Max Taam, Caroline Tory win 2018 Power of Four Triple Crowns; Barlow wins 50k

Power of Four results

Triple Crown


1. Max Taam, 15:10:27.85

2. Steve Denny, 18:10:03.79

3. Jon Jay, 21:32:42.84


1. Caroline Tory, 19:07:31.91

2. Madeline Fones, 19:24:57.50

3. Betsy Welch, 23:24:44.21

50k trail run


1. Michael Barlow, 5:16:10.71

2. David Hedges, 5:35:28.53

3. TJ David, 5:41:40.65


1. Ginna Ellis, 6:22:22.68

2. Caroline Tory, 6:48:10.49

3. Madeline Fones, 6:48:19.09

25k trail run


1. Lindon Powell, 1:58:06.13

2. Sean Van Horn, 1:59:30.92

3. Timmy Parr, 1:59:53.67


1. Dani Moreno, 2:24:01.28

2. Abby Levene, 2:30:49.73

3. Kristin Layne, 2:40:47.50

10k trail run


1. Cory Smith, 0:46:50.73

2. Dave Peters, 1:04:14.44

3. David Butler, 1:17:09.23


1. Hannah Pike, 1:02:51.21

2. Barbara Tatge, 1:11:37.75

3. Shannon Enger, 1:15:11.54

After completing Saturday’s Power of Four mountain bike race in a touch over four hours, the last thing Aspen’s Max Taam wanted to do Sunday was get up for a 50-kilometer trail run that started at 6 a.m. Had it began any earlier, he probably wouldn’t have made it.

“I should have put the legs up more. I was still in bed pretty early, but I should have been in bed earlier,” Taam said of his Saturday evening. “(Sunday) morning I didn’t want to get out of bed. I almost missed the start. I live six blocks away, so I ran over and realized I almost forgot my number. By the time I was actually ready, I had about 30 seconds to spare.”

Finishing Sunday’s 50k race — he did so in 6 hours, 19 minutes, 9.48 seconds to come in sixth overall — was important as Taam had his sights set on the overall Audi Power of Four Triple Crown title. In only its second year, the Triple Crown recognizes the top athletes to complete the winter’s Power of Four ski mountaineering race, the full Power of Four mountain bike race and the 50k trail run within a calendar year.

Turns out that Taam, already one of the most accomplished endurance athletes in the Roaring Fork Valley, had plenty of time to spare. His three-race total time of 15:10:27.85 gave him the 2018 Triple Crown by three hours over runner-up Steve Denny and by more than six hours over third-place Jon Jay.

“It’s good to be done. I was nervous about running today,” Taam said after Sunday’s trail run. “We have a three-and-a-half month old little boy at home, so the training, I’m not getting the same volume these days. But I was psyched to perform well both days this weekend and not totally fall apart today.”

With the help of teammate John Gaston, another noted Aspen endurance athlete, Taam won the Power of Four ski mountaineering race in March, breaking the course record in the process. He was a strong fifth in Saturday’s mountain bike race before closing out his Triple Crown with Sunday’s 50k trail run, won by fellow Aspen resident Michael Barlow in 5:16:10.71.

The women’s Triple Crown title ended up going to Aspen’s Caroline Tory with a three-event time of 19:07:31.91. She beat runner-up Madeline Fones by only 17 minutes, with Betsy Welch coming in third about four hours behind Fones. Basalt’s Fones won the inaugural women’s Triple Crown title in 2017, as she was the only woman to have completed all three of the events.

“It was fun to be able to piece the three together,” Tory said. “I saw Maddy finish last year and was super inspired by that. So to go from one to three of us, and hopefully next year it will be six and the year after 10. It will keep growing.”

Tory, who was fifth among women in Saturday’s mountain bike race, finished the weekend strong by being the second woman across the finish line in the 50k trail run. Her time of 6:48:10.49 was about 25 minutes behind race winner Ginna Ellis of Boulder. Fones was third in Sunday’s run, finishing only nine seconds behind Tory.

Early exits in the 50k

Both the men’s and women’s 50k races saw their early frontrunners disqualified midway through for accidently veering off course. Estes Park resident Michelle Hiland was actually the first woman to finish the race, but her time didn’t count after she lost her way trying to ascend Aspen Highlands. She was told of her disqualification at Buttermilk, but decided to continue on regardless.

“It’s when you are tired and following someone that you get lost. I looked at the signs and I was really confused, so that was part of the problem,” Hiland said. “I was a little depressed for a while, but I was like it’s beautiful here. I love trail running, so I can do this. It’s always good practice. I love running. So I’m happy I finished. I considered not when they first told me.”

Early race leaders Joshua Eberly and Ryan Bak were disqualified for the same reason on the men’s side, paving the way for Barlow’s big win. David Hedges finished second, about 19 minutes behind Barlow, while T.J. David was third, another six minutes behind Hedges.

An established trail runner in the valley, Barlow also won the Food & Wine 5k earlier this summer.

“It was a bummer. I think I know exactly where they did it, too,” Barlow said of his competition running off course. “Fortunately for 99 percent of the course, I don’t really have to think about it. Benefit of being a local. I am pretty stoked.”

Barlow said he plans to head to Scotland in September for the World Skyrunning Championships. The Power of Four 50k and 25k runs were both part of the Skyrunner USA Series. Before that, he plans to compete in the Aspen Backcountry Marathon, which is set for Aug. 11.

As for Taam, he plans to put most of his focus on his young son, Ryder.

“It’s tough,” Taam said. “I want to put more on my calendar, but I know when I put more on my calendar I may be too focused on training and right now I’m just trying to have fun with the little one.”

Oregon’s Powell, Cali’s Moreno win 25k races

Sunday’s 25k trail run was won by Oregon’s Lindon Powell in 1:58:06.13. He beat Carbondale’s Sean Van Horn, last year’s Triple Crown winner, by a little more than a minute. Timmy Parr was third, only another 23 seconds behind Van Horn.

Powell said he’s been in the area for a few weeks as he prepares for the Aug. 19 Pikes Peak Marathon.

“The altitude was definitely a bit of a shock, but it was good practice,” Powell said of the Power of Four race. “I decided to dig super deep to hold them off. But it was a great race. It was nice that it was a really competitive field.”

California’s Dani Moreno won the women’s 25k race in 2:24:01.28. Abby Levene was second, finishing nearly seven minutes back, and Kristin Layne third.

Cory Smith easily won the 10k race in 46:50.73, more than 17 minutes ahead of second place. Aspen’s Hannah Pike was the top female in the 10k, coming in with a time of 1:02:51.21.

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