Owen, the runner-up. Me and the leader were together for ... 15 miles or so. But I bonked a little there at the end, he said, toasting his finish with a cold beer from local sponsor Ska Brewing.
The winners of the 25K trail race in the Durango Double had their toasts earlier Saturday: Former Durango resident Mike Andres, currently living in Denver, won the mens 25K in 1:44:16; Anna Moseley of Highlands Ranch, a former runner at Colorado Mesa University, won the womens 25K in 2:03:10, finishing seventh overall.
It was snowing when I left Denver, said Moseley, who marveled at Saturday mornings blue skies over Durango. She decided only Friday to enter Saturdays 25K.
Im training for a full marathon in Moab on Nov. 3, so this is a good training run, said Moseley, 27, who is a regional representative for Salomon. She staffed a booth at the Durango Double to support Gardenswartz Sporting Goods, she said.
This is an awesome course. Ive been on it before. I come to Durango pretty often, said Moseley, who raced in the Tom Strandt Memorial Run at Fort Lewis College during her collegiate days.
She held off 25K runner-up Katy Dannenberg of Boulder, who was competing in her first trail run.
I train on a lot of trails in Boulder, but Ive never actually raced on the trails, said Dannenberg, who was in Durango with a group from Boulder-based Avery Brewing.
Andres, who won the mens 25K, found himself on familiar trails from his days as a pro mountain biker based in Durango.
This (trail running) is the new thing, said Andres, who also will run two at the Durango Double.
My girlfriend is running the marathon (today), and Im going to support her, said Andres, who also had other plans Saturday afternoon.
Im also here for a good friends wedding. This is a good way to start the day, said Andres, who finished ahead of runner-up Scott Simmons, a Durango ski mountaineer who is training for his winter events.
Mark Pfetzer of Farmington was third (1:57:22) in the 25K, and Matt Teague of Durango was fourth (1:58:01).