Saturday was the annual John Colter Run in Three Forks. This race is the oldest and highest profile trail race in Montana and is know for it's killer hills, tricky footing and the crossing of the Gallatin River.
My personal choice for highlight of the race was the performance of Anders Brooker of Missoula. Most of us know Anders Brooker as the well natured little shop keeper (Runner’s Edge) who has his hands in most of the running and racing activities in the greater Missoula area (somehow, I can’t quite bring myself to use the phrase “Missoula Urban Area”). But, many of you may not know that he also has a pretty solid running pedigree of his own.
During his high school years, he was one of the best cross country and distance runners in the Class B ranks as part of the powerhouse Plains Horseman teams of the late ‘90’s. He parlayed that success into a stint on the U of M teams. But, the business itch was too strong and he left school to start up a top tier running specialty store. His personal running has taken a back seat for the last few years while he developed the store, acted on the Board of Directors for the Missoula Marathon, hosted marathon training classes, coached track and XC at Missoula Hellgate (Class AA XC boys team champs in 2007), got married – in general, lived a full and busy life.
Well, this year, inspired by entry into the New York City Marathon (along with his dad Tim), Anders has ramped his training back up. And this past weekend he showed that he still has some wheels. Anders’ time of 45:59 is a strong, solid time that would make him competitive in virtually any year of the race.
For those of us who know Anders, he’s all about giving back to the sport. Given his performance this weekend, I thought that it was time that he had his moment in the sun again and be recognized for his great performance on Saturday. As the Aussies would say – Anders, good on ya’ mate!!!
As for the overall race, the top end was dominated by young athletes from Bozeman. As is the case with many races in Montana, we'll see a surge of young grad students from MSU and UM put up some good performances in the fall and spring. Even when they don't stick around after their grad school stints, their presence at the races serves to force everyone to step up their game and race just a little bitter harder. Out of a total of 164 men finishers and 112 women, the top 6 on the men's side were:
Bernhard Ronning Bozeman 43:41
Anders Brooker Missoula 45:59
Anders Folleras Bozeman 46:37
Doug Neil Bozeman 46:58
Kyle Cram Three Forks 47:08
Brian Wieck Helena 47:21
The first masters man was Rob Maher of Bozeman, placing 16th overall with his 52:55
On the women's side, the top 5 were:
Stephanie Howe Bozeman 50:16
Sarah Graves Billings 51:33
Kathy Peterson Dillon 54:58 (1st Master)
Jen Reiter Billings 55:00
Claire Rennie Bozeman 55:50
For full results on the race, check out http://perfect-timing.org/results/2008/johncolter/index.html
See you on the roads, tracks and trails
The Muddy Buzzard