The inaugural Wildlander Roundup trail races were held on Saturday, October 5, 2013, in Larkspur, CO. There were two race distances offered, 5 kilometers and 12 kilometers, as well as a short sprint for kids. With the fall colors dotting the landscape and a slight chill in the air, it was a perfect morning for a race.
The events were held at the private Sandstone Ranch which was opened to the public for this special one-day event. This private working cattle ranch is situated on a pristine setting just five miles west of Larkspur’s town center and offers stunning views from the bluffs surrounding the area and includes rocky outcroppings pointing toward the sky.
Although the courses were mostly on dirt roads with very good footing, the elevations ranged between 6500 and 6700 feet with nearly 300 feet of elevation gain in the 5 kilometer event and 700 feet in the 12 kilometer event.
Organizers said that registrations hovered at 25 entrants for several weeks prior to the event and that during race week, registrations picked up and resulted in more than 80 registrants. “We’re very happy with the turnout and truly appreciate everyone’s support,” said Kim Greer, who is a runner herself and who, along with husband Rodger, organized the event.
During pre-race announcements from Rodger Greer, there was time for reflection as the event was dedicated to the memory of Robert Boardman who served Larkspur Fire for 25 years. Standing in front of a fire truck from the Larkspur fleet, Greer passionately recalled others who lost their lives in the line of duty including the 19 “Hotshot” firefighters who died in this past summer’s fires in Prescott, AZ. With the many firefighters at the event either participating or assisting with logistics on course, it was a very special day.
Overall winners included Nancy Hobbs in the 5K posting a time of 22:23, and Jay Miller in the 12K timed in 45:13.
Prizes were awarded for the top three individual finishers in both events and there were special team awards for firefighters opting to race wearing backpacks laden with the lesser of 30 pounds or 15% of bodyweight to simulate what emergency responders, a.k.a. “Wildlanders,” carry in the field. These responder teams, comprised of three or more participants, competed in the Jay Shaffer Memorial Cup Challenge which honored this LFPD firefighter who was lost in the line of duty in 2001. The individual winner in the division was Jason Lownsdale running the 5K in 24:21.
The event beneficiaries were the Larkspur Fire and the Wildland Firefighters Foundation.