“While weather is constantly the wild card, we’ve been lucky the last few years,” said Jett. “When the weather is good, the runners are able to go out there and set new records, and really perform their best.”
Thanks in great part to last Saturday’s clear and temperate, near perfect late summer weather, IPR racers were able to climb to lofty new pinnacles. Gunnison contributed both the men’s and women’s top finishers, with male overall winner Timmy Parr giving perennial IPR contender Bernie Boettcher of Silt, Colo., a tight race. Parr edged out last year’s race winner by just under 30 seconds, crossing the finish line in 2:18:40.
Although Boettcher didn’t take home the gold at this summer’s event, the competition elicited from Parr helped him set his fastest time in 10 years: 2:19:08 (which garnered him second place overall, but was three-and-a-half minutes faster than his winning time last year).
“The caliber of these athletes is just incredible,” Jett said. “I congratulated Timmy when he crossed the finish line, and he looked like he had just run to the park and back – not 17 miles over a high mountain pass.”
The women’s overall winner, Keri Nelson, who also hailed from Gunnison, stopped the time clock at 2:40:28, which put her as the 10th runner to finish in a race that boasted more than 1,200.
While there could be something in Gunnison’s water that Telluride-area runners may want to get their hands on, the community’s local contingent of racers predictably held their own on their high-altitude home course. Top 100 overall finishers included: Heath Hibbard (Ridgway), 20th overall and first in the men’s 55-59 division (2:46:54); Paul Reich, 26th overall and first in men’s 45-49 (2:51:10); Ricky Denesik, 30th overall and second in 45-49 (2:54:21); Lanier Nelson 32nd (2:56:01); Jay Wilsey, 51st (3:03:02); Mark Campbell, 91st (3:10:44); Shane Anderson, 92nd (3:10:51); and Erin Eddy (Ouray), 97th (3:12:29.)
Local top three finishers in the age divisions included: Nancy Smith, first in 55-59 women’s (3:39:29); Lisa Andrews, second in 55-59 women’s (3:50:16); Kathy Elmont (Ouray), third in 55-59 women’s (3:58:09); Rhoda Green, first in 65-69 women’s (5:23:30); Kyle Schoenebaum (Ouray), second in men’s 15-19 (3:16:26); Vance Hawk (Ridgway), third in men’s 15-19 (3:33:23); Grayson Zulauf, fourth in men’s 15-19 (3:38:32); and Carl Schwenk (Ridgway), first in men’s 70+ (3:50:49).
For a complete listing of 2008 IPR results, visit www.imogenerun.com. Next year’s race is set for Sept. 12.