Horsetooth Half Marathon winner Dominic Korir of Kenya sets record
Two of the fastest runners to complete the Horsetooth Half Marathon pushed themselves to go even faster on Sunday, leading to a new record on the scenic 13.1-mile course.
Dominic Korir, a 28-year-old Kenyan who lives and trains in Colorado Springs, broke Gebrekidan Abadi’s course record while fending off defending champion Tyler McCandless, 35, to win in 1 hour, 6 minutes and 51 seconds – just eight seconds ahead of McCandless. Lawl Lalang, 30, another Kenyan from the same Colorado Springs-based practice squad at Korir, was third in 1:07:40.
Elizabeth Lagoy, 25, of Salt Lake City, was the winner for the women, finishing 22nd overall in 1:20:02. Sophie Anders, 29, of Fort Collins, was second in 1:20:32, and Sophie Seward, 25, a member of the same Front Range Elite race team as Anders, was third in 1:23:37 .
Gebrekidan had set the previous record of 1:07:28 by winning the 2018 race. Korir, the 2019 winner and McCandless, the 2021 champion, set the next fastest times on the current course before the race: 1:07 :34 and 1:07:52, respectively.
“It’s just great to have a very competitive race in your hometown,” said McCandless, who moved to Fort Collins a year ago from just outside of Boulder. “It’s so much fun to be able to sleep in my own bed, wake up my kid, drive to the start line, go tear up a big competition and now spend the rest of the day with the family.”
After:“We help each other dream bigger,” said the Fort Collins women’s elite running team founder
Although Sean O’Conner, who finished fifth, earned a cash bonus as the first runner to the top of Monster Mountain about 1.8 miles from the race, Korir came out strong and never let up, with an average pace of 5:06 per mile. .
Winds from the west, blowing at over 25mph, were ‘brutal’ for the first half of the race along Horsetooth Reservoir and over Bingham Hill, McCandless said, but helpful over the last five miles as runners headed along the Poudre River Trail from the Overland Trail to the finish line at the New Belgium Brewery. Temperatures were in the low 40s.
McCandless raced with Lalang for much of the race and was winning over Korir late but unable to catch him.
“Dominic had a big lead over me, and I was catching him around the last 5km of the race but I didn’t have enough time,” McCandless said.
About 1,400 runners out of more than 1,750 registered participants completed the 49th edition of the Horsetooth Half, according to official race results. Officials at the Fort Collins Running Club, which owns and operates the race, are planning a 50th anniversary celebration next year.
Although the winds were so strong that “I was almost backing off on the way down,” Anders said, she was able to take the lead from Lagoy, who was the first woman to summit Monster Mountain, in the steep descent beyond the north of Horsetooth Reservoir. dam in Bellvue. Anders, who won the 30-kilometer race Behind the Rocks on March 26 in Moab, Utah, held that lead for much of the race but couldn’t hold off Lagoy, a 2:40 marathoner, at the end.
“I wasn’t running slow,” Anders said. “She was just running unreally fast. She was probably running about 5:30 (miles) at the end, and she just blew me away like I was up. I tried to go with her, but she was just too good.
Unlike Anders, who finished fourth in the delayed 2021 Horsetooth Half Marathon in November, Lagoy had never run the course before and admitted the early climbs were tougher than she had anticipated.
“I just relaxed until we got over the last 7 mile hill (Bingham Hill) and then I got going,” Lagoy said.
Anthony Bruns, 42, of Denver won the men’s Masters (40+) title, finishing ninth overall and nearly 10 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor in 1:11:19. Janet Clements, 43, of Loveland, won the Women’s Masters title in 1:39:06.
Kelly Lyell reports on CSU, high school, and other local sports and topics of interest to Colorado. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter @KellyLyell and find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KellyLyell.news. If you are a subscriber, thank you for your support. If not, consider purchasing a digital subscription today.