Winter Series IV
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Katie Rainsberger finished the short-course races in the 2013 Winter Series the same way she started them, by shocking people.
"I tried to stay with her and we hit the first hill and she was gone," said Travis Tabares, who finished 26th overall.
By the time Rainsberger, a 14-year old Air Academy High School freshman, had hit the finish of a hilly course in the Black Forest, she had put all but a few runners in the field of 307 behind her.
She finished 15th overall with a course record of 41 minutes, 43 seconds, besting Amanda Ewing's 2011 record time of 42:18. But the thing that makes the older runners - men and women - shake their heads is this: Rainsberger ran for practice, to prepare for high school track, and to have fun with her friends on the Stud Muffins team.
"I came in not to race, but to just keep the title and to get some distance in before track," Rainsberger said.
Rainsberger finished the series - four races - with a cumulative time of 1:59:03.
The women's short series belonged to the young runners. Seven of the top eight in the final series standings ranged in age from 11 to 18. Kayli Tabares, 13, was second overall (2:07:24), while Claire Rachwitz, 18, finished third (2:11:21). A pair of 11-year-old girls, Chantae Steele and Jalynn Tabares were also in the Top 8.
In the men's short-course race, James Burns, 24, Colorado Springs, won again to take the series. He finished in 33:53 with a total time of 1:39:26. Former Olympic steeple chase qualifier Justin Chaston, 44, Colorado Springs, was second on Saturday (35:23) and second overall (1:42:12.)
Scott Spillman captured the win in the Winter Series IV 20 K on Saturday in the Black Forest. Spillman, 26, Colorado Springs, covered the hilly, snowy course in 1 hour, 14 minutes, 58 seconds. It was his first race in the Winter Series.
"I was just doing this to get a good training run in," he said.
The star of the day was Corban Pagnotta, a fresh-faced Pueblo West High School sophomore who finished second and won the long series championship. Pagnotta clocked 1:18:56, but his combined time of 3:57:33 was the best of all. Like Rainsberger, Pagnotta is preparing for spring track with his teammates.
"This is pretty much just a bunch of training runs for us, getting us in a racing mood," he said.
His success in the series was a little surprising to him.
"I did better than I thought I would," he said.
Brad Poppele (41, Manitou Springs) finished second in the series with a total time of 4:01:22.
In the women's long series, Clare Bar, 25, of Colorado Springs, won for the third time in four starts. She blasted the 20K in 1:28:18 and won the series with a 4:21:49. Stephanie Wurtz (30, Colorado Springs) was second with a 4:26:32.
Winter Series III
RESULTS: See results in Finish Line Index
PHOTOS: Gallery 1 ** Gallery 2* ** Gallery 3 ** Gallery 4 ** Gallery 5
VIDEO: Start of the 5-mile races ** Start of the 10-mile races ** Interview with James Burns
Plowing through a cold north wind, Burns lead a pack of six for 2.5 miles on Saturday in the Winter Series III 5-mile race. Nobody wanted to take the lead.
That may have been a mistake.
"They were all kind of sitting on me," Burns said. "I did all the work on the way out. I stayed conservative and built into it."
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When he hit the turnaround on the flat Santa Fe Trail just south of Monument, Burns had the wind at his back and enough energy in the tank to pull away and win in a course record time of 27 minutes, 5 seconds.
"Every mile, I ended up getting faster," he said. "It was definitely a hard race. That wind was incredibly tough."
The only runner to hang with him was Michael Weiss, Burns' triathlon training partner, who finished a stride behind and was also given a time of 27:05.
"He came up on me and the two of us hammered the last two miles in a 5 (minute) flat pace," Burns said. "It came down to a sprint and it just happened to be my day."
Burns beat Weiss in the Winter Series II race in similar fashion and has now won all three of the 2103 Winter Series short races. There are two distances on each race date, long and short, with the overall lengths increasing at each event.
Logan Wealing was third in 27:14.
Katie Rainsberger, 14, paced a band of young runners and won for the third time in three starts. She hit he line in an age-group record time of 31:52. Claire Ranchwitz, 18, was second in 34:19, followed by Aubrey Till, 15, in 34:40.
Seven of the top 10 women were 18 or younger.
In the short-series overall, with one race to go, Burns now leads with a cumulative time of 1:05:33. Justin Chaston, 49, is second in 1:06:49, followed by Logan Wealing, 31, 1:07:30.
Rainsberger is running away with the women's series title. She has totaled 1:17:20 in three races. Kayli Tabares, 13, who has run the last two races with a cast on her wrist, is second in 1:23:33, followed by Till (1:23:40.)
In the 10-mile long-series race, series leader Clare Bar, 25, set a new course record, blasting through the wind in 1:09:23. It was Bar's second Winter Series win. Stephanie Wurtz, 30, was second in 1:11:45, followed by Amanda Ewing in 1:13:14.
The men's race saw a new name in the top spot. Mike Killam, 30, of Colorado Springs won in 1:01:53, while 16-year-old Corban Pagnotta of Rye finished second in 1:02:53. Tyler Dimson, 19, USAFA, was third in 1:03:29.
In the long-series overall standings, Bar's 2:53:31 leads the way. Wurtz is second with a 2:56:48, followed by Jenni Leppert, 38, 3:01:15.
