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RRCA UT State Championship Recap

The Salt Lake City Track Club held its 35th annual Winter Running Series on January 26, February 9, and February 23, and this anniversary edition of the series lived up to the “WINTER” part of the name. 

For the 11th consecutive year, the races were held by the historic Great Saltair, just on the south end of the Great Salt Lake.  Unlike what even the club’s old timers remember, every race had severe winter weather.  The 5K took place during the annual temperature inversion, with constant fog and almost zero visibility along the course.  The skies cleared up before the 10K, but then a snowstorm blew in that morning, turning the race into a Winter Wonderland.  By the 15K, all participants were crossing their fingers for better weather, which seemed to be the case until one hour before the start of the race.  At that point, high winds and a fast-moving winter storm came in.  This year’s finishers truly deserved the medallions awarded to runners after the 15K race. 

The 10K and 15K races were recognized as RRCA state championships, and in addition to this, the 10K race was also recognized by USATF Utah as the first event in the 2013 Long Distance Running (LDR) circuit.  The LDR is a popular series throughout the year in Utah, where runners earn points in their age categories for finishing anywhere between 1st and 10th in their respective groups.  Partly because of these recognitions, the 10K race included a fast field, with a course record-tying finish time in the men’s race. 

Special thanks go out to our title sponsor for the series, New Balance Salt Lake.  Not only did they provide gift cards to the overall winners, they also provided and operated the chip-based timing equipment with their own volunteers and provided many of the raffle prizes.  Thank you to Scott Spurrier, the owner of New Balance Salt Lake and a long time supporter of the local running community.

Thanks also go out to our other sponsors Great Harvest Bread and Beans & Brews for providing bread, coupons, and coffee for each of the races.  Special thanks as well go to the students and parents of East High School, who volunteered at the aid stations for both the 10K and 15K state championship races, braving the snow and wind.  And of course we appreciate all of the club volunteers who contributed their time on race day and beforehand for what was described simultaneously as “worst weather conditions ever” and a “blast”.

The club wishes to congratulate the overall division winners for each of the races, including RRCA state champions in the 10K and 15K races:

5K (287 total finishers):
Open Division - Men: BJ Christenson, 15:32
Open Division:  Women: Devra Vierkant , 18:18
Masters Division - Men: Walter Brown, 16:55
Masters Division - Women: Chrystel Christenson, 22:38

10K (285 total finishers):
Open Division - Men (tied course record): Riley Cook, 31:46
Open Division:  Women: Kassi Harmon , 37:43
Masters Division - Men: Walter Brown, 34:50
Masters Division - Women: Sue Pope, 48:26
Grand Masters Division - Men (50+): Jules Magda , 41:51
Grand Masters Division - Women (50+): Hilary Jacobs, 52:55
Senior Grand Masters Division - Men (60+): Lloyd Hansen, 42:15
Senior Grand Masters Division - Women (60+): Linda Walker, 1:00:01

15K (170 total finishers):
Open Division - Men: BJ Christenson, 56:22
Open Division:  Women: Devra Vierkant, 1:01:38
Masters Division - Men: Mahmood Taha, 1:01:36
Masters Division - Women: Chrystel Christenson, 1:16:26
Grand Masters Division - Men (50+): Norlando Gomez, 1:24:32
Grand Masters Division - Women (50+): Sue Pope , 1:19:38
Senior Grand Masters Division - Men (60+): Ray Workman, 1:20:16
Senior Grand Masters Division - Women (60+): Linda Walker, 1:42:23

Happy spring running and we look forward to your participation next year in the 36th annual running series.  May the weather oracles be on our side this time!

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