By Kirsten Le Roux
Special to The SUN
Devil Mountain Ultra runners and volunteers woke last Saturday to a dusting of snow on the peaks behind the Turkey Springs start/finish area, and to frosty temperatures in the mid-20s.
Even so, with a bright and sunny day forecast, many braved the chilly morning to head off into the remote wilderness of Devil Mountain and beyond. With cold overnight temperatures expected again on Saturday night, race organizers GECKO enforced tough cutoff times along the course for the 50-mile race to ensure everyone got to the finish line safely.
Nathaniel Draeger, of Taos, N.M., won the 50k in a time of 4 hours and 57 minutes, the only runner to break 5 hours.
In the women’s 50k, Elizabeth Campagna of Denver won in 6 hours and 21 minutes.
The 50-mile race was won by Anthony Kunkel, 21, from Golden, Colo., who came in at 9 hours, 52 minutes while Leadville resident Betsy Kalmeyer took the overall female division in 11 hours, 17 minutes.
Local ultra runners Ed Furtaw (who also designed the course), Nicki Alley, Scott Slind and Jennifer Smith all completed the 50k event.
In the Demons of Dust Race series, there were the following overall winners in each race, with two Pagosa Springs locals taking the 10k event:
• 5k Overall Male — Daniel Yazzie (Chinle, Ariz.).
• 5k Overall Female — Nicole Yazzie (Chinle, Ariz.).
• 10k Overall Male — Floyd Capistrant (Pagosa Springs).
• 10k Overall Female — Paula Miller (Pagosa Springs).
• Half Overall Male — Ernie Garcia (Durango, Colo.).
• Half Overall Female — Kristy Falcon (Salida, Colo.).
The Yazzie family from Chinle, Ariz., impressed the crowd by having seven family members run together.