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2012 Fall Series

Fall Series IV: Young, Bar claim men's and women's Fall Series crowns
Robby Young (5934) and Scott Bowman (5541) lead the pack at the start of the Fall Series IV race on Sunday (Nov. 11) at Palmer Park.

RESULTS: Check Finish Line Index for results of today's race, and much more
VIDEO: Start of Fall Series IV ** Interview with Robby Young, men's series champion ** Interview with Clare Bar, women's series champ
PHOTOS: Fall Series Gallery 1 ** Gallery 2 ** Gallery 3

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By Joe Paisley

Robby Young and Clare Bar left no doubt who would be the men’s and women’s Fall Series overall winners.

Young, 27, of Colorado Springs, won the series final at Palmer Park - a seven-mile romp on the park's famous singletrack - in 46 minutes, 50 seconds on Sunday. The win completed his sweep of all four series races as he captured the series overall title in (2:17:35).

Bar won her second race in the series finale in 56:12 to claim the women’s overall championship (2:49:23) in her first attempt.

“My husband told me this was the last one so there was nothing to lose,” Bar said. “I just went after it and focused on not falling on the downhills. This was my best race when it came to not falling.”

Considering the cold conditions – it was 25 degrees at the start, rising to 27, with a frigid wind throughout – it was a very strong finish for both. Barr and Young were among many who were stooped over afterward, trying to cough the chill out of their lungs.

“When I started off, I didn’t expect (to sweep),” Young said. “I wanted to try the series so I took each race one at a time. This one was tough because I had a cold and sinus infection and got little training in this week.”

“To get the sweep is really good,” said Ben Klungtvedt, 27, of Colorado Springs, who placed third in Sunday’s race, his best finish in the series, and third overall. “To be that consistent and winning four races in four different conditions is very impressive.”

Kayli Tabares, 13, of Colorado Springs, who placed third in the women’s series last fall, placed second overall in 2012 with a total time of 2:53:45. Despite her youth, she attacked the course Sunday in hopes of overtaking Bar.

“I live near here so my family knows this park really well,” she said.

Connilee Walter, 39, of Colorado Springs finished third in the series (2:55:35).

The course was challenging, but not as difficult as it could have been with scattered snow showers throughout northern Colorado Springs. The dirt trails were dry with no snow or ice.

(Series director) Larry (Miller) took it easy on us today,” said Pueblo West’s Justin Ricks, 32, who placed second on Sunday and was the overall runner-up. “(The challenge) is fun afterwards. During the race, it is not so fun.”

Ilea Eskildsen, 26, of Colorado Springs, was the women’s runner-up on Sunday. She appreciated the challenge of the courses, which included the knee-deep creek run in the series opener at Monument Valley Park.

“It was good and challenging,” she said. “It really keeps you on your toes.”

Volunteers know how much works goes into the race

The people laying out the race course and handling all the details were working in the Sunday morning chill hours before the 11:30 a.m. start.

“Roger Allison once said that once a runner volunteers they never complain about the races again,” said volunteer Rich Hessek, who has helped the Fall Series for about 20 years. “It takes a lot of work.”

Tom Santa Maria, who also helps oversee the kid runs after the adult races, is on the scene until 4 p.m.

They are two of the almost 30 volunteers, including 18 spread out throughout the course, and the rest helping at the start and finish lines, series director Larry Miller said.

Why do they do it?

“My son asked me why I do it and it’s because it’s the thing I do to give back,” Santa Maria said. “I like setting up the kid’s races. I must be getting older because I cannot run with the (faster) kids anymore after running (in the adult race). Soon I’ll be jogging with the toddlers.”

Fall Series III: Robby Young running away with Fall Series; women's race remains close
Runners head for the finish of the Fall Series No. 3 race at Ute Valley Park on Sunday, Oct. 28.

RESULTS: Check out Finish line Index for results of this race and much more.
PHOTOS: Gallery 1** Gallery 2 ** Kids Race
VIDEO: Start of Fall Series No. 3 race ** Interview with Ilea Iskeldsen

If you enjoy this race coverage, please consider supporting PikesPeakSports.us. Click the "Donate" button, top left on the main page.

Robby Young of the Boulder Running Company/Adidas team won for the third time in three starts in the Pikes Peak Road Runners' Fall Series on Sunday at Ute Valley Park, while Ilea Eskildsen captured the win in the women's race.
About 420 runners took on another challenging course designed by Larry Miller. The race route - somewhere between 5.5 miles and 6 miles in length - included several tough climbs, including a steep ascent of about 200 meters near the end of the race where runners cursed Miller, the series founder who takes pride in creating lung-bursting courses.

