|Runners in the ultra marathon travel through the scenic San Rafael.|
Sandwiched between two uncommon days of late season desert rainstorms, the inaugural Goblin Valley 50K ultrarace produced a rare 100-percent finish rate. Perhaps the clear weather combined with the spectacular scenery highlighted by the unique and geologic forms in the shapes of goblins rising from the "moonscape" of Goblin State Park motivated all 88 starters to complete the 31-mile course.
Perhaps it was the goblin shapes that inspired Colorado ultrarunners Eric Bindner (48) to take the lead late in the race, passing five runners to establish the course record at a 4:06:35. Women's winner Tania Pacev (46) of Colorado led the women's race from start to finish outrunning all but Bindner and second place men's finisher Matt Clay (27) of Salt Lake City (4:09:35) to set the women's course mark at 4:14:01. Completing the top finishers were Coloradoans Brian Castilow (31) running for third in the men's division in a time of 4:14:32, women's second place finisher Karen Scott (38) in 4:18:55 and Michelle Jensen (34) in 4:24:22.
The new race is the vision and the result of a year of planning by race director and veteran ultrarunner Anita Fromm. From her home at Edwards AFB, Calif., where she lives with her husband, an officer in the Air Force, she rallied the Green River community, most of whom didn't know about the sport of utlrarunning prior to Fromm's race. Her day begins as she wakes up in the wee hours of race day, Oct. 29 to set up and man four aid stations along the 15-mile out and back course through the state park's high mountain desert and Little Wild Horse Canyon, then finishing in the unique goblin shapes in the state park.
"I have been touched and impressed with the interest, enthusiasm and support of the Green River community, law and safety officials, and the state park rangers to support this race," said Fromm. "Because of the great experience the community extended to the runners, so many have expressed their excitement to return."
The Goblin Valley 50K showcased several first time ultra performances in addition to the fast course records set by the champions. Layton ultrarunner Julie Nelson ran with and coached her 16-year old son, Andrew Nelson, to his first ultra finish in 7:27:20, achieving his goal to gain entry to a sport that he admired for its character of extreme athleticism and the ease that he can approach the sport's champions.
For complete race results and race information go to www.goblinvalleyultra.com.