Locals open summer trail running season in Buena Vista
Written by Than Acuff
Wednesday, 08 May 2013
Duncan Callahan takes second in 50-miler
While some trail runners from the Gunnison Valley made the trek to the Grand Canyon back in March to compete in the Rim to Rim to Rim race, the competitive season opened for a strong contingent with the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run in Buena Vista on Saturday, May 4.
Racers have the option of the 25-mile loop or turning around at 25 miles and running the same loop backwards for the 50-mile funfest.
The list of racers included the likes of Jake Jones, Allen Hadley, Mary Mahoney, Pat O’Neill, Miguel Mansilla, and Jay Hunt and was led by Duncan Callahan.
Callahan has a long and successful history with trail running but he had not raced since October 6 in 2012 and lost some training time due to an injury this past winter. As a result, Callahan questioned his readiness for the first 50-mile race of the season.
“I really wasn’t sure what I was capable of,” says Callahan. “I just wanted to start things off with a solid, steady effort.”
Callahan was comfortably in second place, having completed the first 25 miles in a time of 3 hours, 31 minutes and when he made the turn for the second loop, he turned on the gas.
“The first seven miles on the second lap are a gradual uphill and that’s my bread and butter, so I pushed it there,” says Callahan.
Callahan closed down the gap on the leader and made it through what he feels is the toughest part of the race still intact.
“There’s a section from mile 34-38 where you climb and it’s wide open,” explains Callahan. “ It definitely plays mental tricks on you.”
Despite Callahan’s efforts, the leader managed to hold him off and Callahan finished in second place with a time of 7 hours, 12 minutes, 50 seconds, reaching both of his pre-race goals.
“I wanted to have even splits and I ran pretty close to that and I wanted to run the race in 7 hours, 15 minutes,” says Callahan.
Furthermore, he beat his time from his 2011 effort by 22 minutes.
“This year was a big improvement,” says Callahan.
O’Neill finished his 50-mile effort in a time of 7 hours, 56 minutes, 52 seconds to come in sixth.
Hunt led the charge among local men in the 25-mile race, posting a time of 4 hours, 53 seconds to finish in 36th place. Jones was just two minutes behind Hunt, and Hadley crossed a minute behind Jones. Mansilla rounded out the local men, posting a time of 4 hours, 11 minutes, 5 seconds.
Mahoney was the lone local woman at the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run and carried the local torch proudly finishing 10th among women in the 25-mile race with a time of 4 hours, 13 minutes, 49 seconds.
Callahan will now turn his attention to the Leadville trail running series throughout the summer as both a coach and a competitor. He’ll work with Lifetime Fitness to help coach up-and-coming trail running enthusiasts and compete in the Leadville Trail Marathon in June, the Leadville Silver Rush 50 in July and the prestigious Leadville Trail 100 in August, a race he has won two times before.
“It’s going to be a busy summer,” says Callahan.