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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Striding through the Sawtooths

Sawtooth Relay comes to Ketchum

Express Staff Writer

Traffic was moving a little slower over Galena Summit this weekend, as runners and walkers opted for their Nikes and New Balances over Subarus and Suburbans.

On Saturday, runners, walkers and even two ultra-marathoners raced 61.9 miles from Stanley to Ketchum during the 13th annual Sawtooth Relay. Teams of six athletes raced the course that was divided into twelve legs.

Sharma Walker-Thornton of the High Altitude Fitness team grinds through the Sawtooth Relay. Express photo by Willy Cook

Teams from as far away as Washington D.C. left from Stanley in stagger starts throughout the morning. The earliest left Stanley Elementary School at 3 a.m. finishing later in the day at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum.

This year the competition stepped up a notch with 130 teams participating.

"This year there was 15 percent growth. We were very pleased with that," co-race organizer Terry Hoebelheinrich of Boise said.

Despite the number of racers a new course record was set.

Team Bandanna finished with the new record. The Boise team ran an average of five minutes and 45 seconds per mile, even with the 1,331-foot elevation gain over Galena Summit. Bandanna won the race in 5.56:10. Team Scalded Dawgs took second overall followed by third place winners Bowl Cut Powers.

Team Bandanna’s record finish came despite less than perfect weather.

"We had it all—rain, hail and humidity," said Ketchum’s Nicole Brown of the Foxy Flyers Too team.

But Mother Nature’s pallet of weather did nothing to slow Brown’s determined squad.

Lauren Kulik of the Foxy Flyers Too takes off on her leg to the finish with the support of (left to right) Angela Strickland, Bridget Creed and Nicole Brown. Express photo by Willy Cook

The Flyers Too ran with a gaggle of women from the Wood River Valley. Foxy Flyers Too consisted of Brown, Tricia Swartling, Heidi Wilt, Bridget Creed, Lauren Kulik and Angela Strickland.

The team endured the unexpected weather with magenta tails swaying from their running shorts.

The furry tails earned one of the speed tickets on Highway 75.

Together the women captured third place in the women’s division. They finished with a final time of 8.02:56—averaging seven minutes and 48 seconds a mile.

The High Altitude Fitness women’s group finished just behind the Flyers. The ladies from High Altitude Fitness raced to fourth place finishing the course in 8.32:14.

Foxy Flyers Too and runners of High Altitude Fitness ran amongst a large field of female teams.

"It was a different mix than years before," Hoebelheinrich noted. "There were a lot more women’s teams this year."

Other women’s teams from the valley finished strongly in the pack. Girls on the Run took 14th place and Running on Empty finished 15th.

Friendly competition ensued among Wood River Valley competitors.

The Foxy Flyers Too and fellow valley runners from Marketron International both started from Stanley Elementary School at 8 a.m. The two teams ran neck and neck for duration of the course.

In the end, Foxy Flyers Too nudged past Marketron by 1 minute 53 seconds.

Lauren DuBois (left) passes the Sawtooth Relay on to Rachael Wolf (right) as their team, Running on Empty team cheers on. Express photo by Willy Cook

Although Marketron lost the local duel, the Hailey team finished second in the corporate division. Marketron ran in 8.04:49. The team has placed in the top three slots of the corporate division the last two years.

Various other valley teams signed on to the race including Blaine County Title, Ketchum If You Can and Ketchum Grill.

Two ultra-marathoners also joined the pack. Leon Rothstein and Charles Francisco each ran the entire course on their own.

With the friendly competition, team camaraderie was forefront. Costumes in addition to attached tails included runners clad in hot pink mini skirts, frog hats and cartooned muscle shirts.

The teams showed their allegiance throughout the day, cruising in large support vehicles along the Highway.

RV’s to mini-vans sped slowly along the highway with the resting runners cheering on athletes and offering water to others. The eleven exchange sites were crowded with cheerleaders, race volunteers and curious travelers.

The event benefited the Idaho Donor Network and the PKD foundation.

Here are the final results:

Overall: 1—Team Bandanna 5.56:10. 2—Team Scalded Dawgs 6.04:36. 3—Bowl Cut Powers 6.07:06.

Corporate: 1—Dynamic Ramblers 6.24:20. 2—Marketron 8.04:49. 3—Plexus Boise 8.05:18.

High School: 1—Buttzeeks 6.38:54. 2—Quick Black II 7.13:12. 3—Runners For Life 7.52:28.

Masters: 1—Clydes Masters 7.20:48. 2—Tuesday Nighters 7.46:58. 3—Clydes 2 7.59:18.

Men: 1—Charlie Babbitt 6.45:15. 2—Mustangs (Team 2) 7.03:22. 3—Andulusians (Team 1) 7.22:56.

Women: 1—No Pain No Gain 7.32:20. 2—Like a Speeding Mullet 7.58:36. 3—Foxy Flyers Too 8.02:56.

Mixed: 1—Bodacious Buckheit Babes 6.33:35. 2—Bandanna On The Run 7.18:22. 3—Team Weenie #3 7.36:06.

Solo: 1—Leon Rothstein 11.20:34. 2—Charles Francisco 12.47:52.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.