CREEDE — Saturday brought blue skies and perfect weather for the annual Run Off Run Off event in Creede. Close to 100 people gathered at the south end of town at Hargraves Park to participate in the run for water that has become a beloved event in the Creede area.
The run was missed during the 2020 summer. Those who participate every year are pleased to have the event back and were ready to hit the road running. There were also some changes to the event in order to comply with COVID-19 guidelines but mainly the 2021 Run Off Run Off was almost the same as past years.
The event began as a way to educate the public on the importance of preserving the nation’s headwater rivers like the Rio Grande. In the early days, when Forrest Getz and Heather Dutton started the event, it was known to locals as the High Country Hustle and was the only fundraising event for the Willow Creek Reclamation Company (WCRC) for the year. The funds went directly to WCRC projects for the coming year and the run usually took place in April.
Now the race has gained speed and national attention, drawing runners from all over the globe. What began as a small local fundraiser has now become a large event for the education of water preservation and restoration throughout the region. All funds now go to preservation efforts through the Headwaters Alliance.
Nearly 100 people participated in the marathon, half-marathon and 6K that were completed in stages throughout the day. The overall winners in the marathon, half-marathon and 6K were Logan Hjelmstad in a time of 3 hours, 12 minutes and 10 seconds, Piper Meuwissen (1:35:15) and Nathan Rubinfeld (24:43), respectively.
Hjelmstad was the men’s overall marathon winner followed by Ryan Thomas (3:40:19) and Kyle Clark (3:43:50)
In the marathon, the top overall women’s time was run by Elisa Mullikin in 3:46:06, followed by Maddie McClure (4:37:14) and Jennifer Lilley (5:01:30).
In the marathon, Gilbert Martinez (3:57:47) and Donna Souther (5:29:41) turned in the top times in the men’s and women’s masters.
In the women’s half-marathon, Meuwissen was followed by Emma Atwell (1:42:08) and Whitney Spivey (1:47:07).
Connor Burkesmith was the men’s overall winner in the half-marathon with a time of 1:38:26, followed by Charles Miller (1:43:49) and Isaac Borchers (1:43:57).
Dan Knerl (1:49:47) and Heather Politi (2:01:28) turned in the top times in the men’s and women’s masters half-marathon.
Rubinfeld was followed by Dominic Ali (30:01) and Matthew Wellman (31:13) in the men’s overall 6K race.
Emma and Molly Weber turned in the top women’s times in the 6K with identical 28:43, followed by Andrea Rotz (29:06).
Julie Ford (29:29) and George Murnock (35:28) were the overall women’s and men’s masters' top finishers in the 6K.