By Patty Unruh
Trail racers in the seventh annual Dirty 30 enjoyed the best of Golden Gate State Park on Saturday, May 30, just in time for some beautiful weather – finally. The first really sunny day in May smiled on more than 400 fifty-kilometer and 200 twelve-mile runners. Proceeds will be given to the Gilpin County High School athletics program.
Runners came from all over the U.S. and from as far away as Italy. Race organizer Megan Finnesy reported, “I wanted to make the race fun for everyone, while at the same time making it competitive for the elite runners.”
It was the race’s biggest event ever, with the 600-plus runners outstripping last year’s 480. Prize amounts went up this year, too: $1,000 each for men’s and women’s 50K winners and $500 for second place, with lesser prizes for third through fifth place. 12M winners were awarded $300 for first place, with second and third places winning $200 and $100.
Another new feature was handmade awards by last year’s second place 50K winner, Dan Gorman, who crafted wooden plaques for the first, second, and third place 50K winners and medallions for the 12M winners.
About 100 students and adult volunteers from the school directed traffic, cooked and served the noon meal, and handed out water and snacks at six aid stations along the course. Athletic director Jeff Schuessler and several students from the various teams worked the day before the race to mark 19 miles of trails. Every varsity team had student athletes volunteering. Race proceeds, when calculated, will be divided evenly among the eight teams and will be used for camp costs, team wear, and meals.
Rocky Mountain Ham Radio/America Radio Emergency Service provided internet connections for the first time this year. Richard Williams, mission coordinator, said the group’s main goals were to track the runners’ times and locations digitally, providing that information to the race time-keeper, and to dispatch aid if a runner got injured.
Gilpin Ambulance Authority stood by to help anyone injured or overcome by altitude issues.
Although there were no runners from Gilpin High School this year, 2014 Gilpin graduate Grace Diekman competed in the 12M race, winning third place in her age group with a time of slightly less than three hours.
Where did the name Dirty 30 come from? Finnesy played basketball as a student at Boulder High School, and in those days, the only way she would run was with a basketball in her hands. The first 30 minutes of practice was called the Dirty 30 – 30 minutes of intense work on fundamentals. They had to give 110 percent effort.
The runners parked at the Gilpin County Fairgrounds and were transported by shuttle buses to the start at the Red Barn picnic area about three miles northeast of the park’s visitor center.
The first crews of volunteers gathered by 4:30 a.m., and the first wave of 50K racers began arriving by 4:45 a.m. and started running at 6:00.
Runners for the 12M race heeded a 9:45 call to line up at the start. Finnesy gave final instructions and cautioned about the really technical parts.
“I want everyone uninjured, but if you do get hurt, make it good, because there is a $100 prize for the one who gets the bloodiest!”
Makaila Bion of Lakewood High School sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and after appreciative applause, the “GO!” sounded.
The 12M racers were sent off in two waves, jogging easily. They soon found that the starting yards were about the only flat section of the course. It wasn’t long before they embarked on lung-burning climbs and screaming descents. The trail elevations ranged from about 7,600 to 9,500 feet, with spectacular views of snow-capped mountains.
As the racers pushed on over the winding paths, signs and spectators encouraged them, “Great job!” “Almost there!” That inspired most of them to keep going, but a few did find the race too much to finish.
The lead racers made it through in under five hours for the 50K and under two hours for the 12M. As they chugged into the finish line, they received applause from waiting Gilpin students and a hug from Finnesy.
Finishing racers were treated like royalty. Expo sponsors gave away Dirty 30 souvenir glasses, Boulder Beer, coconut water, smoothie samples, and more. Performance wear and running shoes were available to examine, along with coupons for merchandise. Those attending all booths received a bandana with the course map printed on it. Massages were available for the weary and sore, while the Zimmermans Band entertained with Bob Dylan tunes. The barbeque included hamburgers, brats, veggie burgers on sprouted buns with all the fixings, watermelon, and fiesta lime rice chips.
Finnesy gave a big shout out to Roy’s Last Shot, a well-known Gilpin sponsor that donated gallons of pasta salad for the lunch in exchange for a Harley shot glass (as many know, owner Roy Stewart is vying for a world record number of shot glasses and is well on his way).
Some of the many other sponsors were Whole Foods Market, Cows Gone Coconut, Alvarado St. Bakery, Naked Juice, Eldorado Natural Spring Water, Total Health Solutions, Tailwind Nutrition, Hydra Pouch, Zico Premium Coconut Water, Hoka One One, Noodles & Company, Pulse Active Wear, and Runners High.
Many racers were old hands – or feet – at the Dirty 30. Andrew Terrill, one of last year’s winners and this year’s first place 12M overall male winner, commented, “An awesome race in every way possible. Well organized, faultless scenery, incredible volunteers, and great post-race atmosphere.”
Some, of course, were new to the race. Laura Walls related, “This is my first real trail race. I look forward to enjoying the view from Windy Peak, going to the post-race celebration, and soaking my feet in the creek afterward.”
Announcement of the winners concluded the day’s event.
Overall male, first to fifth place: Paul Hamilton, Christian Gering, Justin Ricks, Jason Schlarb, Scott Spillman.
Overall female, first to fifth place: Kerrie Bruxvoort, Anita Ortiz, Silke Koester, Malory Peterson, Julia Veseth.
The following winners for age category are listed in first to third place, male or female:
Male. 20-29 – Will Porter, Dan Gorman, Timothy Kojetin. 30-39 – Timothy Olson, Pat Sullivan, Nicola Giovanelli. 40-49 – Michael Hewitt, Chuck Radford, Troy Howard. 50-59 – Gary Licht, Robert Bawn, Kevin Smith. 60+ – Joe Burleson, Ivan Rezucha, Richard Neslund.
Female. 19 and under – Anya Carter. 20-29 – Sarah Turner, Amanda Morgenstern, Cat Ogle. 30-39 – Jeanne Cooper, Wendy Stalnaker, Christy McLaughlin. 40-49 – Susie Rinehart, Samantha Watts, Katie Mazzia. 50-59 – Tara Solsken, Michelle Racicot, Vicki Hunter.
Overall male, first to third place: Andrew Terrill, Christopher Kiel, Peter Shellito.
Overall female, first to third place: Molly Brown, Lindsay Krause, Gaby Acosta.
Male. 19 and under – Max Kilcoyne, Jeffrey Stone. 20-29 – Taber Miyauchi, Curtis McAnally, Alex Lieber. 30-39 – Corey Kline, Matt Nolen, Matt Royal. 40-49 – Bradley Swanson, Kraig Koski, Chris Cummins. 50-59 – Bill Possel, Brian Vande Krol, David Chamberlain. 60+ – Buzz Burrell, Ron Hendricks, Joe Wakefield.
Female. 19 and under – Leah Chamberlain, Hannah Chamberlain, Grace Diekman. 20-29 – Laura Johnson, M.E. Selker, Laura Armstrong. 30-39 – Julie Nash, Cory Popovich, Kate Davis. 40-49 – Dana Prosser, Tiffany Rafferty, Amanda Simpson. 50-59 – Cheryl Paulson, Alicia Mahoney, Sharon Parsons. 60+ – Jane Potter, Marla Ofstad.
For a full list of runners and times, see www.dirty30.org.