Vertical K sets stage for today’s Power of Four run |

Vertical K sets stage for today’s Power of Four run

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Runners head out at the start of the Power of Four Vertical K at Aspen Mountain on an overcast and cloudy Saturday morning. Runners went from gondola plaza to the summit of Aspen Mountain.
Dale Strode / The Aspen Times |

They’re off.

The sixth annual Audi Power of Four Trail Run is back, with an early morning start in downtown Aspen today and a midmorning finish at Snowmass Base Village.

The trail runners, tackling a full 50-kilometer run or a 25K option, were scheduled to depart Aspen at 6 a.m., one day after the Audi Power of Four Mountain Bike Race was canceled because of weather and course conditions.

Today’s 50K finish will be 5-plus hours after the start.

The Power of Four Vertical K race was staged at Aspen Mountain on Saturday morning with a field of 50 uphillers heading for the Sundeck.

The uphill is part of the Altra U.S. Skyrunner Series, which includes today’s Power of Four Trail Run.

Joseph Gray of Colorado Springs won the Vertical K Trail Run for the second year in a row.

He won in 37 minutes, 4 seconds, beating his time of 37:30 from last year.

Kim Dobson of Eagle won the women’s race for the second consecutive year. She finished in 42:26, topping her 2015 time by 9 seconds.

Torstein Tengsareid of Egersund, California, finished second among the men in 39:23.

Andy Wacker of Boulder was third in 40:12.

Shannon Payne from Colorado Springs was second among the women in 49:27.

Margot Watters of Victor, Idaho, completed the podium in third with a time of 1 hour and 56 seconds.

Winners were awarded a total of $500, divided among the top three in each division.

Today’s featured trail runs will include the 50K, the 25K and a new 10K trail alternative.

The full race will include 12,178 feet of elevaton gain and 11,632 feet of elevation descent across the 31-mile course.

The course will start at Aspen Mountain and will include Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass with the finish at Snowmass Base Village.

Ashley Erba of Boulder won the women’s 50K trail race last year.

Paul Hamilton of Carbondale won the men’s race one year ago at Snowmass.

The 25K will go along the Government trail between Buttermilk and Snowmass.

And the new 10K will start at the Elk Camp restaurant and finish at Snowmass Base Villae.

Summer Hill Climb Aug. 20

The uphill Saturday also serves as a warmup for the Aspen Mountain Hill Climb, the 22nd annual benefit for the Aspen High School cross country team.

The race will be on Saturday, Aug. 20. It will start at the base of the gondola and finish at the Sundeck.

Entry is $20.

Entrants may preregister at the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen until 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 19. Registration also will be available at 7 a.m. at the gondola on race day.

There are divisions for running/hiking and mountain biking.

The mountain bike wave will start at 8 a.m.

The runners/hikers will start at 8:15 a.m.

Numerous prizes are available for the race that will cover 4.6 miles and 3,400 vertical feet.

The Aspen Mountain Summer Hill Climb records ares 45 minutes, 24 seconds, set by Jeremy Wright in 1998 for the men and 56:06, set by Megan Lund (Lizotte) in 2003 for women

The biking record is 49:53, set by Keegan Swirbul in 2013.

Tammy Jacques holds the women’s record of 57:35, set in 2000.

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