Aspen High’s Hoffman wins Buddy 5
Noah Hoffman followed in some impressive footsteps Tuesday morning, holding off Bernie Boettcher of Silt to win the 28th annual Boogies Diner Buddy 5 Mile Race.Aspen native Jon Severy, the two-time defending champion, was not among the field of 750, which left Boettcher also the runner-up last year as the pre-race favorite.But Hoffman, 16, pulled away from a pack of runners, including Boettcher, at the start of the Cemetery Lane hill, and Boettcher was never able to reel in the three-sport star from Aspen High School.There was actually a pack of five or six of us, said Hoffman, a distance runner and cross-country skier at AHS. I went on the hill and looked back and they were all spread out. I looked back a couple of times before the Marolt bridge, but I didnt look back after that.Added Boettcher: He took off, and thats where I planned to make my move, too. Three guys stayed ahead of me until the top of the hill, then I didnt pass them until after we crested. I figured if it came down to a sprint, Id be in trouble, so I tried to make a move there and hold him off until we got to the end but he had the same idea.Hoffman didnt run in last years Buddy 5, although Boettcher, 43, knew from the race start that the rising Aspen High senior likely would be his top competition. In March, Hoffman edged Boettcher and elite Vail adventure racer Mike Kloser in Americas Uphill, the 3,267-foot vertical climb up Aspen Mountain where competitors can use either snowshoes or nordic skis.I didnt know if he was going to be here, but I knew if he was here, it would be a hammer, Boettcher said. I tell you what, it was fantastic. At about two-and-a-half miles, there were still seven or so people in a pack. To see all those young guys out there hammering is really nice. Its about time.Tuesdays race marked the 197th endurance event in 198 weeks for Boettcher, who said he plans to sneak in three races in the next two weeks to make it an even 200 for 200.Hoffmans time was nearly two minutes off the pace Severy set last year 26 minutes, 7 seconds. A standout runner at AHS himself, Severy went on to become an All-American cross-country star at the University of Colorado before he graduated in May 2005.Hoffman said it was inspiring to win the biggest local race of the year, and the same one Severy a long-time role model previously won.Its awesome, he said. This is a difficult course, and there are some great competitors. Im just really excited.Jason Scharb, 28, of Colorado Springs, was the third overall finisher in 28:52, followed by Cheyne Heiny, 18, of Lakewood, in 29:03. Basalt local Daniel Pinter, 19, finished fifth, in 29:28.Daniela Johnston, 36, of Rock Hill, S.C., was the first woman to cross the finish line, with a time of 33:48. Lisa Brunacini, also 36, of Albuquerque, N.M, was next in 34:26, followed by Aspen locals Anne Gonzales and Robin Severy, who both finished in 34:36.Brunacini, a mother of two, said she was pleasantly surprised with hersecond-place finish.Its neat and unexpected, Brunacini said. I just run for fun. I only do about two or three races a year, and those are usually marathons. Today was just a lot of fun.Nate Petersons e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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