Tommy Manning, the three-time member of the USA Mountain Running team had lead the men's long series, but didn't run on Saturday. Pagnotta now leads the overall with a total time of 2:38:37. Brad Poppele, 41, of Manitou Springs, is second at 2:40:23, followed by Dimson at 2:40:53.
Winter Series II
James Burns took the win in the Winter Series short-course race (4 miles) on Jan. 26 at El Pomar Youth Sports Park.
RESULTS: Check out Finish Line Index for your race results
PHOTOS: Winter Series II Gallery 1 ** Gallery 2 ** Gallery 3
VIDEO: Start of the Winter Series II long-course race
VIDEO: Start of Winter Series II short-course race
The top runners in the Pikes Peak Road Runners' Winter Series put on a repeat performance on Saturday in the second of four series races.
James Burns and Katie Rainsberger extended their leads in the Winter Series (short course) taking their second wins in as many starts on a mostly flat Pikes Peak Greenway course that began and ended at El Pomar Youth Sports Park.
Burns (24, Colorado Springs) held off a charging Michael Weiss (31, Colorado Springs) in the final meters to win the 4-mile race in 20 minutes, 47 seconds. Weiss finished in 20:50 and set a new age-group (30-34) record. Justin Chaston (44, Colorado Springs, 21:13) was third.
Rainsberger, a 14-year-old Air Academy High School freshman, placed 14th overall and won the women's race in 24:12. She also crushed her own age-group (10-14) record of 25:04, set last year.
Young women runners swept the top three places in the first series race two weeks ago. They dominated again in Winter Series II. Tabor Scholl, 15, of Kremmling, finished second in an age-group (15-19) record 24:48, while Chantae Steele, 11, ran 25:54 for third.
In the overall series standings, 10 of the top 11 women runners in the short-course series are 18 or younger. Rainsberger leads second-place Kayli Tabares by nearly three minutes.
In the men's overall, Burns leads Justin Chaston by 55 seconds
In the long course race, Clare Bar and Tommy Manning won again in the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series (long course) on Saturday, Jan. 26 in Colorado Springs.
Manning, 36, of Colorado Springs, covered the flat 8-mile course on the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail in 46 minutes, 58 seconds, nearly a minute ahead of second-place Marcus Corbett (37, Colorado Springs, 47:53). Jay Messervey (23, Colorado Springs) placed third in 48:07.
Bar, 25, of Colorado Springs, didn't have such an easy time. She hit the finish line in 53:50, but had to sprint to hold off Stephanie Wurtz (30, Colorado Springs), who charged a stride behind in 53:51. Amanda Ewing (31, Colorado Springs) was third in 54:22.
Manning leads Corbett by 1:15 after two of four long-course series races. Bar has a 55-second lead over Wurtz in the women's series.
Winter Series I
Races Results in Finish Line Index
PHOTOS: Winter Series I, Gallery 1 ** Gallery 2 ** Gallery 3 ** Gallery 4
VIDEO: Start of the Winter Series I short-course race ** Interview with Katie Rainsberger ** Interview with Tommy Manning
Kaitie Rainsberger, 14, charged over the single-track trail course to win in 21 minutes, 16 seconds. Kayli Tabares, 13, gave chase to finish second, about 58 seconds behind. Aubrey Till, 15, of Canon City, was third in 22:48.
More than 600 runners braved a cold day that left icicles in runner beards and pony tails.
Rainsberger said she's in it to win the series.
"Hopefully, that's one of my goals," she said. "I'm also here preparing for track. We'll see how it goes, but it would be nice to win it."
The winter series began in 1979. Since then it has become a favorite of runners in the Pikes Peak Region. There are actually two series, with runners choosing to run four short races, from 3.3 to 10K, or the longer races that range from about seven miles to 20K. The series will continue on Jan. 26, Feb. 9 and Feb. 23.
Jame Burns, 24, Colorado Springs, won the men's short-course race in 17: 41. He was followed by Justin Chaston (44, Colorado Springs, 18:10) and Simon Gutierrez (46, Colorado Springs, 18:36).
In the long-course race, about 7.2 miles, Tommy Manning, a three-time member of the USA Mountain Running Team, won with a time of 45:03.
It was a comeback win of sorts.
"I haven't been running much," Manning said. "I probably only ran about 30 days from September to the end of the year. I hurt my ankle and I've just started coming back."
Manning took an early lead with the plan to work hard running up the hills.
"I just kept pushing the pace uphill and I had a really good time," he said
Jay Masservy, 23, Colorado Springs finished second in 45:21. Marcus Corbett (37, Colorado Springs, (45:23) was third.
In the women's long race, Kelly Ramirez, 27, Fort Collins, won in 49:27. She was followed by Clare Bar (25, Colorado Springs, 50:18) and Stephanie Wurtz (30, Colorado Springs, 51:12.)
Norsky donated one of her kidneys to her mother on Nov. 9. She spent two days in the hospital and was walking seven miles within two weeks.
"I don't think my doctor would be too happy about me running so soon," she said.
She said her mom was on dialysis for 18 months. Her kidney was the best match. She didn't think twice about donating the kidney, though her mom wasn't so sure about the operation ... at least not at first.
"At first she wasn't thrilled about taking an organ from her own daughter, but then she thought 'it was in me 31 years ago,'" Norsky said.