Joshua Eberly gets ‘redemption,’ wins Power of Four 50k trail run
1. Joshua Eberly, 5:24:23.3
2. Clark Messman, 5:36:43.0
3. John Herrick, 5:41:32.1
1. Rea Kolbl, 6:07:08.2
2. Julie Powell, 6:42:26.8
3. Darcy Piceu, 6:43:37.2
1. Jacob Dewey, 1:55:52.28
2. Joseph DeMoor, 1:57:19.41
3. Jack Beaumont, 2:01:38.31
1. Deanna Ardrey, 2:17:14.81
2. Brynn Devine, 2:54:44.45
3. Jaime Brede, 2:58:35.94
1. Sam Burke, 40:27.51
2. Jeremy Duncan, 41:50.01
3. Wade Sousa, 53:12.82
1. Malia Cali, 45:22.88
2. Samantha Bertolina, 47:54.67
3. Bitta Kahangi, 53:32.84
Joshua Eberly was in line to win last year’s Audi Power of Four 50-kilometer trail run before a bit of confusion with the signs veered him off course, ultimately leading to his disqualification. That miscalculation gave the Gunnison runner plenty of fuel as he set out to redeem himself a year later.
“You can point fingers at the course markings, myself, but overall it’s more or less just my own fault for not knowing the course. This year I really studied it and I knew at mile 10 there was an out and back,” the 38-year-old Eberly said. “More or less it was redemption and I just wanted to do it.”
Eberly made up for his 2018 mistake by winning Saturday’s 50k in 5 hours, 24 minutes, 23.3 seconds. The Adidas TERREX ambassador won by 12 minutes over Boulder’s Clark Messman (5:36:43), with another Boulder runner, John Herrick, taking third in 5:41:32.1.
Gunnison’s Cam Smith, an elite member of the U.S. ski mountaineering team, was fourth. T.J. David led the Aspen locals by finishing eighth, while Aspen’s Max Taam was 10th.
“On the first climb we had a good three, four, five. Even the second climb we were still right there together,” Eberly said. “It was just on the downhills I felt more efficient and opened up and just got enough of a gap to keep running and got them.”
The Power of Four, produced by Aspen Skiing Co., is a roughly 31-mile race that takes runners up and over all four of the area ski mountains, beginning with Aspen Mountain and finishing in Snowmass Village. Eberly said he put some distance on his competition during the descent of Aspen Highlands, the second of the four mountains, but admitted the climb back up Buttermilk’s Tiehack was brutal.
“The climbs are pretty epic. Early on it’s nice because you are feeling good and you got the heat factor and it’s right around 17 miles where you start climbing up the third,” Eberly said. “That was the toughest because the heat is on you and you are already 17 miles into the race. I was looking over my shoulder every other minute.”
Taking the women’s 50k title was Boulder’s Rea Kolbl, who was seventh overall with a time of 6:07:08.2. A full-time professional athlete who focuses on obstacle course racing like Spartan Races, Kolbl is originally from Slovenia but moved to Colorado for training.
The 28-year-old made her Power of Four debut when she competed in the winter’s skimo race, even though skiing isn’t necessarily her cup of tea.
‘That was a lot harder. I prefer being without skis,” Kolbl joked. “My friend convinced me to do the skimo and we survived that, so I figured if we did the hard one I might as well do the one I’m actually good at.”
Kolbl called the early part of the 50k trail run, especially the climb up Aspen Mountain at 6 a.m., “soul crushing,” but certainly made an impressive showing by winning the women’s race by about 35 minutes over Julie Powell of Colorado Springs. The third woman to finish the 50k was Darcy Piceu of Boulder. She was only about a minute behind Powell. They finished 12th and 14th overall.
“I was hoping, but when it’s so long and so hard, so many things can go wrong,” Kolbl said of her expectations to win. “I was struggling for the last 10k quite a bit.”
Dewey, Ardrey win Power of Two 25k races
Jacob Dewey of Colorado Springs has his eyes set on the Aug. 31 Grand Traverse mountain run, which goes from Crested Butte to Aspen, and saw the Power of Two as a good training opportunity. The shorter race, which includes only Buttermilk and Snowmass, was won by the 20-year-old who goes to college in Gunnison and is relatively new to trail races.
“It typically has some good competition and it’s a good, honest course. Good ups, good downs and it’s a beautiful place to run,” Dewey said. “I’m happy about it, but I got to get back to training and get focused for the GT.”
Dewey completed the 25k race in 1:55:52.28, beating Carbondale’s Joseph DeMoor by about 90 seconds and New Zealand’s Jack Beaumont by about six minutes.
Boulder’s Deanna Ardrey won the women’s 25k in 2:17:14.81, taking 10th overall. Brynn Devine of Denver was the second female finisher, taking 21st overall in 2:54:44.45. Breckenridge’s Jaime Brede was third among women in 2:58:35.94.
“That first climb was really hot and in the sun. I didn’t feel warmed up enough until about halfway up it. It was steep,” Dewey said of the first climb up Tiehack. “You have a nice descent and quite a bit of deep stream crossings and kind of ran into no-man’s land for all of it.”
Also part of the Power of Four festivities was a 10k race, which started and finished in Snowmass. Dillon’s Sam Burke, only 16, won the race in 40:27.51. Basalt’s Jeremy Duncan was second (41:50.01). Malia Cali of Denver was the top woman in the 10k, taking third overall in 45:22.88.
The three-part Audi Power of Four series concludes Aug. 17 with the mountain bike race. Up for grabs will be the Triple Crown title, which goes to the athletes with the best collective times from all three races.
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Kevin Warner started his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness ranger in 2001. Now he’s taking over the key position as Aspen-Sopris District Ranger.