Friday, April 30, 2010

Mitchell is runner-up at Menan Butte Trail Challenge

Dollar Mountain 10k trail run coming in June

Hailey’s Brad Mitchell along the course during Saturday’s Menan Butte Trail Challenge at Menan between Idaho Falls and Rexburg. Courtesy photo

Hailey's Brad Mitchell, 40, finished second Saturday, April 24 in the fifth annual Menan Butte Trail Challenge 10-miler, part of the fifth annual La Sportiva Trophy Series of mountain trail runs across the U.S.

Mitchell (1.01:33) is a member of Team La Sportiva, as is 29-year-old race winner and new course record holder Luke Nelson (59:44), who was raised in Blackfoot. They were two of the 15 runners meeting the challenge of the 10-mile course between Idaho Falls and Rexburg in eastern Idaho.

This year runners from six western states enjoyed near-perfect weather. They accepted the challenge of the state's toughest course with its total Long Course elevation gain of a staggering 1,350 feet.

Nelson broke his previous course record for the 6-mile course then set the course record for this year's 4-mile extension. Mitchell was hot on his heels the entire race and crossed the line less than two minutes behind for an impressive second-place finish.

This year The Menan Butte Trail Challenge added a 10-mile course to 6-mile and 3.2-mile distances. There were a total of 50 finishers ranging in age from 14 to 55 on all courses.

All the runners began at the west trailhead and ascended to the rim up a set of tough switchbacks. Once on the west rim, participants descended to the crater's floor, ascended the east rim and turned south to scramble up Slick Dome Rock before descending to the lower west rim.

Taking home top honors in the 3.2-mile run were Chris Lundberg, 27, of Minneapolis, Minn. (25:00) and Erin Larson, 29, of Rigby (32:18).

Winning the 6-mile race were Mark Wetherington, 31, of Idaho Falls (44:57) and Sheila Brazell, 39, of Jackson, Wyo. (53:41).

Race founder Michael Hays of Personal Best Performance said that runners who have had extensive experience running in trail races around the country were impressed with the event and enthusiastic about the challenging course.

Here are the 10-mile finishers:

1—Luke Nelson 59:44. 2—Brad Mitchell 1.01:33. 3—Pat Bragassa 1.01:55. 4—Neil Gleichman 1.14:39. 5—Jack Rainey 1.18:31. 6—Joseph Stroh 1.21:46. 7—Amy Smith 1.22:59. 8—Dave Summerhill 1.24:54. 9—Jim Baxter 1.25:01. 10—Chris Walters 1.26:45. 11—Jodi Bragassa 1.26:56. 12—Micky Stegman 1.30:21. 13—Kimberly Ence 1.30:36. 14—Stephanie Olenichak 1.35:29. 15—Vince Maio 1.43:01.

Dollar Mountain trail run June 26

Mitchell is race director of the Dollar Mountain 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) Trail Run scheduled on the 2010 La Sportiva race calendar for Saturday, June 26.

The Euro-style mountain run starting and finishing in The Community School central lawn area is designed to test your ability to climb and descend. It is challenging and technical in places—and runners will see Dollar in a way most don't know.

Registration opens Saturday, May 1 at and closes June 25. Entry fee prior to race day is $20, and $25 on race day. Start time is 8 a.m. Awards will be issued to the top three male and female finishers.

Another La Sportiva local trail run, the Trail Creek 12k, is set for Saturday, Oct. 30.

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