GEORGETOWN — With his Michael Jordan tank top, plaid shorts and basketball shoes, Brady Eftong looked like a guy that was out walking his dog on June 27 and got swept up in a marathon.
That’s pretty much what happened.
“My girlfriend was running the 13-mile (race),” Eftong said. “I drove her down here from Minturn. As the race was approaching I started to feel kind of like a loser because I wasn’t running. So I grabbed the dog and we decided to join the race. We were sitting in the car and were like, ‘Nah, this is pathetic. Everybody is running and we’re watching people run.’”
So Eftong and his 10-month-old boxer, Lily, ran the 4-mile portion of the annual Slacker Half Marathon in a time of 33 minutes, 10 seconds. Not bad for a Eftong’s first race. Lily, too.
“She drug me along the whole way,” Eftong said. “The last mile, when I really needed her, she kind of died out. She kicked butt.”
When it came to kicking the backside, that honor went to Steven Folkers of Fort Collins and Sharon Howard of Flagstaff, Ari. Folkers won the Slacker Half Marathon for the second consecutive year, while Howard, who is out visiting, won it on her first try.
“The last mile is always very, very, very hard,” Folkers said. “Lots of turns; flat after coming downhill.”
Folkers was surprised to shave 20 seconds off his time from last year.
“I thought I was in a lot better shape last year,” he said.
Folkers ran a time of 1 hour, 12 minutes and 31 seconds. Cole Patrick (1:12.53) and Matthew Kempton (1:14.06), both of Denver, finished second and third, respectively.
There were 895 bib numbers issued for the men’s half marathon. The highest finish by someone close enough to be considered local was Evergreen’s Mason Duncan, who placed 40th with a time of 1:27.30.
The perseverance award goes to 66-year-old Golden resident Wayne Pulick, who finished in just over four hours.
For Howard, winning the women’s race was a pleasant surprise and well worth the pain she felt in her quadriceps after crossing the downtown finish line.
“It was quite a bit faster than I thought I would do,” said Howard, who finished in a time of 1:24.18. “I was hoping to get under 1:45, so I’m happy about that.”
Raised in Phoenix, Howard said she came to the Centennial State for the summer and wanted to hit a half marathon. The Slacker fit the bill perfectly for the Brigham Young graduate.
“It was beautiful. I loved it,” she said of the race.
Alison Steele (1:27.16) and Alexandra Tayrien (1:27.33) placed second and third, respectively. Evergreen’s Nora Alby placed 11th with a time of 1:33.40.
The women’s race included athletes from New York, New Mexico, Iowa, Minnesota and the United Kingdom.