Nelson’s return is a successful one

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The stay-at-home mom wins race for a 2nd time

By Tim Donohoo
For the Courier

Not even the distraction of a stray dog could keep Brianne Nelson from winning the 10K portion of the Evergreen Town Race on Upper Bear Creek on Aug. 3.

Nelson, a Golden resident and stay-at-home mother of two, defeated Kristen Zaitz by 17 seconds, winning the female title in a time of 33 minutes, 38 seconds. Andy Wacker won the top male award with a time of 30:21 down the fast downhill course.

Nelson was surprised at the appearance of the animal within the first three miles of the race.

“A dog kept chasing us,”  said Nelson, who also won the race the last time she competed in 2012 in 33:52. “Luckily, he only came up to me once but he was bothering a couple of the guys in front of us. It was actually kind of impressive because he was keeping up with those guys for a while then he stopped.”

Nelson added, “the course is beautiful. It starts out with a gradual downhill run, but it’s nice and curvy and flows really well. It (the course) keeps your mind in the race. It’s not just a straight shot.”

The America’s Finest City  Half Marathon in San Diego (Aug. 17) is Nelson’s next race. She prefers the USA Running circuit and will also compete in the Oct. 5 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis.

Race director Aaron Dover was pleased with the turnout and the sponsorship involved with this year’s Evergreen Town Race.

“We do the race every year. It’s our biggest fundraiser for the Alpine Rescue Team,” said Dover,  in his first year as director. “Our biggest sponsors are Flight for Life, Kaiser Permanente, Runners Roost and Alvarez and Marsal, to name a few. This is a great course, all downhill, and we had perfect weather today.”

Both the 5K and 10K courses wind gradually down Upper Bear Creek with the finish line near Evergreen Lake.

Jason Hubbard holds the record for the fastest 5K ever run in Colorado. Hubbard ran a 14:07 in 1998 on this course. This year the quickest 5K among the men was Joe Horen in 15:27.

Other male age group winners included Colin Szuch (12-under, 18:18); Tyler Scholl (13-19,  16:06); Matt Peharda (20-29, 16:00); Eric Garber (30-39, 16:06); Scott Kukel (40-49, 16:59);  Lile Budden (50-59, 18:52); Steve Gallegos (60-69, 17:31); Bill Faulkner (70-79, 25:16) and William Eldridge (80-plus, 37:01).

The top women finishers by age group were Alayna Szuch (12-under, 18:48); Lexi Reed (13-19,  18:18); Marie McClain (20-29, 18:16); Annie Howley (30-39, 17:58); Roxane Geisler (40-49,  20:44); Stephenie Scholl (50-59, 20:22); Donna Martinez (60-69, 26:11); Philip Kay (70-79,  30:58) and Nancy Eldridge (80-plus, 46:26).