The Colorado Running Company's Connilee Walter won the Run to the Shrine 10K on Saturday at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo with a time of 48 minutes, 10 seconds. The race climbed for four miles and gained about 1,500 feet before the turnaround at the Will Rogers Shrine. The last two miles were all downhill.
2011 Run to the Shrine
Run to the Shrine 10K and 5K
Run to the Shrine 10K
Interview with women's 5K race winner Carrie Renaud
5K start and chat with 10K winner Peter Maksimow
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Peter Maksimow has a goal of earning a spot on the 2011 U.S. Mountain Running Team.
Here is a news flash: Look out U.S. mountain runners.
Maksimow won again on Saturday, charging up and down the side of Cheyenne Mountain to capture the top spot in the Run to the Shrine 10K at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
The course started in the Broadmoor and gained about 1,500 feet elevation before turning back at the Will Rogers Shrine and finishing at the zoo. About 1,000 entered the race, up from 650 a year ago. Maksimow won with a time of 39 minutes, 16 seconds.
"I think my fitness is excellent, better than it has been in a long time," Maksimow said.
He had some company early in the race. Daryn Parker, who finished second in the Pikes Peak Marathon last year, pushed the pace to 5:52 for the first mile.
Maksimow, 30, pulled away as the runners powered by the giraffe and elephant exhibits.
"I was not expecting to go so fast for the uphill miles," Maksimow said.
He built a comfortable lead at the Shrine and sprinted home alone as fans at the finish line gasped at his winning time. Parker, 30, who had not raced since August, gave chase but settled for second in 41:39.
"The important thing today was getting used to racing," Parker said. "Later in the season, Pete and I will go head-to-head and compete. But right now, I couldn't hang. I stayed with him for about a mile and a half and he started to make a move and I thought I'll let him go and counter later. Then I realized, I can't counter."
Gerald Romero, 39, finished third in 42 minutes flat.In the women's 10K, Connilee Walter, 38, admitted that she didn't "give it everything" and still won by more than four minutes. She is recovering from a win in the Colorado Marathon on May 7. The Run to the Shrine gave her an opportunity to put in a nice workout, but nothing too heavy.
"I wanted to get a little bit of an uphill workout in today and then let gravity do it's job," said Walter, a mother of five who runs for the Colorado Running Company. "My legs are still recovering a little bit from the marathon. I didn't want to pound it too hard on the downhill."
Letita Dusich, 30, finished second in 52:53, followed by Christi Butler, 31, at 53:30.
Both 5K races were competitive with only 27 seconds separating the top three runners in each. In the women's 5K race, Carrie Renaud, 31, wrote some personal history with her first victory. She clocked 29:40 on a course that included two miles of climbing and a fast 1-mile sprint to the finish line.
"I just pushed it on the uphill because people tend to pass me on the downhill," Renaud said. "At the turnaround I was in first and just pushed it as hard as I could and managed to stay in first."
Second-place Daniel Watts was only 24 seconds off the winning pace with Lacey Acree three ticks behind in 30:07.
Josiah Valenzuela, 17, won the men's 5K in 22:13. Drew Stinson placed second in 22:29, followed by Dan Peacock in 22:40.
Mission accomplished: The Run to the Shrine, a fundraiser for the zoo, is growing quickly. Two years ago, there were about 100 participants. Last year, that number grew to 650. This year, race organizer Jean Gordon said about 1,000 had registered."We are so happy, we are hearing some good feedback from the runners," Gordon said. "I think we're onto something with our new course."