Friday, June 24, 2011

New course record set at Sawtooth Relay

Chris Lundberg of Driggs conquers 62 miles

Express Staff Writer

Winning the Sawtooth Relay Masters Coed division with a 62-mile time of 9.25:54 was the Forest Gump squad of, from left, Sean Cook, Mike Shaughnessy, Tricia Shaughnessy, driver James Mitchell of Hailey, volunteer Anna Chavez, Deb Mitchell of Hailey, John Lorbeck and Hilary Lor-beck. They placed 103th overall out of 298 teams in the June 11 relay. The popular event that started in Stanley and finished at Ketchumís Atkinson Park raised money for the Polycystic Kidney Dis-ease Foundation and The Idaho Donor Network. Photo by Willy Cook

Most of the Sawtooth Relay participants are team members, but there are a few intrepid runners who choose to compete as individuals on the 62-mile course from Stanley to Ketchum's Atkinson Park.

One of them is Chris Lundberg, 28, of Driggs. And on Saturday, June 11, he established a new course record for an individual during the 20th annual Sawtooth Relay that attracted over 1,800 runners—all except three on 298 six-runner teams.

A former Carleton College (Minn.) runner who works as deputy prosecutor for Teton County in eastern Idaho, Lundberg demolished the one-year-old course record of Boise's Wayne Rancourt by nearly 30 minutes.

Lundberg's finishing time was eight hours, 44 minutes and 27 seconds—or a pace of 8:27 per mile. Rancourt finished in 9.11:50 last year, or 8:55, and he also ran 9.43:37 in winning the Sawtooth solo race in 2003.

It was fortunate that ultramarathoner Lundberg was running at all, after what happened to him on Feb. 21, 2009 in the Teton Mountains.

He suffered severe frostbite on his feet and fingers during what became a 23-hour backcountry cross-country overnight ski trip that started in the town of Felt north of Driggs and finished at Jackson Lake on the other side of the Tetons.

By the afternoon, Lundberg was in extreme pain at a Jackson Hole hospital using the therapy of warm baths in an attempt to revive his extremities, according to an April 30, 2010 article by Chris Hansen of the Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard newspaper.

Doctors worried that amputation of one or both of his feet might be necessary. Lundberg imme-diately decided upon the option of an experimental frostbite treatment in Salt Lake City, Utah. The treatment worked. Lundberg kept his feet, although for a month he was in a wheelchair or on crutches.

In the weeks afterward, he described his right foot as having as much flex as a piece of three-quarter-inch plywood.

By April 2009 he was walking carefully. By July, five months after the incident, he attempted and finished a 26.2-mile marathon run.

Fourteen months after Lundberg's ski trip, he finished the 2010 Eugene (Ore.) Marathon in 3.04:31, good for 126th place overall and 24th in his 25-29 age class. This April, he reached another milestone by finishing the Boston Marathon in 3.01:22, for 1,689th overall.

And on June 11, he won the Sawtooth Relay in record time.

Winning the Masters Coed class at 9.25:54 was the Forest Gump team, which included Deb Mitchell of Hailey and her sister, Tricia Shaughnessy of Boise. They won their class by nearly nine minutes.

One of the runners, Mike Shaughnessy, echoed the experience of many Sawtooth Relay runners when he said:

"I ran the first leg (of about 6 miles) at 5 a.m. and then ran the seventh leg—the Galena down-hill—which was fast and tough. Then I was done with my two legs at 11 a.m. and exchanged the ba-ton for a cold beer."

Here are top results by class, with local teams that had three or more participants from the Wood River Valley and Camas County, according to race director Terry Hoebelheinrich.

Solo runners (3 finishers): 1—Chris Lundberg 8.44:27 (course record, 48th overall). 2—David Barrett 12.53.40. 3—Charles Francisco 13.37:09.

Men's Open (38 teams): 1—Bazinga 7.40:57 (6th overall). 22—Rocky Mountain Milers 9.28:47 (109th overall).

Women's Open (85 teams): 1—BBC 8.08:29 (11th overall). 7—Who LA Girls 8.25:49 (28th). 12—Team Spitfire 8.49:05 (54th overall). 14—Scotties 8.51:56 (57th). 21—Moving Boxes 9.13:51 (86th). 68—Cookies N'Cream 11.43:37 (261st).

Coed Open (133 teams): 1—Nobody Rides for Free 6.58:44 (3rd overall). 14—The Fuster Clucks 8.32:10 (35th). 21—Game On! 8.46:09 (50th). 42—Got Runs 9.20:07 (96th). 45—Team Sweetwater 9.21:45 (99th).

Corporate (14 teams): 1—Team Momentum 8.26:12 (29th overall).

Masters Men (6 teams): 1—Hombres Con Pelotos 8.24:20 (23rd overall).

Masters Women (7 teams): 1—We Should Know Better 8.17:00 (17th overall). 3—Spice Queens 10.07:15 (173rd). 4—No Excuses III 10.54:58 (230th).

Masters Coed (10 teams): 1—Forest Gump 9.25:54 (103rd overall).

High School Boys (2 teams): 1—Gringos Caliente 6.38:01 (1st overall).

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