Coogans win Race for the Cure |

Coogans win Race for the Cure

A record number of runners took to the streets of Aspen Saturday morning for a great cause: trying to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening illness.

The ninth annual Komen Aspen Race for the Cure drew a field of 1,731 participants for the 5-kilometer run through downtown Aspen, easily topping the 1300 runners that took part in last year’s race.

There were actually two races held on the 5K course. The first, the men’s race, saw Mark Coogan of Boulder easily outdistance 344 other competitors on his way to a winning time of 16 minutes, 49.4 seconds.

Coogan was followed in the men’s standings by three Aspen residents. Jason Page crossed the line in 17:32.4, good for second place. Third went to Trent Sanderson in 17:55.1. And Aspen’s Todd Gilbreath was fourth in 17:58.0.

Two other valley residents also placed in the top 10. Aspen’s Bobby Stuckey was sixth in 19:01.2, and John Stroud of Carbondale took seventh place in 19:07.8.

After the men cleared the course, the day’s feature event, the women’s race, took center stage.

The race, which drew 1,385 competitors, was won by Gwynneth Coogan of Boulder in 18:21.9, giving the Front Range running family a sweep.

Second place went to Dana Boyle of Carbondale, who crossed the line in 19:11.3.

Coogan’s victory put an end to an impressive winning streak of sorts by Boyle, the NAIA All-American runner and former all-stater from Roaring Fork High School. Boyle had won practically every race run in the Roaring Fork Valley so far this summer, including the Strawberry Shortcut in Glenwood Springs, the Aspen Downtown Mile and the Boogie’s Diner Aspen Buddy Five.

Laura Bruess of Boulder was third in 20:17.8, just ahead of a strong contingent of area runners who took spots 4-9.

Anne Nerbonne of Aspen (fourth, 20:59.3) won the women’s 35-39 division. She was followed by two top prep runners from the valley: Melody Scheefer of Carbondale (fifth, 21:06.0) and Elizabeth Mitchell of Aspen (sixth, 21:16.5). Becca Blay of Aspen (seventh, 21:31.5), Jenny Wilcox of Carbondale (eighth, 21:34.8) and Ashley Morton of Aspen (ninth, 21:44.2) rounded out the local runners in the top 10.

Runners from all over the country and from as far away as Australia made the trip to Aspen to take part in the race and aid a worthy cause. The record field also included a number of survivors of breast cancer.

The Komen Aspen Race for the Cure is part of the Race for the Cure series, which includes 98 races throughout the U.S. and over 700,000 participants. The races benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, a grassroots organization dedicated to wiping out breast cancer.

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