Young finished in 38 minutes, 13 seconds, followed closely by Simon Gutierrez in 38:41. Eskildsen finished in 47:41, with Connilee Walter giving chase in 48:07.
Eskildsen, 26, of Colorado Springs, may have had an advantage. She runs in Ute Valley often and knows all about its hilly terrain.
"I live right across the street from this park, so this is kind of my home course," she said.
The women's race was extremely close with all of the series leaders battling at the front of the pack. Walter's finish moved her into a tie for second in the overall series with 13-year-old wunderkind Kayli Tabares, who placed third on Sunday and proved again that she can run with the area's fastest women. After three races, they each have a cumulative time of 1:54:34.
Series leader Clare Bar had all the symptoms of a cold, but managed to retain her series lead (1:53:11) with a fourth-place finish.
Eskildsen missed the first Fall Series Race and won't figure into the final standings, but she is looking forward the series finale on Nov. 11 in Palmer Park.
Young, 27, of Colorado Springs, has a 2 minute lead over Justin Ricks in the series. A proven road runner with plenty of speed, he is running the Fall Series for the first time. He is hoping for an easier course.
"The next race can't be any harder than this one, can it?" he asked.
Of course Young should feel confident in Palmer Park. He won the tough 9-mile Hellacious Trail Challenge there in 2011.
Fall Series II: Clare Bar learns the ropes in Fall Series II

PHOTOS: Fall Series II, Gallery 1 ** Gallery 2 ** Gallery 3 ** Fall Series Kids, Gallery 1 ** Fall Series Kids, Gallery 2
VIDEO: Start of Fall Series II** Clare Bar vs. the ropes ** Interview with race winner Robby Young ** Interview with race winner Clare Bar

About 460 adventurous runners took on the 4.5-mile singletrack "cross country" course designed by the creative Larry Miller. In the last quarter of a mile, everyone had to climb a steep, 30-foot embankment using ropes to pull themselves up. The obstacles in the Fall Series races have become famous with area runners looking for a different challenge.
Robby Young of the Boulder Running Company/Adidas team, and Air Force 1st Lt. Clare Bar took the wins. Both lead the overall series after two of four races.
Young is better known for fast times on the road, but the Boulder Running Company/Adidas team member said he had to give the Fall Series a try. It was a good decision. Young won for the second time in two starts, charging to the win in 28 minutes, 21 seconds.
Bar won in 35:10.

Fall Series I: Seventh-grader schools father to win women's Fall Series opener
The Leaders of the Pack: Pete Maksimow, Justin Ricks, Robby Young and Michael Weiss lead the charge early in the Fall Series No. 1 race on Sunday at Monument Valley Park. Young took the win.

RESULTS: Check out Finish Line Index for results of today's race and many more
VIDEO: Start of the Fall Series No. 1 race
PHOTOS: Race start gallery ** Gallery 1 from the course ** Gallery 2 from the course


By Joe Paisely

Kayli Tabares, 13, was proud of beating her father by seven seconds; even more so because doing so paced her to what will likely be the first of many women’s overall titles in the opening race of the Pikes Peak Road Runners Fall Series.

“I started out fast because I knew I needed to keep pace with him,” the seventh grader at Russell Middle School said, who won in 29 minutes, 10 seconds. “I knew when I reached the creek with him I would be in position.”

“It’s pretty awesome,” said proud papa Travis Tabares, 34, who placed 33rd. Kayli pulled away during the creek portion.

The 3.5-mile race on Sunday in Monument Valley Park was a unique challenge for all, especially first-timers like men’s champion Robby Young, 27, who also works as the Rampart High School head cross country coach.

He won the race in 24:11, despite falling twice during the ¾-mile stretch running through Monument Creek.

“I went down the first time because I was running along on one level and suddenly stepped into a hole,” he said. “I fell face-first. That was a big hole.”

He built a large enough early lead over runner-up Michael Weiss (24:37), 31, of Colorado Springs to hold on for the victory despite the face-plants.

“I knew I had to get off to a good start,” Young said. “I had a 30- to 40-meter lead on Michael and 100 on the others. My goal was to survive the creek and win at the end. That was a unique experience.”

Justin Ricks of Pueblo West, 32, who finished third overall in the 2011 series, placed third on Sunday in 24:59. Ben Klungtheds, 27, of Colorado Springs took fourth in 24:59 in the photo finish. Benjamin Hanson, 30, of Aurora was fifth in 25:04.

Peter Maksimow, 33, of Manitou Springs, who placed second in the 2011 series, was sixth in 25:13. Defending series champion Alex Nichols of Colorado Springs did not compete.

Tabares, a seasoned veteran of the race at age 13, placed third in the series last fall. It was her first win in three tries in the 32ndseries opener. She avoided any stumbles in the creek although she caught herself once on a tree branch.

Runner-up Clare Bar (29:24) knew Tabares was the one to beat when he saw her along the starting line.

“I was hoping for first but when I saw here I knew it was going to be a tough race,” Bar said.

Bar, 25, of Colorado Springs was another race rookie. She was both excited and dismayed by the water depth, which varied from 1 to 2 feet, with the splash from other runners dousing others from head to toe. Many of the 504 entrants were soaked by race’s end.

Connilee Walter, 39, of Colorado Springs placed third in 29:50 followed by 29-year-old local Amy Batson (31:19) and Natascha Leonardo (31:44), 27, of Colorado Springs in fifth.

The next event in the four-race series is Oct. 14 at Bear Creek Park. The 4.5-miler starts at 11:30 a.m.

Minor changes to race, course

The race course was much the same except the usual hay bales were removed for insurance reasons, said race director Larry Miller.

The key was only using natural obstacles, which the creek did plenty to provide.

“The depth was a little higher than usual because of the storms we have had lately,” Miller said with a smile.

The final half-mile is tweaked most every year, he added.

The race also used chip timing for the first time for increased accuracy.

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