“Mother Nature was a major factor in this year’s race,” Race Director Dale Garland said. “In the 20 years of directing this run, these were probably the toughest conditions I have seen. In terms of snowpack, lightning, rain, wind, high water these racers faced everything. The only thing we didn’t have was scorching heat. It was phenomenal what the runners had to endure to finish this race.”
Frenchman Julien Chorier was the first to cross the finish line with a time of 25:17, just two hours faster than the second place finisher Dakota Jones who finished at 27:10. Nick Clark placed third with a time of 27:43 and Daniel Levy took fourth with a time of 28:57.
“The top six male finishers were all first timers,” Garland said. “None of them had attempted the Hardrock 100 before. It was kind of interesting that the top finishers were relatively new to this race.”
Diana Finkel, who almost lost her life to kidney failure after last year’s race, took her fourth straight Hardrock 100 victory in the women’s division with a time of 29:27 and placed fifth overall. Darcy Africa took second in the women’s division with a time of 29:46 with Betsy Nye placing third with a time of 39:17.
“Diana spent 16 days in intensive care last year because of kidney failure,” Garland said. “It was really serious. This year, she came back with two motives: One was to do well, which she did. Two, was to allay some of her fears and get rid of the weight that was on her shoulders from what happened last year. She felt really good at the end.”
The 18th running of the Hardrock 100 mile endurance run started last Friday in Silverton with this year’s course running in a counter-clockwise direction through a 100-mile San Juan Mountains loop and ending back in Silverton.
The Telluride section of the course, which traditionally travels through Bear Creek, was re-routed up Bridal Veil Falls this year, adding 2.3 miles to the course. According to one race participant, the old route travels through newly privatized land represented by Tom Chapman. A new route around the private land was drawn up, but race organizers were unable to get permission from the U.S. Forest Service in time for this year’s race.
Racers climbed 33,992 feet and descended that for a total elevation change of 67,984 feet with an average elevation of 11,186 feet. The racers toured through Ouray at the race’s lowest point at 7,680 feet climbed Handies Peak at 14,048 feet as well as traveling through Telluride.
“Our finishing rates were down a bit,” Garland said. “But I attribute that to Mother Nature. The ones who finished were certainly wild and tough because the race was as wild and tough as I have ever seen it.”
Garland also offered his thanks to all the volunteers, communities and racers who support and organize the annual event.
“We couldn’t do this without the support of all the communities, thank you,” he said.