Monday, July 17, 2006
(photo of previous Hardrock courtesy of trailhead.org)
Karl Meltzer won the Hardrock 100 on Saturday - and waited hours for the nearest competitor to cross the finish line.
From The Durango Herald:
SILVERTON -- Karl Meltzer had just run 100 miles and was into his third beer and lounging on a couch while he waited to see the second-place finisher kiss the rock marking the end of the Hardrock 100 ultramarathon.
Three and a half hours after Meltzer finished, someone finally caught up.
Meltzer, 38, extended his domination of the Hardrock 100 on Saturday, winning the 100-mile foot race for a record fourth time. He now owns the four fastest times in the race’s 13-year history.
“This is kind of my baby,” he said.
Beginning in Silverton at 6 a.m. Friday, Meltzer and 130 other extreme athletes ran to Telluride, Ouray and Lake City before circling back to Silverton. Through a hot day, a cold night and a beautiful sunrise, Meltzer ran despite the back pain, leg pain and foot pain that comes with running 100 miles. Water and power gels were his primary nourishment.
The Hardrock 100, as Meltzer said, “is the hardest 100 in the world.” The race is for people who think of a 26.2-mile marathon as a nice jaunt or for whom the sunrise is “a nice boost,” as another runner put it after running all night.
The course through the San Juan Mountains hits its highest point at Handies Peak, elevation 14,048 feet, and never dips below 7,700 feet elevation.
Finishing second was Joseph Shults of Ophir. A physician’s assistant from Steamboat Springs, Betsy Kalmeyer, came in third.
Kalmeyer set the women’s course record in 2001 with a time of 29 hours, 58 minutes. This year’s race took her nearly 32 hours.
Meltzer finished in 27 hours, seven minutes, the second-best time the course has ever seen, behind his 2001 mark of 26 hours, 39 minutes.