Durango runner prevails in Grand Traverse
The Aspen Times
Durango’s Brendan Trimboli made the final turn off of Ajax Trail and dashed down to the finish line Saturday morning at Ajax Park along Ute Avenue in east Aspen.
Six hours and 25 minutes earlier, Trimboli had departed downtown Crested Butte at the start of the second annual Grand Traverse Summer Run.
Trimboli left Crested Butte with 154 other runners.
But he finished in Aspen all alone after 40 miles of running through the backcountry, cuminating with a tortuous four-mile twisting, singletrack descent of Aspen Mountain.
Trimboli, coming off a top-10 finish in the grueling Hardrock 100 earlier this summer, also won Saturday’s king of the mountain competition as the first runner to summit Star Pass.
Aspen’s Travis Baptiste scurried to a second-place finish Saturday in 6:56 with Crested Butte’s Logan Greydanus third, just 47 seconds behind Baptiste.
“I thought this was awesome,” Trimboli said in the finish area. “The course was well marked. The aid stations were well supported and well staffed. I think it’s a top-notch event.”
Trimboli won $500 Saturday for winning the race, and he won another $500 as the king of the mountain — the first runner to the top of Star Pass.
“I went out pretty hard,” he said. “I was first to the top of the pass, and then I decided to see if I could hang on for the rest of it.”
He said he navigated the course with a few instances of discomfort.
But, he said, he managed his food and fluid intake for the 40-miler.
Trimboli, who is the head of the running club in Durango, also works for a solar engineering firm.
Originally from Woodland Park near Colorado Springs, Trimboli went to college in Seattle where he developed an affinity for endurance running.
He already had the running trait firmly established in his family.
“Without a doubt, my mom was my greatest influence,” Trimboli said. “She was an ultramarathoner, and she passed away when I was in high school.”
In Seattle, he said he nurtured his love of running with group outings with the Seattle Running Co.
“Those long runs … that introduced me to the whole culture,” said Trimboli, who ran his first ultramarathon in Washingon in 2008. “The ultra scene has been my family ever since.”
He relocated to Durango and never looked back.
“My first 100 was Leadville, and that was her first 100 as well,” he said of his mom, Lillian Trimboli. “I feel like I’ve picked up the baton. It’s a big tribute to her. She was a great, great human being.”
Trimboli, who also did the ski mountaineering Grand Traverse in March, said he likely will bow out of today’s Grand Traverse Summer Bike, the 40-mile mountain bike race from Aspen to Crested Butte.
“I think I pushed a little hard today (to do the mountain bike ride),” Trimboli said. “I think I’ll be happy with this.”
He also said he was fortunate that one of his former Durango pals didn’t show up for Saturday’s Grand Traverse run.
“I’m glad Paul Hamilton didn’t show up. You know, he used to be my roommate in Durango,” Trimboli said. “We had this knack of going to the same race, and he would just crush me. I would always be a distant second.”
Hamilton won the Power of Four Trail Race in Aspen earlier this summer.
But Trimboli won the Grand Traverse.
“Ajax was really, really tough,” runner-up Baptiste said in the finish area at Ajax Park. “Yeah, Ajax … all that singletrack was brutal.”
Baptiste said the final, four-mile descent was difficult on tired legs.
“And I think I’m losing a toenail, too,” said Baptiste, a bartender at Su Casa.
The Grand Traverse summer games will continue today with the 40-mile mountain bike ride to Crested Butte, starting at 8 a.m. at the base of Lift 1A at Aspen Mountain.
For results, visit grandtraverse.com.
Now 40 years old, the downhill racer from Utah is still speeding along with no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Sure, his back sometimes aches but it’s not enough to deter him from chasing after the feeling of a perfect race.