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Boyle breaks Aspen mile mark

Todd Hartley

The seventh annual Aspen Downtown Mile Saturday morning featured as its winners a new name in Aspen running circles, and another name that is rapidly becoming more and more familiar in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Men’s winner Rees Buck came to Aspen for the weekend from Gunnison and won the kickoff event of the Aspen Summer Race Series by motoring across the finish line in 4 minutes and 40 seconds.

His time was just one second off the men’s course record established in 1997 by Luther Kopf of Glenwood Springs, a former All-American in track at the University of Arizona.

Second place for the men went to Pat Davis of Glenwood Springs in 5:13, just nosing out Carbondale’s John Stroud, who finished with the same time.

Davis is a junior at Glenwood Springs High School. Stroud is a longtime valley runner.

The women’s winner, Dana Boyle of Carbondale, returned to defend the title she won last year, and set a new course record in the process.

Boyle, an NAIA All-American runner for the University of Puget Sound and a graduate of Roaring Fork High School, finished in 5:20, breaking by nine seconds the mark she established just last year.

Jena Pohle of Greenwood Village, Colo., finished second among women with a time of 6:05, and Boyle’s younger sister Sami ran 6:15 to take third place.

The course, which started at the tennis courts at the Aspen Meadows, wound through Aspen’s historic West End, followed Fourth Street across Main to Hopkins Avenue and finished up at Paepcke Park along Hopkins.

Buck made the trek up from Gunnison to run in this year’s race after reading about it in the paper.

“I figured I’d come up to Aspen for a couple of days,” he said. And while this was far from his fastest time, “I run a bit faster than that,” he said, Buck was happy just to win the race and take place in what has turned into one of Aspen’s favorite running events.

“It was a bit of fun,” he said.

After winning the NAIA national championship at 3000 meters last month, Boyle, a three-time state champion during her high school career, recently returned to the valley after finishing her freshman year at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash.

She celebrated her return by winning the 22nd annual Strawberry Shortcut 5K earlier this month in a record time of 18:06, 27 seconds better than the previous mark.

Despite establishing a new race record for women in the Downtown Mile, Boyle was fairly low-key about her victory.

“It was OK,” she said. “It’s only a mile, but it’s pretty fun. It’s good for speed work.”

This was only Boyle’s second time running the Aspen Downtown Mile. But she hopes to come back next year to defend her title again, said Boyle, who ran in the World Junior Cross Country Championships last fall.

The Aspen Summer Race Series also includes the Aspen Mountain Hill Climb on Aug. 28 and the Chuck Severy Memorial Cross Country 5K on Oct. 9.

All three races are benefits for the AHS cross country program organized by coach Mark Barbour.


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