Granite Tors Trail Run
Flaharty lead way at Granite Tors
couple of runners decided that completing the arduous 15-mile Granite
Tors Trail Run once on Sunday just wasn’t enough. Another
sandwiched bike rides of nearly 60 miles there and back around the
event. A few shed some blood after taking spills. Others were in so
little hurry that they stopped to climb around on the granite
outcroppings. Thankfully, no one got lost on the popular loop trail off
Chena Hot Springs Road. And one thing all the runners shared — besides
wet feet — was exhaustion after their tour along boardwalk, up a
2,000-foot vertical gain, across spongy tundra, through a boulder field
and over countless rocks and roots.
Harrington shaved almost five minutes off his winning time from 2008 to
cross first in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 53 seconds. Mark Lindberg was
second (2:23:37) and Todd Kasteler, an Anchorage runner who is working
this summer in Fairbanks, placed third in 2:27:55.
Flaharty took first for the women and ninth overall in 2:45:26, while
Angela Smith (sporting a bloody knee) was runner-up in 2:58:09.
Stephanie King took third in 3:19:34.
mark was the fastest time since Kevin Brinegar ran 2:06 in 2002, but it
was still nearly 15 minutes shy of Shawn Harper’s apparent record of
1:58 in 1998. Flaharty’s mark is believed to be the quickest women’s
run since Jane LeBlond posted 2:33:49 in 1999.
After a lengthy break, Harrington, who is training for a 50-mile race next month in Washington state, ran the course again — retrieving the course markers along the way. He was joined by Kasteler, who didn’t flinch when asked.
Flaharty had his own ultra-distance day by cycling from Moose Mountain
to the race, completing the event in fifth place (2:36:42) and then
pedaling back.Colin McKenzie and Zach Keskinen were the last guys to
finish, but their time of 4:35:34 was extended because they couldn’t
resist going bouldering on some trailside tors instead of simply
running past them.
turnout of 41 runners was easily the biggest among records available
Flaharty and Harrington now are the overall leaders in the Northern
Trails Running Series. The next event in the six-race series is the
Ester Dome Ass Kicker at 10 a.m. on July 12 beginning at the Ester Gold